My editorial cartoon of the week, is an attempt to characterize the ongoing debate on whether to bomb Syria or not and the implications it might have on our country – India.
I am as confused as most of you are, on should there be a US military intervention on Syria. However, it is clearly visible that although US and its current allies are showcasing the whole Syria War thing as a moral obligation, the huge & obvious economic angle to this issue cannot be concealed. Opponents of US Military intervention (China & Russia) also have a direct or indirect economic stake in Syria. For India, the most direct impact of a war in Syria will be negative and certain longer-term politico-economic losses could be –
- Rise of oil and gas prices – Spiraling of prices will affect common man and Indian oil companies alike.
- And hence, the fiscal deficit will rise steeply
- Growth will slowdown
- Rupee value will be impacted if Syria is blowing up. Oh, yeah! “further”
- Gold prices will rise & as always, our government will not be able to convince Indians that gold is not a good hedge against inflation
- Capital inflows from other countries will take a hit,
- Wars are almost always followed by recessions. India cannot afford one anytime soon.
In the past, successive Indian governments have failed to oppose the war in Afghanistan and Iraq. This could be largely due to the strategic noninterference policy of our country or may be due to the expected subservience to US imperialism. However, things are different this time and India has a certain clout as a rising Asian giant and will be able to ‘influence’ developments. It is fresh & exciting to know that India took a clear stance against bombing Syria, in the recent G20 summit. In fact, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh spoke against a military strike against Syria at G-20 in St Petersburg. It doesn’t mean that, India would like to support what is happening at Syria. But can one war be suppressed with another. Like the great scientist said
“Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding” – Albert Einstein
Moreover, the lone concern of US (& UN) has been the use of chemical weapon, rather than war or the killings itself. The war has nevertheless destroyed so many innocent lives & the concern or rather the apprehension, is only about the usage of chemical weapons. I mean, is there a right way to kill innocent lives? The larger picture of averting such destruction of innocent lives is completely lost amidst the noise created by the chemical weapons agenda.
Usage of chemical weapons is by no means a trivial issue and such matters must be averted right at the start. Not opposing these lethal and wickedest of crimes would only reflect our narrow ideology. But the point of discussion here is about how should we handle such issues and what stance our Indian government should take. No war is inevitable until it breaks out. A war of such magnitude would definitely impact India (and the world) negatively. Countries must focus their efforts on figuring out a better strategic approach towards the whole issue, rather than discussing whether to bomb Syria or not. My editorial cartoon for the week reflects this confusion surrounding the Syrian issue and what stance India, rather the whole world should take. Hope you enjoyed the cartoon.
– Editorial cartoon of the week (3) on “Syria War & India ?” by Vignesh Rajan