(Photo: Global Times)
It is evident that Russia and China are coming closer. However, a new element is adding up in this matrix: Russia and Pakistan are also moving closer to each other. This should be of great concern to India because it has the potential for completely changing the balance of power in the region and could lead to New Delhi getting isolated.
India should not forget that friendship with Russia is one of its greatest assets. However, India has never fully appreciated the value of this friendship. Even in those days when Indo-Soviet friendship was at the peak and for all practical purposes they were allies, India continued to lean toward the US and the West.
The Indo-Soviet friendship treaty of 1971 was the main reason for bringing the US, China and Pakistan together. This development was one of the main reasons for the Soviet defeat in Afghanistan and eventual collapse of the USSR. India wasted no time after the collapse of the Soviet Union and jumped into the American camp, completely ignoring the concept of "a friend in need is a friend indeed." It left an impression on Russians that India is a fair-weather friend.
Moscow had a very bitter experience with the US when former president Boris Yeltsin tried to take Russia to the American camp. However, India does not want to learn from the Russian experience. When it comes to being a fair-weather friend only, India will have a hard time breaking the American record. Only after this bitter experience with America, Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to mend fences with China. Friendship with China has played a very important role in restoring Russia's status as an important player in world affairs.
The big question is: why does India not want to accept the obvious, that relatively, America and Western countries are in a state of decline. One reason is that old habits and perceptions are difficult to change. Because of Western domination of the last two centuries, almost all third-world countries believe that the West cannot really decline because the white race and the West are inherently superior.
In India's case, the situation is made worse by the fact that before the Western invasion of the country, there was an Islamic invasion which lasted for 1,000 years. Some Indians mistakenly believe that Westerners liberated them from Islamic servility. This led us to develop a soft corner for the West and Westerners.
Unfortunately, we started looking at the invaders, oppressors and exploiters as our liberators. This clouds our judgment as not only are we not seeing the obvious, but we do not want to see the end of Western domination. Like it or not, Western domination and American hegemony are going to end very soon, and the balance of power is going to shift from the West to the East.
America and the West have already reached their peak and have lost momentum and spirit to carry on the struggle needed to keep them at the top. Moreover, they have also lost the tenacity, resilience and ability to endure suffering. All these elements are needed to maintain your status and to come out victorious in the long run.
India should seriously reflect upon and reconsider its policies in light of the new developments. If a partnership among Russia, China and Pakistan comes into existence, India can be the biggest loser. India should also remember that another friend, Iran, is likely to join this partnership, adding to India's isolation in the region.
India has to learn to value its friendship with Russia and do everything to revive it. New Delhi should also try to understand that for all practical purposes, Russia and China have become strategic partners. Therefore, if India is perceived to be a part of American efforts to isolate and contain China, Russia won't like it because Moscow also sees itself as a victim of such American efforts.
India needs friendly relations with Russia and cordial relations with America. India also needs working relations with China because Beijing is the main force in the institutions emerging in the place of declining Western institutions. India has to work with China in BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Moreover, India and China have to march together to Asia's century.