Bible says, “Love thy neighbour”. There’s a Punjabi saying that says, ” An obnoxious neighbour and a untrusting husband are the worst realities a person could face.”
While residential neighbours can still be a matter of choice (you can shift residence or hope your obnoxious neighbour will shift), unfortunately geographical neighbours can neither be chosen nor changed. India has highly dominating and super power China towards its North East, a country that desires to control the economies of the entire world, especially in South East Asia. It has scant regard for history and claims almost the entire North East India as its own domain. India’s asylum to Dalai Lama and support to autonomy of Tibet and Taiwan are super sore points with China and it seldom leaves an opportunity to sabotage India’s interest.
We have Nepal, a landlocked neighbour and one of the most friendly countries. Also, till recently it was the only Hindu country in the world, before going secular a few years ago. It was totally dependent on India for all its trade and commerce, till its Northern neighbour, China, took great infrastructural initiatives by building some remarkable roads and bridges. The increasing proximity of this erstwhile Hindu kingdom to China is palpable when you visit Kathmandu. It’s porous borders with India are also being used by terrorists to perpetrate terror in India.
Srilanka shares a common heritage with India, especially South India and Indian forces made great sacrifices in helping the island nation quell Tamil Eelam, a movement by separatists for an independent Tamil nation. It also lost its much beloved PM, Rajiv Gandhi as a backlash by Tamil terrorists. Yet, China’s increasing influence, including its evil design to build a military naval base on Lankan shores is a distinct reality.
Bangladesh owes its existence to India as Indian forces during 1971 war helped Mukti Bahini fought off Pakistani forces to win liberation. Its culture is almost aligned to Indian Eastern state of West Bengal. However, Bangladesh is facing increased Islamisation and we see Hindu minority there facing attacks and emigrating to India. The gory deeds of Bangladesh Rifles perpetrated on BSF personnel during border skirmishes are no secrets.
Burma is indifferent and with Bhutan its so far so good. That leaves us with the most dangerous neighbour that till 1947 was part of India (so was Bangladesh) , Pakistan. Under the disguise of support to Kashmiri cause, this neighbour of ours seems to be the God’s biggest curse on our great country. It’s hate for our country knows no bounds. While it has fought many major wars with us, it is now flaunting it’s nuclear arsenal to inflict irreversible damage on our nation. It’s proxy war by supporting terrorists is an ongoing event that causes several of young brave officers attaining martyrdom each year. It’s unholy nexus with China is mainly directed at neutralising India’s increasing military and economic might.
With such an enviable galaxy of neighbours around us, God that tells us to love our neighbours, should only tell us how we cope with such dreaded, actually dreadful will be more appropriate, neighbours? Long live Indian armed forces that face challenges on so many fronts at the same time!