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Think Tank’s ‘Akhand Bharat’ Map Sparks Outrage in Neighboring States

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The inclusion of a map depicting ‘Akhand Bharat’ or Undivided India in India’s newly inaugurated parliament building on May 28 has sparked widespread controversy, particularly among neighboring states. The map, showcasing the extent of the ancient Ashokan empire, claims that present-day Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka are all part of India.

This assertion lacks historical accuracy and disregards the current political reality, which saw the emergence of multiple states in the Bangladesh-India-Pakistan subcontinent through various freedom movements over the past century.

Pakistani think tanks highlight that this act reflects an extremist Hindu ideology and raises suspicions of a broader conspiracy against independent Muslim states

The display of the Ashokan era map in the Indian parliament disregards the political history and aspirations of the people who fought for independence, ultimately leading to the formation of separate nations.

The audacity of such a display is evident in a tweet by India’s Minister for Parliamentary Affairs on the day of the building’s inauguration, which unequivocally expresses the resolve for Akhand Bharat, or Undivided India.

This expansionist notion is a cause for resentment among the governments of Pakistan and Nepal, while authorities in Bangladesh have yet to officially respond to the issue.

The expansionist aspirations of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the think tank ideologically aligned with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), add a further layer of concern. As far back as 2015, an RSS leader stated that they still believed in the eventual reunification of the historically separated parts of the subcontinent.

Now, with the BJP in power, RSS leaders describe Akhand Bharat as a ‘cultural idea’ that appears to encompass the political hegemony of the party and its think tank. This expansionist notion is a cause for resentment among the governments of Pakistan and Nepal, while authorities in Bangladesh have yet to officially respond to the issue.

The international community must play an active role in addressing such issues and preventing any escalation that could jeopardize the stability and prosperity of the region as a whole.

The concept of Akhand Bharat is not only a dangerous Hindutvavadi political scheme but also a provocation for potential conflicts with neighboring states. The wars of 1857 and subsequent events led to the separation and formation of Afghanistan, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan, with Bangladesh gaining independence in 1971.

The realization of Akhand Bharat would necessitate aggression against sovereign nations, particularly Bangladesh, which fought a liberation war resulting in a significant loss of life. Such a revisionist and expansionist ideology contradicts regional cooperation and threatens peaceful coexistence.

 

The promotion of an expansionist Hindutvavadi idea by India’s ruling dispensation, masquerading as a cultural notion, as evidenced by the Sanskrit verse inscribed above the mural, is a manifestation of a fascist Hindutva ideology. This ideology poses internal and external risks for India. It is crucial for India to reassess its position and embrace a more conscious, present-day identity that respects the sovereignty and aspirations of its neighbors.

 

In a recent development, the Pakistani think tank has voiced strong concerns regarding the actions of Indian extremists, emphasizing that these actions flagrantly violate international laws and pose a significant threat to regional peace. It is imperative for the international community to closely monitor and address this matter, while urging India to refrain from pursuing ambitions that undermine stability and cooperation within the region.

 

Expressing deep apprehension, Pakistani think tanks highlight that this act reflects an extremist Hindu ideology and raises suspicions of a broader conspiracy against independent Muslim states. The implications of such a dangerous move are undeniably detrimental to the region’s interests, warranting immediate attention and action.

 

The think tank further emphasizes the need for collective efforts to ensure adherence to international norms and the preservation of peace in the region. It calls upon India to reconsider its actions and pursue a path that fosters harmony, mutual respect, and cooperation among nations.

 

It is essential for all stakeholders to recognize the gravity of the situation and work towards establishing an environment that promotes dialogue, understanding, and peaceful coexistence. The international community must play an active role in addressing such issues and preventing any escalation that could jeopardize the stability and prosperity of the region as a whole.

Zain Saleem
Zain Saleem
Zain Saleem is an Islamabad-based Senior Journalist

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