The passing of the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act, created a communal divide within the country. Riots, protests and destruction of property have become a commonality following the enforcement of the Act. However, the Act’s effect was not limited to the boundaries of the country. While the media highlighted the disapproval of various EU lawmakers and notably U.S Senator Bernie Sanders, a few notable players in the international community have been largely left ignored specifically Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia and Turkey. These four countries do not lie in the same region but they do share one thing in common and that is a large part of their populations are muslims. Indonesia being the country with the largest muslim population in the world did have a lot to say in this crisis. The four countries hold significant standing in world politics.
First to understand the countries that have taken the hardest stance against the legislation. Turkey has for long been a secular nation and among the various muslim majority countries within the region, Turkey has a rather better record in maintaining religious tolerance but not so much towards ethnic minorities. However, with the rise of Recip Tayyip Erdogan, the populist leader has shifted Turkey away from these secular values and towards a more pro-islam stance. Erdogan has been sympathetic to the cause in Kashmir comparing their struggle to Turkey’s during the war to prevent western domination and has referred to the government’s moves as a “massacre” of the Indian muslims.
Iran’s leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has long been a critic of the Indian administration specifically in Kashmir and the riots in Delhi following the CAA made him more outright calling for the government to “control extremist hindus” within the country. Iran who are a islamic nation and have a considerable hold on global trade with control of the Strait of Hormuz.
Indonesia among the four nations took a rather diplomatic stance by asking India to merely follow their example and Malaysia’s former Prime Minister too criticised India’s actions relating to the CAA. But the question is, would the criticism of these countries affect India significantly?
India so far has paid no heed to this criticism because so far India’s key allies in the Middle East, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have both chosen to remain silent on the said issues. Saudi’s tussle with Iran has helped India so far and silence on their parts means India need not fear any repercussions that would affect them severely. However, this reliance may not be able to last long. The alignment of Turkey, Iran and Indonesia along with Malaysia poses a serious threat to Saudi Arabia’s position as the leader of the Islamic countries. This leadership has proven to be highly advantageous to Saudi, but if they loose grip on this massive amount of soft power, it could risk their position in the Middle East.
but how does this regional politics affect India? If Saudi Arabia loses its influence in the oil rich region, to some extent UAE too would lose its status. This would result poorly for India as they heavily depend on UAE and Saudi to meet their oil and natural gas needs. The CAA provides for another front for the alliance of these nations and this was made evident in the Kuala Lumpur Summit, which was also attended by Qatar, where all the above countries shared their concerns regarding India.
How much it would affect India’s standing in the international community is yet to be seen as detonation of foreign relations with these countries may not have ill effects immediately but will require time to truly expose itself.
Tags : India, CAA, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia, Iran, islamic countries