Over 20,000 military personnel of 5 countries — India, the US, Japan, Australia and Singapore — as well as warships belonging to these countries are participating in a joint naval military exercise codenamed “Malabar Exercise” in the Bay of Bengal off the coast of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. These are supposed to be the largest ever joint exercise involving India.
These joint military exercises reflect a growing and disturbing trend. The Indian bourgeoisie has ambitions to have a blue water navy which will police the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea and venture beyond the Malacca Straits adjoining Singapore, into the Pacific Ocean. Its armed forces are in the service of its imperial aims to be a great power to which other countries of the world, particularly Asia, submit to. To achieve these aims, the Indian bourgeoisie is willing to collaborate with all the imperialist powers militarily and strategically, even as it tries to keep its options open to achieve its own imperialist ambitions. In particular, it is willing to coordinate its strategy with the most rapacious bloodthirsty imperialist power known to mankind — US imperialism. This is what the “Malabar exercise” reveals.
The result of the ambitions of Indian bourgeoisie is that increasingly, the seas around our country are getting militarized, and the warships of powers which have no business to be here, are prowling around these seas. The warships of the US imperialists have been looking for a port of call, a port of refueling in this region for a long time. Now, as part of the strategic alliance between the US and India, we are likely to witness regular docking of US warships in Indian ports.
The “Malabar exercise” is officially billed as assisting in the “war against terrorism” and in controlling piracy in the seas. But the real aims are as always, something different. For the US, it is the possibility of roping in the Indian armed forces to contain revolutionary and liberation struggles of peoples in the region, to advance the US strategic aims in Asia, and to block China. For Indian bourgeoisie, it is a step to advance towards its goal of being a world class power. Whatever be the case, the result is growing militarization of the region, and the increasing danger of imperialist war breaking out involving India.
Mazdoor Ekta Lehar/ Peoples Voice condemns the Manmohan Singh Government for involving the Indian Armed Forces in military exercises with the US and other powers, as a game fraught with dangerous consequences for our people and all the other peoples of Asia.