(Marco Verch/flickr) India’s walking on a dangerous road: The same road Pakistan took, over-empowering the right wing, militarizing minds of masses in the name of religion and nationalism and accusing people of treason in the name of national security. Speeches of various Indian representatives talk about India as the emerging example of liberalism, tolerance and secularism. When compared to Pakistan, they argue it’s nothing like Pakistan, for Pakistan is a country plagued with extremism, radicalism and terrorism. But is India really that different from Pakistan? In Pakistan, we see lynchings for alleged blasphemy. In India, we see lynchings for alleged selling, carrying or eating of beef. In Pakistan, we see violence against Hindus, Christians and other minorities. In India, we see violence against Dalits and Muslims. People get forcibly converted to Islam in Pakistan. In India, people get murdered in the name of “love jihad,” a form of religious warfare in which Muslim men lure Hindu women away from their religion. In Pakistan, religious outfits can stir outrage in its capital. In India, “Padmaavat,” a movie that portrayed a Rajput queen in bad light, can erupt chaos in the country. In Pakistan, questioning the military’s policies becomes treason. In India, one remembers the Jawaharlal Nehru University incident in which police arrested students for sedition when they held protests against capital punishment of convict Afzal Guru and Kashmiri separatist Maqbool Bhat. In Pakistan, people go “missing” for speaking up against the state while in India people get labelled as anti-national and told to “go to Pakistan.” In India, the government psychologically militarizes the masses and the educational institutions by commemorating and celebrating military events such as the Surgical Strikes Day. People who oppose celebrating the day are labelled anti-India and pro-Pakistan. The Indian government capitalizes on the anti-Pakistan narrative to bag votes in the upcoming elections in 2019. Their strong anti-Pakistan campaign might win them votes now, but it will come back to haunt them. India could learn something from Pakistan, but it will not. The egos of our countries are too big. Pakistan has realized the consequences of over-empowering the right wing, but India’s working hard to become the kind of Pakistan the Pakistanis themselves are trying to get rid of. The Modi government recently accepted Pakistan’s offer to talk on the sidelines of the United Nations general assembly sessions, but talks were cancelled by India, which then celebrated the Surgical Strikes Day, a clear indication that the government can go to any length to cash on the nationalistic sentiments of its people to get votes. Furthermore, the Indian army has never been a subject of everyday political debate until now. Indian politician Shashi Tharoor said, “No government has ever been more shameless in the milking of India’s military for political benefit as this one.” One might argue that it doesn’t matter if India is on the path to destroy itself. Isn’t it best for Pakistan? The answer remains no. Pakistan can’t afford a hostile India on its eastern border while policies on its western border label it a sponsor of terrorism. The Bharatiya Janata Party needs to realize it needs to stop giving power to the right wing. The writer is a graduate of Lahore University of Management Sciences. He has a Bachelor’s in Economics and Political science with a minor in Public Management. He focuses mainly on civil-military relations and the political history of Pakistan.