This article is in Collaboration with Divya Makhija.
“Is the world going to end soon?” is a question that distresses the mind of many today. With the growing restlessness in human civilization and the urge of subsuming any power that grows to push you behind and of course, the enhancing impatience amongst human beings may soon put an end to this human civilization. The history has given us umpteenth instances where conflicts and war have erupted with and without foreseen traces.
Some historians, social science students and thinkers may consider the World War 3 still a distant possibility. However, having said that, there is a group of people who can trace the steps of World War 3 in a near future. With different opinions being poured out, it cannot be ascertained what or which major or minor power would be leading to it. Nonetheless, there are certain countries which are going to be affected by it.
Before analysing the effect of World War 3 on the world, let us first try to enlist the possibilities which hold the potential to ignite the war, an event that would end the human civilization or probably take us back to the stone age.
1. A Territorial War: What do we exactly imply by this? War has been a historic method to engulf a territory and history may repeat itself. Evidences show multiple battles have been fought in medieval and modern world to occupy a region. If one wishes to refrain from going back to deep historical periods, let us stick with the events of 20th century itself.
One of the most devastating events of the World History which includes the partition of the Indian sub-continent and the birth of India and Pakistan also gave birth to a very burning issue- the issue of Kashmir. Since 1947, Kashmir has been the bone of contention between India and Pakistan and it continues to create a lot of turmoil on the borders. It’s been 70 years but Pakistan’s wish of occupying Kashmir has not faded.
There is hardly a day when we do not read or hear a news of martyrs on the borders. Recently, the issue has escalated to another level and some people envisage it to be a poignant reason which may lead to the outbreak of the World War 3. Having mentioned this, we may also list another in the series- the conflict between India and China. Although the issue has settled down for now, but one never knows when the issue may lead to another expansive outrage.
Many may have recently read in the news how China was almost ready to occupy a territory in Arunachal Pradesh which has again been a major contentious issue between India and China since late 20th century. Enemy’s enemy can be great friends, this applies very well in the current situation of India where Pakistan and China may collaborate any time and break out a war against India who has US and a few other major nations by its side. Someone who is acquainted with the past of two previous World Wars can possibly envision the formation of two groups here.
2. Religious War: ISIS crisis and their will of converting the World into an Islamic civilisation can lead to another World War. Religion has always been a very sensitive issue and it just needs a slight trigger to outbreak into something huge. ISIS has already become a global issue, given the Syria crisis, continuing tensions in the middle east and on-going terror attacks by ISIS. We have already mentioned how India-Pakistan issue can put the world on the brink of third World War, clubbed with a few other factors, of course.
The issue of religious sentiments or what can be more aptly called communalism has humungous power to embark the World War 3. The seeds of hatred and communalism, germinated by Britishers in early 20th century, may reap its poisonous fruits in the near future.
3. US-North Korea Crisis: This is the most burning and latest in the series if one wants to discuss the outbreak of World War 3. The speakers at the International Luxembourg Forum recently said that the cold relations between US president Trump and the on-going nuclear crisis amongst US and North Korea may lead to the third world war. In fact, the news feeds are all filled on the updates on the same issue with our mobile screens continuously dreading us with the war situation. Its impact is going to be dreadful, which is certainly undoubtful. In terms of its impact, its being said the number of casualties may go same as the previous two world wars, however, the war won’t be fought over a prolonged period. Instead of years, the nuclear power will devastate half the world in just few hours.
Analyzing the impact on India
Going back to answering what we started with- “What will happen to India if World War 3 breaks out?”. Given the kind of technological advancements human civilisation have made, the impact of World War 3 will be cataclysmic and gut-wrenching. If we see from a historical perspective, a war hasn’t had direct implications on the nations involved other than the two main nations neither do they happen immediately.
It is with time that the process of implications evolves. If one looks at the previous two world wars and try drawing out an analysis, the war was not just between two countries but rather two groups of countries involved. For instance, India didn’t have direct involvement in the world war, however, being Britisher’s colony, it had to pay its due. Similar situation could be experienced now. Although India is an independent country, its “friendly affiliations” with certain nations (U.S in reference) may drag it in the world war which can take a huge toll on it.
Talking in context of war where India is likely to be dragged into, especially if it’s the war between global powers, India would certainly be impacted.
India has the world’s fourth largest army base and as far as Pakistan and China are considered, India should be able to knock them down. However, having said that, there are economic consequences India will have to bear, come what may. Being a developing country, getting involved in a war may prove a mistake.
India is already battling with problems like inflation and poverty and another world war would just add to it. The current government who has stronger economic vision may not envisage the implications as it is quite sure about its long-term goals. However, the common masses are the ones who are still struggling with inflation and can foresee the worse situation if war outbreaks. India will have to drain its preserved investments and the GDP growth may also come to halt.
If the conflict erupts between Pakistan and China and the turmoil escalates, mass killings, especially on our borders are inevitable. As happens in any war, it’s the local population that suffers the most and so is likely to happen in another war.
Also, India is considered to be peaceful country for years. Its involvement in a war, especially if it becomes an initiator due to unforeseen circumstances, it would blemish its reputation of being a peace lover. This may injure its reputation in economic terms as well, given its considered a friendly country at the moment.
Given this opinion, there is also a group of thinkers who believe that the third World War would be different from its predecessors as the power of International organisations has increased and it is believed that war and economic destruction may not go hand in hand. Although it does not sound a very plausible explanation at present, nothing can be ascertained as of yet.
For now, let us just hope for a world where we do not have to experience another war and we become a little peaceful to exist.