The Other Asian Powerhouse

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Indian Border Security Force personnel walk through a market area in Amritsar on October 21.

 

Why is India leaning toward the East?

The Trumpet has long said that India—with its population of more than 1.2 billion people—is almost certain to join the Asian bloc that the Bible says will congeal in the end time.

A look at India’s history, its recent direction, and specific Bible prophecies reveal why.

The Resilient Russo-Indian Friendship

Starting back in the 17th century, Indian merchants—mostly from Sindh and Multan—regularly crossed into Russia and began building the foundation of the Russo-Indian relationship.

By the early 18th century, Indian traders were living not only in Russia’s southern city of Astrakhan, but also as far north as Moscow. Soon after, Indians were dispersed throughout Kazan and St. Petersburg, and many had become assimilated. It looked as if the peoples of India and Russia were on course to build a lasting bond.

But then came the British.

The British colonized India in 1858, and brought rule of law and governance to the subcontinent. British rule was far from perfect, but it lifted millions from squalor and oppression. British influence also replaced Russian influence, aligning the subcontinent with London rather than St. Petersburg.

Russian leaders were never compliant about Britain’s colonization of India. They made no attempt to downplay their desire to see the British pushed out of India.

Vladimir Lenin, who became ruler of the Soviet Union, said in 1918: “There can be no general peace without a free independent India. … We, Russian Revolutionaries and International Socialists, feel it our duty to rejoice at the announcement of a revolution in India but also to support this revolution by direct or indirect means and with all our powers.”

Thanks in part to Soviet support, anti-British sentiment took firm root throughout India.

The Elephant Rises, Leans Toward the Bear

After the fall of the Soviet Union, India moved away from the Soviet-inspired economic model. It took steps to liberalize, privatize and reform its economy. It quickly began to undergo staggering growth.

In retrospect, it was clear to Indian leaders that their earlier adoption of a Soviet-modeled economy had hindered the nation’s growth. But India seemed to harbor no ill will toward the Russians. After the Soviet Union collapsed, Russo-Indian relations remained warm and were soon after transformed into what was labeled an “Indo-Russian partnership.”

In 2010, Russian President Vladimir Putin elevated the Indo-Russian partnership to a “Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership.” And he began issuing calls for India to be given a permanent membership in the United Nations Security Council.

In 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea, India openly backed Moscow while Western powers condemned Russia’s actions.

A New Leader Looks East

Back in May of 2014, India’s Bharatiya Janata Party won a landslide victory. During his victory speech, Narendra Modi said, “Good days are coming. The journey has started.”

This “journey” holds great geopolitical significance because it is one that is steering India ever further from the United States and Britain—and ever nearer to Russia, China and other Asian states.

Can India and China Get Along?

On October 12 of this year, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army and the Indian Army began a joint counterterrorism exercise, code named Hand-in-Hand 2015. It was the fifth of such counterterrorism drills the two sides had held since 2007. The goal of the exercises, according to India’s Ministry of Defense, is “to develop joint operating capability, share useful experience in counterterrorism operations and to promote friendly exchanges between the armies of India and China.”

Another remarkable indication of Indo-Chinese cooperation came in July 2015 when China allowed Modi’s India to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (sco).

A Rising Military Powerhouse

In 2015, India became the world’s number one arms importer, and the bulk of those imports come from Russia. From 2009 to 2013, Russia provided roughly 75 percent of India’s military imports. “Russia has been India’s foremost defense partner through the decades,” Modi said. “Even as India’s options have increased today, Russia will remain our most important defense partner.” The two countries have also agreed on joint development and production of future, cutting-edge weapons systems.

India’s Future

Many signs today show that global power is shifting from West to East. India has been a key part of that shift, and if it continues to cooperate with Russia and China, it is likely to take on an even greater role.

The Trumpet has often written about a 200 million-man Asian army that the Bible says will rise up in the end time. In our September 2014 issue, editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote:

The Bible gives some important details about this largest army ever assembled on Earth. It tells us which nations will contribute soldiers to it. It shows it will include the combined forces from several Asian nations. It refers to this Asian confederacy as the “kings of the east” (Revelation 16:12). …

A prophecy in Ezekiel 38 gives us some of these important details. “And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him” (Ezekiel 38:1-2). …

Scholars generally agree that “Gog” is Russia, and that “the land of Magog” includes China. The descendants of Meshech and Tubal have been found together throughout history. In Assyrian and Greek histories, Meshech appears as Musku, Muski or Mushki—all names related to the Russian spelling of Moscow, as you can read in the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. What about Tubal? On the eastern side of the Ural Mountains lies the city of Tobolsk, named after the Tobol River, derived from Tubal. Tobolsk was once the seat of Russian government over Siberia and was basically considered Russia’s Asian capital.

Ezekiel’s prophecy goes on to say that this massive Russia-led army will include “Ethiopia, and Libya .…” (Ezekiel 38:5). In this passage, these two names should be translated “Cush” and “Phut,” as several Bible translations such as Young’s Literal Translation and the Darby Bible correctly render them. Although portions of the peoples of Cush and Phut settled in Africa, the rest migrated to India. And the context of this scripture shows that it refers not to African peoples, but to modern-day Indians—and maybe Pakistanis.

Modi has made his fondness for Russia especially clear. During the 2014 brics summit, he said: “Even a child in India, if asked to say who is India’s best friend, will reply it is Russia because Russia has been with India in times of crisis.” Since India has such unwavering devotion to Putin’s Russia, and such a cold view of its former “taskmasters” in the Western world, it is not difficult to envision the elephant throwing its weight behind Moscow.

To understand more about India and the end-time Asian power bloc that is now coalescing, order a copy of our free booklet Russia and China in Prophecy.

Full article: The Other Asian Powerhouse (The Trumpet)

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