Military & Aerospace

Military: The Grid of Violence
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Issue Vol. 28.4 Oct-Dec 2013 | Date : 11 Nov , 2013

Violence unleashed upon a nation can only be met by developing the capability to counter the violence. In the twenty-first century, unless societies with deep-rooted beliefs in non-violence and pacifism secure themselves with a grid of violence provided by a lean and mean military machine, their survival as a nation-state will be in question.

If there is no grid of violence to protect and preserve the community preaching non-violence then ‘Tibet’ happens.

Military is an instrument of violence and not non-violence.

The Indian Army, Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force are meant to respond swiftly to neutralise violence let loose by the enemy to overwhelm a pacifist society. Thus, war-waging capabilities are required to be superior to that of the enemy. This in turn helps protect the trading community that generates wealth not only for itself but for the nation as well. The population can thus be secured from outside interference and can continue to practice its way of life and conduct its business successfully.

If there is no grid of violence to protect and preserve the community preaching non-violence then ‘Tibet’ happens. Violent communist China gobbled up Tibet, which was independent and committed to non-violence. Steeped in the philosophy of peaceful co-existence exported from India, Tibet practically maintained no military force to defend its way of life. Lhasa looked up to New Delhi to protect it from invasion by China. However, the two nations rooted in concept of ‘non-violence’ were unlikely to rush to each other’s defence even though it was definitely in India’s national interest to halt Chinese advance into Tibet. British India had a military plan in place to defend Tibet but the confused peaceniks of Independent India, afflicted with withdrawal symptoms, had none.

Today, unfortunately, a large part of the Tibetan population stands displaced from its homeland and lives in exile in more than forty countries. The remaining population is subjugated by the demographic changes caused by the Han Chinese in its homeland. Worse, a culture similar to that of India was snuffed out. In so doing, not only geographical but also cultural space was permitted to be usurped in India’s vicinity.

India created Maoists and now vote-bank-politics is generating Talibanised pockets of influence – both have weakened the state from within.

Unlike her father who surrendered space in the neighbourhood, Mrs. Gandhi who was not a pacifist, permitted space to be occupied inside the Indian territory by foreigners. She imposed Illegal Migrants Tribunal Act (IMDT) in Assam in 1983 indulging in vote-bank politics. By the time it was struck down by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional in 2005, migration in millions of Bangladeshi took place changing demographic profile that now pits locals in Assam against illegal foreigners in perpetual conflict.

Three weaknesses persist in society composed of pacifists. First, such societies neglect their military preparedness. Second, they mess up the internal administration out of sheer mismanagement creating pockets of unwanted influence. India created Maoists and now vote-bank-politics is generating Talibanised pockets of influence – both have weakened the state from within. Third, the peaceniks cede or vacate space quickly under pressure. Communities that profess non-violence are escapists by nature and their influence contracts under the ruthlessness of philosophies expanding their sway. Communist China and Pakistan are increasing their footprints by shrinking India’s influence in its neighborhood.

Advocates of ‘non-violence’, Gandhi and Nehru blundered by ceding space to create Pakistan. The Islamic Republic produced an Islamic Army, which in turn, generated a huge force of Islamic Irregulars – the Jihad factory. This not only extinguished multi-cultural space within Pakistan, essential for India’s well-being but also limited New Delhi’s access to Afghanistan and Central Asia. All three today are poised with the singular aim of destabilising India.

A group of pacifists in New Delhi mouth glibly “Just as we cannot change our relatives, we cannot change our neighbours.” True or false? False, China gobbled up an independent country, Tibet. And we landed up with a new neighbour! The Nehruvian blunder of neglecting to defend the buffer zone of Tibet resulted in China lodging claim over 90,000 square kilometres of Indian territory. Interestingly, China had a border dispute with Tibet on the China-Tibet border prior to its invasion but had endorsed the McMahon line between Tibet and India in 1914.

Due to lack of worthy leadership at the national level, India is adrift without any national aim and survives on drip-economy and doles for vote-bank politics instead of creating economy of opportunities for its populace.

Due to lack of foresight and poor leadership in New Delhi since 1947, Beijing has consistently enlarged its territorial claims. Despite hundreds of years of foreign domination, our leadership on independence and since has continued to relinquish both physical and mental space to China and Pakistan in Asia. Pragmatic Sardar Patel and Field Marshal Cariappa could not prevail upon paper tiger Nehru of the looming Chinese threat.

However, unlike Nehru, his daughter converted East Pakistan in to Bangladesh, radically changing the neighbour! The primary reason for Indira Gandhi’s success was that in contrast to her father in 1962, she interacted directly with and accepted advice rendered by the military chiefs, leaving the conduct of 1971 war entirely in the hands of the professionals. Having successfully unleashed ‘violence’ to slice Pakistan into two, the Indian military chalked up unprecedented victory.

Despite the victory, India lost the plot at the negotiating table during the Shimla Summit. As a victorious nation, our aim should have been to demand the vacation of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) including the Northern Areas and the finalisation of the international border once for all. Especially since our military resources were free to be redeployed on the Western front after creation of Bangladesh.

The diplomats from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) bred on ‘non-violence’ and ‘dialogue’ accompanying Prime Minister Indira Gandhi messed it up. The plethora of excuses offered below by JN Dixit on behalf of the Indian diplomatic community in is difficult to digest:

“The military regime in Pakistan had disappeared and a civilian, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, had taken over, so we were at ease talking to him. Holding onto another nation’s territory is a politically and financially expensive proposition. You have to appoint a military governor and you have to permanently station your troops. The population will be hostile. The age of aggressive imperialism is over. It is not in our tradition, so we decided to talk.”

We should have stationed military governors and troops till we, as a victorious nation had achieved our aim of ensuring permanent peace; the bloodshed by the military is too expensive to be overlooked. Tradition? Our tradition of enslavement for almost 1,200 years hardly endears anyway!

All strategies then have to be worked out backwards from this objective, in terms of increasing economic and military power simultaneously.

In the same article, former Foreign Secretary Dixit offers more excuses on behalf of the diplomatic corps:

“People often ask why we gave back the territory we won? Holding foreign territory is expensive militarily. It would also have not been acceptable to the international community. The 93,000 POWs lived in pucca housing. Our troops guarding them lived in tents for a year. Under the Geneva Convention you have to give certain facilities to Prisoners of War (POW). It affected the morale of our soldiers. They thought we defeated the Pakistanis, but they are living comfortably while we are in slums. There was the tension of keeping 93,000 hostile soldiers. It was a complex predicament and we wanted to get rid of them.”

Pathetic excuses by a victorious nation. No wonder we hear the word ‘dialogue’ at the drop of a hat from South Block. It is obvious that the diplomatic corps does not understand the functioning of its military when it claims falsely that the morale of the troops would plummet. The POW could be tented and that has nothing to do with Geneva Convention. The Indian Army was handling the prisoner issue successfully but the MEA found everything ‘a complex predicament’. It appears that our diplomatic corps showed no acumen and lacked staying power. Negotiations would have succeeded if Mrs Gandhi had sought professional military advice from the Army Chief and included military representatives in her delegation. Thanks to the domination by team of adherents to ‘non-violence’ the military is back to square one and fighting the same old war at an extraordinary financial and human cost, again and again.

Except for strong visionary leadership, India boasts of possessing every other attribute to propel it to a great power status in Asia. This includes a young demographic profile and an extraordinary reservoir of brain power. Due to lack of worthy leadership at the national level, India is adrift without any national aim and survives on drip-economy and doles for vote-bank politics instead of creating economy of opportunities for its populace.

To pull itself out of the morass built around extraordinary helplessness inherent in pacifism, India’s declared aim should be to lead Asia as a democratic power of repute, increasing pace, recouping lost space and influence. All strategies then have to be worked out backwards from this objective, in terms of increasing economic and military power simultaneously. This entails developing decisive strategic partnerships with other democracies.

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This singular aim will shift India from an inward looking mess to an outward looking prosperous power. To halt and ultimately reverse the expansionist intentions of powers such as China and Pakistan, substantial militarisation of Indian mind by laterally inducting military personnel into the civil services and decision-making loop is the key to survival of the Union of India in this century.

Else the pacifists will continue to concede tangible and mental space to authoritarian and Islamic fundamentalist regimes and their regressive ideologies shrinking Union’s territory and its influence.

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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

About the Author

Bharat Verma

A former Cavalry Officer and former Editor, Indian Defence Review (IDR), and author of the books, India Under Fire: Essays on National Security, Fault Lines and Indian Armed Forces.

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10 thoughts on “Military: The Grid of Violence

  1. @ Political Pundit AKA Congressi Thug

    Please tell Madam Sonia to Announce Mr Chidambaram as PM
    Candidate instead of that buffon called Rahul Gandhi
    Chidambaram is definitely well educated and experienced

    But No !!! She will NOT do that
    Because the Gandhi Family believes in thrusting and imposing itself
    on India
    Secondly and more importantly do you expect people of India
    to forget Corruption and misgovernance of last five years
    Coming to the question of External enemies
    we can only deal with our TWO open enemies ie China and PAkistan
    and one hidden enemy ie Bangladesh ONLY we have a strong economy
    Only then we can keep increasing the SIZE and strength of our Armed forces

  2. Sir, A nice article but will it have any impact when we as a group or individuals over past 60 years have become inward looking and self centered in all walks of life and in all organisations incuding services.Unless our political system is revamped nothing is going to change materially and significantly. When servicemen do not care for Ex, for what evr reason, will the others oblige..

  3. What are the below two talking about?
    @Katoch , I have not even mentioned Pak. I was mentioning the domestic political quagmire.
    @Danvir : Modi is not Hitler. Hitler was not dependent politically on anyone. I have asked whether he will be ( if elected ) Hitler , Franco (of Spain) or Kim ( of N. korea), and I have suggested merely that given what he has done in Gujarat culturally he is more likely to be Kim.

    Pacifist I am not. Nor am I foolish to view everything from a paranoid lens of Anti Pakistan , anti-Congress.
    But since Pak has been mentioned, let me ask a simple question
    What is the difference between West Panjab, East Panjab and Haryana culturally?
    Or W. Bengal and E.Bengal (now Bangladesh) . If there is none, then i doubt the Western Countries will see much difference either. The only difference is the Congress, Corrupt , nepotistic as it is ….. still a Stable option.

    @ Bharat Verma : I am already sensing an intolerant stream from the rebuffs that have been posted. I can only hope that there are no Internet Hindutvawadis here:) Being fanatical and intolerant cannot be equated with being patriotic. Patriotism can be quiet but deep as well.

  4. Political pundit is more of opportunists then rashtra rakshak. They see the world from their desks and lack the understanding of the practical world. Probably the theme of the article has not been understood by him. For any thing that talks of an INDIAN NATION is automatically associated to RSS and MODI and I wonder why rashtra bhakti is linked to Hitler. In trying not to be portrayed as a Hitler these pundits and alike are at ease in surrender of Indian territory by appearing and acting weak & stupid at international platforms. At home play vote bank politics at nations peril and try to preach morals despite being immoral themselves. Some times I Wonder why such a competitions amongst such people to be seen as Mahatma…. I ME MYSELF , INDIA CAN GO TO HELL.

  5. Mr Political Pandit, Why are you scared of disclosing your identity? Do you witness the drama of Sartaj Aziz holding a durbar of Hurriyat separatists in the Pakistani embassy in New Delhi and Salman Khurshid chirping “anyone can meet anyone” but doesn’t he believe in ‘Reciprocity’? Has he read the anguish in the 11th July 2011 petition to the UN Secretary General by Abdul Hamid Khan, Chairman Balawaristan National Front (BNF) in Pakistan & China Occupied Gilgit-Baltistan to ‘Save the Innocent People of Gilgit-Baltistan from the Gallows of Pakistan’? Can you ignore this when you link it to results of the first ever poll both sides of the LoC in J&K conducted by Chatam House, UK in conjunction King’s College during 2009-2010 (conducted on behest of Musharraf and financed by Gaddafi’s son) bringing out that 98% of people in J&K do not wish to be part of Pakistan and 50% of people in POK do not wish to remain with Pakistan? Does Salman Khurshid know who in POKare separatist leaders who detest Pakistani rule and don’t want to be part of Pakistan? Has he had the gumption to meet them on a trip to Islamabad or even asked Pakistani authorities he would like meet them? As for your championing the cause for Chidambaram, well he as Home Minister in 2010 was categorical in saying the Maoist issue will be resolved in next 2-3 years. But I suppose you revere him for his landmark achievements as Finance Minister. I suggest to improve your knowledge on the issue you listen to the U-tube speech by Mr Subramanian Swamy – so far the Indian population has been looted by only a meager sum of Rupees 105 Lakh crores !

  6. I suppose Modi will do that?
    Will he be India’s Hitler or will he be India’s Franco . Or will he be India’s Kim…..
    The last possibility is most likely…..Given the RSS and their Maniacal policies , and their constant opposition to Westernization(modernisation, given that the West went thru what india goes thru , during Medievel times) . RSS acts thru proxies and they will surely cause more IED explosions (as the black sheep Digvijay keeps asserting) if Modi were to be handed over the counrtry.
    It would be like handing the country over to Ku Klux Klan .
    The only option is the bad option of Chidambaram on the PM position. Then decentralize power , like removing tainted MPs , Police modernization, removal of bureaucratic blocks to Industry setting et al.

    Removal of Reservations and tyrannical parental upbringing of youngsters,.are the most important steps to cultural modernization. Cultural modernisation (Renaissance , as it was called in the west) then leads to Industrial Modernisation…. which leads to military modernisation , which then leads to Global super-power status ( as US reached in 1945 , not 1776 nor 1865). You cannot put the Cart before the horse. and Modi (puppeteered by RSS) is certainly not the horse.

    Leaders are there in the Congress which is the only default option since 1885; even Vajpayee was a closet congressman- so the RSS hated him.
    A leader becomes successful and strong only if he is honestly followed. Otherwise just like Sachin Tendulkar’s captaincy , all great individuals who have the potential to be greatest leaders of all time , would be pulled down by backstabbing.
    I dont agree that the Congress doesnt have good leaders.
    If Chidambaram is brought in full majority – and the time is ripe what with rural employment gurantee, right to food and educations et al- say 321 seats , and like Vajpayee he gets 5-10 yrs he can decentralise the Soviet Structure that is holding India back.
    pardon me for preaching 🙂

  7. The ‘Pacifist’ cover has paved way for conspiring against India and using it as a ‘getaway’
    India has come to a stage where the conspirators using the term ‘pacifist’ now proclaim that due to the Shimla agreement the Geneva Convention is not applicable as done by the letter signed by the RM, Mr Anthony, under the command of supreme commander of India’s armed forces, Mr Mukherjee.

    Now the Pak Pows were held according to GC after signing the Shimla agreement, shows the GC was used by India after signing the Shimla agreement. Also the Shimla agreement and the GC in no way contradict each other, And even if they did, the GC would overwrite any other, otherwise there would be no International war tribunals…

    India dismally is the only country that Illegally took out the cover of GC from her OWN soldiers…this cannot be ruled only to a pacifist nature but a conspiracy against India , under the cover of being Pacifist.
    Sadly no one asked where/which bill passed in the Indian democracy passed such a dictate.
    Sadly, most unfortunately both these will get a salute from the same armed forces they betray on the upcoming Republic day.
    But then not one Military leader stood firm and fast against such a dastardly commitment which takes away the GC from Indian soldiers in any future wars with Pakistan
    And please save us the excuse of the difference between a conflict and a war…to justify the silence ( read pussy footing) of the higher echelon of the military. If that be the case so..lets study the no of sorties, and the bombs dropped and causalty caused and the length of the same war vis a vis 62,65, 71 and kargil

  8. To call Gandhi as a pacifist is ignorance. To say that Gandhi & Nehru ceded space to Pakistan is even greater ignorance.

    Gandhi was forced to accept the partition of India by Nehru & Patel. Both went together to force Gandhi to withdraw his fast unto death against the creation of Pakistan.

    Patel was convinced that Partition of India was inevitable.

    Why don’t you read more before spraying your opinions like un-guided missiles?

    • Gandhi and Nehru while leading the freedom movement of India had all the time and opportunity to not allow Muslim League of Jinnah to be formed or developed but they didn’t do anything about it. Moreover, when Pak was born violently, by massacring more than a million people across the borders, Nehru, the dumb person that he was should have given up on NAM policy and Panchsheel, Non-violence policies to safeguard the nation from future aggressions. It is very correct that Nehru single handedly put future India into trouble with 1962 war, loss of Aksai-chin and Article 370 on Kashmir. Have you read anywhere in the world that a citizen cannot go and buy land or reside in one of their own states? That is what article 370 states. The current incompetent, family based dynasty is claiming inheritance on what thousands of nameless martyrs did when only Nehru and Gandhi made the front page news. Its a democracy, not a kingdom to be passed from generation to generation and please preach this secularism to Pakistan who eradicated Hindus, Sikhs and Christians from 30% to 2% of population right now. Shame on unpatriotic, dynasty-slaves like you.

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