Homeland Security

Must nation be at the mercy of vote-banks?
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Issue Net Edition | Date : 22 Feb , 2017

Must the nation always be at the mercy of vote banks? What would explain the deafening silence of the entire political class over successive attempts to derail trains and cause massive casualties? Is it because the needle of suspicion points towards an inimical neighbour, of a particular religious persuasion? The death of a terror operative like Burhan Wani or Afzal Guru merits much greater attention and importance in their warped worldview, rather than the disproportionate loss of lives which would have ensued had all the 18 sabotage bids succeeded. Add to it the latest one at Nashik, a close shave for passengers when Shalimar Express ran over an eight inch thick milestone placed on the tracks.

The derailment of Indore-Patna Express near Kanpur, part of successive sabotage bids, killed 150 passengers and maimed many. They include removal of or tampering with fish plates, placing boulders, concrete slabs and other obstructions on tracks and seven blast attempts. Is this a part of a fiendish new ISI strategy to orchestrate stampedes, spark riots or attack important installations, as a revenge for the surgical strike and irrational hatred of all things Indian? Shamshul Huda, picked up by the police in Kathmandu, has nailed the ISI’s role in stepped-up attacks on Indian soil. He reportedly received money, materials and training from the agency to execute its nefarious designs.

Nothing reflects New Delhi’s cowardice better than its extreme reluctance to deal with the sponsors of terror across the LoC. It is even devoid of a fig leaf of self-respect, with national pride figuring much lower down on its priorities, just as it loves to play the victim card, always at the receiving end of an undeclared war. Is the political establishment being constrained by the fear of antagonising vote banks, identity politics by another name, in spite of the sheer loss of Indian lives, of soldiers, civilians and police personnel alike, in suicide attacks?

The closet supporters of the Pakistani deep state, both in the print and electronic media and loutish politicians from Kashmir, are raising hell over the statement of Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat. What is wrong or fallacious about his warning stone-pelters and flash mobs of dire action? They have helped more than two dozen dreaded jihadis get away so far, after being cornered in a dozen anti-terror operations. They also delayed the evacuation of a grievously wounded Major Satish Dahiya. These blood thirsty mercenaries visit greater death and devastation on Army personnel on the rebound and send the state into another spiral of unrest and violence. Are soldiers any less of human beings, to be treated as disdainfully as a piece of animation or machinery, by the Hate India Brigade.

The left liberals, occupying a high moral ground, habitually present a distorted version of reality as the gospel truth. For instance, Mayuresh Didolkar, a columnist and a financial analyst, hits the nail on the head with his apt characterization of this class as the most divisive people on earth, in indiafacts.org. They are, he writes, “shockingly tolerant of violence in real life as well as in using social media to mobilize a violent movement.” They conveniently look the other way when hysterical JNU crowds raise slogans like ‘Bharat tere tukde honge’ and ‘Bandook ke dum pe azadi,’  while anyone defending nationalism is trashed as a troll.

“As much as we would like them to, lies are not protected under free speech anywhere in the world. That does not stop left liberals from portraying Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s attempt to show the ruthless mass murderer Allauddin Khilji as a romantic lover-boy, serenading the same woman who chose to end her life rather than accepting his advances, and claiming it as both  free speech and artistic licence . . . . The liberal movement as it stands today . . . has the support of people who control the mainstream media. Entertainment personalities, some of the biggest egomaniacs on the earth, are largely in its favour,” Didolkar adds.

Lately, in one of the most blatant displays of vote bank politics, the J&K chief minister has shot down the proposal to form a minority commission, aborting attempts to accommodate Kashmir Pandits in the valley, from which they were driven out several decades ago. Now Mehbooba Mufti’s bid to halt anti-militancy operations, which is fraught with the gravest of consequences, seems to be playing straight into the hands of the ISI and Islamabad. This act of extreme short sightedness will inject a more frightening dimension into the proxy war against India. By surrendering the Baloch card so meekly, New Delhi has already lost an ace up its sleeve. The situation looks hopeless.

Unfortunately, vote bank or identity politics doubly deters a supine political leadership from booking separatist leaders who actually instigate such flash mobs and stone-pelters.  What is the justification for treating these parasites with kid gloves, when they should have been stripped of their privileges, lavish lifestyles, huge bungalows and unlimited air travel, all at the taxpayer’s expense? The government is spending more than Rs 100 crore on their bullet proof cars and security cover every year. A prominent Mumbai based English news channel has now petitioned the prime minister to withdraw these facilities.

However, when a representative of the ruling party, on the same prime time channel, justifies huge expenses incurred on security cover for separatist leaders on dubious grounds, such as potential threats to their life, could anything have been more disgusting or shameful? Does it not amount to an abject surrender to rabidly anti-national forces? How can the present dispensation, whose reputation is as good or as bad as that of its predecessor, claim to punish Pakistan as long as it acquiesces in these acts of mayhem and blatant appeasement of the fifth columnists.

On the other hand, will sham secular fundamentalists stop their campaign of calumny and desist from encouraging the very elements which wish to dismember India, or to protect what is so vile and rotten in Kashmir? They would rather support separatists, extremists and jihadis at the prompting of the hydra headed ISI, operating in devious ways on our soil, trampling on the sentiments of the army men, who silently bear great hardships as fathers, sons and husbands, while discharging their duties.

Sham secular groups and the English language media suffer not the slightest pangs of conscience when terrorists ruthlessly kill and maim hundreds of innocents. But let the Army serve them their just desserts, then all hell breaks loose. The rights of the psychopaths and stone-pelters’ take centre stage, becoming a matter of life and death for the human rights brigade. A full throated campaign to discredit the olive green fraternity begins right away. Significantly, in their eyes, it is acceptable for Pakistan to launch a crackdown on terror groups suspected of butchering worshippers at the Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine and dispatching 130 jihadis in a double operation. But these groups have the temerity to question the legitimacy of the surgical strike.

A report released by National Bomb Data Centre (NBDC), an organ of the National Security Guards, reflects poorly on official laxity. It has pointed out that India recorded the world’s highest number of explosions last year, which stood at 406. Surprisingly the figure is almost double that of war ravaged Iraq with 221 blasts.  Of which 337 were triggered by Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), while grenades and shells accounted for the remaining 69. Yet Pakistan, with less than half the number of blasts at 161, poses as the biggest terror victim, garnering the sympathy and goodwill of the western world.

The current dispensation rose to power by vowing to punish Islamabad for its many perfidies and protecting lives. But more than two years down the line, it remains an empty boast. In fact, the damage done by Islamabad in the proxy war is out of all proportion to that inflicted by the one off surgical strike. Successive governments, for all their abject dependence on the Babu-IPS network, with zero strategic grasp, have never learnt any lessons following the 1962 Sino-Indian debacle and four wars with Pakistan and thousands of terror attacks.

The midair hijacking of Indian Airlines IC 814 Flight from Kathmandu to New Delhi, on Christmas Eve 1999, still remains shrouded in mystery. The NSG, which had been alerted and had ample time to neutralize the five terrorists, all Pakistani nationals on board, somehow did not make it to Amritsar where the plane remained grounded for 45 minutes. The government fobbed off the public with infantile excuses. But nearly 18 years later one wonders whether vote bank politics played a sinister role in holding back the NSG and permitting the hijackers to take the aircraft to Kandahar. It must remain the biggest blot on the previous NDA government.

Identity politics may explain why those with criminal antecedents like Atiq Ahmed in UP and Shahabuddin in Bihar continue to be escorted with great deference by policemen, as if they were high constitutional authorities, as photographs show. But then cops herded a uniformed Colonel Jasjit Singh like a common criminal in May 2016, over the alleged theft of gold biscuits at Aizwal. Col Singh commanded the 39th battalion of the Assam Rifles. Some reports said the police had framed the colonel to protect the big fish in the administration. Any politician or babu booked for appropriating hundreds of crores is most likely to invoke identity politics and declare he is being targeted because he belongs to a particular caste or a religion, so as to circumvent the law.

“Who are we trying to appease? People who actively act as agents of terrorists and wave ISIS and Pakistan flags? Is this what our much vaunted democracy has come to, selling our nation for a few votes?” ask Major Gaurav Arya.

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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

Sudip Talukdar

is an author and strategic affairs columnist.

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3 thoughts on “Must nation be at the mercy of vote-banks?

  1. Indira Gandhi, who is lauded as a capable prime minister, butchered democracy by imposing the emergency, the blackest chapter in the country’s post independence history. Thereafter, she compounded her error by inserting the words ‘secular’ into the preamble of the Constitution and opened the way for politics of vote banks, hate and divisiveness. She would have committed the same blunder as her father Nehru did regarding the debacle of 1962, but for the presence of Field Marshal Manekshaw. The general told her bluntly that he needed time to prepare or else he could guarantee a certain defeat. Stung by the spectacular success of the Indian Army in defeating the Pakistanis, that woman downgraded the faujis pension from 70 percent of the last pay drawn to 50 percent. She also double crossed Gen PS Bhagat, an outstanding officer, by denying him the post of the army chief and playing with the sentiments of the faujis. Today thugs and traitors like Naseemuddin Siddiqi can get away with anything, even after shining his shoes with the tricolour. And Modi has just projected a very bloated image of his prowess, when he is just as pathetic as wimp Manmohan when it comes to dealing with separatists and vote banks.

  2. The euphemism “strategic restraint” has been practiced by the political class for 70 years only to pander to the Muslims who were willing to go to their holy land Pakistan, but were compelled to stay here to harvest them as permanent volte bank. As a part of strategy, the Hindu version for acceleration to hasten demise of Gandhi was prohibited from the public, to gag Hindus. The pernicious thinking manifested in self-aggrandizement of one person and later one family. The guilty persons of elevating cowardice as national policy was started by Nehru who went to UN in 1948 to reward Pakistan with fruits of aggression. His love for communism got Krishna Menon and PN Thapar into defence apparatus to starve the forces of minimum necessities thereby ensure humiliation in 1962. The report of Lt. Gen Henderson Brooks exposes the traitors and treachery. Tashkent and Simla perfidy in 1966 and 1972 were also meant to pander Muslims by denying ourselves the fruits of victory. It is the mindset to ensure Muslims as permanent voters that is the root cause. The shameless behaviour of Congress in 2001 against enacting POTA even in the wake of attack on Parliament meant for destroying political leadership, showed its real colors by not extending the life of POTA in 2005 under UPA. Until UPA is reduced to minority in Rajya Sabha and its journos are silenced, till then this nation will have to suffer. Merely 3 years of change of power has not brought in behavioral changes which corroded the pride of nation.

  3. Excellent but if it was not for vote-banking, we would not be in this mess. Who is bothered? A pig like Prashant Paricharak can insult the wives of soldiers publicly and the party is without guts to expel and castigate him – isn’t it all for votes? If the pig had said the same for wives of policemen, he would have been shot same day.

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