The Brigade of Peaceniks, comprising sundry elements in the print and electronic media, NGOs, leftists and ex-ministers, which had lain low in the initial days of the Uri attack, is once again flexing its muscles, trying to deflect the government from its avowed goal of punishing Pakistan. One group of experts wants him to impose restrictions on the use of Indus waters by the rogue state, while another discourages him from any such move, on the grounds that it would boomerang.
Anything can happen in a country which hides the likes of Osama bin Laden, the world’s most wanted terrorist, yet bluffs the US about his presence.
Some dailies and magazines are already questioning the rationale of prospective military action by invoking the bogey of a nuclear war between the two countries, which is being given increasing credence by the visual media. Something laughable if not downright infantile! They pretend as if Pakistan will emerge unscathed from the consequences of its folly and walk into the sunset after the dismemberment of India and annexation of Kashmir.
Have the peaceniks ever pondered the possibility of a jihadi group seizing such a weapon of mass destruction in Pakistan’s own backyard and deploying it to blackmail the ‘mighty’ United States? The consequences would be too catastrophic to contemplate. Anything can happen in a country which hides the likes of Osama bin Laden, the world’s most wanted terrorist, yet bluffs the US about his presence. It took 50 million horrific deaths and the prospect of even greater global devastation to drop atomic bombs over Nagasaki and Hiroshima, during World War II. Not some isolated instances of smashing terror camps or scattered infantry raids.
The Peaceniks’ moral support is construed by the deep state as a licence to wreak even more horrific depredations on our soil, never mind if tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children have already lost their lives or been horribly maimed over the past 30 years. Their collective human rights, in the eyes of peaceniks, weigh even less than that of the likes of Burhan Wani, lionized by the separatists and the media alike.
India is advised to grin and bear the consequences of such primitive acts of state sponsored terror, just because of the drummed up fears of a nuclear retaliation.
Why should soldiers increasingly bear the brunt of bullets, IEDs, bomb blasts and set ablaze in Uri while fast asleep, after the stress and strains of battling an invisible enemy? Can there be a ghastlier or more agonizing mode of death than the one inflicted by the chilling new paradigm of barbarism? India is advised to grin and bear the consequences of such primitive acts of state sponsored terror, just because of the drummed up fears of a nuclear retaliation.
A senior columnist, who helms a security magazine, even asserts that India has never vanquished Pakistan in any war. During an acrimonious TV debate with one of the most perceptive strategic analysts, post Uri, he described the retired general as being delusional when he legitimately asserted that India had inflicted it biggest defeat on Pakistan in 1971. One wonders if there is something more to their provocative stance than the super abundance of love they apparently bear the rogue state. This is the kind of attitude that defies logic and has been the bane of independent India.
Pakistani panellists, with unrestricted access to our TV channels, are probably being primed by the ISI to utter lies and vilify India. One is reminded of the story of the shepherd who cried wolf, but paid with his very life because the villagers, annoyed with the boy’s false alarms, did not rescue him when the predator actually materialized. Many in the government and outside fail to read the writing on the wall. Islamabad is doing everything in its power to discredit and demonize India.
Why else would the American or the Russian Army send their finest operatives to be trained in asymmetric warfare by the Indians? Yet the domain skills of our forces are not being utilized in the war against terror. Why?
The problem is doubly compounded by Delhi’s habitual gullibility and rank amateurishness, a by-product of Nehruvian pacifism. No wonder the country has sleep walked through 70 years of independence, unable to pursue national goals. The political dispensation flails like a headless chicken after every incident, seeking answers from the IAS-IPS dominated security set-up, whose forte is administration and law and order, not undercover work or counter terror operations, which calls for extremely specialized military skills.
However, an anomalous situation prevails in India, with the army still being kept out of decision making process, despite 50 years of successfully battling all manner of insurgencies in every conceivable terrain, calling for stealth, secrecy and surprise. Why else would the American or the Russian Army send their finest operatives to be trained in asymmetric warfare by the Indians? Yet the domain skills of our forces are not being utilized in the war against terror. Why?
The Special Action Groups 51 and 52, drawn from the ranks of Army Special Forces and led by a major general, form the combat wing of the National Security Guards. But he is answerable to an IPS officer who heads the body with negligible combat experience, even after the very nearly botched up 26/11 operations in Mumbai. The sham secular brigade, out of misplaced motives, sounded the death-knell of the Technical Services Division, with a record of notching up some striking successes against the terror apparatus. One which Islamabad came to dread and respect during its all too brief existence!
Pointedly, in a country of any consequence, the military is included in policy making and strategic matters, besides forming the backbone of covert agencies, given their role in highly classified operations. But the opposite is true of India, for reasons that are not particularly difficult to fathom. If IPS officers, who have appropriated every spy and security apparatus in India, can be seamlessly meshed with Union home ministry, then why are army officers being kept out of the defence ministry, with unsurpassed domain knowledge and expertise?
On its own the Indian Army has always given a befitting reply to Pakistanis, as the outcome of four wars would vouch. But when civilian agencies intervene in military domains, then disasters like Mumbai and Pathankot happen.
Nehru’s irrational distrust of the Army, dating from the pre independence era, turned into one of abiding fear and disdain when the generals seized power in Pakistan post 1947. He transmitted it wholesale to the political establishment, already in awe of his larger than life persona, but which ended up permanently damaging the psyche and the prospects of the men in olive green. Consequently, a demoralized army suffered the most ignominious defeat at the hands of the Chinese in 1962. Sadly, the pernicious political mindset remains unchanged.
It lies at the heart of military-civilian divide and subverts every attempt to grant soldiers their dues, whether it is about decent pay-scales, allowances, war memorial or improvement in service conditions. Could this be the reason why the government is loathe to bestow the Bharat Ratna on Field Marshal Manekshaw or Major Dhyan Chand, modern India’s greatest military mind and its most distinguished sportsman, respectively.
Where would have Indira Gandhi’s halo been without Manekshaw’s outstanding military leadership and support, in scripting a phenomenal victory over Pakistan in 1971, against all odds. Similarly, Dhayan Chand had so impressed Hitler with his mesmeric ball control during the Berlin Olympics that the Fuhrer immediately offered to make him a general in his Wehrmacht.
On its own the Indian Army has always given a befitting reply to Pakistanis, as the outcome of four wars would vouch. But when civilian agencies intervene in military domains, then disasters like Mumbai and Pathankot happen. They must not forget that the ISI is headed by military officers who have a far better grasp of strategic and tactical nuances than their IPS counterparts in the intelligence set-up.