Q. Do you think Indian leadership’s approach towards dealing with its aggressive neighbors is right? Or do you feel India acts too soft even in matters requiring boldness?
Yes, India is soft. Let’s admit it. This softness is deeply rooted in our psyche. We carry this flabbiness in our genes. Muhammad Ghori invaded India in 1191 AD when Prithviraj Chauhan crushed his army in Tarain. But former was pardoned in lines with the ‘great Indian tradition of forgiveness’. And the very next year Ghori’s army was ruining Delhi, killing men, raping women, after Chauhan was defeated in second battle. But this time things were different. Chauhan’s head was hanging in the streets of Ghazna after he was butchered by Ghori’s men who knew nothing like forgiveness.
Hindis (Indians), in Mughal emperor Babur’s words, were- ‘Masters of sword, idiots in strategy’. [Baburnama] Babur was pointing to the strange practices of Indians followed in wars, viz. not fighting in nights, not using deception (Kutneeti) and pardoning enemies. And he summed this up well. Sadly Babur’s words befit our national/individual character even today. What disturbs me most is the fact that a nation facing invasions, massacres and aggressions by outsiders for well above 1500 Years seems as clueless as it was at the time of first invasion in 710 AD by Arab armies.
Can we do something now about this disease of being ‘gentle’ when situations demand mettle? Yes, we can and we will. But for that we need to understand root causes of our troubles that need to be exterminated.
To get a solution you need to accept that there is a problem
We kept chanting Mazhab nahi sikhata aapas mein bair rakhna (religion does not teach you hatred) and suddenly one day this country was cut into pieces in the name of religion. What went wrong? We could not differentiate between our wish and reality. Strategies are formulated on the basis of reality. Wishes are made in prayers. We tend to mingle the two and get into trouble every time. We keep denying the existence of issues and suddenly one day when issues get too big to deal with, what do we do? Well, we don’t have much to do then, it’s the issues do to us what they want. China stabbed us in back when we were dancing to the songs of Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai. We wished China to be our Brother and we made it our policy. Ordnance factories in India were being closed down as friendship gesture when China recognized us correctly as bunch of idiots without any preparation. And rest is history.
We keep running away from tough questions and realities. We believe that recognition of an issue is a violation of someone’s rights. We refused to declare Muhammad Ali Jinnah and his Muslim League goons as terrorists till the end. And one day he declared Direct Action under which his men killed and raped innumerable innocents and broke this country into three. The then leaders were calling these goons ‘our own brothers’. Clearly, we lack guts to call spade a spade. We might have been doing this to avoid conflicts in history but now it has become our character. It takes spine to call the wrong wrong and stand up to wrong. It takes courage to admit that there is an issue.
We only react. We never act
Muhammad Bin Qasim fought Indians. Battlefield- Sind, India.
Mehmoud of Ghazna fought Indians. Battlefields- Lahore and Gujarat, India.
Muhammad Ghori fought Indians. Battlefield- Punjab, India.
Bakhtiyar Khilji fought Indians. Battlefield- Nalanda, India.
Taimur fought Indians. Battlefield- Delhi, India.
Babur fought Indians. Battlefields- Bajaud, Swat, Panipat, India.
Akbar fought Indians. Battlefield- Haldighati, India.
Aurangzeb fought Indians. Battlefield- India.
Ahmadshah Abdali fought Indians. Battlefield- Amritsar, India.
British fought Indians. Battlefield- India.
India was broken into pieces in 1947.
Pakistan fought Indians in 1948. Battlefield- Kashmir, India.
China fought Indians in 1962. Battlefields- Aksai Chin, Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh, India.
Pakistan fought Indians in 1965, 1971 and 1999. Battlefields- Punjab, Rajasthan, Kashmir, India.
Could you find out the common entity in all above wars? It is the battleground- India. Invaders used to plot invasions, launch massive military campaigns and enter into our territory. And what were we doing? Where was our intelligence? Why could not we forecast these invasions so that we could get ourselves prepared? Bitter reality is that we were completely unaware of international dynamics. We were too naïve to predict the behavior of power. We upheld the flag of war ethics foolishly while fighting barbarians. Instead of smashing their heads in war, we kept forgiving them, sometimes because of sunset and sometimes because they were unarmed.
We feel pride in the fact that we did not invade any land. But why didn’t we destroy the Ghazna and Ghor that were the launching pads for the repeated aggressions against our country? Why aren’t we now destroying terror camps in Pakistan occupied Kashmir? What stops us from being preemptive and engaging the threat well outside our borders before it could destroy us? The same softness and foolishness of not striking first continues to prevail in our psyche. But we can’t afford to be soft anymore because
War is going on
Gone are the days when wars used to start and end. This is the era of unseen, low intensity and continuous wars that are waged in silent and cold manner so that the enemy keeps living in the delusion of peace and peace talks. And by the time he knows your plots, its too late. Pakistan’s proxy war in Kashmir and different parts of India has claimed around 80 thousand civilian and military lives since 1989. This number is much greater than the total Indian sacrifices in all 5 wars it has fought till date post independence put together. This is what a Pakistani Gen Zia Ul Haq dreamt of- to bleed India to death through thousand cuts. And he succeeded in bleeding us with thousand cuts.
Sad part is that we Indians continue to remain in fool’s paradise believing that there is no war. Some Indian intellectuals and fantasy writers having no understanding of serious issues keep blabbering of ‘uninterrupted and uninterruptable’ dialogues with Pakistan. While these wisecrackers try to convince Indian think tank on how civilian government in Pakistan wants peace with India, Brother of Pakistan’s PM, CM of Punjab allocates funds for Jamat ud Dawa- terrorist organization led by Hafiz Saeed, prime perpetrator of Mumbai 26/11 attacks. So on one hand Pakistan Army keeps killing our soldiers in Kashmir, the ISI keeps orchestrating deadly terror attacks inside India and on the other hand, Indians are lured with rhetoric of normalizing relations and people to people contact by Pakistan civilian leadership. And in all this, gullible Indians get fooled and fooled.