Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Let India Not become Pakistan

A lot of hullaboo is all over the electronic, print and social media about attacks in Uri and the surgical strikes by India as retaliation. It is indeed a matter of pride for Indians that Indian Army has shown its credible strength in tackling terrorism. However, the jingoism accompanying the Indo-Pak issue dilutes the whole point.

Both India and Pakistan started their independent journey in 1947 on the same day and it is for the world to see where these two countries have reached. While India has had stable democracy all throughout except for those couple of years of emergency, Pakistan has been in and out of democracy ever since. Indian Army is brave and so is Pakistani Army and so is any other Army of the world. Armies are supposed to be composed of brave men (and now also women) who will fight bravely for their country. Yet while Army calls the shots in Pakistan, in India it is the civil government which calls the shots. And the discrepancy is more startling because both the Army and the Civil Government are British models continued by India and Pakistan with minor modifications.

Pakistan has war mongering people as well as peace advocates. India has the same mix. But while warmongers dominate Pakistani polity, peace advocates have had an upper hand in India. That is why India has never started a war on its own but other than the 1962 Indo-China war, hasn't lost any war either. (Whether Indo-China war was won or lost is a subject of another debate.)

It is great to praise our heroes. Our eyes are full of tears when a soldier dies in action and our blood boils when a terrorist attack happens. But we should be careful of what and who are we praising. We must praise the courage and bravery of the men on the LOC but not the policy of Tit for Tat. India is a much more advanced nation and polity than Pakistan and there is no need India should stoop down to the levels of Pakistan.

India is not scared that Army will overthrow the democratic government if we do not wage a war. Indian Army doesn't order the government but takes orders from them, and whatever may be the reservations on Government orders, Indian Army always follows orders. The discipline of the Indian Army and its commitment to a democratically elected Government is what makes it a better Army than a lot of other Armies.

When the issue is about the nation, emotions are bound to flow. Emotions also flow when issues of Religion arise or issues of Region arise. The violence between Tamilnadu and Karnataka for water is also driven by strong emotions and the riots that erupt here and there also have emotional overtones. A war between countries is very different from these incidents and it should be managed with that maturity.

What India did at the UN was commendable and complements the surgical strikes. That should be done more often. It is important that India ensures that Pakistan is excluded from global forums and is seen as a terrorist hub. India should also be careful that warmongers in India never become as influential as their counterparts in Pakistan. Boycotting actors, singers and players is not part of the plan and won't achieve any strategic purpose. Indian film industry is more developed than Pakistan but Pakistani music is as good as Indian. Stupid comparisons on social media only trivialize the issue.

When we used to visit jungles, we were told, Tigers and Leopards have a difference. Leopard is not sure of its strength and that is why it attacks even when no threat exists because Leopard is scared. But Tiger knows its potential and is confident about its strength so it attacks only when needed. In reality both are equally strong. But it is this difference of attitude and confidence that makes Tiger the king of the jungle.

Let not warmongers and social media soldiers decide what Indian Government or Indian Army should do. Let not the Tiger become the Leopard. Let not the confidence in our strength be overshadowed by any sense of insecurity. Anger should never be allowed to rule over a peaceful and thinking mind.
Chanakya once said to Chandragupta, "Fight well, my son. But never get angry. In a fight of two, the angry one always loses"

India is better than Pakistan in terms of political stabilty, economic growth and international standing. India is also better than Pakistan in maintaining peace between different communities and bringing about social equity. The Indian Army is also better than Pakistan Amy. So there's no need to emulate Pakistan or to play Tit for Tat.  Let's not try to convert India into Pakistan.