I mean this seriously, not sarcastically. India is a democracy. There is nothing wrong with “politicisation”. Why do we treat “politicisation” like it’s a bad word? In fact, in the absence of politicisation, we basically have oligarchy: rule of the few. Which is what we have right now. Be it national security, be it the judiciary or be it the media, what we need is more politicisation, not less. Politicisation brings the dirty linen out in the open. They say sunlight is the best disinfectant. Otherwise, it is too convenient for the powerful to hide skeletons in the cupboard.
Let’s be clear : the surgical strikes were due to Modi’s ability to make a daring decision. A decision that none of his predecessors in the last few decades thought was possible. Our military was always this brave and capable; it was Narendra Modi who believed in them and inspired the nation to believe in them. I didn’t think it was possible for the Indian military to conduct surgical strikes across the LoC. I got a pleasant surprise. We all did. That makes Narendra Modi the legitimate “Avenger of Uri”. We need more posters like this, not less.
What we need less of is nonsense like this:
No no no no! BJP should have more posters on this and leaders should highlight it courageously in rallies. National security is a political issue. Either you are able to defend the nation or you are not. For example, Nehru was an incompetent leader who disabled the Indian Army, leading to the humiliation of 1962. The reason behind this is Nehru’s delusions of statesmanship and ideologically induced blindness to cold reality. Here is Nehru in 1947:
If the above is true, please do not ask me what Nehru was smoking. The foremost visionary of the 20th century could foresee “no military threats” to India and decided to actually disband the defence forces. Perhaps even the “competent astrologer” that Nehru consulted in 1944 to get a “proper horoscope” of Rajiv Gandhi could have done a better job of foreseeing the future.
Yeah, so national security is very much a political issue. Here is the official address of Vice President Biden at the Democratic National Convention in 2012, striking a hammer blow for the Obama-Biden campaign:
Obama killed bin Laden. Obama avenged 9/11. It’s about giving credit where it is due.
And now, onto OROP. Indira Gandhi stole it, Sonia Gandhi lied about it and Modi is being crucified for giving it. Which is probably why Rahul Gandhi is laughing about it.
But I don’t mind. No really, go ahead Rahul and politicise. This is your chance. Politicise this to the hilt. Let both sides politicise. We lay it all before the people. We tell the people who is supporting SIMI, Lashkar, Pakistani Army and JNU Naxals. You can do your stand up comedy routine on OROP like you are doing here. Let the people decide. It’s really a good thing. It’s all fully politicised and I am glad it is. People will decide. And I am fairly sure what their decision is gonna be. If Rahul thinks that his OROP drama will have 1% of the impact of the surgical strikes, his foresight is about as good as that of his great grandfather Chacha Nehru.
This is why I call Modi the great facilitator. Before, there were all these things that were supposed to be “above politics”. In real terms, this meant that the discourse in these spheres was dominated by an inbred and exclusive elite. Foreign policy and national security were dominated by slothful “intellectuals”. Hey intellectuals…some tremendous foresight from you all betting on the Non-Aligned Movement and on the survival of Soviet Russia. We will forever remain in awe of your great genius. And thanks a lot for joining the Muslim nations of the world in boycotting Israel until 1992, a favour which the Muslim nations returned by supporting Pakistan in Kashmir. Really, thanks a lot!
Remember folks, when the intelligentsia of this country were betting on the victory of the USSR and/or the non-aligned movement, the commoners of this country were betting on the success of free enterprise. They were sending their children to work and settle in the West. Have you ever heard of any ordinary family planning to settle their kids in the Soviet Union? LOL! Amazingly, when the intelligentsia of this nation was expecting the “final crisis” of capitalism, the ordinary Indian instinctively knew better who was going to win. When the intelligentsia of this nation was busy singing the praises of the Emergency, the common people booted out Indira Gandhi even though the proverbial “trains were running on time”. Common people saw value in not having a Saddam Hussein like dictator take over the country, the intelligentsia couldn’t.
The arrival of Modi sent an electric shock through the elite. They were forced to tear away their masks and join in the noisy discourse. The judiciary had to bring its political loyalties out in the open. Let the nation see which high ranking officials are arrogant and irresponsible enough to refuse a meeting with India’s Prime Minister because they are too busy in a family function. We got them all on the streets…the so called poets and writers, the recipients of Padma this and Padma that …and the journalists and intellectuals all on the streets. The so called journalists had to give up all pretence of neutrality and hit the road. They had to bare it all. Come out on the streets, stand with your party flag and say whatever. The dalali behind closed doors stops here, once and for all. So, please please politicise! Let the people in. Let the people know!
Abhishek Banerjee is a math lover who may or not be an Assistant Professor at IISc Bangalore.