Home Editor's picks Airstrikes by India deserve celebration, but the asymmetrical war with Pakistan needs sustained onslaught

Airstrikes by India deserve celebration, but the asymmetrical war with Pakistan needs sustained onslaught

Though, there is some hope seeing the reaction of ordinary Indians post Pulwama, but it’s only a start of a war which can go on for a long, long time. Time is the biggest test. While we can celebrate the display of momentary spine, this onslaught needs to be sustained.

Not that we are widely bleeding heart peaceniks, in fact, we are far from that…but..what India did in Balakot, Pakistan was inevitable and the Indian Government took a fitting call in the matter. In fact, India should have done this decade back. It is crucial to creating an environment of severe reprisal so that the enemy wouldn’t dare attack us from outside or inside.

What worries me is that a majority of average Indians are deeply pacifist, avoid confrontation and wish for a life of assured outcomes. There are several reasons for that.

We have been wired meticulously by the powers that be, to consciously and subconsciously believe that we are losers. Yes! As harsh it may sound but our history starts from Mughal invasion and ends with a foreign educated Victorian, uttering trysts of destinies in a language, which only handful Indian knew at that time, on their so-called independence day.

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There is no era beyond this. For a country older than any known civilization, a country where every possible significant scientific and literary discoveries and creations happened, a country where all the races originated, nuances were written and a country which championed the perfect mix of statesmanship and valour has absolutely zero references in Indian curriculum history. Our children are taught how incompetent their countrymen were.

Muslim invaders, to their credit, knew the Kaliyug warfare. They were brutal and believed in absolute conformity. They used immigration, asylum, guerrilla tactics and direct brutal assaults to establish themselves, but more than that they worked real hard in erasing our history, its symbols, temples, education institutes and anything with a trace of originality and dignity.

Britishers were even more methodological, more mass scale, more systematic, the real 6 sigmas in eradication and annihilation of a culture. Apart from divide and rule, what Britishers did thoroughly was to write volumes of atrocity literature on Indians. Our entire existence was bound in 1000 years. We were marked as illiterate, grisly and unhygienic barbarians who used to burn their widows and knew nothing better than snake charming. Nehru’s ‘Discovery of India’ was simply a fruit of that poisonous tree. To this date, we were ruled on the same metrics by Britishers’ Brown Sepoys. Our leadership post-1947 never made us confident either.

The crux is, we Indians are soul crushed in the past 700 years. Except for a few decades of Marathas and Bhakti movement, we have literally abandoned our glorious past. Today our cries for peace are the only manifestation of that deep fear of losing everything.

To our ancestor’s credit, they somehow managed to survive and in many cases thrive despite such conditions. While countries after countries were totally converted in a short span, we still live to tell our story. But this entire process turned the majority of us into pacifists. We are happy to remain mere survivors. A millennium of insecurity has ingrained the feeling of self-protection so deep that we have forgotten the value of honour and somewhere reworded cowardliness as pragmatism.

We abhor spilling of blood so much so that we start reversing the very shackles we are confined to. We lose appetite to win.‘Ahimsa Parmo Dharam’ and ahimsak ways make Mahatma out us while ‘Tum mujhe khoon do, main tumhe azaadi dunga’ leads to an unsung and mysterious death.

So, rather than rejoicing India’s retaliation and the war on Pakistan, we Indians must ask this harsh question to ourselves, ‘Are we ready to bear the costs and discomforts of war to come’?

…And a quick answer looking at past is No, we aren’t!! And this worries me.

This is not a rant to demonize us, this is an act of knowing our weaknesses. This is an act of knowing where we stand and why.

Pakistan will retaliate. Pakistan’s foundation is hate and self-interest. They are like cancer on the world, profitable cancer for some though. This country profits from the chaos it ensues in the region. It has absolutely zero utility for the US or a Russia or China if they stop being a hub for mercenaries and a constant geopolitical pressure point for a giant and important country like India.

Pakistan will maintain that image.

This war will be asymmetric. To their advantage, Pakistan has a call of clamour for radical ideology. They also have an advantage of many decades to spread their poisonous tentacles, which gives them ready access to thousands of sleeper cells across India. Pakistan’s response will not be to fight a war valiantly. They will attack alongside LOC, they will attack our markets, our offices, our financial hubs, innocent bystanders, children, women and other civilian places. They will plan to assassinate leaders of importance, to hijack planes and blast trains.

And in these times, the resolve of Indian public will be tested. No matter how much we blame Mr Vajpayee for releasing terrorists in lieu of civilians during Kandahar, but anyone with slight remembrance will recall how we cried, protested and literally forced government’s hand in doing the same.

We are now seeing how our IAF pilot Abhinandan’s blood-soaked pics are turning into a chant for peace. We forget that a military man would rather die fighting than getting stoned or bombed by radicals in Kashmir. We would rather lose 6500 warriors in a proxy war, than 6 in the battlefield?

We refuse to understand rules of engagement, much less the war we are fighting from the time of Pakistan’s creation. We still believe that a Bollywood song, a clever hashtag on SM or a track II will save us.

Though there is some hope seeing the reaction of ordinary Indians post-Pulwama, it’s only a start of a war which can go on for a long, long time. Time is the biggest test. While we can celebrate the display of momentary spine, this onslaught needs to be sustained.

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