Three years ago, on this very day, a chain of events was set in motion that would go on to have vast implications for the future of the Indian subcontinent. On the 18th of September, 2016, terrorists sponsored by Pakistan would attack an Indian Army Brigade Headquarters in Uri which would lead India and Pakistan down a path that leads us to where we are today.
While people are aware of the events that transpired in its aftermath, not many remember the names of the soldiers who lost their lives in the attack that day. Subedar Karnail Singh, Havildar Ravi Paul, Sepoy Rakesh Singh, Sepoy Javra Munda, Sepoy Naiman Kujur, Sepoy Uike Janrao, Havildar NS Rawat, Sepoy Ganesh Shankar, Naik SK Vidarthi, Sepoy Biswajit Ghorai, Lance Naik G Shankar, Sep G Dalai, Lance Naik RK Yadav, Sepoy Harinder Yadav, Sepoy TS Somnath, Havildar Ashok Kumar Singh, Sepoy Rajesh K Singh and Sepoy KV Janardhan. These are the names of the soldiers who were butchered in the most gruesome fashion by terrorists on that fateful day.
The attack revealed that Pakistan was under the impression that India’s response to it would be similar to what it had been for the past decade. It demonstrated a terrible miscalculation on their part and a severe lack of judgment. The attack was the natural consequence of Pakistan’s warped psyche. As a nation, Pakistan and its people have perpetually lived in a mythical past that only ever existed in their own imagination. The attack at Uri was a consequence of that.
The Pakistani establishment has consistently demonstrated its remarkable inability to come to terms with the current political order. Denial of reality has been the characteristic feature of the country. Certain people would expect the establishment to be more sensible than their chronically psychologically challenged population, however, the establishment is made of people who come from the very same population. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the establishment suffers from the same flaws as the population it rules over.
‘Bleed India with a thousand cuts’ has been the military doctrine of Pakistan against India for decades. In his speech to the UN Security Council in 1965, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the then Minister for Foreign Affairs, declared that Pakistan would wage a war against India for a thousand years. Pakistan hasn’t changed very much since then. It has not given up on its preferred strategy yet, nor there is any indication that they would anytime soon.
Therein lies the source for the enmity between the two countries. Pakistan caught up in its false sense of history, considers itself the modern manifestation of the Islamic invaders of yore who conquered India and ruled over parts of Bharata for centuries. It’s quite evident from the strategies it uses against India, their general conduct and the manner in which they define their national character.
In its eyes, India is the modern manifestation of the Hindu kingdoms who waged war against the Islamic empires ever since the invaders arrived in the Indian subcontinent. It doesn’t really matter whether we believe it’s accurate or not. The only thing that matters in this context is that they perceive themselves to be as such and consequently, it determines their strategy and national policies against India. It is for this very reason that they believe Indian Muslims will rise against the Indian state in the future. To be fair to them, many Muslims on our side of the border, too, harbour such delusions.
It’s important to understand that Pakistan’s national identity revolves around its hatred for India. A bestial hatred against India is embedded into the very core of its national character. Without India, Pakistan has no reason to even exist. Their existence is defined by their relationship with our country. In its eyes, Pakistan is the rightful ruler to the territories that India currently has under its dominion. ‘Ghazwa-e-Hind’, a concept that the entire population of our neighbour believes in resolutely, stems from that very fact. “We ruled over them for centuries and Inshallah, we will rule over them again,” says the Pakistani mindset. They live and toil under the false hope that they could conquer India again.
Their efforts to create fissures within Indian society stems from their twisted worldview. The Mughals could rule over Bharata for so long because of the absence of a ‘Bharatiya Asabiyyah’. Pakistan believes they could be just as successful if they exploit the faultlines within India society. What they missed in their obsession with the past is that over the years, a ‘Bharatiya Asabiyyah’ has developed within Indian society. The Hindu Samaj of today differs markedly from that of medieval times.
Hindutva ideologues have successfully engineered, over time, social solidarity between Hindus that transcends barriers of castes, class, region, language and denomination. The victory of Narendra Modi in the 2014 General Elections marked the victory of ‘Bharatiya Asabiyyah’, or as we would call it, Hindutva. The victory of Hindutva made it much more difficult for Pakistan’s strategy of exploiting faultlines within Hindu society to succeed. Due to its obsession with the past, the Pakistani establishment could not recognize the massive change that Hindu society had undergone. And as a consequence, they are now paying the price for it.
The attack at the Brigade Headquarters at Uri marked the beginning of the latest chapter in the thousand-year-old war. Unfortunately for them, it’s a chapter that they look set to lose. For reasons of convenience, we shall call it the MAD (Modi-Amit Shah-Doval) era. We ought to remember that the thousand-year-old war did not begin in 1965 or even 1947. It began the moment when the first Islamic invader set their foot upon the sacred soil of Bharata. The war has gone on for a thousand years and in all probability, it will go on for a thousand more.
There are some who believe that peace with Pakistan is possible. This particular delusion is at polar opposite with the delusion that Pakistanis suffer from. It is born out of ignorance of history as well but when approached from the other end of the political spectrum. There’s one particular aspect of Pakistan’s worldview that’s absolutely correct. India and Pakistan were not born in 1947. They are the modern manifestations of a civilizational war that has been waged by generation after generation after generation for centuries. And thus, it falls upon our shoulders to sustain the flame of Agni that inspired our ancestors to wage war against the very forces who seek to destroy our civilization.
History matters. And that is precisely why it’s of paramount importance to place the nefarious attack at Uri in its proper context. Pakistan is not a rational state. Therefore, it is lunacy to expect them to behave rationally. Peace with Pakistan in its current state is not possible. Peace could only ever be imposed on Pakistan, not negotiated.
The first chapter of the MAD era ended with the abrogation of Article 370. The impotent rage that has gripped Pakistan ever since Kashmir was fully integrated with the Indian Union is precisely what happens when people who have suffered from delusions of grandeur for far too long are forced to come to terms with observable reality. The Pakistani establishment realizes there’s absolutely nothing that it could do to challenge India on the matter.
The terrorism they have used as state-policy against India as part of their ‘Bleed India with a thousand cuts’ strategy has finally come to bite their own back. There’s nothing they could do apart from screeching into the dark. They realize there isn’t any other option on the table.
The second chapter of the MAD era has already begun. The battlefield for it, this time, will be Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir. The discerning would have observed there has been a marked shift in the tone and tenor of the higher-ups in the Indian government with respect to PoK. Most recently, MEA Jaishankar asserted that India hoped one day we will have physical jurisdiction over PoK. It was after Home Minister Amit Shah, Narendra Modi’s trusted lieutenant, said in the Parliament following the abrogation of Article 370 that they were ready to sacrifice their own lives for PoK.
Pakistan massively overplayed its hand at Uri in 2016. They have sown the wind and now, they shall reap the whirlwind. The chain of events that were set in motion in Uri will be taken to its logical inclusion in the near future. The subsequent attack on the CRPF that martyred over 40 of our Jawans at Pulwama was the last-ditch effort by Pakistan to avert a catastrophe. But in doing so, they only aggravated an already precarious situation. They have committed a series of errors in their hubris which have cost them a lot. It appears almost certain now that Chandi will soon grow fat chewing upon the skulls of Bharata’s enemies.
Current circumstances could be very well compared with the epochal war between the Marathas and the Mughals that culminated with the mighty Mughals becoming a puppet of the Maratha Confederacy. These are epochal times we are living in and the ramifications of the events that transpire within the next decade will have consequences for generations to come. However, there is an added component to the Civilizational War between India and Pakistan this time around China.
By the end of the MAD era, Pakistan could very well end up becoming a Chinese vassal state. While the Pakistani establishment still enjoys a fair amount of autonomy by dilly-dallying between the US and China, it might cease to do so in the near future. In their hatred for India, Pakistan has made a pact with India’s other unfriendly neighbour. As it so happens, the enemy of an enemy is not always a friend. And China is certainly not Pakistan’s friend.
It is too difficult to predict what will transpire within the next few years. There are far too many unforeseeable variables at work that could shape the destiny of the Indian subcontinent. Even supposedly minor incidents could go on to have great ramifications which no one could have foreseen.
Chaos is a ladder. Pakistan has arduously pursued a policy that seeks to foment chaos within our borders. However, they forget that chaos is a beast no human could ever control. People often live assume that they are the only ones who could possibly gain from the chaos they seek to unleash. However, as Pakistan found out to its detriment, the outcome is often not that pleases the ones who unleash the chaos in the first place. It was from the ashes of the chaos that Pakistan unleashed that day in Uri that India has risen to gain the definitive upper hand in the Civilizational War.