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Pragmatism And Not Daredevilry

Pragmatism And Not Daredevilry

While news that the United States has declared the Hizbul Mujahideen leader Syed Salahuddin as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist should have come as a shot in the arm for countries resolutely pursuing the agenda of a world free from terror-threat perceptions and its consequences, the move by Pakistan to immediately declare him a ‘freedom fighter’ and enhance his security only goes to show how hypocritical our neighbour nation has been faced with the issue of abolishing anything and everything remotely connected with terrorism expected of it.

Of course, while not refuting the fact that one man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter, it becomes difficult to understand how a person like Syed Salahuddin has served the cause of Pakistan as a freedom fighter! Is Pakistan ‘enslaved’ in any way by India that it has to depend on the likes of the Hizbul chief to ‘liberate’ it?

Yes, if waging proxy wars with India is akin to a freedom struggle, the hordes of radicalized who infiltrate into Indian territories and wage war against the country are no less than ‘freedom fighters’!

It may seem presumptuous, even blasé, to suggest that Pakistan has invited the wrath of the global community on itself! It nevertheless has no intentions of deviating from its policy of cross-border terrorism. As a hotbed of international terrorism, Pakistan has never done anything to discourage the image of a terror conduit in the intercontinental arena that it has popularized itself as.

With the entire world joining hands to thwart the global program of terrorism that is in evidence today, it comes as a wonder then that Pakistan just does not seem to do away with its ‘fascination’ for terrorism. Terror-outfit chiefs like Syed Salahuddin continue to be lionized in a country actually ravaged by terrorism and insurgency.

However in this milieu, it does appear that India is in a very precarious position. While state-sponsored players from Pakistan have no qualms about wreaking havoc in India, the aggressive posture adopted by China in Doklam is equally alarming.

It thus becomes more than clear that the threat perception from China and Pakistan is serious and needs to be appropriately countered. No matter how suavely the defence minister chooses to dismiss the warnings of the Chinese army, the scars of the ’62 war are yet to heal. Let not history repeat itself after 55 years!

The nation cannot erase memories of the ‘Himalayan Blunder’ of 1962! Yet today, it appears set to be heading towards an even bigger one.  

“The key lesson learnt from the ’62 war debacle is simple: tactical military blunders are not produced in thin air. It requires an exceptionally incompetent political leadership that cannot link military means with political goals for that to happen” ( 1962 war debacle – the errors Jawaharlal Nehru made, by, Siddharth Singh)

Where caution and vigilance will save the day for India, we have the government actively engaging in the game of one-upmanship militarily and strategically with China. Enamoured by the antics of Modi & Shah Inc., the country can’t but watch and join the applause, an ovation for having played to the gallery. But how long does it take to dispel false notions and see reality in all its starkness!

Having bid goodbye to the external threats faced by the country in the smug satisfaction that the global community backs it totally, India refuses to see reason. The government of the day is more concerned enacting laws that suit its agendas. The climate of mistrust and antagonism brought in its wake is pushing the country to the brink of an emergency-like situation witnessed in the mid-seventies.

As things stand today, we Indians have taken it upon ourselves to obliterate the very difference between ‘vigilant’ and ‘vigilantism’, vulgarizing the later term to mean custodians of a ‘dharma’ that has more of political connotations than anything spiritual attached to it. The spate of lynchings that has rocked the country in recent times is an example of this trend that is being taken to unimaginable levels.

Although riding on the high-crests of secularism, when a political dispensation in power thinks nothing of preaching the language of ‘intolerance’ against the religious minorities in the country, it wouldn’t be difficult to ascribe the mob-frenzy to check the ‘abominable practices’ of these communities to the motivation brought about by leaders who have no qualms in giving a religious tinge to their agendas.

The ‘epidemic’ of hate crimes and lynchings of Muslims and Dalits that has gripped the country just cannot be explained otherwise. The mob violence and murders of fellow countrymen in the name of ‘cow vigilantism’ may have prompted the PM to finally break his sabbatical over that matter and condemn the incidents.

But is that enough! Crying hoarse over the barbaric and shameful acts has no meaning. The absence of concrete action against the perpetrators of these crimes can only be seen as an overt endorsement of the act by crowds taking law into their own hands and wreaking vengeance on persons going against their beliefs.

It is all the more painful to note that such misdemeanours cannot happen without political ‘blessings’. What a come-down for a country that has gained its independence from the yokes of colonial imperialism preaching the doctrine of non-violence all along.

The President is right in expressing his concerns over the matter and stating that when mob frenzy becomes so irrational and uncontrollable, the people have to be ‘vigilant’ to save the basic tenets of the society.

Every citizen of this great nation is duty-bound to be ever vigilant against any such incident that disturbs the safety and communal harmony of the country. Citizen’s vigilance, intellectual vigilance and media vigilance can definitely act as the biggest deterrent to the forces of darkness and backwardness.

However, the governance of a nation is said to be complete in itself only if the government effectively balances it’s resourcefulness and learns to take giant strides both in the internal and external front with comfortable ease.

With various issues currently raging in the country instantiating that India is a land torn from within by discords aplenty, vigilance by the masses has concentrated purely on the subjective topics given a political colour by the ruling class. The government too has been busy fuelling speculations amongst the masses about corrective steps it intends adopting.

On the other hand, the slew of ‘reforms’ it has introduced and effective implementation of the same is already taking its toll on the people with complete ignorance typifying the process of putting the decisions into effect.

It is at such times when the entire country is in utter confusion vis-à-vis the programs of the government that it becomes necessary for the countrymen to be vigilant against any sort of threat to the security of the nation.

But the brand of vigilantism that some of the ‘more politically motivated’ amongst us have been exhibiting can only spell doom for the communal harmony and stability of the nation.

(Published on 10th July 2017, Volume XXIX, Issue 28)