Anger is so satisfying at times. A rage against the ones who’ve wronged you. Something thrown in frustration. Just break something and you feel a bit better, for a while. For a while, only though, because anger is, finally, the most destructive emotion a human can experience. The thing that you so satisfyingly destroyed in anger? That was you, or at least a part of you.
Theres a lot of anger against Pakistan right now. Justifiably so. They have been attacking us for a while now. Irritating like disease carrying mosquitos. We all love the fogging campaigns by the municipalities. The dense, foul smelling fog is less effective against mosquitos than we think, and more harmful to humans than we realise. Even that is acceptable, though. What is being advocated right now is turning our colony to rubble, to destroy the whole community, because of the deaths due to mosquitos. Thats insanity. Response to the tragic death if 18 soldiers can’t be death of several thousand more. Not to talk of all the civilians who would be killed.
To add to the tragedy, it wouldn’t solve a thing. Remember Putin and ISIS? Russian military power imposed on the small section of Syria that was controlled by ISIS? The bomb raids that were supposed to “eliminate ISIS once and for all”? What happened? Putin became a hero, ISIS has grown stronger, and the only losers are the poor civilians of Syria. Do we really crave that much to be like the poor civilians of Syria?
Putin did it because Russian economy was collapsing and he needed to distract Russian people. Indira Gandhi did it in 1971 because she wanted to be popular and be called Durga by the gullible opposition leaders. She won in a landslide after ’71 and used that brute majority to impose emergency. We created Bangladesh which kept ill-treating its minorities and created demographic distortions at its border. We created another state that imports and exports terror.
Pakistan lost the war, sure, but Indians did too. Only Indira and the Gandhi clan were winners in ’71.
Surgical strikes are one answer, but the difference between surgical strikes and war is declared ownership. If, say, a Paki general were to perish in a car crash, or a president in a helicopter accident, no Indian government will accept responsibility for it. And we will be left speculating. Not completely satisfying, is it? Yeah. International diplomacy is not James Bond (or Bollywood) film. It is not meant to be satisfying. It is just meant to push your countries agenda against the whole world pushing their agenda at you. Sometimes the agendas coincide, and you get alliances like NATO. Sometimes even a superpower has to hold their nose and accept an ally they can’t trust. And Indian statesmen have to blow hot and blow cold on Pakistan, because although you know they are unreliable bastards, the world has to see you make the right moves.
Israel doesn’t do that. they care two hoots about the opinion of the world, and therefore the world overwhelmingly supports the evil Hamas in favour of the more rational Israel. Israelis will never be safe till they understand this. They will always be under attack and be seen attacking towards “poor oppressed Palestinians”. Israel is lucky to have strong backing from very very strong people, or else it wouldn’t have survived. It is also lucky to have a more or less united support of its population. We have none of these. We have to be “nice”. But aggressive. Thats what the government is doing.
Anyone who confuses this with the tactics of Manmohan Singh is sadly mistaken. This is not just defence and criticism, this is public shaming of Pakistan that even their own media is starting to recognise. This may not be the exact path you or I may have chosen, but this saves more Indian lives than any other path that I know of.
It may be that Modi will launch a war, and become the butcher that so many already accuse him of being. Or maybe he will not stake the future of India and the lives of crores of Indians. The Indian patriots clamouring for blood on social media don’t know that its the blood of their loved ones that will be spilt, and the terrorists that will emerge the victors. Anger only destroys self.