By Ranjit K. Sahu
What began as an illustrious political career for Shri Mani Shankar Aiyer has been gradually turning into a tragedy for both him and the congress party. His personal knowledge not ignored, his recent writings especially on NDTV reflect his adherence to the obsolete concepts that would have probably been relevant in the pre independence era or while Shri M K Gandhi lasted. His outbursts have been increasingly critical of the current government akin to how a mother-in-law in a traditional soap opera family drama treats her newly arrived daughter-in-law (involved constantly in a fault finding mission).
What is agonizing is when he oversteps this habit of his and unwittingly creates a charade out of a serious matter like the integrity of the country and security of its borders. In one of his opinions posted in a news channel (online reading version), he goes to great lengths in trying to pull out historical incidents to support his logistics of responding to the recent firings in the indo-Pak border through talks and negotiations and not by responding fire with fire. Unfortunately Mr. Aiyer has opted to selectively ignore other lessons of history. While he conveniently links the Austrian Serbian crisis to the genesis of the World War I and World War II, he forgets the other aspect that in those cases the dynamics of European politics was different. Similarly that was an era of pre-nuclear arsenal build up. Another flaw in his analogy of treating India as Austria and Pakistan as Serbia is he ignores, when it comes to the south Asia situation, it would be more appropriate of him to compare India as Serbia and China as Austria and reexamine the present scenario. Pakistan in this equation can be any of the countries that supported Austria. However if such an analogy is done Mr. Aiyer’s concepts and calculations will all go into the drain and he will have to ask China and Pakistan to stop nagging India at its borders. So obviously he will not look into this direction.
Secondly, Mr. Aiyer talks with great remorse how the Gandhian principle of tolerance has been thrown to the dustbin when the Indian army responded to the Pakistani provocation. He conveniently covers up the fact that while an eye for eye would make the whole world blind, turning a blind eye to someone who is attacking you with a knife can not only injure you but also kill you. Self- defense is the right of every individual and every nation and importantly the soldiers have not been posted on the borders to stand and watch the Pakistan rangers’ firings. They have been trained and assigned their jobs and they know very well what they are doing. The same channel interestingly showed an Indian army man speaking and why they were willing to fight and why they were not afraid of Pakistani firings. Since Mr. Aiyer has so much concern for Indian philosophy of nonviolence and tolerance, he may also kindly explain the incident using the concept in the mother of all philosophies, the Gita, where it is said that fighting for dharma is the sole purpose of a warrior. And by stopping the soldier from defending his country in times of war like situation, Mr. Aiyer is preventing him from executing his dharma. If seen in the same logistics, the Israeli army should have been a mute spectator to the invasions from Gaza! They should have all been killed. In Mr. Aiyer’s view it is Ok to be blinded if you allow the invader to be able to see!
Sadly Mr. Aiyer forgets an important part of history which is the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. While the loss of thousands of innocent lives will always be debatable and regrettable, what it did show was the logic behind the statement “If you want peace, be prepared for war”. Today south Asia is no more the Europe before First World War. These are nuclear capable countries facing each other at borders and each of them knows that a nuclear war initiated by any one will cause the initiator more harm in the eyes of the world as well as in terms of geopolitical stability. This is evident from the fact that after 9thAugust 1945 no nuclear weapon has been used in any war. And there are enough wars that have occurred in various parts of the world after that date. Thus, the tactics of Pakistan continuously bringing in the threat of nuclear arm has to stop somewhere. This will not stop until the conventional and non conventional war like situation being created at the border is stopped by Pakistan itself. This requires a tough stand from the Indian side which though late has been implemented by the present government. And Mr. Aiyer may well take time to think why the UN has refrained from entertaining the matter.
It is a few people like Mr. Aiyer who still in their enthusiasm to be proved as loyal Gandhians, resort to actions and speeches that would in any other country including China and Pakistan brand them as traitors. It is the tolerance of the Indians that Mr. Aiyer is able to get away with such articles in the media. In a nutshell we are tolerating you forcing us to close our eyes and blind us with twisted explanations. Mr. Aiyer that speaks enough of our tolerance. We would like Mr. Aiyer and the media that propagates his thoughts in the public domain to open their eyes and start seeing the incident from the perspective of an Indian, an Indian army man and the Indian living in the border .That would do a great service to the patriotism of all Indians.
About The Author: Ranjit Sahu, was born in India and is a doctorate in biotechnology. He has published two books in poetry ( 2005: A Year of Love and Drunk )and his poems have appeared in the website of Poetry.com. Presently, he is working on several volumes of poems with different themes.