Why I support Narendra Modi

And no, I’m not a “right-wing Hindu fanatic”

I have long believed that the greatest problem India faces is that it’s people don’t have a strong sense of pride. There is so much division among people on the lines of class, caste and religion that we neither have an affinity towards our fellow citizens nor for our towns, cities and states, for that matter, not even for our elevators and stairwells where people litter, spit and even pee, with total disregard. Poverty doesn't disturb us. Oppression doesn't bother us. General lawlessness doesn't alarm us. It doesn't enrage us that we have been an independent country for more than 60 years and still we are a third world country. There are more starvation deaths in India than the sub-Saharan region. You can be killed in your own country just because you’re from another part of your own country. We feel privileged if we get electricity everyday and water twice a day for two hours. We don’t even like to smile at each other on the roads.

Whereas nationalism lacks glaringly, we are full of jingoism. We talk big but act small. We are crazy about a stupid game like cricket. We like to imitate rather than innovate or create. What’s the problem? Why do we have outsourcing companies but no big software development companies (just to give a small example). Why do most Indians excel abroad but not here in India? Why don’t heads roll when an entire cryogenic project is sabotaged and the career of a brilliant scientist is ruined? Why do we eagerly kill or die for a temple, a mosque, a church or a gurdwara but not for a hospital, a school or a playground? Legend has it that once in a town when there was a power cut during the telecast of the Ramayana serial the people of the town burned down the electricity board office. The same people never even raised a whimper when there were routine power cuts during the board exams and all the students had to study in darkness.

Everything boils down to we’re not proud of ourselves.

This is the void that Modi seems to fill. He exhorts people to work hard, excel in their respective fields and work for the collective betterment of the country. He doesn't want to create ladders of communalism and casteism to rise. For once there is a political leader who wants people to work for excellence rather than depend on government subsidies and doles. Finally the country has a political leader who has the guts to show the middle finger to the world. I don’t know how much he really means to do, but when I begin to compare, he is the only leader who says things that I really want to hear.

I don’t want to hear the same old secularism versus communalism diatribe not because I don’t want our country to be secular but because yes, without these diatribes our country is already secular (in fact it has remained the most secular country or region throughout millennia), and second, by continuously pandering to minority vote our political parties have developed a mindset that you only need to offer empty promises and raise doomsday scenarios in order to come to power. Development doesn't work. Progress doesn't excite. It’s caste and religion. Minorities are under threat. Dalits are being marginalized and exploited.

I’m not saying minorities shouldn't be protected and the rights of the Dalits shouldn't be protected. But the justice system should work for everybody not just for minorities and Dalits. If our justice system works, if our political system works, if our bureaucracy works, we don’t need affirmative action. We don’t need special status for minorities if development is inclusive and people are punished in a timely manner in case of communal bias.

You cannot constantly blame the majority Hindu community for historical wrongs its forefathers may or may not have committed on certain sections. Historical wrongs were committed against Hindus themselves so then why the Muslims aren't made to feel guilty about them (there, I just became an Islamophobe)? I’m not saying they should be, I’m just saying if the blame game needs to be perpetuated, why not create an equal playing field for every religion and every community?

This is the mentality that Modi opposes, and so do his supporters. These people get angry when they are made to feel apologetic about their majority status, about their festivals, about their rituals, about their gods and goddesses, about their patriotism and nationalism and about their “the nation first” approach. They’re fed up of the pervasive mediocrity in almost every field in the name of inclusion and tolerance. They want excellence. They want to compete with the world and when they talk about competition, they don’t mean competition with Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh or even Taiwan. They mean competition with the USA, with the European Union, with Japan and with China. They want to turn India into a global brand. Just as people respect “Made in Japan” and “Made in Germany”, people should respect “Made in India”. No longer we want to depend on our proverbial “jugaad”.

There is also an underdog feeling. Another thing that makes me support him is the witch-hunt he has been subjected to for such a long time. The greatest number of riots have happened under the Congress rule and its various offshoots. The Gujarat 2002 (well, how can something on Modi be complete without a reference to this particular period?) riots were contained within 2-3 days. There is documented evidence that Modi sought help from both Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh that were both Congress-ruled states at that time, and both the states refused. There is documented evidence many from the BJP itself have been targeting Modi and the Gujarat riots were a part of the scheme. There is documented evidence that even Congress ministers were involved in the riots — the mob that set Ehsan Jafri eblaze also had member from the Congress party.

Modi has been maligned so much, the onslaught has been going on for such a long time, unmitigated, that many have begun to feel, what the heck is going on? No politician, no matter how vile or incompetent he or she has been, has not been targeted so much, both nationally and internationally. It can’t be just “divisiveness” because in the name of religion everything goes in our country. What is it? Communal riots are unacceptable, but they have been happening in India since time immemorial and there have been very few, very few instances of they being contained within a few hours. Recently Yagoendra Yadav of the Aam Aadmi Party said the Muslims will need another country if Modi comes to power. How can he get away with such inflammatory utterances and not Modi? Manmohan Singh said Muslims have the first right to national resources. Sonia Gandhi cried for two terror suspects. After the recent Muzaffar Nagar riots aid was provided selectively to the Muslim community, if at all it was provided. Salman Khurshid in his book wrote that both Sikhs and Hindus deserved the blood bath that took place in the 80s. In a metro like Delhi Kejrichandra says corruption is India’s biggest problem but in front of Muslims he says the biggest problem the country faces is communalism. For Rahul Gandhi, the greatest threat to India are Hindu organizations and not Islamic terrorists, Naxalites and Maoists. Shinde says the RSS runs terror camps. Why aren’t these people communal and divisive, and why Modi is? Why does Modi destroy the “idea of India” but not people like Laloo Prasad Yadav, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mayawati, Karunanidhi or even the infamous Owaisi brothers? Why aren't the communists taken to task by our intellectuals for totally destroying a progressive state like West Bengal? Why aren't the then chief ministers of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra demonized for not sending help to Gujarat during the 2002 riots? I’m not even going into the 1984 anti-Sikh pogrom carried out by the Congress party. Why aren't there inquiries set up for this dereliction of duty, this galling incompetence? Why does Modi become the all-encompassing evil all “secular” forces need to come together against? There has to be a reason.

The reason is that the beneficiaries of the status quo don’t want it to change. The nexus between politicians, religious leaders, industrialists, scholars, artists and journalists has been working for them for decades. They prefer this deep divide between the haves and have-nots. Mediocrity is the name of the game. You have muscle, money or contacts? Great! You have none. Good.

The best bet for a mediocre person is to curtail people from achieving excellence and this excellence can be from any field. They don’t want people to get educated. They want people to toil for even basic needs such as food, shelter, electricity, security, education, travel and health. They want to keep different peoples of the country perpetually divided because when you unite you can put up a united fight and this can jolt the status quo. One more problem when you unite as that there is a collective dialogue without a conflict and this is dangerous for people thriving on divisive and actually communal philosophies. Through doctored education and propaganda we have been divided into tiny nations, islands in ourselves.

When you need to constantly put massive effort into caring for just basic needs, when do you get time to become socially, culturally and politically aware? When there is nothing to compare, there is no accountability. India is dirty, well, it is because India IS dirty. India is poor, well, with so great a population, poverty IS inevitable. Remember that bureaucrat that said that the Indian benchmark for cleanliness is different from other countries (during the preparation of the Commonwealth Games) when dog shit was found on the bed sheets. With such a big administrative structure, corruption IS bound to happen. For everything there is an excuse.

The current arrangement has been good for many people. You get plum postings without ever working. You get elected simply by pandering to a particular community. Intellectuals promote each other and don’t allow alternative voices to come forward. Remember how Wendy Doniger was repeatedly being called “authoritative” by the same usual suspects? In the name of news channels we have reality shows. In the name of sports we have the colonial hangover of cricket destroying other games in the process.

Modi’s approach is that quality of life is your right, not a privilege. He doesn't want to give you “poori roti”, (a whole piece of bread) he wants to nourish you with healthy food. He wants you to work hard and become self-dependent rather than expecting the government to dole out goodies because of your caste or religion.

When he speaks he knows his facts. Of course sometimes he goes overboard and there is too much of “mitro Gujarat mei maine ye kiya hai aur vo kiya hai” but one, he’s normally talking to the masses so a little bit of rhetoric is needed, and two, he talks about Gujarat because that’s where he has worked.

The best thing I like about him is he has totally changed the narrative of the political discourse whether people like it or not. To the so-called secularists’ dismay, they are the ones who are constantly found to be talking about different castes, identities and religions whereas he talks about Indians. He talks about inclusive growth. He doesn't care whether you are a Muslim, Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Dalit or OBC. He has a firm grip on how resources should be used for maximum benefit. Just look the way he has cleaned up Narmada. Gujarat is quickly turning into the biggest producer of clean energy. Yes, there are kinks, and there are claims that Guajarat is a state that anyways does better compared to other states, and not being an expert I won’t be able to counter your argument.

He talks about concepts our other clueless politicians and highly biased intellectuals can never even think of even if they are born twice. To a person who really feels for the country, Modi seems to be taking the country forward and the rest of the politicians seem to be taking the country backward.

Will he deliver? Frankly I don’t know, I cannot vouch for him. I’m not a BJP propagandist and I’m certainly not working for Narendra Modi. I support him because, as I have already written above, he says things I want to hear. He has facts on his fingertips. He talks about solutions rather than problems. He is unapologetic about his leanings. He’s not bothered about his international image. He couldn't care less whether you term him secular or communal as long as he gets to do his job. His own party works against him. Despite such a prolonged hounding, he has risen and not disappeared into political oblivion. I mean look at that perpetually scheming Kejrichandra. He’s a total creation of the media as well as political machinations. Without these factors he and his bunch of jokers are nothing. Look at Modi on the other hand. He has borne the most vicious media onslaught. His own party men and women are constantly scheming against him. The entire English speaking intellectual class loathes him. Not a single media channel has done a real documentary on what are the real conditions in Gujarat. Why? Because they've got very little negative to show. Had the conditions being bad, do you really think an award winning documentary wouldn't have been commissioned and telecast in a loop, especially on NDTV?

What about his divisiveness? Doesn't he pose danger to the minorities, especially Muslims? You tell me which party isn't divisive in our country? Which political party truly works for the country and not for self-interest? The Congress party, the darling of the secularists, have milked the cows of communalism, casteism and poverty dry while letting Muslims die and remain backward invariably. DMK and the AIADMK are the epitomes of corruption. They say Karunanidhi’s sons are as bad as Saddam Hussein’s sons, or even worse. Communists have done what they are best at — destroyed multiple states. Laloo and Mulayam run their own fiefdoms and all Nitish Kumar wants to do is become the PM of the country even if we has to explode bombs.

An average Modi supporter is not as fanatical as he or she is made out to be. If that were the case, the Togadias and Singhals would have been mainstream politicians rather than fringe elements. Considering all these, I don’t think Modi poses a threat to Muslims. Besides, I believe that he has bigger goals and he knows that playing communal politics doesn't pay in the long run. He is intelligent. Most of our politicians are corrupt and nearsighted. They cannot see beyond the next elections. Modi on the other hand is farsighted. This, I’m sure, will keep the Muslims of the country safe, even if you think he is a hard-core Hindu nationalist.

Still buy the “Modi is a polarizing figure” crap? This tweet from @madhukishwar pretty much sums up my own response:


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Next Story — Why I’m not against the call to pack off Pakistani artists
Currently Reading - Why I’m not against the call to pack off Pakistani artists

Why I’m not against the call to pack off Pakistani artists

Image source: india.com

Eminent ghazal singer Jagjit Singh was very bitter about the fact that the Indian singers are not allowed to perform in Pakistan whereas every Pakistani singer of repute has performed in India. For example, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan regularly sings for Bollywood movies. Ghulam Ali Khan is a regular feature and I’m pretty sure, due to our sheer number, his ghazal albums make more money in India than in Pakistan. In fact, Indians are so accepting that Ghulam Ali was invited to sing in a musical festival that was held in the Sankatmochan temple in Varanasi, and instead of singing a bhajan he sang “Hungama hai kyun barpa, thodi si ji pee lee hai…”

Fawad Khanna is the latest heartthrob. Pakistani actresses have enchanted us for decades, from Salma Aga to Zeba Bakhtiar to Mahira Khan. 
Recently a Pakistani author even launched a book in Mumbai despite protests.

So for Pakistani artists and intellectuals India is like second home. But is Pakistan like second home for our artists and intellectuals? For some. Only those who run Pakistani propaganda from the Indian soil. Only those are welcomed who constantly tell India that look, Pakistanis are so welcoming and so mature. Someone like Mahesh Bhatt is welcomed with open arms and Anupam Kher is denied visa even to attend a literary event. If you just want to perform in Pakistan, like any other Pakistani artist performing in India, then forget it.

Indians are more accepting, whatever is the reason. They don’t mind, or they couldn’t care less, if Indian artists are not allowed to perform in Pakistan. Forget about our artists not being allowed to perform in Pakistan, even when our soldiers die at the border due to Pakistani infiltrators some sections of our society are smugly enjoying a ghazal night of some Pakistani singer, showing the middle finger to our soldiers. After a major terror attack, a prominent Pakistani artist or writer lectures Indians on tolerance, peace and brotherhood and we listen to him or her like naughty kids looking for some guidance from an adult. So in that sense Indians are weird. We love to be told how lousy we are. You can compare this behaviour to dominatrix sex in which people derive sexual pleasure out of being dominated and out of being told what miserable pieces of shit they are while being beaten with a stick.

After the recent Pak-sponsored terror attack in Uri there has been a call to send back Pakistani artists who have been making a killing in India. How can one section of Pakistan kill our soldiers and the other section pretend as if nothing is happening and it’s business as usual? It’s like running with the hare and hunting with the hounds, figuratively speaking.

The call to go back in 48 hours is stupid. If the MNS is so patriotic its members should fight terrorism rather than chocolatish actors and actresses. MNS is just pandering to its constituency that mostly constitutes of goons and those who live off petty crimes. Besides, the country is full of traitors and the MNS never targets them.

Take for insurance that politician in Bihar who wrote on his Facebook wall that all the soldiers who died in the Uri terror attack were corrupt and they deserved to be killed by terrorists. It’s the most obnoxious statement one can make for his or her country while enjoying the protection of the same country. Has the MNS uttered even a single word against that sick minister (who should anyway have been arrested for sedition)? No.

So when people say that wrong people are being targeted they have a point and the recent call to send actors, actresses and singers back is just a kneejerk reaction, but if we want to send a message, a beginning has to be made somewhere.

The “culture knows no boundaries” is fine and good. India being a free market is also fine and good. Even love knows no boundaries and there can be love in the time of war, and these things happen. Birds and animals have no boundaries. The wind has no boundaries. You can’t tell clouds that this is India and that is Pakistan. Poetry is soothing. Bullets are not.

Culture and art are good, but cultural exchange cannot happen over the dead bodies of our people, of our soldiers.

There’s a bigger issue involved. We want to call Pakistan a terrorist state, and in fact, there’s enough proof that Pakistan is a terrorist state. Just like China, Japan and Taiwan export goods all over the world, Pakistan exports terrorism all over the world. Even its most ardent supporters can’t deny that there is a big problem with Pakistan.

Is terrorism less evil than apartheid? Almost the entire world boycotted South Africa and India had no diplomatic and cultural relations with the African country. There were no cultural exchanges between South Africa and other countries. Nobody played cricket with them. Artists were not moving to and fro. If South Africa could be treated that way for apartheid — and let’s be clear, apartheid is not as violent as terrorism, no matter how despicable it is — why can Pakistan be treated the same way?

Many Indians wanting Pakistani artists to pack their bags and go back to Pakistan should be viewed in a larger context. It will send a signal to the world that we mean business. There should be no cultural exchange, there should be no cricket matches, and their actors and singers shouldn’t be hired unless they hold Indian passports, someone like Adnan Sami. These artists shouldn’t make a living in India and then call Pakistan their home. They shouldn’t be sending Indian money to Pakistan. You may fish out the argument of Indians working in the Gulf all their lives and then coming back to India but the Gulf countries themselves don’t allow people to get citizenship. Many come back because they HAVE to come back; so that’s different.

Ideally, the rejection should come from the people and not from directors and producers who work with Pakistani artists. Why do Indians watch their movies and listen to their songs no matter how awesome they are — are we going to die if we don’t experience that awesomeness?

If movies having Pakistani actors and actresses don’t do well at the box office, everybody concerned will get the message. Filmmakers are very selfish. They know that the “Vijay” character in the movie can be Ranveer Kapoor or Fawad Khan and it doesn’t matter. When it begins to matter, suddenly it will dawn upon them that there are some things that are more important than “cultural exchanges”. They won’t work with Pakistani artists if it is unprofitable for them. All their cultural exchange and sense of inclusivity will be gone in a puff.

When Jagjit Singh complained that he was not allowed to perform in Pakistan, how many people from Pakistan stood with him? He was Ghulam Ali’s contemporary. Did Ghulam Ali ever protest in Pakistan? Did he ever say that I’m not going to sing in Pakistan unless Jagjit Singh too was allowed to sing in Pakistan? No. Did he ever force his society all the government to hold a joint Ghulam Ali-Jagjit Singh concert? No. Did he ever moved to India, lock stock and barrel because it is a much more accepting country? No. He very conveniently kept performing in both the countries.

Has any of the Pakistani artists ever publicly said that they don’t like the fact that most Indian artists are not allowed to perform in Pakistan? I’m not saying that they have to and they should be forced to say something but at least, the Indians have a right to feel bad if they don’t.

Nobody necessarily has to carry out such calls as issued by the MNS and if necessary, these artists should be given protection by the state because after all, they are our guests and we didn’t force them to come to India. They came because we were welcoming them. And to be frank it is not their fault that their government wouldn’t stop sending terrorists into our country. But someday we have to draw a line. If these people are sent back they will either be forced to accept Indian citizenship and then openly say that India is a better country than Pakistan or they will have to initiate a dialogue within their own country. At least they have to start talking about the fact that cultural exchange should be two-way. We don’t want them to make money out of India’s democracy, inclusive nature and openness and then one day lecture us about democracy, inclusive nature and openness.

Also, if you want to communicate to the rest of the world that India is really pissed, cultural and sports events should be ceased until Pakistanis learn to live like good neighbours, not like spoiled brats causing trouble all the time.

Next Story — If both India and Pakistan have nuclear bombs, why only Indians feel threatened?
Currently Reading - If both India and Pakistan have nuclear bombs, why only Indians feel threatened?

If both India and Pakistan have nuclear bombs, why only Indians feel threatened?

Many people have been asking this question, that why does only India worry about a nuclear conflagration if both the countries -- India and Pakistan -- have nuclear warheads?

Pakistan continues to send terrorists on India's side and it also engages in military adventurism on a regular basis, and when India as little as even talks of a military retaliation, Pakistan starts threatening India with nuclear attack, and even people on the Indian side start talking about the “devastating consequences” if India takes a tough stance.

Why doesn't India ever issue a nuclear threat? Why don't we say we're going to nuke the hell out of Pakistan if it unleashes another terrorist attack on our country?

People asking such questions are either naive, or they don't actually believe that Pakistan is a rogue country, a terrorist country, and most of the people running the show over there have a criminal mentality. They don't mind destruction.

It's like goons. A normal, law-abiding citizen tries to avoid physical and verbal conflict for as long as possible, whereas a bully, a goon, is ready to fight at slightest pretext.

Pakistan has fidayeens in every nook and corner. How many fidayeens do we have? Even if Pakistan gets destroyed while trying to nuke India, they will consider it as holy jihad, instead of plain annihilation, like Indians will do.

Here in India the purpose of our living is to be left alone in peace, to be given enough space to prosper and take care of our families, and to avail basic amenities like roads, electricity, communications, schools, colleges, hospitals and decent law and order. In Pakistan, the sole purpose of their living is destruction of infidels in general and India in particular. That's it. And in the process if they are destroyed, so be it.

Therefore, culturally, economically, socially and emotionally Indians have much to lose in case there is a nuclear conflagration. Pakistanis don't aspire in those terms, so they've got not much to lose. This is why Pakistanis start talking about nuclear and atom bombs the moment we utter “military action” and we never mention nuclear or atom bombs even when they threaten to use them against us.

Next Story — History Shouldn’t Just Be About What Happened, It Should Also Be About Why
Currently Reading - History Shouldn’t Just Be About What Happened, It Should Also Be About Why

History Shouldn’t Just Be About What Happened, It Should Also Be About Why

History, they say, should be read so that we can know about our past and more importantly, to learn from it. Unfortunately, most of the history written about India in the past 200 years has been tainted with colonial, political and ideological manipulations and often it is very difficult to come across genuine investigation into what happened, and more importantly, why it happened. For example, why indigenous people of the Indian subcontinent acted the way they did.

Take for example the Jalianwala Baag incident. Although Col. Dyer was responsible for the massacre, it were the Indian policemen who actually fired the gun, or at least were responsible for handling the gun. In which country policemen would perpetrate such an atrocity upon their own fellow countrymen, women and kids, and that too under the command of colonial rulers?

Here you could put an argument that in Africa, most of the slaves were captured by the Africans themselves, but I believe in India social, cultural and intellectual dynamics were different.

At a particular time, it is said, there were merely 11,000 British officials stationed in India; what mental and attitudinal characteristics enabled them to rule over millions of people? And not rule like a ruler, but like a relentless plunderer. For the British, India was a colony, not a country. The British couldn’t subdue the Japanese, and even the Chinese and other Oriental countries didn’t prostate the way we did. What civilizational and cultural faults did we suffer from?

It’s not just about the British. Even when Mughals finally established their rule on almost all over India, Indians could never collectively mount a resistance. Mahmood Ghazni attacked India 17 times and was victorious. Why couldn’t indigenous people, in their own land, living their own ways of life, living in their own climate and environment, couldn’t repel alien invaders? Why were we overrun in most of the cases and why did the invaders succeed in most of the cases, barring a few exceptions.

These things shouldn’t be studied to be used as a beating stick, they should be studied in order to understand how we collectively face existential problems as a civilisation, and whether the shortcomings can be rectified, and if they are inherent and integral to our philosophy, what are the workarounds. In order to be strong, one should always be aware of his or her weaknesses too.

Next Story — How do you deal with a country like Pakistan?
Currently Reading - How do you deal with a country like Pakistan?

How do you deal with a country like Pakistan?

Image source: Deccan Chronicle

The entire country is seething in justified rage after the attack on the army base in Uri where 17 of our soldiers have been martyred. More than an army battalion base, it was an army administrative base and hence the security wasn’t as tight as normally it is. The tent in which our jawans were resting caught fire.

Naturally there is all out anger and almost everybody wants the government to retaliate. After all it’s Narendra Modi’s government and everybody knows his stand on such acts of terror.

For the first time in the history of the country Pakistan (with the exception of the Bangladesh war) has been internationally put on the backfoot. The government has started telling Pakistan to forget about Kashmir and also return Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. India has also started raising the issue of Balochistan at the United Nations — something India should have done a few decades ago. The government is also sending a tough message to the Kashmiri separatists. Ever since the new NDA government took charge, there hasn’t been a major terrorist attack in the country.

The international pressure is also building up on Pakistan. It’s former Western masters are constantly telling it to curtail its support to and abetment of various jihadist groups and terrorist organizations. So things are not going great for the rogue country that has primarily survived on the Western doles while viewing Western values with contempt. The current attack on the Uri army base is a manifestation of the frustrating times the Pakistani establishment is going through.

How can India deal with a country like Pakistan? How do you deal with an enemy that is self-destructive? An enemy that doesn’t mind putting his own entire country in jeopardy due to an uncontrollable greed coupled with religious fanaticism?

A big problem for India — an argument used by the lobby that’s against a military counter-measure — is Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. Pakistani generals and radical politicians routinely say that they won’t hesitate from using nuclear warheads if India attacks Pakistan, even if entire Pakistan is destroyed in the process. And there is no reason not to believe them.

A nuclear standoff is a big possibility if or whenever India and Pakistan go to war, especially if India takes the initiative. No sane person would believe that when push comes to shove a characterless country that has got not much to lose, will stick to the “no first use policy”. Going by how the contemporary world seems to work, Pakistan may use the nuclear weapons at the drop of hat, AND it may also cry victim.

Here in India, on the other hand, we’re not a self-destructive society. No matter which government we have, we will never use a nuclear bomb for the simple reason that it’ll have a devastating impact on the entire sub-continent. Pakistan is suicidal, we’re not.

While the entire country is outraged after the attack it’s but natural for people to demand a country-attack, but is a counter-attack going to solve the problem? I don’t think it is.

Taking military action at this juncture would be wasteful. Pakistan has got nothing to lose. It is a country in shambles. Its rulers have no vision for its citizens and right now it seems neither do citizens have a vision for themselves. Just to have an upper hand or just to appear to have an upper hand, they would go to any depths. There is no lowest point for them. Dealing with them in the conventional sense would be like dealing with hijras (eunuchs). When you confront hijras they threaten to take off their clothes publicly. If you want to return in the same coin, you will also have to take off your clothes, which is something you don’t want to do. Although you have to deal with them, you have to deal with them differently, not just the way they are dealing with you.

Every government is wary of taking the war route unless you are talking about America where it seems such decisions are taken by the arms lobby. War means lots of destruction. War means lots of dead soldiers and civilians. War, especially with a neighboring country, and on top of that, a trigger happy country like Pakistan, means taking your own country back a couple of decades of economic progress. War is never good, even if you are pressed against the wall. A full scale war should either be a last option, or when the other country militarily invades your country.

The current problem in India is not that it is soft on Pakistan, the current problem in India is that it is soft on the internal enemies that work for Pakistan from within the Indian territory. This is where India needs to take a tough stand whether they are the so-called “separatists” in Kashmir or the Pakistan-sponsored think tanks and intellectuals constantly recruiting for different Pakistani causes. A big reason why most of the country is seething after the Uri attack is also the government’s unclear stand on the internal destructive forces eating away the country from the inside.

Dealing with Pakistan needs to be a long-term operation. Unfortunately most of our previous governments have either practised an ostrich mentality or played scant regard to the Frankenstein’s monster our forefathers created in 1947.

In order to deal with Pakistan, India needs to deal with people who are running the show in Pakistan in such a manner that they are either neutralised or the cost of carrying out operations in India is very high for those individuals. It is clear to see that the top military, political and bureaucratic brass in Pakistan has got nothing to do with religion or ideology — they simply thrive on the western and Arabian-world money they receive. They have built big empires of wealth for themselves. They don’t care for the people. They don’t mind as long as other people are dying. Although as a society they might be self-destructive, as individuals they are highly selfish and greedy, and usually very cowardly. Their selfishness, cowardliness and greed should be used as a weapon against them.

The Indian government should identify these individuals — they might be 50, 100 or at the most 200 — on a priority basis and then start dealing with them at individual level. Neutralise them, entice them, buy them out, threaten them, do whatever it takes to take them out of the picture as soon as possible. Without these core leaders their entire campaign will crumble. Even after the current lot of these “leaders” is dismantled, the coming of new such leaders should be closely monitored and dealt with accordingly. India is a big country. It has the intelligence. It has the resources. Only political will is lacking.

Along with that India should heavily invest in technologies that will neutralise Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. India should build a team of programmers and hackers that can hack into the Pakistani systems and render their nuclear weapons useless. India should develop technology that can hit the Pakistani missiles even before they can take off from the Pakistani land.

Pakistan knows that Indians are not suicidal so it is constantly using the bogey of its nuclear warheads whenever India threatens to react. The moment it realises that India faces no nuclear threat from Pakistan, it will not just stop its sabre-rattling, it will also stop supporting anti-India terror groups.

The key for India is, most of the people running the show in Pakistan are greedy and immoral. Their this weakness can become India’s strength.

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