Monday, December 15, 2008

Guest post - India should carefully, very carefully, weigh its options

This is a guest blog entry by Mustafa - a good friend, who wanted to voice his opinion regarding the current political situation between India and Pakistan. I may not agree with some of what he has to say, but than there is nothing is like diversity in opinion.

-Z

India should carefully, very carefully, weigh its options 

Much has been said by many of the Mumbai horror being India's 9/11. 

No less a figure than US Senator John McCain has counseled Pakistan that if it did not do all that it should to comprehend the "Bad Guys" he had personal information that India would launch air strikes on "terrorist camps" in Pakistan and that Washington would abstain from interfering as Mumbai was India's 9/11. 

However, what happened in NY seven years ago cannot be equated and should not be equated with the horrible tragedy last month in Mumbai.  The context is different, the times are different and they demand a different response from New Delhi.  The Indian leadership would be well advised to reach at a set of decisions independent of the baggage of 9/11. 

The Mumbai carnage was not an isolated incident.  There have been a series of horrific incidents unleashed on India including Guwahati, Bangalore, and Malegaon.  The question that one needs to ask is why?  Something has gone very badly wrong in India 

One should never justify or condone the use of terror to achieve political objectives such as Mumbai being used in response to Indian atrocities in Kashmir.  However one needs to understand the context so as to effectively address the issue. 

Yes, Pakistan has its Hafiz Saeed.  He supports the use of suicide bombings, considers Shias non-Muslims, thinks democracy to be flawed and non-Islamic, would prefer to see all Jews eradicated from this planet and is all for jihad being waged to have his Salafist version of Islam imposed upon the world. 

However, India also its share of hate mongers.  Babu Bajrangi of Ahmedabad.  He played a key role in the 2002 Gujarat massacre of muslims and who on TV expressed his  to kill 50,000 Muslims.    Then India has his mentor, Narendra Modi.   

It is true that all these years, Hafiz Saeed has been allowed to live unencumbered by the Pakistani Government while he has spewed hatred.   

India does not have clean hands either.  Babu Bajrangi, is out on bail very much doing what he pleases in Gujarat.   The butcher of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, is still the chief minister of Gujarat. What does India have to say in her defense that the man who presided over the Gujarat genocide has been re-elected twice. 
 

Yes, Hafiz Saeed's organization has branches and volunteers throughout Pakistan.  The Hindu Supremacy organization, the RSS too has 48,000 branches and 9 million volunteers throughout India.   Members include former prime minister AB Vajpayee, and current leader of the opposition LK Advani.  India is in no position to take the High Road.   

Partition may have happened 61 years ago, the wounds however are still raw.  The third generation on both sides still sheds tears over the massacre of more than a million people.  Kashmir is still the tinderbox that it was 60 years ago.  A never ending nightmare with no end in sight – a quicksand that has sucked in 65,000 lives.  Pakistan may have become a corrupt (in every sense of the word) state with no protection for minorities.  India too has had its share of Babu Bajrangis, bent on raping, maiming and killing Muslims until the last of this circumcised lot leaves the land of the Ganjes.  Babri Masjid was not an isolated random incident.  Gujarat is not going to be the last time that a Muslim will be massacred.   

Clearly Pakistan is as close to a failed state as one will see, a tragedy unfolding in slow motion as it slowly implodes.  A population in denial,  a civilian government unwilling and unable to keep the militants in check,  an army with a million rogue elements, fanatic mullahs – this is a very toxic soup.   

However, military action by India will further exacerbate matters.  It will lead to total chaos and India will also be dragged into the morass.  The ultimate nightmare is a destroyed Pakistan with rogue agents in control of the nuclear stockpile in India's immediate vicinity.  Is this what India wishes?   

India needs to set its own house in order.  If its 150 million Muslim citizens cease to become marginalized and begin to thrive, much of the ammunition that the likes of Hafiz Saeed has to play with will go away.  They will fail to recruit young boys and transform them into mindless killers.  These 10 young men who created so much havoc in Mumbai were remarkably efficient killing machines.  They made no demands and did not wish to negotiate. They waded ashore with one intention -- kill as many people as possible and cause as much damage as they could before they were killed themselves. They had no respect for life, not even their own.   It did not matter to them that a large number of their victims were Muslims, or that their action could ignite a severe backlash against Muslims in India.  

Yes, Pakistan needs to do all that it can in eradicating these monsters, but India needs to remove the very acts of injustice and persecution that forms the fertile breeding ground for these recruits.   

The strategy adopted by USA after 9/11 has not been successful.  It is currently engaged in two costly wars that it cannot win.  It is today despised across the world.  Its economy has been crippled.  More of its young sons and daughters have died in these last five years than on 9/11.   Its citizens have lost some of their civil liberties. 

India will suffer the same fate by engaging in military action against Pakistan.  Yes, Pakistan will get destroyed but at a price to India that will be unpalatable.  India needs half a million soldiers to police Kashmir.  How many for Pakistan's portion of Punjab and Sindh?  The Indians should do their maths.

What the two countries are experiencing is the result of six decades of unwise policies that have with each passing years made matters worse.  They are sowing what they have reaped.   

Enlightened leadership is needed on both sides.  Not war.


24 comments:

Da Eternal Rebel said...

1. There is no question of attacking Pakistan, Indian government never considered that. And it will be foolish to air strike the terror camps as the will be deserted by now. What is needed right now is India and Pakistan realize the Frankenstein monster they have created and think of crushing it together.
2. Regarding marginalization of muslims, I hope people "out there" will be in a position to say more when they have a hindu/Sikh/ christian President. So many of Indian CMs are non hindus, the outgoing President was a Muslim, the present PM is a Sikh and Super PM is an ex- Catholic. Hope that says enough.
3. About atrocities in Kashmir, where were the champions of human rights when Kashmiri Pandits were driven out from their homeland of millenniums by the Jehadis? It must be remembered that the Indian government reacted to the gunshots, did not initiate it. India is a secular country, much more secular than others, so even if you are a muslim majority state, learn to live within the secular framework, or keep n fighting the Indian Army which has no dearth of recruits.

Mustafa said...

I am delighted that you share my views on crushing the Frankenstein together.

I am saddened that you do not believe that Muslims are marginalized and discriminated against in India. The entire world and most Indians would disagree with you.

What bothers me is your last statement. I think we should all be talking peace rather than baiting/threatening each other with war.

The Luscious one! said...

@Da Eternal rebel.

If they want war,than believe me we have plenty of people over here who would give them HELL.

I believe in peace through strength, not through Zardari style. We are not like Arabs.

Indian strategists know that once they cross that LOC. They will have a price to pay and this is why India would only indulge in posturing and nothing more.

Da Eternal Rebel said...

@The Luscious One
Well well, similar rhetoric were heard in 1971 too when Mian Bhutoo and Yahiya Khan were talking about continuing the war for 1000 years. It actually lasted for 14 days ending with the biggest surrender after WW2.
Regarding the ersponse, American drones regularly cross the border and bomb N-W province, I am yet to see Pakistan attack US for that.

Regarding the war, no one wants it, Indians being the last to want that, we have a working Democracy and an economy which generates, not begs for money. We do not want to lose that for a silly war.

And since 1965, when the Indian Army had a rendezvous with Lahore, its a policy not to cross the LOC on the western border..that was much apparent in the Kargil war.

If there is a war, India will be devastated no doubt, but Pakistan will be annihilated. So remember 1971 and think twice before you say the dirty 3 letter word again. :)

Cheerfully yours
Rebel

Da Eternal Rebel said...

@Mustafa
The entire world says so many things about both nations, we need not go into that. The fact is, there is no discrimination towards any minority if avenues of growth are concerned. My close friends are Muslims studying in IITs and IIMs and have never faced any bias. Muslims have their own personal laws. Taxpayers money is provided to them when their elderly go for Haj. J&K light infantry is predominantly muslim with the war cry "Allah Hu Akbar", (ur NWFP Light Infantry veterans from 1998 will tell you some interesting stories about that). Its correct that they have lagged behind in terms of education and simultaneous technical boom that came in India, but India realizes that an educated and prosperous muslim society is necessary for a peaceful India, we are working towards that and seek cooperation from them as well. They need to go a long way in female education.

Mustafa said...

Look at the Senior Management Team of each of India's top 100 corporations and tell me if Muslims constitute them in the same proportion as their numbers in the general population.

Look at the closing credits of an Indian movie and tell me how many Muslims you see amongst the technical staff. Please dont point to Mohammed Rafi and Aamir Khan and Shahrukh Khan and Saif Ali Khan and Salman Khan as examples of Indian pluralism. They are artists and you can never discriminate against artistic talent. Where you can discriminate against and the Indian film industry does with a passion is where there are enough Hindus available so Muslims are ignored.

The same is true for other industries in India as well.

Even Muslim led industries like Wipro will not hire Muslims at senior management positions. Premji is more "Hindu" than most "Hindus".

My friend, I have no doubt in my mind that Muslims are discriminated against in India. Of course, it is much better than Pakistan. Much much better. But, let there be no doubt that India has a long way to go before it becomes truly a pluralistic society.

It is however making slow progress. That is more than what I can say about Pakistan.

I was truly glad to know from you about J&K light infantry. Now that's progress.

I have many Muslim friends and relatives in India and they are all truly patriotic to a fault and love their country and have nothing nut contempt for Pakistan. India needs to nurture and protect that spirit amongst its Muslim population.

I wish India nothing but the very best. Join me in prayers that Pakistan should also successfully dig itelf out of its morass and become a positive agent for change in the region.

Together, we South Asians can move the world. My vision and hope is for Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal to become a common market. We would then have the numbers and the clout to rival the EU and China.

Da Eternal Rebel said...

@Mustafa
Well brother the percentage of Muslims in India is a little more than 13-14% so you cannot expect them to be constituting a very high percentage of workforce in India, especially when there is so much to be done in improving their overall education. If you look at it, some of the business giants of India are non Hindus, including the Tatas, Godrej, Vadia, Azim Premiji etc. The father of the missile and space program of India is as true a muslim as one can be. The father of Indian atomic plan was Bhabha, a Parsi. Christians constitute barely 3-4% of India but look at the progress they always had, because of ther standards of education. The state can help but little if the people do not come forward. I see that most mechanics, tailors, butchers etc are muslims and they make it a hereditary profession, because of their high fertility rates they are unable to ensure good education for their children. Can the state do something if you do not change yourself? The initiative has to come from the community, an urge to move ahead and bury the ghosts of past and dead rituals. The politicians of India are only slightly better than Pakistan, so its in their best interests that muslims( or Indians as a whole) remain uneducated and ignorant of their rights. The zeal to surge ahead has to come from the individual.

I agree that South Asia can move the world, if only it starts investing the money spent on Tanks and warplanes on schools, colleges, hospitals, roads and factories. We are doing this now and expect the same from you too. No point in filling the coffers of US/Russian arm makers

The Luscious one! said...

@Da Eternal Rebel.

No military could have survived the kind of conditions that were rampant during the '71 war. No supplies, surrounding by all sides and a rebellious population.

As for '65 war. India was no where near Lahore. Pakistan were deep into Occupied Kashmir and India opened the war on all fronts when it saw itself losing in the Kashmir front. The Indians were stopped dead in their tracks. Maybe you need to brush up on your history and read about the biggest tank battle after the second world war that took place in Chowinda. How the PAF owned the IAF in skies is another matter.

In Kargil, despite the presence of Boffer guns and superior ammunition, the Indians were unable to Dislodge the Pakistani forces from the Kargil heights. It was only the Americans jumped in and pressurized Pakistan to withdraw from the heights that Pakistani casualties occurred. It was military stunning strike but we lost in the diplomatic avenue.

One just has to read some Indian defense journals to know that India is in no position to conduct Surgical strikes. Hell, it took 250 plus of the best trained Indian commando including the Black cats to dislodge 10 armed men from the two hotel more than 3 days. That is very mediocre stuff.

Overall, India is 8 times the size of Pakistan but we have always stood up and refused to be dominated by the Indians and that is one reason for the simmering tensions between the two countries.

Indians really need to look at their media which makes them not only much jingoistic but create false propaganda as well.

Mustafa said...

Actually Luscious, we lost the 65 war. But for US intervention, we would have been done for. What you are quoting from is Pakistani propaganda. Read books written by western authors and you will know that Ayub had to sue for peace.

Yes, it is true that we had total air superiority in 1965. The Indians learnt from that and turned the tables on us. In 1971, they had total air superiority. I know. I was in Karachi and 10 years old. Indian planes were strafing Karachi at will and had totally bombed out our fuel depots at Keamari port. I remeber the night it happened. When I got up that morning, the sky was not blue. It was bright orange. It is a sight I will never forget.

In a clash today, the Indians would be kicking our butts from the first bell. It is not that we do not have the will or the courage to fight. Man to man, our soldiers are more than a match for the Indian jawaans. Today's war however are push button wars. We have lost in the field of technology. We have archaic F-16s. They have the latest Sukhoi fighters. We buy 40 year old frigates from the US. They manufacture Delhi class frigates at the Mazagaon docks in Mumbai. Their tanks can outshoot ours. In a conflict, it would be a massacre.

Anonymous said...

Rebel: J&K battalion. I bet it must be good for Propaganda purposes only. The Allah o Akbar battle cry is of SSG. Try to be authentic here please.

Luscious baby , SOLID reply!

Also correct your facts regarding NLI. Northern Light infantry is based on men from the Northern areas including J&K.

I see such a difference here between us the Pakistanis and Indians. We are ready to admit our flaws yet the Indians still pretend to be flawless. So much for 'whine' India.

Da Eternal Rebel said...

I cannot teach the thoroughly indoctrinated people and do not want to remind of the things clearly painful to you :P

Losses in 1965:

India :
Aircraft : 71 (not Russian crafts but old British ones, 19 accidents)
Tanks : 173
Soldiers : 2763
Paksitani land area held by India at the time of ceasefire: 71 sq miles

Pakistan:
Aircraft : 20 ( yes an edge)
Tanks : 471 destroyed, 38 captured
Soldiers: 3800
Indian land held by Pakistan at the time of ceasefire: 210 sq Miles


"The war was militarily inconclusive; each side held prisoners and some territory belonging to the other. Losses were relatively heavy--on the Pakistani side, twenty aircraft, 200 tanks, and 3,800 troops. Pakistan's army had been able to withstand Indian pressure, but a continuation of the fighting would only have led to further losses and ultimate defeat for Pakistan. Most Pakistanis, schooled in the belief of their own martial prowess, refused to accept the possibility of their country's military defeat by "Hindu India" and were, instead, quick to blame their failure to attain their military aims on what they considered to be the ineptitude of Ayub Khan and his government"

- United States Library of Congress Country Studies

Da Eternal Rebel said...

The war of 1965 was much smaller in terms of losses as compared to another one which may be fought in future. Why let the Indian subcontinent a firing practice range for "Firangi" weapon manufacturers. In no post of mine have I advocated a war. But I cannot help being candid. At least Mustafa seems to understand.

Anonymous said...

The statistics tell the story of how a smaller nation put up with a much bigger aggressor.

Keep in mind how the Indians got their ass kicked against the larger Chinese.

Muslims have ruled the Subcontinent for centuries from Ahmad shah abdali to Mahmood Ghaznavi to the Mogul Empire. They will never accept domination from the wily Hindus!!

Da Eternal Rebel said...

@Anonymous

That is the problem, you have it easy as you cannot think beyond your religion, we have to think as a nation where all religions co exist. With its very low budget and lack of "Alies", India was not in a position to stand the invasions, still it did somehow. A lot of water has flown through the rivers since the 60s. Hope 1971, Chola incident, Siachin and Kargil have given a taste of that. Do not talk about Gazni and Abdali, Indians were never marauding barbaric robbers like them and hence did not seek pleasure in loot and plunder. This is the difference in culture you see :P


PS: It would be better if you are gutsy enough to give your name, I atleast will get to know the person who has so much trash in his/her mind.

Da Eternal Rebel said...

errata :

The Pakistani territory held by India at the time of ceasefire was 710 sq miles (independent sources, Indian claim is 1500 sq mi) , not 71 sq miles as I have mistakenly mentioned :)

And the point to be noted it, India was still reeling under the impact of back stabbing by a former "friend" at that time.

Anonymous said...

Talk facts here.

Don't mess up the facts. You people have a slavish mentality, try to come out of it.

Siachin, east Pakistan are all highlights of the naked Indian aggression and terrorism against Pakistan. You people can't even handle 11 men and try to talk so big. For the size of your country. You are nothing but disgusting rats. By YOU i mean the likes of you who are Hindu/nationalists and indoctrinated to hate Muslims. Try to learn from history and accept the Muslims as your saviors who gave India a civilization and a identity. If it were not for them, you people would still be marauding in your dhotis. You need to reform your mindset the way LK ADvani the former terrorist of RSS/BJP did or get BUSTED BIG TIME!!

The Luscious one! said...

@Anonymous - I will not have this kind of language used over here. Please refrain from personal/stereo typical comments. Also, next time please do not post anything under anonymous.

@Da enternal rebel, please refrain from getting personal here as well.

No more comments on this entry. Had enough of this.

You men need to grow up.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Da Eternal Rebel said...

I have been branded a Hindu chauvinist! What ever happened to good old atheism ? :(

Mustafa said...

Hey Luscious:

Anonymous could be a woman with some serious PMS issues !!

LOL

explorenew said...

Interesting fight on this blog!

I think Muslims seem to be tagged (by others and/or unfortunately even by themselves) as either "minority" or "smaller nation" or "deprived" or "suppressed" etc...

Not to say that there is no prejudice among the people practicing other religions against Muslims but when people grow up in a society which has deep rooted hatred due to deprived feeling, it is bound to show up in a major way. This type of hatred is much lesser in a diverse Indian societies

I am sure most agree that ex-President Abdul Kalam is very well respected by anyone and everyone in India...

The senior citizens of Muslim countries have to pledge to remove these "tags" so that the next generation has the openness to accept other religions while the developed countries probably need to "bail out" terrorists rather than "financial institutions"!

This may even help recognize Muslim religion as sacred because more often than not, people seem to miss the point and start talking Muslim religion and differences in countries etc when the topic indeed is about terrorism!

Anonymous said...

Please check out:

www.ispeace723.org

www.coteda.com

Inexplicably said...

"If its 150 million Muslim citizens cease to become marginalized and begin to thrive, much of the ammunition that the likes of Hafiz Saeed has to play with will go away"

LOL. You really need to live in my country to know the truth. The 150 million muslims are treated like kids in a toystore. They do very much what they want, they live like they like and the politicians are scared to pull their ears since they can pull the toy store down if upset. They are a huge bunch of spoilt brats and like most spoilt brats they love to believe that they are marginalized.

Inexplicably said...

On another bitter note, I have a lot of 'married into' family in Pakistan. Whenever I play the gracious hostess to them in my humble Indian house I hear the standard conversation about the Indian muslim part of the family. About the 'filthy language' ( garbage) that we speak here. "badhiya' instead of 'umda'... etc etc etc...

The same folks when they visit the UK and the US never find 'awesome' instead of 'Umda' the least bit offensive.

Before I got married I was a champion of the Indian Muslims and Pakistan. Ten years of watching both sides up and close I am just sorry. I only found wildly indulgent behaviour, self pity and a blunt refusal to become part of the mainstream. Things will nover change because the Indian Muslim does not want them to change.