War is inevitable, have we done our ground work?
Twenty years back, when I talked with my friends, family and colleagues, the intensity of angst with Pakistan was simmering. Now, when I see the reactions on social media and from my first hand interaction, I see it is sizzling for war. PM Modi is a reflection of the intensity of outcry from decades of tolerance and frustration of exploring options with Pakistan. Obviously there is a ground swell for forceful assertion, well we know we will dominate that one on one war, that presumes a scenario driven by rage, years of cross border tolerance and attack on our sovereignty and interference in our internal matters. It is despicable, in no terms acceptable but is it enough to go for war?
If we think that war with Pakistan will be an unilateral affair, we are grossly wrong. First, Pakistan has a distorted perception of the compromise of their Self (respect) and Abru. Attack from India further compromises that vexed self-righteous position. A reaction is bound to follow, it’s adding insult to injury, reaction may range from normal cross border skirmishes (low probability, low impact) to extended and extensive war (high probability, medium impact) to use of nuclear arsenals (low probability, very high impact).
Understand, Pakistan sincerely and truly want to hurt India. They will do everything with that intent. Obviously, India will retaliate, of course with all its might (possibly with nuclear arsenals, if Pakistan goes no holds bar war). The outcome – Pakistan will be permanently obliterated and go into oblivion but we have seen, when anarchy establishes in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and surrounding area, it looms longer and bounces back spewing deadly hatred, not just engulfing India but the entire world.
That’s a scenario presuming one to one wrestling (kushti) between Pakistan and India. Matters don’t remain as simple, China our biggest adversary and the current provocateur, will add fire to the fuel. Our do called recent alignment with the world order will turn their back on India. Irrespective of the provocation, India would have lost the stature – moral, strategic, economic etc. India and Pakistan, both arising from common ethnic stalk, would have permanently harmed each other. China, would have executed their game plan on the subcontinent.
I have already talked about the fallout in terms of human, tangible and intangible losses. We are poorly and completely inapt in dealing with these fallout. With this war, we will push our country back by at least few decades, poverty, lack of opportunities and social frustrations would exacerbate current angst (for details, refer to ‘No place for Bravado!’ (https://mymilieu.org/2016/09/22/no-place-for-bravado).
In software, they always recommend to fix the bug early on, the later we choose to fix, the bigger the cost. Obviously, not having resolved this problem for decades will cost us all these losses. I am weighing in favor of addressing the root cause, we need strategies and we need diplomacy. Do we have those enough? Given a problem space, we need to explore newer options when existing options don’t work. War is an extreme expression of frustration and giving up.
These are not times of repartee or knee jerk reaction, these are times of gaining strength through patience, exploring options for resolution, using strategies etc. We should never be scared of war. War is never a non-option, but yes war is a last option. Even Lord Shiva, the Divine deity tolerated injustice, Nilkanth drank the poison. A time comes when we have to take the weapon in our hand and fight but not before we have exhausted alternate options of resolutions. We should not hold PM Modi responsible for the implications of the war. It’s a common man’s decision, he should act and the time is now.
Am I supporting Pakistan?
In no way I am supporting Pakistan, neither its tactics nor its strategies or activities. I strongly feel, the needs of the time are to explore further options within this problem space.
At times, war becomes unavoidable, says PM Narendra Modi – http://toi.in/GWXtqZ34/a20ei
India and Pakistan: ‘We are like a divorced couple’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-trending-37555309
Yuddha, Buddha: PM gives statesmanlike Dussehra speech, senior BJP leaders including ministers must heed it