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Monday, August 24, 2015

Doing ‘katti’ with Pak is not diplomacy. So why are we being silly? By Aakar Patel

Two of India’s dangerous trends are: Misplaced Patriotism and intolerance towards different points of view. 

The real heroes of India are those who “criticize” government, and not those who do the chamchagiri (yes men). The heroes criticism is a warning to the goverment, that they are doing something wrong and need to get back on their feet, back to dharma. Those who cannot tolerate criticism of government, deeply want the government to fail and resort to defending the government instead of opening their eyes.  Heroes raise the nation for the common good of all, whereas the chamchas bring down the nation by keeping their man at helm in a bubble giving him false assurance that everything is alright.

If Modi were to fail, it is not because of the people who criticize him, but because of the people who do not hear criticism, and because he has gathered around him a bunch of chamchas who relentlessly give him false assurances.

A few idiots among us are hell bent in denigrating our neighbors, particularly Pakistan, what they lack is critical thinking and a vision. If India has to gain a seat in the U.N. Security council, we have to demonstrate that we are above the pettiness, if we aspire to become super power, we have to have more allies, not enemies, our sanity is judged by our ability to solve our local problems.

Do not ask the politicians, sportsmen, and those who get their paycheck any way, but ask those who earn it - like the business men, movie people, singers, truck manufacturers and others,  if they are not eager to expand their customer base.

The Indian government has to rise above pettiness, Modi needs to take charge, 
he should scream at all those who are tearing the nation apart, and place all his frogs in the bucket and contain them, and manage them.  He is an intelligent man and need to demonstrate that now. 

Jeete hain kisi ne desh to kya
Hum ne to dilon ko Jeet hai

Mike Ghouse

Here is another good piece from Aakar Patel.
Doing ‘katti’ with Pak is not diplomacy. So why are we being silly?  

Quiz question: Which of these 12 statements is a part of our official Pakistan policy?

We will talk to Pakistan.
We will not talk to Pakistan.
We will not talk to Pakistan so long as it keep firing across the LoC.
We will talk to Pakistan only after it stops exporting terror.
We will not talk to Pakistan if it talks to Kashmiri separatists.
We will talk to Pakistan but only about terrorism.
We will exchange sweets with Pakistan.
We will not exchange sweets with Pakistan.
We will do cricket diplomacy.
We will never have cricket diplomacy till terror ends.
We will reply to each bullet with a bombshell at the LoC.
We will pursue peace but alas, Pakistan is continuing firing at the LoC.

The right answer is, of course, all of the above, which have come out of the mouths of ministers of this government over the last 15 months. I am quite sure I have left out a few other absurd contradictions that have passed for policy (remember the bizarre episode of V K Singh at the Pakistan High Commission?) but my head is spinning. There is no strategy, there is no thinking. There is only reaction to the immediate event.

Look at the comical manner in which the Hurriyat leaders were held and then freed. What must the world make of “the world’s largest democracy” locking its citizens up for fear that they will gossip with the enemy? But have we seen any shame or embarrassment? Not a chance.

Let us remember again why we are supposed to be talking. To make sure Pakistanis stop coming over to do terror, something that Pakistan says it wants to help with. How will not talking solve this? I cannot wrap my head around that. Nations manage disputes in three ways. The first is mediation, which India does not want. The second is war, which hopefully India does not want, but which in any case is off the table as an option because of the N-word. There is only one other option, and that is to talk. The BJP is passing off sulking as a strategy, but I am afraid it is not. If we are serious about getting something out of them, we have to engage with them. Also, and I wonder if this has occurred to those who are paid to think about such things, it is inevitable that at some point we will have to bend. Doing ‘kutty’ is not particularly effective diplomacy.

One reason not to talk to Pakistan is that terrorism in India is at an all-time low. This will surprise those who only get their news from our fine television debates, but it is true. Violence in Kashmir peaked 14 years ago. It has dropped each year since and total deaths have fallen from 4,507 in 2001 to under 200 in each of the last four years. You have to be particularly innocent or stupid to think that all violence in Kashmir is the doing of Pakistan. But even if you do, if we insist that Pakistan is responsible for ratcheting up terror in India, we must conclude that it is responsible for bringing it down. That is something, of course, that this government will not do.

Terrorism in Kashmir, I repeat, is at its lowest level since 1990. Weirdly, this is what has given India the freedom to not engage with Pakistan. I suspect this is one reason, though perhaps not the main one, why the Modi sarkar is playing fast and loose on a subject that it claims to be serious about. It can afford to, because what we want from Pakistan — an end to cross-border terror — we are already getting without talking.

What happens if, and I hope that it does not come to pass, this changes? If the Pakistan army decides to again calibrate terrorism to a higher level, what will we then do? Will we still sulk? It astonishes me that such a fatal weakness in our foreign policy is being continued. And yet it is, because Hindutva has a Pavlovian response to the word ‘Pakistan’. It is difficult for such people to put our national interest above their emotion. I have been on TV debates this week and there has been no respite from the enthusiasm of the armchair generals.

It was said of that overrated warrior, Field Marshal Montgomery, that he had one essential battlefield talent. He had ‘grip’, meaning that he was in control of the actions of his side. Compare that to the helter-skelter manner in which we are being led in this important engagement. Observe the total lack of control and direction in those 12 statements above.

I am absolutely sure that this government has not understood it, but what we have done is give Pakistan a veto over our relationship. This policy, if it can be called that, has made us smaller.

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