I have always found an amusing disconnect between how much India screams at every insult it suffers and what it actually does to avenge that insult.
I am even more tickled when I meet people on the street who tell me – “Man, Pakistan and China will totally eat us up, our Government never does anything. We should totally got to war.”
I would love to go to war. I am a supporter of strong military action. But I know that these people can never fight a war. War requires a knack for cool strategy and vengeance above pettiness.
Let me ask you this question. Why is it that our political leaders appear to be so good at shouting and so bad at actually doing anything?
Because they have never been asked to do anything. And they have never, ever been punished for their many failures.
Nehru never lost an election because of his silly notion of giving up half of Kashmir to Pakistan in 1947. He might have died in shock after the 1962 defeat, but his party suffered nothing.
Shastri died of a heart attack after the 1965 ‘victory’ (it was a stalemate with a forced peace treaty) and the Congress swept back into power on a wave of sympathy, but no one questioned why he had signed such an uneven treaty. And his death meant he would never have to answer for it either.
Indira Gandhi died because of Operation Blue Star. She did lose an election, briefly, because of the Emergency. But she has only been hailed as the creator of Bangladesh in 1971 ever since. No one cares that she signed away on a whim and a plea everything that the Indian Army had won with blood on the battlefield.
The BJP also came back into power after Kargil in 1999. Because taking back mountain positions that we should have never lost in the first place was apparently a victory. To whom and how, still remains to be seen.
No party, whatever their claims, has had the guts to commit India to a full-scale war (or any hard actions) because no politician has ever been punished for not doing so. As long as they did a half-baked job that ‘felt’ good and allowed us to brag/lie about it about after two drinks – we are good.
As a country we have never been ready to pay the price a real war would extract from us. Not in a thousand years of invasions. Never.
“That was then,” I hear you say. “This is India now. And India should fight a war!”
India, now or then, is merely a reflection of her Indians.
So what does that make India?
India is free electricity, loan waivers, reservations, one rupee per kilo rice, free laptops, employment ‘guarantees’, caste specific elections and votes for 500 rupees. A.k.a India is everything that is free, subsidized or preferably taken without having to pay.
India will vote for a party no matter what they do or how little they have actually done. India thinks building a temple in the middle of nowhere is more important than building infrastructure.
India wants special minority status because it is ‘oppressed’ but never does anything to change that.
India hoards gold even though it is a dead investment, merely sucking billions of rupees out of the economy every year.
India prefers to daily give crores of rupees to temples to show off its wealth and bribe god, rather than giving the same money to the starving masses sitting just outside the same temple, or buying Government bonds that help build India.
India is obsessed with ‘respect’. But it does not earn respect. It prefers to be cruel to women and beat or kill the weak who disagree with India’s idea of respect. (The strong can spit in India’s eye and that’s alright.)
India has riots where it kills unarmed and helpless people with gusto. But when it comes time to fight for its rights – it prefers to salaam and falls at the feet of politicians and police.
India allows one corrupt official – with one revolver, 10 commandos and a file - to command the sycophantic sickening slavish surrender of 1,00,000 people.
India can’t even wage a war against those who openly enslave, impoverish or outright rob it, never mind its well-armed neighbors.
India prefers to wait for someone to tell it what to do, and just continue living until this imagined messiah comes. And India also appoints every charlatan on the road as the messiah.
Indeed, India spends half its life figuring out ways to leave India the first chance it gets – preferably to go be a engineer in the U S of A.
But India also wants some other people, before whom the evidence of its moral and physical cowardice is laid bare every day, to suddenly come up with a brilliant, far-reaching and powerful foreign policy – one that essentially depends on it growing a spine…evidence for which is non-existent.
Year after year the only thing India proves to these ‘other’ people is that they can buy it a ‘populist’ budget.
So that’s India for you.
But even if we somehow, by random chance, manage to start a war – How will India pay for this adventure?
With subsidized LPG? Ration rice? 10 percent tax? 100 rupee railway ticket? 50% stolen electricity? Tax-free farmlands? IITs that makes no inventions? 10 rupee bus tickets? Bribes? Chinese made goods?
Or, like student loans, will India pay once it gets its green card in Umerika?
Face the truth – India neither has the will to fight, nor the means (we don’t even indigenously make half of our weapons), nor the money.
All we Indians are good at is fighting each other. Now that is something we do with a special determination, vindictiveness and cruelty. When we are fighting each other, in our most petty and lowest moments, only then are we good at waging war.
You want to go to war?
First learn to fight – united from the inside against an outside. Learn to rise above your own petty momentary monetary thoughts. Learn to teach those who wrong you a lesson, instead of being accepting bribes to forget the past. Learn to not be so easily swayed when someone gives you false praises. Learn to accept your weaknesses. Learn to admit you made a mistake. Learn to learn from your mistakes.
Learn to punish such that the lesson is well learned.
Learn to put your own house in order first. If you learn any of this, then you can go teach other people lessons.
Incidentally – we as people are great at saying a lot of things and paying lip service to many concepts. But we rarely, if ever, actually do what we say. From when a product will be delivered to ‘respecting’ our women.
Our politicians are just people like us. Why are we so surprised that they act like us?
Besides, elected politicians know that when it comes to wars and elections – they can win the latter, even if they lose the former. Which do you think they will be more motivated about?
PS: The Army is facing a massive officer and soldier shortage. Feel free to join up. The pay is not so good and the weapons are worse. But then again, the money for statues has to come from somewhere. You understand na.