A week after he was sentenced to death for, among other things, waging war against India, Muhammed Ajmal Kasab, a street urchin from Karachi, Pakistan, is already a non-entity. A small boy asked me whether Kasab was related to Kutub, of the Kutub Minar fame. I told him that Kasab was just a “Mawali” from the streets of Karachi sent here to kill Indians, because there are people in Pakistan who have nothing better to do than killing other people.
People are wondering whether more Kasabs are planning to visit India for more killings. Quite likely. This is something they have been doing for centuries under different names, and since habits, particularly bad habits die hard, I am not surprised they are still at it. Actually, it was not Kasab & Co that suddenly appeared in Mumbai on 26-11-2008 armed with AK-48 and other deadly weapons. The attack was the work of Pakistan, but since Pakistan doesn’t have the courage to attack us openly, after being thrashed so many times in the past, it is sending street urchins to do the job.
Pakistan as an enemy of India is a big joke. Enemies should pick their own size. And Pakistan, which is not even a red country, is no match for India. Pakistan was born sixty-odd years ago. India is at least 3,000 year old. Population-wise, wealth-wise, and in every other ways, Pakistan is no match for India. But like a frog who believed he could match a bull size-wise if he kept inhaling, Pakistan keeps dreaming of matching India one day and sends Kasabs and others to do the dirty worked.
This is what the Soviet Union did in relation to the United States and genuinely believed, or was led to believe, it was really a superpower on par with America. Its friends, the Jyoti Basus in India, the Rajani Palme Dutts in England, etc., told Moscow so. There were also all those fellow travellers around the world, including people like Nehru in India, who went on singing the praises of the Soviet Union and warned the Americans day in and day out to come to terms with Russia.
The Soviet Union, they said, was a rising power, and would one day overtake and surpass America. Nikita Khrushchev, a loudmouth given to tossing shoes at the Americans in the United Nations, kept warning that the Soviets would one day “bury” the US, whatever that means. The whole farce ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union, as the frog burst, without the West raising a finger.
Now it is the turn of Pakistan to threaten India. And just as you have fellow-travellers then, you have pseudo-secularists now. Often they are the same people, or people with the same pedigree. There is a veritable pseudo-secular industry in India now, whose main job is to ask India to come to terms with Pakistan-just as they used to ask the US to come to terms with the Soviet Union thirty or forty years ago. A newspaper in Mumbai has even started a campaign called Aman ki Asha-or is it Asha ki Aman ?-which is nothing but a veiled attack on India for not giving in to Pakistan’s attempts to browbeat it. And there are fellow-travellers here, particularly in and around Delhi, who, fortified by distilled water from Pakistan’s embassy, are asking India to capitulate to Pakistan for the sake of peace!
In this respect, history is on our side. For 200-300 years, England and France, and also England and Spain, were at each other’s threats, despite the fact that the three countries often had the same king or queen, and their other matrimonial alliances went back centuries. But this did not prevent them from picking up fights with one another now and then, fights that often led to full-scale wars lasting decades.
The fights with Spain did not end until Admiral Nelson of England routed Spain at Trafalgar and brought that country to its knees. The same thing happened with France, then ruled by a pint-sized Corsican called Napoleon Bonaparte. He had been to Cairo, he had been to Moscow, and now he wanted to invade England. But the English, a shrewd lot, defeated him at Waterloo and packed him off to a small deserted island in the Atlantic, from which he never returned. It was Trafalgar for the Spaniards and Waterloo for the French, and the two never raised their heads again.
What the Pakistanis are asking for is what the French got at Waterloo and the Spaniards at Trafalgar. A good old thrashing solves many problems. It is for our generals to decide how to go about it, just as it was the Indian army under Gen Manekshaw that trounced the Pakistanis in Bangladesh for good and solved that particular problem for all time to come. Bangladesh is still a headache for us, but such headaches come and go, and it is for us to decide how to deal with them.
Similarly, we have now to deal with a big headache on the western front, a headache that has been with us ever since independence and it is time we did something about it. Forget Aman ki Asha or Asha ki Aman. We have nothing in common with Pakistan except a long border. They are a different country and a different people. Sixty years ago, Europeans were at each other’s throats, with three or four armies ranged against one another. I am speaking of the time just before the defeat of the Nazis. Hitler was retreating from Moscow, but Eisenhower was in Paris, and the British were in Rome. Today, they are all in Brussels, sorting out their problems through discussions around a table, but they would not be there but for the War which decided the fate of Hitler & Co once for all and laid the basis for the current state of affairs, when everything is quiet and peaceful and Europe, for once, is at peace with itself. Would this have been possible without a war? I don’t think so.
We Indians, and I mean, we Hindus, are a peaceful people, perhaps too peaceful for our own good. I sometime feel we should be less peaceful and more war-like, forcing our enemies to think twice before venturing across the border. Had the Hindu race been less peaceful, history would have treated us differently. Let us forget non-violence for a while and let us prepare to fight for what is ours. And let our enemies know that we are prepared to fight, if that is what they want.
[Dr Dubashi is on holiday and will resume his column shortly.]
(The writer can be contacted at 301 Manikanchan Apts., Kanchan Lane, Law College Road, Pune-411 004)