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Army chief's sound and fury signify nothing
General Bikram Singh, the Indian Army chief, addressed a press meet on January 13 on the eve of Army Day. He was at pains to prove that local commanders would be aggressive and fire back if fired upon by Pakistani soldiers from across the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. One Indian soldier was beheaded on January 8 but no retaliatory action was taken. Another similar incident took place in 2011 and culprits went unpunished - why? Our government is weak and feeble-minded.

GENERAL BIKRAM Singh, the Indian Army Chief, faced the Press on the eve of the Army Day 2013. However, the Indian Army’s image of tomorrow took a back seat because of a short but deadly stealth attack of wily Pakistan on an outpost of the Indian Army along the LOC or Line of Control in the Krishna Ghati area of Jammu region stole the show. The media, both the print and the electronic, which had turned up in large numbers to gather hot news and disseminate worldwide, were interested in the India-Pakistan current goings on. The media had its way all along.

But at the outset, we should first know the Line of Control. It extends 740 kms along the territory held by the two adversaries is generally speaking peaceful except the two major scenes of military action. One lies in the Uri Sector in the North-West Kashmir, north of Pir Panjal ranges, and the other one is located South of Pir Panjal ranges in the Mandher-Krishna Ghati area of Jammu region.

Both the points are known as the highways of infiltration of deadly Islamic terrorists from Pakistan occupied Kashmir into the India-held Jammu & Kashmir. Just before the winter sets in and heavy snowfall blocks high passes making terrorist infiltration difficult, the sponsors of terror in the region of J&K, read 'Wily ISI' of the Pakistan Army, invariably makes a last ditch attempt to push across as many terror mongers as possible to keep the flame of Islamic Terror burning in J&K. It is precisely against this scenario that the brutal beheading of an Indian soldier by Baluch soldiers of Pakistan took place. The dastardly episode remained on the Centre stage right through two hours that the General was holding the fort.

The Indian Army Chief was on a high profile mission of raising the morale of rank and file of the more than a million strong soldiers of the Indian Army. The burly Sikh shot all arrows of histrionics from his quiver but everyone knew that it is the big brother in the South Block who holds the key to the armory of all weapon systems, both nuclear and conventional.

General Bikram Singh’s Philosophy of War very well matched the Art of War of the Chinese strategist of yore, Sun Tzu but his brave words regarding retaliation of every sinister Pakistani attack or skirmish appeared to be brave words sans effective means to make his dream come true. Chairman Mao Zedong of China repeated his philosophy of State Power thus “Power comes out of the barrel of a Gun; it is the Party (read Communist Party) that controls the Gun.”

In the case of the Indian Army Chief, he is absolutely powerless as he has no clout in the Government of India or the political parties that run the government. Thus the array of weapons that the Army Chief controls are just for a show; an exhibition to please the boys; not the thinking adults. General Bikram Singh holds a half-cocked rifle in hand that is incapable of firing a real bullet or a cartridge of any kind because the trigger is non-functional.

General Bikram Singh is indeed truthful like an Army officer trained at the Indian Military Academy, Dehra Dun where the finished product of raw human resource is an officer and a gentleman. Like a gentleman, the General acknowledged that there have been other cases of decapitating the Indian Jawans by the wily Paki soldiers in the past. What a shame that even then no retaliatory action was taken because an average Indian citizen sits morose and demoralized that Paki soldiers are not being beheaded by our soldiers. How else will the fear of God be put in the hearts and minds of the enemy rank and file?

General Bikram Singh is good at explaining the theory of battle ethics. Like a good officer-instructor, he explained to his audience of scribes that beheading an adversary goes against the grain of soldierly ethics. Indeed in theory it is absolutely fine but in practice we have to demoralize the enemy army and that can be done by killing a large number of them. It is just a question of: who kills whom first? We must kill the enemy first is the right answer.

It was just last night that I appeared on a TV Chat Show where the topic was : Savagery of Paki army. A pacifist panelist emphasized that it has been our tradition to be humane. We must forgive even an enemy and in due course of time,the enemy will be better behaved. I answered the gentleman concerned and said that some enemies like Pakistanis take delight in killing and maiming. They have no remorse. I cited the case of Capt Saurabh Kalia who was brutally killed by Pakis and even his private parts were mutilated. Unfortunately, even the Government of India did not raise this matter at an international forum. Our judicial system could have referred it to an international judicial system for adjudication and chastising the govt of Pakistan but it was not done. Over a decade plus has gone by and most of the masses have all but forgotten it. But for Capt Kalia’s parents who raise their voice now and then against this brutality and violation of human rights, the case would have gone into oblivion.

The credibility of India that is Bharat is at stake today. If the Artmy Chief makes a hard-hitting speech or a press briefing making a case for arraigning Pakistan in the dock for violation of human rights, other wings of the government of India would come out on the road placing pacifist views on the table of the House. When the Army Chief was spitting fire against Pakistan for its unethical and unsoldierly acts, the Minister of External Affairs, Government of India was pleading for a diplomatic approach to solving mutual problems. The military solution was ruled out by him. Thus, it can be seen that the Govt of India was putting up an image of itself that showed to the world that it was a House divided against itself. What a pity! When the mutual trust is missing, how can an outsider come and show sympathy or lend a life-like support?

India has been bending backwards to accommodate Pakistan in various parleys at the International Forum. It is meek Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, who wishes to initiate a dialogue to promote Peace between the two neighbours. Pakistan perpetrated acts of terror in Mumbai on 26/11, 2002 but we kept on inviting sports teams, musicians etc from Pakistan at India’s expense. Why?

Our two soldiers were killed on LOC in J&K, of them one was beheaded, but that raises no anger among cabinet ministers and the Prime Minister who wish to keep on promoting the Peace Process. It is only the people’s anger that can drive away Pakis from the Indian soil, our playgrounds, our performance stage so that they too put pressure on their people and government to stop exporting Islamic terror to India.

Developing people to people friendship is fine but it must be for mutual benefit. If India is inviting and hosting Pakistan’s cricket team, it is the duty of Pakistan’s cricket players to eliminate terror and stop exporting it to India. If they keep on exporting terror unabatedly, India must stop all facilities extended to Pakistanis while they are on the Indian soil.

Many a time the question arises: why are some political leaders and senior Ministers, may be the Prime Minister of India so soft towards Pakistan? They do so even when India is harmed by Pakistanis. Are they looking forward to receiving some International Peace Prize leading to the Nobel Peace Prize? Time has come that one and all must realize that the” Honour, Safety and Welfare of our country comes First always and everytime”. The thought and action of all Indian citizens must be channelized to do good for the motherland and not just promote Peace with an unfriendly neighbor that is out to destabilize us and finally destroy us. Let us teach the neighbor the good Thought of the Ken Upanishad that the whole world is like a family and, therefore, think not in terms of separatism and enemy action. Let us all be friends, so say the Vedas.

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