Hindutva Journalism - India's Love For War
Lately, The Hindu published an article by Praveen Swami, ‘Talking to Pakistan in its language’. In the article, he, in his usual fancy on Pakistan’s involvement in the 26/11 Mumbai Attacks, proposes to Modi a five-option thought-plan – to keep doing nothing and rely on the US pressure on Pakistan; coercion, by racking up troops at the borders; limited strikes on (alleged) jihadist training camps across the LoC, using air power or missiles; target the Pakistan Army along the LoC, using artillery and infantry; or, lastly, covert means, like bomb-for-bomb strikes or targeted assassination of jihadist leaders.
In the last six years in terms of fact-finding and research has been carried out in this respect and questions have been raised that bar the possibility of Pakistan’s involvement in the Mumbai Attacks. The purpose of the research has been manifold; firstly, we had to protect the image of our people in the international arena; secondly, we needed to secure the self-respect of our people by defending ourselves as not being a criminal people; thirdly, the belief that cordial, friendly relations with India can only be furthered once the Pakistani nation is approached with respect and logical reasoning, not just a blame-for-the-sake-of-blame approach. But people like Swami never fail to reframe their allegations upon Pakistan with a Tabula Rasa every time, as if there is nothing to doubt in the Mumbai findings.
In a way, Swami is right in complaining that Manmohan Singh did not do anything to inflict ‘punitive action against the perpetrators’, when the likes of Swami may have wanted nothing less than a real time confrontation with Pakistan. Perhaps Swami is unaware that Manmohan Singh’s hands were tied in more than one strangling; Manmohan Singh must have known better that the acquisitions against Pakistan were not backed by substantial investigative evidence; and he knew that his government had failed its people by being unable to bar the terrorists from playing havoc for full four days throughout the city. Pakistan was thus to be used as a scapegoat, without which they had no other means to face their public – but that was not all!
Since the 1990s, with Narasimha Rao of the Congress Party, when India moved from the Socialist to the Capitalist camp – India has increasingly become the apple of the eye for the US. Not only has this relationship garnered the lust of India for industrialization by opening all gates for the FDIs; but much has also been imported by India from the US in terms of how to do politics around the world. The US actually sold the dream of becoming a Regional Power to India – in return, it needed India’s backing for its pursuit of remaining a Global one. For this, the US offered India to impress pressure upon Pakistan in all international forums, and the Mumbai Attacks became a golden opportunity for India to do that. The stubborn insistence of India to put the blame upon Pakistan forced it to delay or even sabotage inquiry into the case, as inquiry would be inevitably raise all sorts of questions and the façade of the blame-game would totter down.
Swami would not be bothered by the fact that so far, not a shred of evidence on the Mumbai 26/11 case has been provided to Pakistan by India. Last year, the Defense Lawyer of theseven accused held in Pakistani prison, Rizwan Abbasi, told the press, ‘The dossiers provided by India is information and not evidence as needed by the court. The evidence provided by India is a sham’, and theseven innocent Pakistanis have been behind bars since more than five years, only for the stubborn attitude of India, for whom the worth of human life is negligible.
The truth is that India and Pakistan are both victims of various kinds of insurgencies and terrorist activities; if we are sincere to our people and just to our neighbors, the menace of terrorism must be ridden of at the earnest, so that the possibility of a peaceful and progressive life is can become a realityfor the people. But perhaps this language of love, cooperation and non-interference is not the language India understands – as people like Swami aim to incite the BJP’s hindutva government to cross the fences – if not overtly, then at least in covert missions!
Swami’s lust for war is unhidden, as he calls Modi to consider the options of ‘limited strikes on jihadist training camps across the LoC, using air power or missiles’, or to ‘target the Pakistan Army along the LoC, using artillery and infantry — a task aided by the fact that its defences along stretches of the Neelam valley have been degraded by troops having to be moved to fight the Tehreek-e-Taliban elsewhere’. All this is being said by first putting aside the dangers that India harbors for itself in the ungovernable Naxalite Belt that covers almost one-third of India, and the over 65 insurgent groups spread around India. And secondly by failing to hide the desire for bloodshed in the east, when it is known to him that the reasons why Pakistan had to concentrate to the west had also been created to a large extent by India, in its alliance with the US.
How does it make the Indian journalists humane or progressive when they are telling their leaders to hit their neighbor from the east, while it has been engaged in fighting another menace at the west? If Mumbai can be so comfortably thrown over at Pakistan’s conscience; then what of all the terror-groups that Pakistan has identified, with proofs, for being funded and aided with weapons by India? No more need for Pakistan to provide evidence when people like Swami are openly suggesting that ‘Mr. Modi could, finally, authorize the use of covert means, like bomb-for-bomb strikes or targeted assassination of jihadist leaders’; ‘covert’ is the way India is playing against Pakistan now for a long time.
Not to forget that India, with the help of covert ops., created Bangladesh in 1971, too. Today, intelligence reports on the undocumented number of Indian troops arriving in Afghanistan are coming in. India, with the help of Iran and the US, is trying to make Afghanistan as much hostile for Pakistan as possible. Is that not enough of covert warfare – or has India more appetite for such lowness?