Tulsi Das's memorable line, " Jaa Kee Rahi Bhavana Jaisee , Prabhu Moorat Dekhi Tinh Tasie"( God in his incarnate form appeared to his devotees in whichever image they wanted him to manifest ),can be said to be a universal and timeless rule of perception; you see , what you want to see. Reality is a mental construct.Imran Khan's decision to release the Indian pilot in captivity has now violently divided Indian opinion. The devotees of Mr. Modi have painted the town red,, claiming it as an instance of his prowess ,his self proclaimed 56'' . Those who are worshippers of other Gods and those who steadfastly mock Mr. Modi's 56” have awarded the game, set and match to Mr. Imran Khan. His statesmanship, his strong desire of snatching peace from the jaws of war are the subject of many analyses .As usual the reality is somewhere in between these extreme positions . Neither is Mr. Modi the God who will provide deliverance from the demon called Pakistan that haunts the imagination of his fanatic supporters nor is for that matter Mr. Imran Khan the peacenik that he is made out to be . Mr. Imran Khan has the adavantage of his background, he is educated , urbane , he has international exposure he is charming and a glib talker . But make no mistake , he is no different, and the Pakistani establishment is no different from any other. whose raison de etre is the destruction of Inida or at least obstruction of India from economic progress.Mr. Imran Khan is no less a puppet that his predecessors were and he could not have possibly taken this decision without the consent of the military establishment . But ,yes he had the sharp sense of making virtue of a necessity.
There is no way he could have refused to release the Indian pilot in his custody. Everything from laws and conventions to international public opinion was loaded against Pakistan . The only thing that Pakistan could have done was to defer , delay ,and demure . And he tried to do that . Any one who cares to trace the time lines will mark the gradual climbing down and before he made the final dive the news was already out that the benefactor and friend of last resort Saudi Arabia had sent a special envoy of the Prince to IK and USA which keeps Pakistani Military fed and fighting fit , had put in a word . But in six hours flat from a mere offer with conditionality to a unilateral offer of release suggests that the word was accompanied with a suitable gesture as well . No wonder ,POTAS had let us know before IK did ,that we may expect good news emanating from Pakistan.
Mr. Modi's sang froid in face of the pilot's captivity could appear to be cynical but it must have been occasioned by his knowledge of the deveopments. Whether the intent of Indian government of suitably chastising the enemy still holds, will be seen in the days to come. But in the ultimate analysis, no matter how much our blood is on the boil and no matter how much we want to get at each other's throat we need USA's by- your- leave to indulge our blood lust. Not a very edifying assessment but that is how I feel about the whole situation.
I know it is not the right time. My voice may also appear to be like an insistent out of tune. When the politically correct stance is to go gung ho and do some muscle flexing to advice sobriety and moderation looks like a load of weak livered lubricity.
Thoughts of peace in times of war
Pakistan based terrorists were playing havoc in India for a long time.Their patrons in Pakistani establishment turned a blind eye or evaded with ‘implausible’ deniability their responsibility on Indian pleas to take some action. This time round India has terrorised the terrorists and conveyed the message to their handlers, loud and proper. We have confirmation that the message has registered itself on Pakistani minds. As far as the task of protecting the nation is concerned it is done and dusted. Mr. Modi has proved that he could be as good as his word.
The needless gloating, however, takes away significantly from the moral justness and military logic of the situation. India is a vast country with superpower ambitions as such a muted, understated communiqué would have been quite befitting of its stature. Fewer words and bare facts! In fact complete silence would have impressed the enemy even more, that it was business as usual. It would also have given less cause to the beaten and bloodied bully to manufacture some kind of a response, also less of a chance to get on to the escalatory ladder. Reports emanating from Pakistan speak of mounting anger and rising pressure on Pakistani military to avenge the attack.( Ever since I wrote these words last night intense fighting has begun in some sectors)
The attempt to extract electoral advantage from a event which should be beyond such petty considerations immediately shatters the temporary consensus. It brings in other vultures of the political kind and for them it becomes imperative to deny the claimant the advantage. The competitive claim to spin off from the strike can go to the ludicrous length of reminding how and by whom Mirage 2000s were procured. In many quarters a serious reverse also becomes a secret wish .We know our politicians too well; they seem to be derived from( was it? I am not sure, ) François de La Rochefoucauld, an unsentimental French nobleman. Reputedly he could not sell his mother simply because he could not find a suitable buyer because of her extremely advanced age.
Their open laundering of dirty linen puts the India nation in disrepute because nothing is sacred to them . Already, the all knowing CM of Bengal has hinted at some conspiracy at Pulwama . Squabbling politicians have a made a laughing stock of the surgical strike, let us not drag again into controversy and doubt the professional and honourable gentlemen of the defence forces who serve the nation selflessly . Those who love their country more than others must be prepared to put national interest over electoral interest.
We are not only faced by a rogue, irresponsible state whose energising principle is hatred toward India, but we have also a third party to the conflict: the media on both sides emitting martial noises 24/7 and aggravating tensions. Since a strong booming voice that does not crack up is the only qualification needed for an prime time anchor , they have been quick to disseminate and infect the jingoistic masses with unmistakable symptoms of war hysteria. The Pakistan media is one up on our media in these matters . War is a mind game into which a huge amount of mindlessness is being injected by the social media blocking the last escape route to sanity . It is certainly not an aid to sound decision making.There are no precedent for such an eye ball to eye ball confrontation between nuclear nations so one can't venture any guess. Dangerous times indeed.