Quiet: This is the one word that comes to the minds of those whose blood is boiling and sinews tightening following the Uri attack on an army brigade. They must practice “restraint” lest we harm our “relations”. They must control themselves and remember that this is a land where tolerance too has a biased meaning. Yes, we lost 18 brave sons of the motherland but we have been losing them in different attacks over many years now. And following every such attack on our honour, prestige and prowess, a select group of individuals across the societal spectrum take to any of the ever expanding forms of media to present their esoteric analyses, share their profound wisdom and harangue their opinions.
The brave who we lost.
Then there is Facebook, where we have an ever growing number of ‘informed’ individuals who, from the comfort of their homes, exhort everyone else to go to war. What we do not hear is the cry of the daughter, the anguish of the son, the pain of the father, the wail of the wife, and the grief of the mother. What we do not see is their tears. What we do not listen to is their voice.
Here is what they are saying. This is the daughter of N.S. Rawat, one of the 18 who died in Uri.
Havaldar Rawat has been laid to rest at his hometown in Rajsamad district in Rajasthan.
And the grieving father of Naik S.K. Vidarthi, Mathura Yadav, has said that there won’t be any more Indian Army personnel from his family unless the government takes action
against Pakistan. It is their voice that should be listened to because they are the ones who are suffering the most. They sent their dear one to fight for the country knowing fully well that they might never return. And here we have all the wise intellectuals lecturing what to do and what not to. They don’t need to be pacified by lengthy, verbose articles. They don’t need our sympathy or those trite words “we are with you”. They don’t need the compensation from the government. They need only one thing and it is that one thing everyone is denying them – avenge the martyrdom of their dear ones. So they are being forced to remain contended with a heady cocktail of bellicose and sympathetic words.
The mother of Gangadhar Dalui is catatonic upon hearing the martyrdom of her son. Express photo by Partha Paul
No one can say whether or not there will be a war with Pakistan after this attack.
And even if a war happens, one cannot predict the outcome of it while sitting inside an AC chamber and typing furiously on their PCs. At the same time, there are indications that a war might never happen for reasons ranging from economic fallout for India (because Pakistan is economically backward so they won’t lose much) and our procrastinating attitude (we wait for the “right time” without even having an idea of when that is). Then there are the hard facts. We don’t want to go to war without having much of the international community on our side. (Surprisingly, they don’t care what India thinks when they go to war with their enemies.) At the same time, we still don’t have the kind of friends Pakistan has – they have China and the Arabs and every Islamic terrorist in the world with them. We have a steady Israel whose friendship we won’t acknowledge lest we piss off our so called Arab ‘friends’. We say “we have the US”. We forget that it has been one of the oldest friends of Pakistan and continues to remain mum despite knowing fully well of the terror Pakistan sows and harvests. And we are gravitating away from Russia, the country which sent warships to defend us from a possible US aggression in the 1971 Indo-Pak war. Moscow is now gravitating towards Islamabad.
Army personnel in action inside the Army Brigade camp during the attack in Uri. PTI
We chest-thump about our intelligence wings. Truth is that we have multiple intelligence set-ups none of which is anywhere close to Mossad (even the ISI does a better job) yet who still have some serious ego issues despite countless strikes that should have awakened them by now. And what about the people of the country? We express our ‘grief’ on social media but perhaps only because we have to show to our friends that we love our country. We don’t have a unified vision for the country’s security and future like the Israelis and the Americans have.
As long as there is a Pakistan, we are Indians.
The moment Pakistan ceases to exist, our divide will come out into the open. We would become Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Dalits, upper castes, Tamils, Punjabis, Biharis, etc. We would be everything but Indians. And that is the sad reality. You don’t believe me, see this tweet: Who in his right mind would divide our martyrs along the lines of caste when our soldiers never see themselves under such a light? And look at how a Twitter handle is dividing us in the name of a luminary who actually worked towards ending the malice of the caste system. So instead of expressing our sympathy, lecturing the government, issuing sermons and exhorting everyone else, we must first become one in spirit. When that happens, we will have governments that do not indulge in vote bank politics. And everything will be right from there on. We’ll then be able to act against our country’s enemies. We will then be able to avenge the deaths of our brothers in arms, who sacrificed themselves to keep us united. Till then, don’t lecture on social media or anywhere else.