Not so Surprising Return Gift

Not so Surprising Return Gift

It is one thing that we love our army – whether it is ground military, air force or the navy. It is in fact, the same love that causes the anguish, from deep in heart to note that the lives of these very men, who were highly regarded by Indian people were so carelessly wasted.

In Panchatantra, there is a story of three fishes.


Three fish live in a pond that was part of a running stream for long. One fine day, a fisherman comes there and assesses the fish before speaking loudly, "Seems there are enough fish. Will come on the morrow". One fist tells them it is better to leave the place immediately. Other two won't agree (I always thought only humans disagree) to the suggestion and it leaves alone.

Next day, when the fisherman comes and throw the net, other two were caught. One of them immediately pretends to be dead and he threw it away. It swims for life and escapes. The third one was taken home (of course, it was dead).

So, one should have foresight or spontaneity, else he dies".


Now, it is next to impossible for any Government to prevent any terror attacks, despite whatever the amount of intelligence they have. Of course, then when comes to the cross-border terrorism – the state doctrine of Pakistan, Indian Government had just behaved not a shade better than whatever Hafiz Sayeed describes it to be.

For a regular observer, it is known that during the winter infiltration would be higher, though mostly it is concentrated through Kashmiri border. The new year is much an occasion for all fidayeen to reach Jannat – what better time one can select for the rendezvous with seven virgins? And, five terrorists could take lives of three Indians – irrespective of their designations. Not a bad deal, considering the low lives Pakistan could afford. But, India had lost three trained lives – and more property loss.

On the other hand, Germany had evacuated two railway stations on new year eve, suspecting an ISIS attack, though nothing happened eventually. But, prevention is better than cure, though terrorists succeed in winning the war psychologically, because none could lead normal lives. It is a balance that one has to look into. It could be debated forever, like Los Angeles had cancelled about six hundred forty schools on receiving a threat mail. New York chose to ignore, albeit after proper analysis.

But, it appears Indian Government, security forces at border and within were partying hard. And one day before the incident, one senior official, who was travelling at 2:30 AM was abducted by men in army fatigues, only to be released after some time. And the location was not far from Pathankot. It appears, Indian agencies – police, RAW, BSF and IAF were in heavy hangover of the new year celebrations, they could not respond and plan even after it was reported by an SP rank officer that there are people who could abduct him – and they were in army fatigues. May be it is the effect of subsidised liquor that was available.

It is one thing that we love our army – whether it is ground military, air force or the navy. It is in fact, the same love that causes the anguish, from deep in heart to note that the lives of these very men, who were highly regarded by Indian people were so carelessly wasted.

For all his interviews and ramblings, if Ajit Doval could not envisage the attack, and was in Goa when the attack happened, though I don't want to guess what he was doing there – may be reviewing coast guard facilities, may be not.

It is the first concrete failure of the intelligence agencies, for the attack was expected by even second rate journalists, especially after the surprise visit to Lahore. The venomous creature that was, Pakistan could only gift venom – like any reptile. Please, let us not try to identify who was responsible for this attack from Paksitan – the Government, the Army, ISI, Gangs of Hafiz Sayeed – whoever had plotted and executed this, it was ultimately the responsibility of the nation that is Pakistan. Similarly, failure to prevent, for whatever reasons is also a national failure on the part of India.

Modi had passed the test of diplomacy in gaining acceptance by the world in flying colours. But, he shall remember that strengthening intelligence wings and planning counter schemes cannot be substituted by kid glove diplomacy. Diplomatic efforts may continue, but 'taking the Pakistan at face value' is the critical thing. Even their people, neither ordinary citizens nor celebrities like Hafiz Sayeed do not believe their own Government. And, if Narendra Modi and Ajit Doval chose to place their confidence in such a nation and its establishments only undermines their intellectual capacities.

Rather than augmenting the efforts of Sushma Swaraj, in the field of diplomacy, which she could very well take care on her own, it is high time for Ajit Doval to concentrate on the real issues of security – because that is what his job is. Bringing Cheetah and Chota Rajan could never overshadow the failure to prevent terrorist attacks.

It is not out of place to learn something from Americans – who are notorious for the systems they upgraded in the aftermath of 9/11 attacks. They ensured there are no attacks on their soil by outsiders. They might have razed more countries for this and made lives of almost twenty percent world population – miserable, but they ensured that they are not a sitting duck.

India is a country in which people become patriotic only during war or cricket match with Pakistan! Opportunistic opposition and Prestitute media would never allow the Government to take tough decisions and implement them. Already, there were suggestions from people like Sardesai not to go back on talks with Pakistan. One thing not clear is – what the hell is going to happen, if India doesn't talk to Pakistan? Fence the border and LOI. Let them live their own hell and us in ours. At least we get a chance to convert India into a better place. Forget the trans-Pakistan road linkage that is needed for businessmen like Sajjan Jindal, who nudged both Prime Ministers to the talking table. We need access to the minerals of Afghan and other nations of central Asia. But, at what cost? Like China growing pulses and establishing industry in African nations, India also could do. There is no harm in talking to Pakistan, but talks with Pakistan are no better than talking to a wall and requesting it to open so that we can enter through it!

Winston Churchill could not win second term, despite a win in the world war II. Neither PV Narasimha Rao, nor AB Vajpayee could not get a second term, despite being better prime ministers of India, till date. Now, it is time for Modi and his team to decide what they want – of them selves and of this country. They can either plan to win second term – which even Manmohan Singh could get or go down in the history like PVNR and ABV. Once Narendra Modi makes up his mind in this regard, that would be defining the future of the country – irrespective of his own future. Hope, he decides in time so that something good can happen – to him, to the nation or to both.


Kannan is the author of ‘Fizz’ and opinions expressed are his personal views.
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