18 September 2016, has been a terrible day for us Indians. We woke up to the terrible news of 17 of our soldiers being martyred in a terrorist attack in Uri, Kashmir. It feels immensely painful. And It is impossible to express the pain accurately in words. No amount of the saddest words can depict the grief which patriotic Indians go through during such events. Every such terrorist strike brings back the painful memories of 26/11 and that terrible feeling of being slapped hard which I had felt way back then.
No amount of words can thank our soldiers and police who dedicate their entire lives so that we can live safely. I salute the soldiers martyred and injured in today’s attack.
I got this terrible news from twitter. But along with this painful news ,there is one more thing which bothers me. This thing is the low levels of understanding on the issue of internal security of the Country, which many people have – especially those people who classify themselves as Right Wingers.
This lack of understanding gets evident from the tweets and comments I observed on twitter on the Uri attack throughout the day. Some of the common tweets/comments I observed include
1) “Where is 56 inches?”
2) “It is time for action and not just condemn”
3) “Destroy Pakistan with missiles !!!”
4) “We Need to be like Israel”
Let us find if these comments are meaningful or just a frenzied outburst.
I have been observing terrorism in India since the past 8 years. 1 of the problems with terrorism in India is that there have been so many attacks in the past decade and yet we have very poor memory of terrorist strikes. And hence I would like the readers to go back in time., because unless we do that , we would never be able to make accurate judgements.
Let us go back to the 2005-2013 period. I attach the wikipedia list of terrorist incidents in India here. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_terrorist_incidents_in_India This list contains most, if not all terrorist strikes in the recent past ,especially the last decade and a half. The 2005-2013 was a very bloody phase of Indian history when it comes to terrorism.
This is because earlier terrorism in India had some geographical limits – it was limited to Northeast ,followed by Punjab, Kashmir and Mumbai. But during the 2005-2013 period , we saw that terrorism penetrated every region of the Country. Beginning from the 2005 Delhi bomb blasts to the 2013 Patna blasts [Hunkaar rally blast] , pakistan sponsored terrorism struck every nook and corner of India. Forget metros , even smaller cities like Varanasi were bombed not once , but thrice !!! From Jaipur to Guwahati to Bengaluru to Pune to Hyderabad – many cities were bombed ,some more than once.
The primary reason for this was UPA government’s disastrous policies with respect to National security to appease its “minority” special religion vote bank. This point itself could be the subject of a separate blog post. One of the first things which UPA government did in 2004 on coming to power is to repeal the Prevention Of Terrorism Act [POTA] under the pretext of it being anti-minority. The hands of the intelligence agencies were tied up. The Ishrat Jahaan Fiasco is very well known and one can easily judge the impact it would have had on the morale of intelligence agencies. The UPA govt did nothing to fence and seal the India-Bangladesh border which was one of the favourite routes of terrorists. 25 terrorists [including the handler of the Pathankot attack] were released for FREE as a “GOODWILL” gesture by UPA government in 2010. These are just some of the points of the disastrous UPA policy. It’s policy led to a large number of terrorists infiltrating India , many of them as sleeper cells.
Now go back in time to 2014. Against this messy background in India , a new and deadlier terrorist group ,the ISIS was gaining power in West Asia. After taking charge as PM in 2014, one of the first things which Modi did is to give a free hand to intelligence agencies and anti-terrorism agencies like NIA to take down on terrorists and their activities. Three facts bear testimony to this fact.
1)The appointment of Ajit Doval as NSA.
2)The large number of terrorist rackets and cells busted during the 2014-2016 period and terrorists arrested.
3)Barring a single bomb blast in Bengaluru , NO ATTACK HAS TAKEN PLACE OUTSIDE KASHMIR,PUNJAB AND NORTHEAST.
This third fact must be read again and again , especially by those who asked “Where is 56 inches?” in the aftermath of Uri attack today. Because considering the mess that the UPA government had left India in , especially with respect to security , the 3rd fact mentioned here would not have been possible without a 56 inch effort. Even in Punjab, 1 of the 2 terrorist strikes failed in its objective due to timely action taken by government on intelligence inputs.
Also once again considering the mess that the UPA government had left the security of the Nation with 2 years ago, the large number of sleeper cells, there will be some days especially in the initial years of Modi government when no matter how hard the security agencies work ,they will fail to stop a terrorist strike – and today was one such unfortunate day.
The main reason for revisiting the recent past and the deeds of UPA is that IF WE DO NOT REMEMBER THE PAST THAT WAS INHERITED TWO YEARS AGO and DO NOT OBSERVE HOW THINGS HAVE IMPROVED [fact 3] SINCE THEN , WE WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO MAKE THE RIGHT JUDGEMENT on the success/failure of government and “56 inches”.
If at all there is a government who can fight terrorism in India , it is the 1 led by Narendra Modi.
Now coming down to the 2nd and 3rd comments – “It is time for action and not just condemn” and “Destroy Pakistan with missiles”
The Uri attack was not done directly by pakistan army , but by its proxy terrorists. Pakistan is fighting a proxy war against India in the form of terrorism.
Now the question is , can we punish Pakistan for its proxy war by waging a real war against it ,[comment 3-“Destroy Pakistan with missiles”] . Let me give a clear answer to it and then explain it. The answer – whether one likes it or not is a loud ,clear NO.
The reason is simple – Pakistan today , has atleast a 100 nuclear weapons. Now India has more nuclear weapons than Pakistan. If Pakistan uses its nuclear weapons on India and if India retaliates then there would be no Pakistan on this earth. But things are not this simple.
Because as a matter of fact ,Pakistan is controlled by its army and ISI , both of which do not care about the ordinary people of Pakistan. This attitude has made Pakistan a self destroying Nation.
If at all war happens ,then the army men and ISI ruling pakistan would not hesitate to use Nuclear weapons against India ,as they do not really care what will happen to Pakistan if India retaliates.
Now consider a scenario ,where Pakistan fires 100 of its 100 nuclear weapons against India. Even if 20 nuclear weapons hit their target ,the loss on Indian side would not be in thousands or lakhs but in crores of lives. Considering the mess in which UPA govt had left India two years ago, OUR MISSILE DEFENCE SYSTEM IS STILL NOT IMPENETRABLE ENOUGH to stop all the 100 incoming missiles. Hence out of 100 incoming missiles,20 are more than likely to hit us.
Imagine an India without 20 of its cities. LOSING CRORES OF PEOPLE AND DESTROYING THE ECONOMY TO AVENGE THE MURDER OF A FEW 100s DOES NOT MAKE ANY SENSE FROM MILITARY AS WELL AS ECONOMIC POINT OF VIEW,
In its 10 years ,the UPA destroyed India’s defence preparedness as well as Indian economy. Also , an attacked Pakistan is more than likely to be helped by China – and we are in no position to fight both at the same time. Even if other Countries like US ,UK and France join us , the casualties on our side would still be in crores. Also , even if China does not help Pakistan initially , an India weakened by deadly nuclear strikes from Pakistan is more likely to be attacked by China. These considerations make it further difficult to fight a direct war against pakistan.
Hence , Pakistan’s proxy war cannot be fought back with a direct war. It will have to be fought with a proxy war. This war has to be fought by intelligence agencies like RAW, Once again , previous governments – Morarji Desai govt, I.K. Gujral govt and UPA govt had severely destroyed or hampered the Capabilities of RAW in Pakistan. One can google and know how former PM Morarji Desai revealed the details of RAW’s operations to infiltrate Pakistan’s nuclear facilities on phone to ZIa-Ul-Haq , or how I.K. ,Gujral ended all RAW operations in Pakistan,
Dismantling an existing network is easy , but rebuilding such a network in an enemy Country and making it capable enough of surgical strikes is something which takes years – mere 2 years are not enough. Thus ,while the retaliatory operations will be covert , they will also require time.
Now coming to the last comment – “We Need to be like Israel” . Well the fact is ,that Israel does not have nuclear armed neighbours like Pakistan and China – with 100 and 400+ nuclear warheads. None of Israel’s neighbours and enemies possess nuclear weapons. Also, Israel never had self-destructive governments like those of Morarji Desai, I.K. Gujral or the UPA government of Manmohan Singh.
Hence ,Israel can freely attack its non nuclear armed enemies while India cannot. The time for India to behave like Israel was when Pakistan had no nuclear weapons. But at that time we failed miserably. Nehru failed us in 1947 war, 1965 war was a stalemate, Indira failed us in 1971,Morarji in 1978 and then Pakistan was nuclear by 1990s.
Thus , the only solution we have is busting and destroying the terrorist cells and networks in our Country and at the same time rebuilding the capabilities of our intelligence agencies for surgical strikes. While the former is clearly going on , we can hope that the latter must be going on as well.
Finally, I would like to mention the “frenzied stupidity” mentioned in the title of this post is making illogical comments in anger like the once mentioned in this post. Getting angry and outraging is different and even I am angry at this attack.
Now I end this post by once again saluting the martyrs injured soldiers of Uri. What I do to fight terrorism from my side is something which all of us can do. Every time,I have a look beneath my seat after sitting in a train or bus. Jai Hind.