Friday, December 26, 2008

Pak military staging a comeback through Taj terror

An excellent article on how Pak army might have planned the Bombay terror attack to gain back the dominant role it has played in the story of Pakistan.

Throughout history, the role of the army in creating the perception of external threat to seize power is well known. Nobody understood it better than Hitler. If you convince your people that they are in danger of getting annihilated, you can convince them to relinquish their fundamental rights.

Those Indians who ask for increased role of army in the country's affair, even military rule, need to first understand that the most brutal pages of history have been written by the blood of civilians in the hand of armies. No, repeat no, military junta has reversed the inevitable pattern of suspensions of all fundamental rights, gunning down students, house arresting and executing political dissidents and sending the country back to twenty years.

An army is not a jawan with a beaming soldier with a rose in the barrel of his gun. An army is a trained killing machine - a necessary evil. Like any beast trained to kill, civilian control, no matter how inefficient, is absolutely necessary to contain the Dr. Hyde that lurks in any military.

But of course we Indians can't be bothered to delve into the deep mechanics of political events and the patterns of millenia of civilizations. We would rather hop from hysteria to hysteria, latch onto insignificant news bytes as statements of times, attempt to deny history and pat ourselves on our backs to the greatness of our civilizations and leer at each other that 'Hum toh aise hi hain.'

Our heroes are third-grade star sons, our national obsession, Bollywood, dishes the same fare to sixty-year old adults as six-year old kids, and we consider juvenalia like Rang De Basanti as serious political commentary of our times.

It's no accident that even after the so called awakening of India against terror, our sense of "patriotism" takes these ridiculous displays and RNBDJ is a runaway hit.

No comments: