|Not your Hollywood Sniper ?|
Yes, the military lost a few lives in the line of duty !But whether we do enough to recover, salvage or redeem the loss is to read in this universal dilemma the particularism of the search and destroy objective?We fight wars no more in the way we did of yore.Instead it is always happening. They are short skirmishes,continued unheralded confrontations quietly in the countryside or unreachable and inaccessible terrains.Covert and normally unreported.Mostly clandestine.
Once again, then, we need to revisit our ideas of the military and its role in a Democracy.As someone so pithily said 'Power comes out of a barrel of a gun, but politics in Command' ! It is great to satisfy our atavistic and sometimes primal repressed sense for power and muscle:of being a successful hunter and getting the kill.But in modern day politics one has to answer the delicate question of incipient transgression of sovereignty of smaller countries whose own legitimacy to exist is dubious.One has to also question the exhibition of might which presupposes a certain overburdened military expenditure in a country that desperately needs finances to balance and uplift its majoritarian poor.The nuclear bravado of the past does come to mind in which the entire political community including the parliamentary left were climbing on each others shoulder to get into a self congratulatory photograph.At another remove one would also debate the participation of India in the UN Peacekeeping Forces.And surely the corollary to all this is the clear hearted support of Israeli style of surgical operations deep inside so called 'enemy territory"(read the wide world) anywhere and anytime.We have quite obviously dropped Palestine from our mailing and friend's list.Azad Kashmir, the Chinese frontier,Nepal,Bangladesh,Srilanka, the immediate neighbourhood is within the scope of our sights.
It appears that the present government is feeling the heat of militancy and botched up attempts of buying the peace in the past.The politics of power and expediency shortchanged what the only remaining heroes of a bankrupt system(uniformed soldiers) gave with their blood and lives.A new charade has begun.AFSPA,Nagas,secession,money laundering,smuggling, drugs,treason are once again centre stage.Nation,Unity,Freedom and Autonomy shall be the buzzwords (sic).Safe houses and hideouts shall be blown into the skies,Collaterals no matter and Modi shall ride its trusted flagship so far : The Indian Armed Forces.
Beware is what Modi says today!And in the last twenty, thirty years the Congress dabbled hesitatingly and mostly unsuccessfully with such strategies.Modi gives this vacillating machismo the full thrust of a bull in the heat.The military acquisitions and the attractive spends to add to the inventory of the Army, Air Force and the Navy also is a pay back of sorts to the rich friends in the inside and the outside.A few more generals and rank badges, some free jaunts for the gung ho in uniform, some memorials,jai hinds,fragrant wreaths for those no more.The bureaucracy-politico-corporate combine would be laughing in the end and all the way to the bank.That the poor cries for the blood of the enemy,too is the tragedy and farce, twice over though. That we are run as surrogates of the USA and Israel as pointsman in all matters is to state the obvious.We now see the South China seas in the east and the mountains of Kandahar in the west as our unwritten boundaries is the fantastic truth that a new India has been led on to believe in.That we are prepared to run and hunt as trained foxes and hunting dogs with our new masters on horsebacks is a kind of surreal truth.Only in this very twisted reality we are all becoming equal partners without recognising the deep, dark demon within seeking vengeance and not justice.
Batman Begins was about just one man.But then,that's another story......