The same old story. The Indian government called off a bilateral hockey series with Pakistan and an energetic media declaring 'India acts tough'. Does such a trivial reaction make us feel that we have hit back at the adversaries harder?
It it does, we Indians show to the world that we are indeed helpless.
Two questions demand a reply at this hour. First, why are we targetting softer or rather helpless people or sections instead of picking up the right channels and mechanism to counter any form of offence which we are feeling is letting us down?
Secondly and which is a more larger question: Why suddenly a panic has engulfed our mind that we are being toyed around internationally?BJP leader Arun Jaitley said the recent tension with Pakistan and Italy showed that India was struggling to manage its affairs on the international stage. The Indian leaders were rattled by Pakistan's resolution on Afzal Guru's execution and full initiative was taken to move a counter-resolution. What purpose will it serve? Why don't we draft a bill on food security or women safety with the same alacrity?
India not bullied internationally, it is being bullied internally
There is a feeling that the central leadership of this country has weakened considerably and there is no creditable voice to counter the pressure created by the restless Opposition and the frenzied media. Had there been a face in the government who knew the tits-bits of foreign policy affairs, the endless circus which is going on in the name of patriotism could have been averted.
The behaviour of the Indian parliament in criticising another state's democratic resolution is quite a strange thing. If we are a democracy, then we should also learn to accept the freedom of other democracies (the current Pakistani government is a lame-duck one for elections are due and its resolution should not have aroused so much hangama in India).
Who will decide on foreign policy? A reactionary media?
The fragile Indian decision-making is being cornered by a cry to stop all dialogue with Pakistan. Who are stressing such abnormal approach towards the relation with Islamabad? If some farcical evening news debate programme wants that we nuke Pakistan, will the government of the day abide by such suicidal advice?
Is there no pool-proof foreign policy mechanism for New Delhi today or does it depend on every Tom, Dick and Harry speaking on the news channels to decide on its next step? How does the US react to 'conspiracies' hatched against it worldwide for as a superpower, it has a much bigger foreign policy coverage than India? They start reacting madly?
Didn't we know that Afzal Guru's hanging would have consequences
A beleaguered Indian government, which has no policy towards handling Kashmir apart from adhocism should have been ready to face the consequences once Afzal Guru was hanged in haste. If the rulers had thought it constituted a unilateral action and deserved no reaction, they were very, very wrong in their assessment. The country does not only feed on majority and minority vote banks, New Delhi should understand.
Guru might belong to a land which is geographically attached to India, but the sentiments there are by no means only pro-India. A simple vote-bank arithmetic might not look as simple on the ground. Does a colonial state understand that? Every time there is a terror attack and the only thing we do is to slam Pakistan. Why can't we improve our fight against terror if indeed we are fighting one?
What's the big deal in marking helpless targets?
And, now we are barring Pakistani snooker and hockey players to enter India. Tomorrow, we might see artists and creative personalities being stopped at the border because they are a helpless lot in front of a powerful state.
But in doing so, we must remember that stopping all avenues of diplomacy, whether it is at the government level or popular level, India will not earn any benefit. Blocking all doors will only escalate further tension and finally the two neighbours will have to get back to the negotiation table. Why is there no long-term vision on this on India's part?
Can we spare some time for the real work on ground?
Instead of launching useless retaliation against other countries, and that too verbal, why don't we improve our counter-terrorism mechanism and other anti-terrorism network on the ground? How do Ajmal Kasab and his team enter Mumbai without anybody taking a notice of it? Why do the police let go a terror mastermind without recognising him and the same person carries out terror activities on Indian soil to kill innocent people?
Why can't we reach a consensus on setting up a national counter-terror centre to build up a strong national defence against the evil designers? If we can't address these issues, what's the point in shouting in the parliament just for the sake of showing a patriotic zeal and move a irrelevant resolution?
After all, our own state leaders also move a similar resolution in the assembly to stop killers of a former prime minister from being hanged to satisfy the sentiments of the vote-bank. This same set of leaders start shedding (crocodile) tears for the country as par the convenience.
Paranoia won't help, we have put ourselves in a corner
There is no reason to believe that there is an international conspiracy going on to corner India. There is no reason to attach so much self-importance with ourselves. We have been snubbed by others because we always preferred to be soft and vulnerable.
Each of the foreign policy challenges that India has been facing require specialised diplomatic focusing on a priority basis and not a general redressal by ignorant leaders in the parliament.
We are making ourselves more and more vulnerable with each passing day. Does anybody know where the farce ends?