A new brand of zealots have occupied the seats of power in New Delhi whose vitriolic statements are giving anxiety to its own army.
Now we are fed the rhetoric that they will do to Pakistan what they did to Myanmar—a page borrowed from Modi's book of recipes. Although Myanmar has called their bluff stating that no such strike happened inside Myanmar, we will leave it to the New Delhi's spin doctors to answer.
This jingoism flowing out of the corridors of power in New Delhi was easy to ignore if it were not for its being lethally absurd. While such day-dreaming must remain unrealized, this delusional politics is an open invitation to self-inflicting terrorism meant to keep the pot boiling in the sub-continent. Those who are on the prowl to see the subcontinent aflame are ever ready to honour an invitation for first creating mayhem and then belle dancing at a safe distance from the theater of death and destruction.
This absurdity must stop. India's civil society must take on the responsibility to cultivate a sense of responsibility among New Delhi rulers that the Indian electorates' recent mandate for progress and development is not akin to their approval of BJP's fostering of a mutually -destructive discourse in Indo–Pak relations. This brand of ignorance is inimical to BJP's promise to its own people. While the poisonous rhetoric of these illiterate politicians is expected, no one can better fathom the ramifications of such dastardly discourse than the Indian army itself.
A pointer to the sheer absurdity of this thinking is the former Indian Army Chief Gen. N.C. Vij's comment to a TV station: "We have the capability (to launch strikes across Indo-Pak border), and such operations… may be carried out if government is ready for the consequences."
The former soldier's statement is a somber and inconvenient wake- up call that reminds us of the post 1998 nuclear paradigm shift. That India will probably win a small conventional war against Pakistan may not be hard to imagine. Given this, equally clear are the options before Islamabad's civil and military leadership to avenge any potential Indian forays into territories under its control.
Their rhetoric apart, the BJP leadership knows very well the "consequences" of a slippery slope of spiralling conflict. Evidently then, the Indian leader's diatribe against Pakistan is more smoke than fire. What inevitably is more likely to happen is for non-state actors on either side of the border to ignite an international crisis –a scenario India's foreign office is not too keen to see unfold.
Here lies the dangerous disconnect between the Indian diplomacy and the Indian politics. India's foreign office is grappling with the uncouthness of the India's street politicians and their diabolical arrogance. India is strangled by an albatross of its own creation. Pakistan will do well not to be provoked into contributing to unproductive narratives in Pak-India relations.
(The author is a US-based citizen writer)