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Volume 3, No. 5 - October 2003

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The Culture of Anti-India Tirades
K.N. Pandita

Pakistani Presidentís anti-India invective in the UN General Assembly reflects the hate-India culture deeply and extensively embedded in the psyche of the Pakistani ruling class. I have had occasions of talking to many ordinary Pakistani citizens. To my surprise I found them equally influenced by the bad logic of hate India. This makes me doubt the rationale of such groups in India who are exuberant about people to people contact exercise.

It was during the first stint of Benazirís premiership that Pakistani official circles and media decided to make Kashmir the one-point agenda for Pakistanís foreign policy. Ever since, successive regimes have held on tenaciously to this obsession. Having taken the rhetoric to its extreme, Pakistani regime now feels totally insecure if it does not persist with the obsession anywhere and everywhere.

Pakistan is a classical example of crisis of identity. Based on the concept of Muslim separate identity, Pakistan failed to come up to the idea of Muslim fraternity. It was split into two barely twenty four years later. Creation of Bangladesh has cast a dark cloud of doubt on the perpetuation of what remains of Jinnahís dream of homeland for the Muslims.

Religious extremism fuelled by the concept of two-nation theory, is in essence the deep rooted struggle for compensating the loss of Pakistani identity and credibility as a Muslim state. Torn between the separatist identity spectrum on the one hand and unavoidable impact of modernity on the other, Pakistani civil society is on the horns of dilemma. A large Pakistani Diaspora in the western countries and particularly in the USA is oscillating between orthodoxy and modernity. The younger generation born and brought up in the lap of western culture is unable to decide whether the rhetoric exuded by the older generation of perceived threat from India on confessional level has to be taken seriously. Those who are convinced become Shiekh Omars in the sense that they feel their stalwarts back home are not delivering the goods and now is their turn to come to the forefront.

Unable to cope with Indiaís growing role in South Asia and the region as an industrial and commercial giant, Pakistan is left with the only option and that is of muscle power. Somehow the Pakistani people have misled themselves into thinking that only the Musulmans are   capable of fighting and winning wars in the sub-continent. This idea is further reinforced by another belief that according to the Quranic injunction Islam is the only faith that shall prevail. The 1971 defeat at the hands of the Indian soldiers is something that has been shaking the faith of the thinking segment in Pakistan about the veracity of the concept of fighting spirit of the Musulmans and also of the Quranic injunction.

The ability of the Indian State to successfully carry on its political arrangement of a secular democratic structure is gall to the rulers in Islamabad. It is so because the basics of Pakistani state are theocratic and not secular. And by strange coincidence, Pakistan never got a democratic system. The Generals have been claiming of ushering democracy in and out of the country. This is another dimension of Pakistanís crisis of identity.

In a statement after Pakistan exploded the nuclear device, her Prime Minister said in no ambiguous terms that Pakistanís nuclear programme was definitely India centric. This explains the deep seated frustration afflicting the psyche of the ruling groups in that country. Where in India would Pakistan contemplate to drop the bomb? Obviously where there is no large concentration of the Muslims. There is hardly such a place in India. But for Indiaís retaliatory action, there is no such constraint.

The Generals, feudal lords and vested bureaucracy in Pakistan have realized   that ultimately Kashmir is the only lever to ensure perpetuation of their absolute control on military and political power in Pakistan. To the ordinary Pakistani, they project Kashmir as a religious issue believing as they do that common man has forgotten Bangladesh.  The power and influence of this segment of Pakistani society is to be understood from the way in which it manipulated Al-Qaeda and Taliban issue in the favour of the ruling clique. Sometimes one feels that the anti-America venom vomited by religious extremists is only a mask and inside they are all supporters of American hegemony.

As long as India remains a soft state and runs away from taking on the enemy, and as long as Indiaís wars with Pakistan are followed by Shimla like throw away agreements,  Pakistani ruling clique will continue with its relentless anti-India tirades at all fora it gets hold of. That Kashmir issue will hang fire for at least another century is a foregone conclusion and nobody should begin to doubt it. For another one century, at least, we have to hear Pakistani delegations at the UN and its subsidiary bodies beating their breasts for Kashmir on the basis of religious affinity. The Kashmiris will have shifted over to modernity lock, stock and barrel and will have left the unsolicited Pakistanis go on crying wolf.

Indians will be unreasonable to retaliate to the invectives of Pakistanis at all fora. So far they have generally reacted with little wisdom and tact. Why not streamline your security machinery everywhere and on every front and forget reacting to verbal invectives? Just ignore what Musharraf or anybody else down the line says?  India is a big country. She must think big and act big. Musharraf calls India the ďmother of terrorismĒ. The world knows wherefrom the terrorists come with ideology, arms, commitment, financial and logistical support.

By allowing the triangular nexus of Generals, feudal lords and bureaucrats of Pakistan design in tandem, only her civil society is exposed to greater harm. This unholy combine wants to divert the attention of the people from the core issues of devolution of power, of democratization of society and its institutions, of higher standards of culture and life and its related requirements to hate-India and hate-Hindu syndrome. It is a diseased mind.


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