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How do we define a ‘national security state’? Check out the ideas from the one living next door to us: Pakistan. Everything about Pakistan is built around the idea of national security, or insecurity. That is why its army has such a permanently privileged position in its power structure; its intelligence agency, the ISI, has more institutional autonomy than any in the history of a nuclear weapons power.

How do you delude your people, 21 crore or so, permanently into paying for this folly? By finding a demon ugly and dangerous enough to scare them. To justify a national security state, you first need to build fear. The Pakistani establishment has successfully painted India as that fearsome ogre.

That is why it is able to spend so much money on the military. That is why, as I noted in an article on Pakistan under my occasional Writings on the Wall series, the notice prominently hanging above the head of the immigration officer stamping your passport at Wagah border reads: “We respect all. We suspect all.”

It follows that a national security state is also a suspicious state. And further, that is the reason why it ends up in such a mess. A bankrupted, beg-borrowed economy, a broken society, falling social indicators, garage sale of national assets and wide swathes of territory to a neighbourhood ‘uncle’ as protection fees, and the globally-acknowledged distinctions like ‘University of Jihad’ and the ‘global migraine’. The clearest and the most useful lesson Pakistan holds out to the rest of the world, especially its neighbours, is: Don’t be like me.

In India, it is evident now, we have decided not to take that warning seriously. We are, on the other hand, caught in this new, post-2015 Pakistan obsession. By 2014, Pakistan had nearly vanished from our public discourse. India had broken laps ahead in the race. Pakistan was, at worst, a nuisance state. This has changed over the past five years.

Pakistan buzzed repeatedly in the Parliament debate on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and in the Jharkhand election campaign through this week. Amit Shah asked why, whether it was the surgical strike, Balakot air strike or the CAB, the Congress party’s view was the same as that of Pakistan. Modi reflected a similar sentiment in his campaign speeches. India’s self-inflicted and conscious re-hyphenation with Pakistan, for domestic politics, is now quite clear.


Also read: How Modi, Shah have shred Vajpayee & Jana Sangh’s principled opposition to ILP in Northeast


With Pulwama as the backdrop, the 2019 Lok Sabha campaign was built on the theme of whether you are with us, or Pakistan. An analysis of Modis speeches in just four states, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar and Maharashtra by India Today’s data team showed Pakistan featured 90 times. This continued in the Haryana and Maharashtra campaigns. Pakistan is now featuring in our discourse and lives more prominently than it has since, we’d suspect, Op Parakram 18 years ago.

Now the entire CAB rationale and debate was based on Pakistan and Partition, and the treatment of minorities there. It followed, therefore, that India had a special responsibility to look after the non-Muslim minorities of Pakistan, just as an Islamic state might have seen itself as natural home for Muslims.

This was the clearest statement yet that India too had begun to see itself primarily as the natural home of Hindus, Sikhs and other non-Muslims of the subcontinent, just as Pakistan sees itself for the Muslims. Never mind that the same Pakistan was so bloody-minded with the so-called ‘Biharis’, the Urdu-speakers left behind in Bangladesh.

Some of the recent discourse harks back to much that you hear in Pakistan, full of insecurity, hostility and bile about India. To set the political clock back to Partition, with the promise to correct its wrongs when India has left its most hostile neighbour so far behind that it could afford to mostly forget it, amounts to a new discovery of Pakistan.

The gap between India and Pakistan has now widened so much that nobody in the world mentions both countries in the same breath, not even China. That hyphenation has been buried. Just that we have now dug it out again. Because, how do you build a national security state unless you invent insecurity first? For this, you need a fearsome enemy. That’s Pakistan. And while by itself it may not still be scary enough, seen with the larger threat of pan-Islamism, it becomes a monster. That it brings a pall of suspicion, almost a Fifth Column image for India’s own 20 crore Muslims, is seen as mere collateral damage.


Also read: Modi-Shah’s hyper-nationalism is making India insecure when it is actually most secure


Let’s review the tale of two countries that began new histories in 1947. They chose contrary paths. One became a liberal constitutional republic, the other a majoritarian, ideological, militaristic state. One stayed non-aligned, the other joined the period’s ‘hottest’ military alliances.

In less than 25 years, the ideological state had lost more than half of itself and a third country came into being. Soon, even the new country fell back on the model of the sibling it had left behind, choosing Islam as its majoritarian ideology, and military rulers. Two decades of this beggared and impoverished it, and made it the metaphor for so many third world ills, from epidemics to over-population to endemic poverty. The outrageously irreverential but sharp American writer P.J. O’Rourke chose Bangladesh to talk about overpopulation in his collection ‘All the Trouble in the World’, and wrote a line as offensive, but probably factual then, as: “How can a country not have enough to eat and still smell so much of crap?”

Soon enough, and in good time, that new country went back to its founder’s secular and modern ideal, much like India’s. Another two decades, and now it is way ahead of Pakistan on almost every socio-economic indicator. On many, it is now leaving behind India, which helped liberate it exactly 48 years ago as this column is being written. A country held out by O’Rourke as an exemplifier of starvation and open defecation now has buried both the curses. It is mostly open defecation-free. Its population growth rate has declined dramatically, to the same level as India’s: 1 per cent per year. It is the fruit of dumping the ideological virus it had briefly contracted from Pakistan.

Meanwhile, the dismembered Pakistan realised it had a great natural asset, its geography, as the Soviets invaded Afghanistan and the Cold War shifted next door. It benefited from this militarily and collected huge largesse in economic aid, but chose in around 1981 to employ the same Afghan tactics against India. The results?

In 1985, on my first visit to Pakistan, I was taken aback by how much better it looked. Sure enough, its per capita income was 65 per cent higher than India’s. In 2019, India’s will be 60 per cent higher instead. How did that happen? Pakistan’s socio-economic indicators are shot, a 13th IMF bailout has been consumed, population growth rate is exactly twice that of India and Bangladesh. But it still has the military, a bustling national security state where the prime minister does ‘salaam’ to his army chief. The only area where it is ahead of India is probably the number of nukes. But, as the late K. Subrahmanyam, doyen of Indian strategic studies, used to say, why do you need more when less is enough.

India serves itself poorly with its latter-day discovery of Pakistan as an instrument in domestic politics. For comparisons with Pakistan now, India will need to stoop so low that our knees would hurt. The other way, God forbid, is if we let their experiments with building an ideological, national security state inspire us to remould India of the future in a similar sectarian image. That is an avoidable tragedy.


Also read:  Modi has finished Pakistan’s ‘unfinished business’ of Partition


 

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80 Comments Share Your Views

80 COMMENTS

  1. In those 25 years de-hyphenation was not really there.
    1993 Bombay bombings with Pak instigation, 256 Indians killed.
    IC 814 hijack. Kandahar etc.
    KARGIL War 1999. De-hyphenation ? It was war initiated by Pak.
    Parliament attack 2001 could not be ignored, OP PARAKRAM, almost war in dec 01/jan 02.
    Several terrorist attacks by Pak sponsored groups.
    Lahore bus trip by Vajpeyee.
    Agra summit fiasco Musharraf etc.
    26/11 in Mumbai in 2008, sponsored & supported by Pak. Taj hotel etc. 166 Indians killed.
    Sharm al Sheikh fiasco by Manmohan Singh.
    Mani Shankar Aiyar’s trip to Pakistan.
    Any many other such incidents in the post Cold War 25 years 1989 to 2014.
    Seeing the above list, where was the de-hyphenation in those 25 years that Shekhar Gupta talks about ?

    • what about murder of the Mahatma, riots in Gujarat, Malegaon bombing, and countless other violence, not even counting the atrocities against women and/or Dalits that individual Hindus and Hindus collectively have perpetrated. Stop this non-sense. The time for this kind of divisive talk is over.

  2. Why India is maintaining an Armed forces three times larger than Pakistan if Indian Army is that much weak to implement it’s agenda in a national policy of India based on national insecurity. All bullshit

  3. From what and whome is this author afraid of? It’s now time from the rightful owners of India to assert themselves. Modiji or someone greater than him will see that it is done, come hell or high water.

    • Every citizen is an equal “owner” of India. Just because one community is in majority, doesn’t give them the right to suppress others. EQUALITY. Our constitution guarantees it. We have to accept it.

  4. MUSLIMS NOT CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD
    I think INDIA as a single country within its present territory is not viable.
    We the 200 million Muslims are not prepared to be reduced to second class citizens.
    It’s Groundhog Day again, why am I getting this feeling that it is partition time once more.
    Many Muslims hope a new regime is in place, which will reverse the injustices the Muslim in India face.
    BUT If this RSS facist regime continues,
    Then let it be clear the 200 million Indian Muslims will never live under the jackboot of the Hindu.
    By Hindu I mean the Brahminical caste and their ilk.
    We are peaceful now, but slowly the anger builds and then the resistance will start.
    Civil war is always bloody, Indians both Hindus and Muslims have not lived through one, where every tenth person perished in a conflict.
    We have a small window of time, to reverse and so back to a Nehruvian secular democracy.
    Once you unleash the dogs of war, they will not be going back.
    Remember the war will not be liberal and nice , our uneducated 200 million Muslims will eventually fight the only way the know, the way they have fought for centuries, under the banner of Islam against the infidel.
    Already you see this happening in Kashmir, India will come to know with disastrous consequences that Muslims are not children of a lesser God.

    • I agree with a lot if what you write. Except the infidel part. That should not be a part of the future of Islam. Fight injustice. But don’t call the people infidels. That word is from another century.

      • I did not call my Hindu secular brothers infidel. All I say is most of the 200 million Indian Muslims are uneducated and those who will lead them will portray the enemy as the infidel in a religious war, its inevitable.
        Communalism brings out the worst instincts in a human both Muslim and Hindu. If people are divided on the basis of religion to further political ambitions, this is what eventually will happen.
        India society gets polarised both ways.
        Now is the time for all good man of all religions to come to the aid of their country.

        • I get your point. But the fact that there are so many Muslims who still think in these terms (e.g. infidels) should be worrying for the Muslim community, much as the comments by so many obviously Hindu commentators (hiding behind initials) in the Print should be worrying for the Hindu community.

          So you see the whole of India is a mess – including the Supreme Court that is still to even touch the petitions of the legality of the abrogation of Article 370.

          India belongs to all of us. Let us hope that the blow back to the CAB will BJP see its folly. Otherwise the failing economy and the international community will see to it. China is tolerated in Xinjiang because the world needs its markets. India also has a big market, but of people don’t have money in their pockets, how will they buy things?

          And I would like to see more comments from Muslims in the Print.

    • Wow. Of course. Better try patience, since I have heard ad nauseam that yours is the Religion of Peace. Very soon you will outproduce every single nation on earth and become majority everywhere. You can then have your Shariah.

      HUM DO HAMAARE PACHEES is the most potent weapon ever invented.

    • Generations of Modi and Amit Shah will take pride that their forefathers instigated a civil-war singlehandedly. And for generations that would be a constant source of agony for “the rest” of Indians like it is for today’s Germans. That our nation of 135 crores worths only TWO.

          • It’s more complicated than that, Anon.

            Germany’s problems in the 1930s were due to a complicated set of reasons.

            But if there has been no Hitler, then probably history would’ve been different. Even when it was clear in 1944 that Germany was losing the war, he still had the power to push them to continue.

            Such was the power of his personality.

            And it’s happening right under your eyes in India.

          • @ Rajiv. Fear and hatred of others ( different religion,race, language etc etc) is a tribal instinct derived from historical experiences is always there in society. It only takes a cynical, half educated charismatic individual with no care for long term consequences of his actions to galvanize his target group to spread the virus to the level of an epidemic to his or his sponsors political ends.

  5. India with Savarkar as it’s icon and Pakistan with Allama Iqbal as it’s icon will regress socially and economically. Only Bangladesh if it continues with its respect for the legacy of Tagore and Nazrul will go a long way.

    • You wish. Just check out the decrease in non-Muslim population in Bangladesh over the last 45 years. It’s good to hope but one must not ignore reality.

      • About 11 percent of Bangladesh population are Hindus. There was no reason for their exodus in recent years. Except that Indian construction industry and others love Bangladeshi cheap labour and attracts them in hordes. In fact all over India construction comes to standstill when these slaves become unavailable. Then these beneficiaries become vocal about Bangladeshi. So much for the hypocrisy. Like your ilk , Bangladesh also has its fundamental and communal elements but I believe they are under check now.

  6. Excellent analysis, Mr. Surendra Barsode. For the sake of my, and countless other Indians, I hope your words “Post 2024, Rahul should hope to lead the country to become a great economy with Chidambaram as FM” are sarcasm, not a prophecy (spot a laughter emoji here).

  7. After seeing the vivid pictures of a sea of skull caps burning Murshidabad station in W Bengal, I now understand all the hullabaloo regarding “GHUSPAITH” and CAA.
    Bravo, Modi and Shah for so courageously implementing all your poll promises one by one. SALUTE!

  8. Silly, lazy article. Gupta wants us to hyphenate with China? The Chinese would he aghast. Kaha raja bhoja aur kaha gangu teli. Or we be in a class of our own — but better than Pakistan!

    Hope Guptajee notices the absence of murderous outfits like SIMI, HARKAT MUJAHEDDIN and what not that carried out an orgy of violence under the benevolent eyes of 10 years of UPA (and also the ULFA randomly shooting advisasis and poor migrants from Bihar and Odhisa under UPA. Hundreds were shot. Readers read the papers of Jan-Feb 2005 and 2007-8, since no minorities were involved there was pin drop silence from the so called intellectual class and of course Guptajee.

  9. What a farcical piece lacking substance. Its like saying becise USA has a dispute with N Korea ,and their leaders bad mouth each other, they are now same.
    China has a dispute with Phillipines, so tthey are now same.

  10. Gupta is silent why Hindus from Pakistan and Bangladesh feel insecure in the lands they were born. Gupta wants Indian border to be opened and embrace all the illegal aliens from Bangladesh as Indian citizens.

  11. Article is written with the author’s ideological consideration in mind. It would be foolish to believe that Pakistan doesn’t matter, all our wars and efforts have been to react to it’s games, be it Kashmir since 1948, or much more lethally since 1989. India as a nation lost billions of rupees in Kashmir and maintaining vigil at the borders. The duo have changed the game by removing article 370 and with CAB assuring the native religion followers a safe house and protection. The idea of nehruvian nationhood was borrowed blindly from the west and hence alien, therefore had to go. India will treat all its citizens as equals in the future as was in the historical past. The minorities as more equal then the majority concept until now alienated the Hindus from the social order. This had to go, and is gone.

    India badly was in need of arming it’s forces to safeguard it’s eastern borders and needed capabilities to heavyly punish the enemy on the western border, that is being fulfilled.

    Economy is surely is of concern, however, whenever it rises it will be on fairness and lawbound, unlike in the past. Economy world wide is in deep trouble, but for sure rule of law as being enforced will develop new generation of honest business houses

  12. The way the Indian policy, both foreign and domestic, is being formulated reminds one of two know-alls sitting at the corner chai shop discussing the country’s problems, except that they have the unbridled power to implement their harebrained schemes. What else would you say to that brainless scheme called demonetization; or the midnight jamboree to usher in a premature GST? we have today a government which lacks leaders and instead, is led by people who believe in pandering to the very people who need to be shown the way! Mind you, this is not happening by accident. Hence, the systematic dismantling of our educational institutions, the hounding of our free thinkers, countering any contrary debate with the most vile of abuses and the use of any means, foul or fair, to gain a majority in any election, no matter how small or big.

  13. One can understand that Shekhar is anti Modi-Shah but this article is in the similar vein of Jyoti’s articles- somehow connecting few events or ideas with Modi and beating the same drum of Modi hatred! CAB and NRC will surely become a regular political pot boiler if opposition wants it and will offer opportunity for BJP to milk it. Shekhar should instead simply discuss on the two issues – 1. Having done CAB and NRC, how we are dealing with identified illegal migrants, when they cannot be deported to any other country? 2. How are we going to stop influx of new migrants in future and deal with them? Shekhar should also demand that India should have a Refugee Policy and make India home for persecuted people of any kind. That would be a wonderful aim for a sickular like him. Any insinuations like we have now become Hindu Pakistan etc are rubbish. Genetically we Indian are all secular, whether we are Modi bhakts or of self certified variety. But any ‘foreigner’ will not be allowed unless exempted or allowed as per due process. Shekhar should now brace himself for the next assault by Modi Shah on Indian Constitution in the next session of the Parliament – UCC and removal of word ‘secular’ from the constitution and a new print of the Constitution similar to its 1950 format! With all this achieved, Modi Shah can afford to retire having completed so called Hindutva agenda of BJP/RSS. Post 2024, Rahul should hope to lead the country to become a great economy with Chidambaram as FM. Think of such glorious future, Shekhar!!

  14. Modi and Shah are working on dismantling a false narrative imposed on India by the British and the leftist thugs. It will have to be replaced by our own grand narrative of who we are and what our identity is. Our identity is not the constitution of India, which is only 70 years old. Our identity is our civilization, which is more than 6000 years old. Unless we internalize such a proud identity, we will never be a strong economy or country. Quacks like Shekhar Gupta can keep blubbering nonsense day in and day out because their bread depends on it. But the simple fact is, Modi and Shah are the best thing that happened to India since 1947. It is our misfortune that we got a weak willed Western megalomaniac named Nehru as our first be PM who set the country on a disastrous path. It is going to take another 20 years of Modi- Shah to undo some of the damage done by Nehru.

  15. Shekhar Gupta suddenly showing his true leftist colors. He is proving to be another yogendra yadav with this article. I am not sure which world he is in, India was always hyphenated with Pakistan. Whether it’s parliament attacks or 26/11. I wish India is a Hindu country rather a secular country. All these leftists hates Hindus. Your days will be numbered, if India loses its Hindu majority. You can talk and write like this as long as Hindus are in majority. You are your ilk will face the plight of leftists in Pakistan as India becomes a Muslim nation due to conversion.

  16. India Pakistan cannot be dehypenated unless Pakistan stops sending Jehaadis into India and the secular lobby stops sheltering them. What was done in the last six years by Modi government towards Pakistan is the reaction to what Pakistan did. You cannot call it rehypenation.

  17. Similar culture, similar feudal mindset works in the whole subcontinent. That’s why we are always similar in world rankings in all sorts of things. Religion didn’t help .

  18. Such a pedestrian article.

    When your Parliament gets attacked by Jehadis, your flag carrying airline is hijacked, your financial capital is invaded by Pakistani jehadis — these but a few instances of the grand strategy of sponsoring terror from across the border with the stated aim of “bleed India to death through a thousand cuts”.

    Shekhar Gupta and his leftist gang of Hindu hating illiberal hacks like Barkha Dutt, Rajdeep Sardesai et al and the Left commentariat would then like India to roll over and play dead. Like under the UPA.

    And, btw, Indian commentators pay too much heed to the mythical “international community”. They need a lesson 101 on realpolitik.

  19. Such a pedestrian article.

    When your Parliament gets attacked by Jehadis, your flag carrying airline is hijacked, your financial capital is invaded by Pakistani jehadis, these but a few instances of the grand strategy of sponsoring terror from across the border with the stated aim of “bleed India to death through a thousand cuts”.

    Shekhar Gupta and his leftist gang of Hindu hating illiberal hacks like Barkha Dutt, Rajdeep Sardesai et al would then like India to roll over and play dead. Like under the UPA.

    And, btw, Indian commentators pay too much heed to the mythical “international community”. They need a lesson 101 on realpolitik.

  20. ThePrint sponsored journalists and authors are in fact bashing Modi on daily basis. Shekhar Gupta has slowly showing his true colors and echoing the propaganda that all bad things in India have happened since Modi defeated the Congress lead gang of crooks who had forced their idea of India on the masses and forcefully dumped the idea of India of the masses. Now these crooks are out of power and are unable to loot the national resources.

      • Contrary to what you imagine, it’s this government that has significantly done to remove the crony capitalism promoted by Congress crooks.. Otherwise there is no reason for Rahul Bajaj to feel fear of government.

  21. Mr. Gupta, our memories are not that bad. You have poor knowledge of Bangladesh, it’s economy is dependent on garments industry and the state of other industries are not that good. Their professionals are of poor quality and are not qualified and they are vital for economic success story. They can never be technologically advanced. There was huge UN involvement in social programmes such open defecation. Like Pakistanis, general public are thugs and illiterates and have no respect for civil laws. These two nations will continue to be run by crooks. One jolt to garment industry will devastate it’s economy.

  22. I echo Ramu’s comment. Let’s stop raising this ‘international community’ bogey. Start from 1993 and make the bulleted list of events, and you will see the neighbour’s guileful warfare playing havoc in the region. And we kept tolerating, playing meek, giving patronising advice from the West more importance than our own sound judgement. This is not how the European nations responded to their own Nazi neighbour in the early 20th century.

    Yes, we can say that this government has taken a wrong approach to addressing India’s priorities, but to say that dealing with Pakistan does not figure in the list of priorities would be a fallacy.

  23. In a way, understandable. The original promise that India would eventually be in China’s league, not equal, but comparable. Along with Japan, the three dominant powers of Asia. Hence the United States and Japan became natural friends and allies. It would be a brave person who would now regard India as a natural foil to China. For all his great affection for India, when PM Shinzo Abe studies his trade spreadsheet, for exports and imports, India is barely 1%, China is 20 and 25%. 2. There cannot be a New India without a vibrant economy, poised for three decades of high growth. That is what cost the Soviet Union the Cold War and has now brought China within reach of the US. Our obsession with Pakistan, which is an aspect of our domestic politics, masks a profound failure to live up to our promise and potential. Bangladesh may surpass our per capita income within a couple of years. To an extent not reflected in our domestic media narrative, the rest of the world has sized up India. At this rate, it will soon be a lot bigger but not very different, nor markedly superior to Pakistan. At least I have stopped mocking our neighbour.

  24. Such a pedestrian article. When your Parliament gets attacked by Jehadis, your flag carrying airline is hijacked, your financial capital is invaded by Pakistani jehadis, these but a few instances of the grand strategy of sponsoring terror from across the border with the stated aim of “bleed India to death through a thousand cuts”.

    Shekhar Gupta and his leftist gang of Hindu hating illiberal hacks like Barkha Dutt, Rajdeep Sardesai et al would then like India to roll over and play dead. Like under the UPA.

    And, btw, Indian commentators pay too much heed to the mythical “international community”. They need a lesson 101 on realpolitik.

    • You couldnt give your neighbourhood semi literate uncle a lesson in real politik Ramu. Knowing your aukaat is the key to living a happy life.

  25. I am afraid, Mr.Shekar Gupta, your perceptions are wrong. We are not becoming a National Security State. Army is very much under civilian control. Civil administration enjoys primacy, though we respect our armed forces. Your assertion that by 2014, India had almost forgotten. Wherefrom do you get this idea. For ten years India had been exposed to proxy war tactics of Pakistan, several hundred civilians had died in terrorist attacks. Tell us, from 2014, have there been any terrorist attacks on civilian targets, barring recent attacks after the annulment of Art 370. You forget that the Muslims have many countries which can be called their home. They consider their Ummah bigger than the nation they belong to. Where can the Hindu refugees go, if not to the only country with largest Hindu population? You may rest assured that neither Modi and Shah are going to listen to Sants, Mahants, and Sadhus about how to run the government.

  26. India should care 0 about the world in general and pakis in particular. Just to do what is required for us, and the world can go and suck a lemon.

  27. Sir,
    i believe terrorism exported to the world by Pakistan was the outcome of two super powers’ politics of early 70s to 90s.
    Entire world suffered and it has to be condemned.
    And later in 2010 onwards Alqaida and other organisations vanished and terrorism more or less subsided,
    But after 2014 when almost terrorism has reduced to great extent, Modi, Shah and BJP are still milking it by creating a false insecurities amongst the Indians.
    But creating insecurities among the Hindus will polarise their vote bank and they are serving their best interests. And in politics if not for the top two Gujjus, any would have played this dirty game.

  28. The Fourth Estate has failed this great country…… Media could not gauge public mood any more…. Media now-a-days speaks their individual self instead of public mood….. Media could not gauge public anger over Pakistan’s atrocities along the border due to previous Govts mute or no response….. Pakistan can not take India granted under Modi – Shah now…… Why there is public anger for Nirbhaya Rapists and cry for hanging them in public….. Bcoz of politicisation of law enforcement agencies and failure of media to check Govt over the years and judicial apathy…. But Sickular media, instead of helping law enforcement agencies as in the previous times, pressurising police to act instantly and provide justice……

  29. India should not compare with Pakistan, which is a terrorist state. India is of the size of China which also faced Jihadi terror. But China devised successful methods to set them right by establishing camps. India can learn from Chinese ways of dealing with similar jihadis here.

    • Surprising how a writer who people
      In the comments section are blasting for being too leftist is actually full of hate himself . You Indians do not understand Pakistan and have too high an option of yourselves . It was your time and you squandered it. The future is ours for the taking. Pakistanis are not the hate filled creatures you have your self believing in. Sad to see that you have so much hate in your hearts.

  30. Pakistan was always a narrative. But we had stopped reacting to it at the cost of our citizen suffering. Now when it is addressed u make a meaning that Pakistan narrative is in forefront.
    You can not ignore cancer.. it will eat u completely unless u treat it.

  31. Shekhar Gupta.. Inhave huge respect for ur intelligence. But u are painting this picture in a biased manner.
    You have ignored and twisted many facts to prove ur point.

  32. Hinduphobic writers like Shekhar Gupta are very upset that Hindus are now looking after themselves, in their own nation as well as in their neighbours. They love UPA / Congress regimes when Hindus were l*cking wounds inflicted by Pak or even Maldives.

    • I am old enough to have lived in the society that you are referring to. Never had to defend my faith – and I have been a practicing Hindu. Whose experience do I relate to – that of self-serving political thugs or mine and that of my family and friends of all faiths? Let us stop and reflect. There are more good people among us than politicians – electoral bonds, ad spends for self-promotion, jets in states that are no more than 500×500 kms, BMWs and fancy cars when people are dying of hunger and/or malnutrition. Who should we trust? Who do we want to?

  33. Fantastic analysis and kudos to illustration. Modi, Shah and BJP on the one hand claim that both Pakistan and Congress has been shown their right place as no body in India talks about them,but still every day they only talk about Pakistan and Congress. Obviously, both are good shield to cover the core issues. How long would remain a question.

    • ..because they think that rest of us are idiots and can’t see through their game. Even if we did, they seem to believe that we can always be asked shut up by abusing us or threatening us.

  34. Shekhar ji, I find no mention of INC’s soft corner and ideological alliance with Pakistan. More often than not, Gandhi family, Mani Shankar, Sibal, Gulam Nabi have taken refuge in Pakistani Support to de-throne Modi. It’s a straight narrative. Don’t blame Modi, but Congress for this day. After all every one makes hay when the sun shines.

  35. Mr Shekhar Gupta, your understanding that by 2014,Pakistan was vanished completely from public perception discourse is completely wrong. Infact every Indian heart was burning inside for India’s ineptness in responding Pakistan’s open daring proxy war in war, its attrocious extending its Proxy War outside J&K by bomb blasting at Army HQ base, attacking Bangalore & other parts of Indian cities including most inhuman attack at Mumbai & worst daring attack on our Parliament. Mr Shekhar Gupta Do you think Indian People have forgotten all these acts done by Pakistan by 2014 ?. No Sir,never any Indian forget it,in fact it was hurting every Indian for non-action from every Indian Govt under Nuclear blackmailing threat of Pakistan. So one can not blame People who liked a Political Party which talks , also acts & gives response to Pakistan Proxy War. That is why People voted BJP & dislike who ever talks against response to Pakistan. That is why People do not like any Political Party or Journalists or Press or Media who talks & express views which are exactly similar to views of Pakistan.It is not only BJP, even common man of India ask whether you are with us or Pakistan. Majority of Indians who knows the wounds inflicted by China in 1962 still not forgotten it & that is why most of Indians hate China.

    • “Everything about Pakistan is built around the idea of national security, or insecurity. ”

      Maybe it has something to do with being sandwiched between two hostile neighbors. One that frequently threatens “sarjikal strike” and nuclear war and the other that exports terrorists to our country

      • If your government had spent funds on good education facilities in Pakistan, you would have read and be able to comprehend this writeup! Maybe also learnt why both (actually 3, even Iran) are ‘hostile’! Readup to see who started all wars starting from 1948..and then the proxies for hijacking, terrorist activities. Creating Taliban terrorism to ruin Afghanistan! Your PM talks about genocide, but again IM the DIM probably doesnt realise his uncle played a big role in the actual genocide his uncle committed in East Pakistan! So no, its got nothing to do with a Sandwich, but lots with the Jihadi Gosht you have become famous for worldwide..aka Terroristan!

  36. Shekhar Gupta sees a storm in a teacup in CAB and NRC to compare India with Pakistan and he does this to criticise Mr. Modi and Mr. Amit Shah which is his primary aim and pet project closest to his heart. Shekhu come to your senses and do justice to your job which is to respect wisdom and not insult it and readers who value it immensely..

  37. Mr Gupta,
    I read most of your article without distracting myself. This is the only article that I think makes sense to me. thank you. What matters to me is that India does not become Pakistan. Modi-Shah don’t care if we do, as they are only serving themselves, while pretending to serve us. To me their language and actions have always been give aways – power, seats, money and use all the possible means to get or stay in power. Keep abusing people who are dead. How does it make any one a stateman or a caring leader???
    Your own writings have many a times promote right wing ideology – particularly when you write about military. Military power and defense spends are wasteful – everyone knows. You invest in something that you always hope that it will never be used!!! Get people to commit themselves to die by creating a fear of the known and unknown. I have worked with service professionals at multiple levels and have many in my own family – like many of us. You never see them war-mongering. our politicians are just doing that.
    unasked for advice – let us focus on how we can progress rather than sending everyone to Pakistan.

    • Yes, and every right thinking individual needs to ensure that the government of the day has its eyes firmly set on arresting the economic freefall and keeping the nation on the path to growth and prosperity. If we are unable to provide employment to our teeming millions, then even God won’t be able to save us from social and moral degradation. These national security distractions will lead to economic ruin as in the case of Pakistan. This is a cogently argued piece and my compliments to Mr Gupta.

    • We have diversionary tactics to detract all of us from the bread & butter issues such as an economy in doldrums, pathetic state of education and employment, and practically non-existent universal healthcare – which are the main pillars on which a modern nation is built, yes modern and not some mythical state! We have splendid smoke-and-mirror acts performed daily to fool the public with fudged figures and fake issues. And we have a bogey for fear-mongering, raking up buried issues and opening up old wounds, as if we can change history.
      Yes, the Congress screwed up big time in the past for which they have been rightly cast into political wilderness, but how long will the present ruling dispensation keep blaming others, and get away covering up their own ineptitude? How far deep in history do we wish to go back to apportion blame for the sad state of affairs? Do we drive ahead into the future by looking at the rear view mirror?
      The plain fact behind all this subterfuge is Modi-Shah & Co. are very good at playing populist politics but sorely lacks talent and domain expertise when it comes to steering the country ahead. It is no surprise we are emulating a ‘failed’ state next door, playing the same old myopic politics of hate, divide and discontent. We are playing with the same fire that has singed our neighbour!

    • ThePrint sponsored journalists and authors are in fact bashing Modi on daily basis. Shekhar Gupta has slowly showing his true colors and echoing the propaganda that all bad things in India have happened since Modi defeated the Congress lead gang of crooks who had forced their idea of India on the masses and forcefully dumped the idea of India of the masses. Now these crooks are out of power and are unable to loot the national resources.

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