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Published in the 16-30 Sep 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

ISSUES

Preventive measures: read the writing on the wall

KPS Gill, in a recent article has given timely warning to Indian authorities to be prepared for any eventualities that India may face in the days to come, on the lines of the terrorist/resistance moves in Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya and other parts of the world. 

However, he is more bent on preparation of the cure, than to lay down any thought of the prevention. Since his known forte resounds to the notion that if you are a hammer, all problems become nails, he has scant relevance when deeper causes of the so-called terrorism and resistance are to be analyzed. The so-called weakness or strength of the nations is not dependent solely on arm superiority and defense capabilities. All situational discrepancies that are inherent in our national policies that relate to our relations with the potential terrorist/resistance groups, should be reviewed and courageously altered to the new situations that might impact on our nations future. 
A nation is as strong or as weak, as its people’s consensus on issues and policies that become the focus of any confrontational crises. People form the strongest or weakest link in any policy configurations. They are the final determinant of a nation’s overall strength. 

The current Beslan School hostage crisis, where a strong nation like Russia, with a stronger leader like Putin, could not save hundreds and thousands of its common citizens, has now become the last straw on the camel’s back and Putin has come at the same cross-road where the Soviet Union in the past was forced by its people, after untold sacrifices, to call it a day and pull out of Afghanistan. 

The people’s voice was finally heard, though only after the faulty policies of the dictatorial regime reached its denouement. A similar situation may visit Bush/neocon venture in Iraq and Afghanistan, when American people will force the leadership to pull out and sue for peace and cooperation. 

A much more cautious and far-sighted Indian leadership will not venture into situation, or rather be forced into situation by its supposedly advisors, from inside or outside the nation, where it will fail to read the writing on the wall and not adopt preventive measures to avert disaster before it befalls. 

Indian foreign policy has not yet fully tested the challenges of the changed world scenario. Before we deliberately court such challenges, we should get people other than KPS Gill to evaluate preventional strategies, to protect our people from potential disastrous confrontations. Discretion is always better part of valor. Let Gill attend Israel’s think tank meetings to chalk out the New Zionist World order. Indian people are not cut out for any imperialist delusions.

GHULAM MUHAMMED, Mumbai 
ghulam_muhammed2@yahoo.co.in

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