Non-State Action & the Indian Patriotic League
by Sandhya Jain on 26 Jan 2010 12 Comments

On Jan. 23, the Pakistan Election Commission cancelled the visit of a delegation to New Delhi in a sign that Islamabad intends to escalate the ‘Cricket Row’ in which all 11 Pakistani cricket players in the IPL-3 auction of Jan. 19 were quietly boycotted. Pakistan Chief Election Commissioner Justice Hamid Ali Mirza and his delegation were to join the Election Commission of India’s diamond jubilee celebrations.


It is a calibrated retaliatory measure. On Jan. 21, the Pakistan Kabbadi Federation decided not to send its team for five matches in India “because we feel bad for the way the Indians treated our (cricket) players,” secretary Muhammad Sarwar stated candidly.


The same day, a trip by Parliamentarians was also cancelled, and former cricketer Zaheer Abbas demanded Pakistan withdraw from the hockey World Cup in India to protest its ‘humiliation’ at the IPL auction. For now, however, Sports Minister Ijaz Jhakrani has said the hockey team would participate in next month’s World Cup in New Delhi as “The only way to answer India is to go and compete in the hockey World Cup and win it.” Jhakrani also appealed to Pakistan's cable television stations to not show any IPL matches.


Pakistan, currently the reigning Twenty20 world champion, is understandably rattled by this unprecedented and utterly unexpected Non-State Action by Corporate India. Some Pakistani guests at the ‘Aman ki Asha, Roadmap to Peace’ jamboree recently held in the capital made their way to the literary festival in Jaipur where they predictably found support amongst the rootless anti-Hindu Indian delegates who tend to over-populate such gatherings. It is to be hoped that their collective health benefitted from the mutual venting of steam against official and corporate India.


For the rest of us, it may be instructive to understand what happened, the reasons why, and the motivations behind the divergent reactions of the two nations.  


‘Carry a big stick, and speak softly,’ said the Chinese sage. In a staggering display of Confucian tactics, corporate India wielded the big stick without opening its mouth! Kautilya would have been proud of these Non-State Actors (yes, two can play the game, and how!).


Pakistan has always treated cricket in the sub-continent as war by other means. Pakistani players used to pressure the Indian team with their Islamic unity so much that India for years had a problem winning against Islamabad. President Gen. Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq forced a reluctant India to invite him to Jaipur to witness the India-Pakistan test match there; a move that put Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi completely on the back foot. The spectacle of Pakistani flags fluttering in Muslim localities in Kashmir and Mumbai during cricket matches was something independent India was forced to take in its stride, until the lengthening shadow of Jihad began to eclipse the proverbial Hindu tolerance.


Mumbai 2008 proved to be the last straw that broke the camel’s back.


For all its scale and sheer audacity, the Mumbai fidayeen mini-war on India could well have been just another ugly jihadi assault, like the serial bomb blasts of January 1993 or the serial train blasts of July 2006.


But this was the first time that corporate, secular, well-heeled India was a target, at the famous Taj and Trident hotels. This class, which cut a sorry figure on television, bawling that the Taj was not just a hotel but a second home (whatever that means), could well have vented its steam and gone back to business-as-usual, because this is the class that has tried to benefit from fatuous government-sponsored initiatives called people-to-people contact, a narcissistic belief that a relationship between nations can be divorced from political ethics.


A denouement was inevitable; Mumbai 2008 helped them wake up and smell the coffee.


Ironically, it was the attack on the common man’s junction – Victoria Terminus – that really prompted the awakening.


It was here that Ajmal Amir Kasab was caught on camera splaying bullets from a Kalashnikov on an unwary citizenry, a fiendish smile on his lips. Kasab was later captured alive by assistant sub-inspector Tukaram Omble, who sacrificed his life to make the arrest possible. And it was this act of supreme valour that enabled India to bring Pakistan to the bar of international diplomacy and international public opinion by putting Kasab on trial, providing him free legal assistance, and refusing to rush the pace of the trial under pressure of its own domestic public opinion.


Special judge ML Tahaliyani has conducted the Ajmal Kasab with judicial gravitas, despite immense provocation from the accused, who has thrown all kinds of tantrums during the trial. This has crystallised public opinion in India, across class lines, against Islamic Jihad waged by the ISI. The accidental or coincidental revelations about the forays of David Headley (Daood Gilani) and Tahawwur Hussain Rana in Mumbai and other Indian cities, and particularly the ease with which they penetrated well-heeled circles, would have sent a frisson of fear among the Mumbai glitterati.


These real spectres would have forced Corporate Mumbai to think deeply and collectively, and independently of Nehruvian New Delhi, which has since independence been hostile to the idea of a civilisational Indian entity.


Yet the continuing saga of jihad in India, particularly in Mumbai, where terrorists can be closer than one can imagine, has forced Corporate India to realise that if Pakistan is officially and innately Islamic, then India must necessarily be a Hindu India.


It is still only partially realised that no monotheistic tradition, whether Islamic or Christian (or Judaic for that matter), can countenance the survival (much less the thriving) of a non-monotheistic society. Secular rhetoric notwithstanding, this is an increasingly religion-driven world; either a nation has a religio-cultural-civilisational core, or it has nothing and ceases to exist. The Sanatana Dharma has ever been India’s foundational ethos, and India will be a Hindu Rashtra when she acknowledges this Truth and a Default Hindu Nation when she suppresses this reality.   


Islamabad rightly perceives Secular India as a Default Hindu Nation, and is therefore its declared enemy.


Corporate India has come to terms with this Pakistani perception. It has forced itself out of an induced Nehruvian slumber (perhaps after another 60 years some yeoman’s diary will tell us that Nehru never trusted Jinnah, Mountbatten or Sheikh Abdullah!) and undertaken some firm and quiet diplomacy – very likely keeping government in the picture – and taken the world by storm.


Shock and awe, Indian-style! A rich man’s Nandigram!


Islamabad is rightly insulted; it was meant to be insulted. As External Affairs Minister SM Krishna advised, Pakistan should “introspect on the reasons” for strain in bilateral ties.


More pertinently, however, New Delhi should introspect about the very purpose of a ‘peace process’, much less a Track II diplomacy, when there is no scope for peace without the most horrendous surrender of huge swathes of territory to Pakistan, for no sound political reason.


Already we are the ONLY nation in the world which won a war – 1947-48 – and lost territory in the ceasefire that followed! The continued desire of MI6 and now the CIA to dismember India into manageable estates easy to plunder can hardly be the blueprint for the elected Government of India, especially not when the people of India are waking up to the costs of secularism and the absence of a civilisational nationhood.


As Islamabad threatens to freeze contacts until New Delhi makes ‘amends,’ Dr Manmohan Singh needs to realise that the people of India have voted against soft-peddling with Pakistan to accommodate American geo-strategic objectives in the region. Ham-handed attempts to browbeat corporate India could topple the regime; it would be wiser to see virtue in

nationalism. Domestically, he must start talking tough to the recalcitrant elements in Kashmir. We have had enough of the mindless shedding of Hindu blood.  


The author is Editor,

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