Rubicon in Indian Geopolitics

Tomes will be written about how the Indian Army showed Pakistan its place, by the surgical strike on 29th of September 2016 (29/09). In a significant deviation from previous stances, the Indian Govt decided to tell Pak that it has been violated. This is a scenario of nightmares for Pakistan. As many have rightly pointed out, the nuclear bluff has been called; and Pakistan was made to stand alone. There is widespread jubilation from a mercurial Indian population; and a fair amount of chest thumping too. This post isn't about any of those. We peek into how the future will unfold:

1. The gauntlet has been thrown:

India has told Pak, "you hit - I will hit back". India and Pak both know Pak will not escalate this beyond this level at the conventional theatre. In fact, with increased levels of alertness in the IA camp, Pak will not even try to attempt another face-to-face with the Indian army. However, keeping with their strategic goal of dismembering India, Pak will rise up to the challenge. The gauntlet is thrown, and the challenge will be accepted.

2. Sleeper cells will be activated:

It is no secret that Pakistan has carefully nurtured innumerable number of sleeper cells in India. While many of the white collar sleeper cells are likely lured by money (like many from Indian Media), this isn't the entire picture. While these cells cause heartburn to neutrals / informed nationalists, they are a spent force. On the other hand, much of the Pak retaliation for 29/09 will be spearheaded by people persuaded by religious edicts. As to what manifestation these edicts will take, is left to the reader's intellect.

3. Public vigil and suspicion will be key:

When the celebration over 29/09 calms down, reality will hit. Every unattended baggage is a potential bomb threat. Every person videographing / photographing a place extensively is a scout. While terrorists and their scouts come in all shapes, sizes and skin colors (Headley - for instance), profiling will and must become a reality. Will it cause heartburn to many religious yet nationalist Muslims? Yes. But such vigilance is also a small price to pay for any untoward incidents. Imagine a bomb blast and a subsequent riot; suspicion is a smaller price.

4. Religious war is an inevitable reality:

One of the most potent weapon in Pakistani hands, is the cohort of Indian Muslims. Before anyone goes on a bender - yes, we have had Kalam, we have Mahroof Raza; or a Syed Ata Hasnain; a Akbaruddin (former MEA); but it is also true that we have had Azad Maidan rioters, Owaisi, Ahmad Patel, Shahabuddin, Syed Ahmad Basha, Geelani, and innumerable others who have actively provoked violence against Indian state in the name of their religion. While the silent majority just goes on about their own lives, it is unclear as to where their loyalties would lie if Pak were to publicize this fight as a clash between Islam and Kafir India (which is what it really is). It is likely that most would choose India - but it is also very acutely likely that a sufficient number (even if not a large proportion) would declare their allegiance to their religion against the Kafir state. Alas, 200 millions is a huge number and even a small proportion (0.1% or 1 in a 1000) is a sufficiently large number to cause significant damage to India. The reality of these numbers and unclear allegiance is something that Indian Muslims would do well to face up front.

5. Responsibility of minorities and particularly - Muslims:

Integrate. If your religious identity is more important than national integration - don't blame the rest when they look at your suspiciously. Stop using Arabic / Urdu script as a weapon of segregation. Write your masjid messages in local languages. Do your prayers in a language that the local population understands. What about your right to practice religion? That right still exists - but only the barriers of misunderstanding will be gone. Unless of course, the barrier to (mis)understanding is intentional.  Civilize - stop using mosques as crowd gathering systems to foment public unrest. Come out against violent verses in Quran - spearhead the movement to edit out anachronistic parts of the book that cause social unrest in a pluralistic society. You are part of a pluralistic democratic society; learn to live with the fact. If you are entering a perpetual war with a democratic society, be prepared for a pushback from the society.

More importantly, stop stressing that your religion is superior; stop calling Hindus as Kafirs - even in private conversations. It is derogatory, and you know it. If you don't proactively remove the self imposed and superiority driven isolation of your community, you can't hold the "Kafir" responsible for his / her informed suspicion.

As for why I singled out Indian Muslim community: Islam unfortunately connects Indian Muslims with Pakistan - but not other religions. Sorry - realities are harsh.

All in all, the free ride and the fun rides are over. It is about time India - the political entity - wakes up to reality of post 29/09 warfare. The sooner, the better.


  1. Interesting piece. Keep writing, BRFite.

  2. My comments on your interesting observations post surgical strike:

    1. "The gauntlet is thrown, and the challenge will be accepted." I am not so sure about both the observations. This is not WWF match to throw gauntlets. India's immediate aim is tactical; to prevent Pak based terrorist infiltration which had been encouraging "azadi" types to get more vicious. By and large that aim appears to have been achieved. This is not the 1st time public agitations have subsided after building to a high pitch. But yes; this time Pakistan gets an unambiguous message: just lay off pushing terrorists. So the question of Pakistan accepting the challenge is just not there. Warfare is about striking when the enemy does not expect you to strike. That is what Pakistan is doing. Biding time.
    2. 'Sleeper cells will be activated'. Yes you are correct; that's why there had been railway line sabotages that cost a lot of lives. But we should not forget our Security agencies are vigilant; that's why there had been no repeat of 26/11 in another metro city.
    3. "Religious war is inevitable." I totally do not agree with you. Neither Pakistan nor India is inclined to use religion as the trigger for a war. It will not be supported by the people of both countries; the educated class in Pakistan does not want it just as politicians also dont want it, particularly now as China is investing heavily. The bee in Pakistan's bonnet is the army, which has been smarting after being defeated thrice. It is itching for "badla"; Pak officers have repeatedly been telling their humiliation in the 1971 war requires this.
    4. "Integrating minorities": I totally disagree with your prescription of banning Urdu and Arabic script. Urdu is part of India's syncretic culture. It is a second language in UP; many Hindus use it as Hindustani. Integration does not mean disintegration of identities of specific groups of the mosaic of culture that makes India and Indians proud. So let us preserve it.


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