Alive - - Editorial -

War is too se­ri­ous a mat­ter to be left to mil­i­tary men, said a great states­man. That is be­cause their vi­sion is very lim­ited — to fight, to seek glory and prove their im­por­tance be­fore the pub­lic to be adored. Gen­er­ally, they do not care to think of the cost of their ac­tion to the na­tion and the fu­ture po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic con­se­quences of the war.

Re­cently, af­ter a visit to the lo­ca­tions of In­dia-China stand off on the Eastern bor­der, Army Chief Gen­eral Bipin Rawat said In­dia was ready to fight two-and-a-half wars si­mul­ta­ne­ously. The im­pli­ca­tion is on the Pak and China front and the half war against Nax­alites and other in­sur­gents. If com­pelled, In­dia has to de­fend her­self, but war cry against ex­ag­ger­ated threats by Gen­er­als over the heads of the po­lit­i­cal power is un­called for.

In an­other case, the Air Chief Mar­shal B.S. Dhanoa, said “Not enough fighter jets is akin to play­ing cricket with just 7 players.” He was high­light­ing the short­fall in the num­ber of fighter squadrons in the In­dian Air Force to “dom­i­nat­ing a two front con­flict.” Mer­ci­fully, he did not en­vis­age fight­ing “the half war” against Nax­alites by air at­tacks in In­dia’s own ter­ri­tory.

Politi­cians of rul­ing BJP, to show their pa­tri­otic fer­vour, say “2017 is not 1962” mean­ing that In­dia has strength­ened mil­i­tar­ily to take on China now. No doubt In­dian armed forces have ad­vanced in num­bers and weapons, but China too is not frozen on the level of 1962. Today, China is more pow­er­ful than In­dia in all mil­i­tary spheres - num­ber of troops, so­phis­ti­cated weapons, war planes and above all, mo­bil­ity by road that reaches to the bor­der.

Any­way, the war talk is mere tac­tic of threat­en­ing or pres­suris­ing. Chi­nese au­thor­i­ties know that fight­ing for a few square kilo­me­tres of bar­ren land is not worth the loss of their mar­ket in In­dia.

PM Modi and Pres­i­dent Xi know this, so they do not make any ag­gres­sive state­ments on the stand­off at Dok­lam, the tri­junc­tion of In­dia, Bhutan and China. The war-mon­ger­ing state­ments on both sides are made by the po­lit­i­cal min­ions and mil­i­tary brass. In 1962, when In­dia-China stand­off took place, Prime Min­is­ter Jawa­har­lal Nehru asked the In­dian Army to throw out the Chi­nese and went to Sri Lanka to at­tend some con­fer­ence. The con­se­quence of the Army fol­low­ing his words was dis­as­trous. Today, Modi knows much more about wag­ing war and doesn’t make any ag­gres­sive state­ments. Nor do re­spon­si­ble men like For­eign Sec­re­tary Jai Shankar and Se­cu­rity Ad­viser Do­val. Let us lis­ten to what they say and stay calm.

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