19 February, 2010

Prof Ghosh's Comments # 1 and My Reply

The article, Comparing Balochistan and Chattisgarh by Uddipan Mukherji,
is brilliant in analysis and drawing similies between the Balochistan
uprising and the Chattisgarh insurgency. Both are fuelled by extreme
poverty and exploitation. Both India and Pakistan are aware and candidly
admit the root cause of the problem. Both the countries
bring in right legislation but unfortunately are incapable of
implementing them at the grass roots level where it matters.

So far so good. Mukherji however proceeds to draw a symmetry between
India and Pakistan and prescribes a corrective policy based on that
symmetry with which I totally disagree. In my opinion there is no
symmetry between these two South Asian neighbours as far as mutual
relationship is concerned. India over last 50 years has been extending the
hand of friendship and Pakistan has been spurning. This becomes clear from
another article contained in the same Digest No. 1573 of SRATEGY_INDIA,
the one written by Michael Williams titled "The Secret War in Pakistan".
William says,

"Islamabad, however, did nothing to root out Islamist radicals near the
border with Afghanistan, nor did it spend the $12bn (given in aid by
the US) on developinggovernance. Instead, the Pakistani government bought
equipment such as F-16s to use in a war against India. Why the Bush
administration allowed this to happen by selling them the equipment is
beyond imagination....

It became pretty apparent a few years ago that it did not matter
what Nato forces did in Afghanistan if the Taliban were allowed to operate
freely in Pakistan. ..... Some segments of the Pakistani military
actually support the Taliban. They see the Taliban as a way to ensure a
friendly government in Kabul, necessary for strategic depth in a war
against India."

The quotation above clearly shows Pakistan's anti-India design. India
harbours no such design toward Pakistan. At the time of Independence and
Partition in 1947 both countries pledged to protect their respective
religious minorities. Pakistan immediately violated the pledge and cleaned
out 99% of the Hindu minority. A tiny Hindu population remains and that
too in the most poverty-stricken areas of western Sindh and all of
Balochistan but their number is dwindling. In the Punjab part of India the
Muslim minority was decimated and in some other sectors there were
anti-Muslim riots but by and large over the vast tracts of India Muslims
were not uprooted or persecuted but continued live a peacefu existence.
Their share of the percentage population is not dwindling but growing.
Where is the symmetry between India and Pakistan? Pakistan's India posture
continues to be defined by Hindu-Muslim rivalry.

It should be noted that Mukherji's article has been published in a
journal called 'Newsline' in Pakistan. Without this contrived symmetry the
article would never be allowed to be published in that country.

Professor Kumal Ghosh, IIT Kanpur

Dear Prof Ghosh,

Thanks for your compliments.

But I guess I would beg to differ with you on the fact that there was a "contrived symmetry" established in the article. It was not an 'artificial construct'. Rather I fully believe what I wrote.

What I wanted to stress was the 'negligence' of both the governments towards their respective citizenry, and that the commonality of that 'negligence' is fostered by the acts of the respective authorities.

I fully agree with you regarding Pakistan's behaviour vis-a-vis India. If you have time, pls go thru this article of mine where I have expressed similar viewpoints (http://www.globalpo litician. com/print. asp?id=6224)

But I guess, that does not exonerate India from its 'domestic malfunctions' .

thanks & looking forward to your erudite comments

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