Why lose a thousand more?

*Originally published on Thursday, 10th January 2013*
This post follows the recent violation of ceasefire by Pakistani armed forces at LOC.But as much as it is a ceasefire violation, what shocked the nation was that the Pakistani soldiers decapitated one of the soldiers and carried the head as “trophy”. They tried to decapitate the other dead soldier when they came under heavy fire from the Indian side and had to flee.

This event has had wide ramifications. Not only has it created a ripple in New Delhi with the Pakistani Ambassador being summoned to New Delhi, it has raised eyebrows at the international level with USA(as usual) asking India and Pakistan to cool off and sit for talks.
At this point I can’t help but comment that India always has taken a pro-active role in the peace process. Even after 26/11 when it was proved beyond doubt that the terror attack had been planned in Pakistani soil and that Pakistani Government was dragging their feet in bringing the people to justice, India refused to back out on the peace talks. Yes, the only thing that stopped was Indo-Pakistan matches came to a screeching halt.

And, expectedly, Pakistan rejected the assertions of the Indian government, calling for a UN probe into the incident. Indian Government, as of now, has refused to accede to their demand. Ironically, Pakistan is making the demands. “This is Indian propaganda to divert attention from an Indian raid on Sunday on a Pakistani post in which a Pakistani soldier was killed,” Pakistan military said in a statement. (Source: Al Jazeera)

But what is more disturbing is the clamour for a full fledged war on the Indian side in social networking platforms. “An eye for an eye” is the underlying sentiment. And why do I find it disturbing?

It is disturbing because a war should be the last resort. A war cannot be declared at every provocation. Yes, granted that Pakistan has been in constant violations of the ceasefire arrangements, undermining the very principle of LOC. Yes, there were 75 incidents of ceasefire violations in the last year, none so brutal though. Where is the mature Indian who protested all across the country following the Delhi gang rape case?

I am too young to comment on someone’s maturity and people rarely lose an opportunity to point it out to me. But at this point, such call for war is totally uncalled for. And whats more disturbing is that while the Indian Government is strictly against any adverse reaction, people logged into their Facebook and Twitter are mincing no words in describing the Indian Government as “cowards’”.

A war not only has casualties in terms of the lives of jawans, it has casualties in terms of “collateral damage”. Those who clamour for war have never fired a weapon, never have stared down the barrel of an assault rifle and definitely haven’t been in duty in the icy heights of the Siachen. The economy of a country, which isn’t really in a good shape now, is further dented due to a war. Yes we’re a nuclear armed country. Yes, we have deployed missiles that can destroy any target in Pakistan. But that doesn’t imply we need to show off out toys.

When I went to Quanta International, an International Science Fest hosted in Lucknow in 2007, there were many participants from Pakistan. And each one said that the civilian middle class there loves India. As much as “Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi” is a daily part of our entertainment, so is theirs. Its only the Islamist hardliners, some of the lower segments of the society and the Pakistani armed forces that harbour such a seep mistrust for India.

Times of India’s recent attempt at bringing peace between India and Pakistani, termed as “Aman ki Asha” is now being termed “Aman ki Tamasha”.