Atanu Dey On India's Development

The Right Response

As I have held before, there should be a special hell for those who forward inane stupid emails with the breathless admonition to “forward it to all your friends.” The terrorist bombing of Mumbai locals has inspired one such idiotic email which is making the rounds.

It is addressed to the terrorists with the endearment “Dear.” It basically says (I will spare you the details, in case you haven’t already seen it) that we don’t care to be bothered by the bombs and we don’t really care about the hundreds killed; we are Mumbaikars and we just get up, and go about our business earning our next buck.

You have tried hard to bring death and destruction, cause panic and fear and create communal disharmony but everytime you were disgustingly unsuccessful. Do you know how we pass our life in Mumbai? How much it takes for us to earn that single rupee?

Clue to the writer: they have brought death and destruction, not just “tried to bring death and destruction.” The terrorists have done that consistently and with resounding success. Wake up and react instead of celebrating your passivity and attempting to raise cowardice to a high virtue.

Why have Indians suffered so regularly and consistently from terror and invasion? I think it is the general passivity which reached its pinnacle with Gandhi’s dictum “eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.”

[I have elsewhere written that Gandhi got it backwards: The old eye-for-an-eye thing of the Bible. Gandhi noted that that strategy would make the whole world blind. My analysis suggests that it would have the opposite effect. If you can guarantee that anyone who pokes anyone else's eyes will have both his eyes poked out, everyone would think a million times before they give in to the temptation of poking anyone’s eyes out. In a Gandhian world, people who enjoy poking people’s eyes would have a terrific old time and a good number of people will have to go through life blind or at least semi-blind. In the non-Gandhian world, no rational person will find it beneficial to poke anyone’s eyes out.]

It is somewhat puzzling. How did Indian become so? The Bhagavat Gita, the most important book to the majority Indians, endorses courageous action and war against those who commit injustice and violence. The Sikh Gurus were clear about how to respond to aggression and violence. Responding with timidity to violence is guaranteed to encourage the naturally violent to greater aggression.

I am against initiating violence. But I am also totally against others who initiate violence. If we do not respond appropriately to those who initiate violence, we are complicit in and guilty of the subsequent and future violence.

India is at war with forces that seek to destroy it. Its enemies are motivated by envy to some degree but to a very large degree it is an ideological war. Whatever be the motivation, India is a soft target and that is why it gets hit repeatedly. India lacks the killer instinct which is required for stopping aggressors.

I think we need to re-read General Patton’s speech to his soldiers. Here it is for the record.

A General Talks to His Army

Now I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. You won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country. Men, all this stuff you’ve heard about America not wanting to fight, wanting to stay out of the war, is a lot of horse dung. Americans traditionally love to fight. ALL REAL Americans, love the sting of battle. When you were kids, you all admired the champion marble shooter, the fastest runner, the big league ball players, the toughest boxers.

Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. Americans play to win all the time. I wouldn’t give a hoot in Hell for a man who lost and laughed. That’s why Americans have never lost and will never lose a war. Because the very thought of losing is hateful to Americans. Now, an army is a team. It lives, eats, sleeps, fights as a team. This individuality stuff is a bunch of crap.

The bilious bastards, who wrote that stuff about individuality for the Saturday Evening Post, don’t know anything more about real battle than they do about fornicating. Now we have the finest food and equipment, the best spirit, and the best men in the world.

My God, I actually pity those poor bastards we’re going up against. My God, I do. We’re not just going to shoot the bastards, we’re going to cut out their living guts and use them to grease the treads of our tanks. We’re going to murder those lousy Hun bastards by the bushel. Now some of you boys, I know, are wondering whether or not you’ll chicken out under fire. Don’t worry about it. I can assure you that you’ll all do your duty. The Nazis are the enemy. Wade into them. Spill their blood, shoot them in the belly. When you put your hand into a bunch of goo, that a moment before was your best friends face, you’ll know what to do. Now there’s another thing I want you to remember. I don’t want to get any messages saying that we are holding our position. We’re not holding anything, we’ll let the Hun do that. We are advancing constantly, and we’re not interested in holding onto anything except the enemy. We’re going to hold onto him by the nose, and we’re going to kick him in the ass. We’re going to kick the hell out of him all the time, and we’re going to go through him like crap through a goose. Now, there’s one thing that you men will be able to say when you get back home, and you may thank God for it. Thirty years from now when you’re sitting around your fireside with your grandson on your knee, and he asks you, “What did you do in the great World War Two?” You won’t have to say, “Well, I shoveled shit in Louisiana.” Alright now, you sons of bitches, you know how I feel. Oh! . . . I will be proud to lead you wonderful guys into battle anytime, anywhere. That’s all.”

General George S. Patton, Jr.
3rd Army speech

England, 31 May 1944
6th Armored Division

  • Pankaj

    Well Said Atanu.

    Reading the response from this particular reader at IE only brings a great sense of tiredness and foreboding. Must of these clueless dolts would never understand a single idea all through their lives. So they replace it with tired old bluff and bluster.

  • http://amanthan.blogspot.com Venkatesh

    I always found that very impressive. Here is the video link for his address from the movie Patton.
    http://www.americanrhetoric.com/videoclips/videomoviespeechpattonfgsgf.wmv

  • http://shreyasg.wordpress.com Shreyas

    An eye for an eye indeed makes the world go blind. Your idealistic notion that anyone who pokes someone else’s eyes will get punished is expecting the impossible. I find Gandhi’s statement very true. All of the conflicts worldwide lead to bloodshed because all of them are in a vicious circle of unrelenting bloodbath and revenge.

    Do not infer that I justify or condone the killings in anyway. You can only hate impotent cowards who choose to attack civillians. Action is required to track and eliminate whoever those bastards are. But in no way can there be justification for attacking innocent civillians elsewhere to show that India is aggressive or that we are not a soft target.

    And, by and by, which country is not a soft target against terrorist attacks? Spain, US, UK, Israel, Russia, Indonesia…. all of them targets!

    Atanu’s response: Shreyas, it is immoral to kill innocent civilians in response to acts of terrorism. You perhaps subconsciously wish to do that. Because no one has proposed, least of all me, that innocent civilians should be killed in retaliation. You are reading things that is not implied by what I wrote.

    About making a credible threat to retaliate if harmed being the best strategy for minimizing violence in a system: it is a no-brainer. Only severely deluded people can seriously believe that being nice to those who would kill you will turn them into saints.

  • Vivek S

    What Gandhi told applies to citizens; not to Governments. I think he himself told that non-violence is for individuals and not always applicable to Governments. Thats why we had some military(and did not disband it completely in the name of non-violence) on Independence.

    Its because of the inefficiency of the successive heads of India that such incidents happen repeatedly. http://ia.rediff.com/news/2006/jul/12sai.htm?q=sp&file=.htm is a good article.

    You have written repeatedly that the head of state doesnt know the pain. Sonia Gandhi lost her husband to terrorism. But when she has done little to punish those who made her suffer, what can you expect from her when some one on the streets is affected by terrorism?

    If all those had been done in US, it would have been a different story.

    As for Prithiviraj Chauhan in your previous post, he won in 1191 and lost in 1192. I believe the mistake of 1191 was repeated in 1971. But I wish 1192 doesnt happen again.

    Atanu’s reponse: Gandhi advocated passivity to governments also. He wrote to the Prime Minister of England and told him to turn his country over to the Germans without a fight. He said that this will teach the Germans how wrong they are and they will go back to Germany without hurting a fly.

    The man was seriously deluded.

  • http://gudem.blogspot.com Chandra

    “When you put your hand into a bunch of goo, that a moment before was your best friends face, you’ll know what to do.”

    Apparently we don’t. In India, we love losers. Losers are given freebie into schools, colleges, and jobs. We love losers like Ramadoss to fire winners like Venugopal from his job. We love losers like Manmohan be in charge when things are falling apart. We are told Gita is just mythology. In reality, we have proved to be sissies’ decade after decade, century after century.

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  • http://dipanjanc.blogspot.com dipanjan

    Atanu, unfortunately very few Indians are taught Bhagavat Gita and even fewer appreciate its essence even though it is one of the most important book for Hindus in theory.

    Passivity and apathy create an interesting vicious cycle. We don’t care enough about each and every Indian to improve anything and since we are too passive to change anything, we can not allow ourselves to feel any compassion.

  • there is no god but allah

    shreyas either u are a fool or with the other side, either way i suggest you learn to READ.
    Just for eg India has had FAR more incidents of TERRORISM since 01(the US reference point) and prior.
    I suggest start READING newspaper you dumbass

  • there is no god but allah

    What Gandhi told applies to citizens; not to Governments. I think he himself told that non-violence is for individuals and not always applicable to Governments. Thats why we had some military(and did not disband it completely in the name of non-violence) on Independence.

    I dont know where to begin here!
    perhaps reading gandhis works itself.
    India DID shrink the size of its military till the wonderful liberation of aksai chin.
    Also as an individual why shouldnt he be the worse mofo possible that any one can imagine when they want to RAPE his BHARAT MAAn….
    If some one threatened me personaly i would react violently.
    GWB is right in taking the Jeehaad to Jeehaadis, unfortunately he forgot Jeddah in the intermediary step….
    I am hoping that the hindus buddhist sikhs jains and athiests agnostics from india do see it in its appropriate historical context.

  • M
  • http://shreyasg.wordpress.com Shreyas

    Thanks Atanu for making me aware of my sub-conscious thinking! I never did imply that you are proposing killing innocent civillians. I emphasized that that should not happen.

    Nonetheless, I stand by what Gandhi says. What he meant was that just because innocent civillians were killed by goons, it should not translate into innocent civillians being killed somewhere else. I fear very much that is what’s going to happen. Let us hope there is no mindless retribution and revenge.

    All this aside, what exactly are you trying to say? What do you propose should the Indian government do?

  • M

    You don’t have to wait for intelligence agencies to release their trademark identikit pictures to know the faces behind Mumbai’s serial blast. Those fuzzy, looks-like-everyman sketches can’t tell you anything what Abdul Razzaq can. Or what Mohammed Waliullah can. Razzaq and Waliullah are not foreign mercenaries. They are from here. They are the faces of India’s very own homegrown jihadi network. They tell the story of how astonishingly unprepared our internal security establishment is, of how the UPA’s politics is not allowing a committed policy against terror.

    Razzaq was trained by Lashkar-e-Toiba in Muzaffarabad last year. His mission was to target his country — India. He had decided however to take a detour: fight the Americans in Iraq first before going back to his native city, Hyderabad.

    But the Intelligence establishment under the UPA is in denial. The comfortable theory about terrorism is that it is imported into this country. And that is still true. But the UPA, it seems, simply can’t accept that jihad now has a domestic manufacturing facility. Shivraj Patil wants us to think of boys gone astray. But his men have done little about massive recruitment by banned SIMI splinter groups, which head-hunt for jihadis by using Gujarat riots as a motivational tool.

    Of course, when you talk of Gujarat you have to blame the NDA… But let the UPA not say it doesn’t play politics with terror. And because it has allowed politics to infiltrate anti-terror policy, the total number of terrorist modules busted in 2005 was only a third of the figure in 2004 (the UPA came to power in May 2004). In operational terms, this means terrorists were allowed to entrench themselves and found it easy to carry the jihadi propaganda to young men in cities like Hyderabad and Bangalore.

    Terror is practised by local recruits. PM won’t hear it from security advisers

  • Gulab Singh

    What have you done to amend the situation, oh armchair intellectual ? Cribbing about the status quo is pointless, if you don’t follow it up with action. If you don’t have a way to put into practice the ideas you espouse, then your ideas are not practical. You seem to have spent a lot of time thinking and writing about “what should be done”, but what have you really done ?

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  • Chhatrapati Shivaji

    Hit them where it Hurts
    ———————–
    I’m ashamed being an Indian, that a country four times smaller and poorer than India has initiated war with India four times in fifty years. Much more than 100,000 crores have been spent on Kashmir so far. To India’s shame, it’s own land-part of Kashmir, is still in Paksitan’s hands.

    If the government of India doesn’t have guts for massive retaliatory strike against Pakistan, it should at least bleed it to death. Mohajirs have to be supported against non-Mohajirs, non-Punjabis against Punjabis, Baluchis against non-Baluchis, and in every way possible. India has to support the minorities there, who are really oppressed while those in India are strangely pampered. Arms, political,and ‘moral’ support should be given for the liberation of Baluchis and whoever else wants it.

    The bomb blasts in Pakistan obviously caused by warring factions of Muslims show that the Pakistani society is very fragmented unlike India. I have never heard of a bomb blast by a Hindu or Hindu organization in India. If Pakistani sponsored or ‘morally’ supported terrorism is going to kill innocent people in India, I say that we should kill innocent people in Pakistan. If they kill in hundreds, we should kill in thousands. Two eyes for one eye, and all teeth for one tooth. The warrior strength of Indians in Shivaji, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, and Rana Pratap Singh has to be unleashed. If the battle is taken to their own streets, then probably, if good sense prevails, moderate Pakistani citizens will rise, revolt against the Pakistani government and fundamentalistic mullahs, and make peace with India. If not, they have to reap for what they have sown.

    If Pakistan continues to do what it is doing, I say that we should threaten them and in fact nuclear bomb them. Yes, they will retaliate, but I don’t believe that 1.1 billion Indians can be destroyed by their bombs, but I’m sure that Pakistan will be razed to ground, never to recover, and lost in history. India should prepare for such a situation. I don’t think China will join in the war. They are too clever for that. They know that India can injure China, and if not, its long term security will be in jeopardy from a rising and defeated India.

  • Shibani

    I’m not sure about this but I would wager a bet that General Patton’s speech is probably very similar to what American soldiers going to war in Iraq are hearing in pre attack pep talks..A message that is later emphasised by the death metal “kill blood gore” music they play in their battle tanks before they go rip apart the Iraqui countryside.

  • IndraSen

    How to tackle jihadi terrorism in India?

    1) Let’s us fight back. Form groups of like minded hindus, unite together, be prepared and keep a watch on mullas in your area.

    We must form organisations that are independent of political and public scrutiny. Such organisations will only work for the benefit of hinduism and Bharat. All dirty tricks can be used to enforce hindu’s interests.

    2) Indian hindus should work with LTTE and teach pakistan what exactly terrorism is.

    3) Enough of this non-violence non-sense.

    4) Next India should again divide pakistan in two or three parts taking benefit of its internal racial conflicts such as wazirstan and sindh and dispute with Afghanistan and Russia. This will break back of this terrorist nation for another 30-40 years.

    5) India should also not spare China who has basically supported pakistan in order to distract India from becoming a world power.

    India should unite pacific nations, support taiwan, south korea, vietnam, cambodia, japan and indonesia to fight against china. India should play politcal and military support to these small nations who are afraid of china’s imperialism.

    6) Finally, Iran. Many Iranian spies have entered India as Iranian students. The Varanasi blasts were handiwork of Iranian spies, ISI and SIMI.

    To take revenge on these middle eastern scums.. join Israel, give them logistic and political support.