Saturday, October 19, 2013

Can a war be won with non violence, Part II?

So, let us now examine some real scenarios – based on history. 

During World War II, actually before World War II, the countriesaround Germany appeased Hitler. I am not sure if they did so in the hope of peace or out of a delusion, but clearly, appeasing Hitler did not work. He continued being a monster and demanding ever more pounds of flesh. And at some point, the Allies needed to fight a violent war (essentially started by Hitler) in order to ensure peace.

And while he was at it, he exterminated atleast 6 million Jews in gas chambers. Non-violence did not seem to work for them, did it?

Closer home, Muhammad Ghori, was defeated and was sent back with honours by Prithviraj Chauhan. In return, when Chauhan was defeated the next time, Ghori blinded him and ultimately killed him. Clearly, even the honourable non-violent act of sending the loser back home with honours did not work for Prithviraj Chauhan.

Then, let us examine Pakistan and its obsession with Kashmir. Every few years they keep doing something to renew their jihad in Kashmir (See Pravin swamis book on Kashmir). It is in their interest (and I cannot see any reason for anybody to do this, but well, perhaps it is history, perhaps ideology, perhaps the Pk army needs to keep its own sense of importance alive) to keep the pot boiling in Kashmir. We have seen their support for internal jihadi groups against India in their country and in our country. They continue to harbor and encourage elements inimical to India consistently. As they say, once you can be fooled, but if you are fooled twice, you are a fool. What of India that has been consistenly led up the garden for some 60 odd years. Clearly, appeasing and aman ki asha is not working here.

Staying with Pakistan, as they continued to massacre Bengalis in East Pakistan, India had to step in. Not stepping in would have amounted a massive genocide (intervening resulted in a genocide of far smaller proportions - a crime for which justice is being delivered about now).

The naxal movement in the 70s was eliminated not by peace,but by some very brutal interventions. The Khalistan movement in Punjab was crushed not by flower wielding hippies, but with some tit for tat campaigns bythe Punjab police. (See this moving letter from KPS Gill to PM IK Gujral on the suicide of a police officer.) And of course, the encounter specialists in Mumbai who broke the back of Mumbais underworld (who, of course, now enjoy state patronage in Pakistan). 

Sri Lanka broke the back of LTTE, in a brutal manner, but that has left the island in peace not bombs for the first time in many many years. Yes, they were brutal, but those who live by the sword must be prepared to die by the sword.The LTTE used children too as suicide bombers - can you get any more evil? Turns out that you can - mentally handicapped women were used as suicide bombers in Iraq.

When the Kashmiri Pandits were driven out of the valley, they were non violent – indeed, there is not a single act of reprisal that they undertook. Clearly, non violence did not work there as well.

And lastly, the case of Jyoti Singh who was brutally rapedin Delhi. Did non-violence work for her? You decide. Because dead people can rarely decide.

Non-violence may be the highest good (Ahimsa Paramo Dharma), but let us not mistake it for being non-violent out of fear, but out of confidence. As Winston Churchill said speak softly, but carry a big stick (and show that you have the will to use it if required.) The best non usage of the big stick and yet decimating the opponent is the Cold War and that is where economics comes in.

Non violence against terrorists – clearly does not seem to be working. Ask Mitul Shah. No, you cannot ask him. He died you see, after he offered himself as a hostage to jihadis in Kenya. Clearly, the memo of non violence did not reach them.

No terror movement can be crushed – like Hitler, like LTTE unless one goes after the evil ideologies, their funders, those who encourage and uproot it completely.

History has shown us that in order for the just to win peace, some amount of violence is required, indeed justified. Do you have examples to prove otherwise? 

All that is required for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing: Edmund Burke

What are fighting for? And how then, does win over evil? Coming in the next part...

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