The Nature of National Frontiers
At times and in certain situations, the frontiers of a nation are not merely physical; they are also ideological. We shall never be able to overcome our predicament vis-a-vis Pakistan unless we understand her ideological frontiers and define our own.
Compared to us Pakistan is much smaller in size and population. She is much poorer in industrial infrastructure and other resources. Yet she has attacked us not once but three times in the short span of 24 years. And she is preparing feverishly to attack us again as soon as she feels that the time is opportune. This is not the normal behaviour of a normal nation. This is evidence enough that the basic motive of her behaviour lies elsewhere than in the cold-blooded calculations of military balance, strategic or tactical.
Pakistan: Spearhead Of An Islamic Bloc
The mullahs, military generals and the mass media in Pakistan have all along harked back to the ‘glorious deeds of Mahmud Ghaznavi and Muhammad Ghuri when ‘the accursed Hindu kafirs had a true taste of the Islamic sword. They have always looked at us with contempt as ‘cowardly banias who are bound to surrender in course of time. We on our part have always dismissed this strain in her stance as mere poetry which may entertain her own people but which we should not take seriously. We have never tried to pin down this strain as an ideological strain which goes beyond Pakistan’s physical frontiers, and makes her a member of the larger Islamic world sprawling away from both sides of our borders.
Medieval Muslim historians tell us that Mahmud Ghaznavi used to be highly praised and heartily congratulated by all Islamic countries of that time, whenever he returned from India with plunder and prisoners of war, and with idols of Hindu Gods which were placed on the doorsteps to mosque in Ghazni, Baghdad, Mecca and Medina for being trampled upon by the faithful. Whatever their own differences with Mahmud Ghaznavi, in this context they were all agreed that he was doing the work of Allah and had the blessings of the Prophet to support him. The Islamic state of Pakistan has not been able to repeat the exploits of Mahmud Ghaznavi so far. But whenever she has attacked us she has been applauded by the rest of the Islamic world, and has received all round support in her role of a mujahid (holy warrior) in spite of the fact that we have been espousing all Islamic causes abroad with a fervour and consistency which puts to shame the Islamic states themselves.
Till the end of the ‘sixties, the support which Pakistan received from the Islamic countries was mostly moral support because the latter were in no position to extend much material aid. But since the early ‘seventies, the oil-rich Islamic countries have been providing the massive finances which enable Pakistan to build and maintain her huge military machine including her nuclear establishment. The United States may be selling the sophisticated hardware which Pakistan has been piling up with frantic speed. But the bill is being footed largely by the oil-rich Islamic states of West Asia and North Africa. This should be sufficient to prove that Pakistan is not an individual state. On the contrary, it has become the spearhead of an Islamic Bloc which is increasingly becoming not only more prosperous and better equipped militarily but also more fundamentalist, more self-righteous, and more militant for the spread of Islam.
Nor are Pakistan’s ideological frontiers confined to the Islamic countries alone; they are spread out to a sizeable section of our own population. We have never faced frankly and honestly the unpleasant fact that, with some honourable exceptions, our Muslim countrymen, by and large, are supporters of Pakistan and other Islamic countries as against us whenever they have to choose between the two. There is a conspiracy of silence about this stark reality. Admitting it even privately to ourselves, not to speak of discussing it publicly, will be a serious slur on our Secularism. But the truth cannot be wished away so easily. And a price has away to be paid for turning away from truth, particularly when the security of a nation is involved.
The Character of Our State
It is in this context that Dr. Misra’s book assumes an added importance. He has emphasised it again and again that the Rajput states of medieval India fought so tenaciously and for so long in the face of an inveterate foe not only because they were trying to preserve certain physical frontiers but also because they were trying to protect a social order and a cultural complex created and sustained by Sanatana Dharma. These Rajput states were Hindu states in consciousness as well as character. They stood firm and spared no sacrifice because they were proud of their ancient Hindu heritage, and looked down with contempt on the barbarism represented by Islam. They failed in the final round only because they could not pursue a forward policy due to their lack of understanding about the nature of Islamic aggression, and in the absence of a central state which could have pooled their resources, maintained a standing army, and updated the art of warfare.
Today we have a central state, a standing army, and some sort of a central government. We have also proved in the several contests forced upon us by Pakistan so far that we have not seriously neglected our armoury or the art of warfare. All that may lull some people into a belief that we can take care of Pakistan whenever she goes berserk. But the advantageous factors in our favour are more apparent than real. We are self-confident vis-a-vis Pakistan only because we have not been able to see the deeper forces working towards our defeat and ruination in the long run. And that long run may prove to be not so long this time because of the changed character of warfare.
The state which we have in India today does not resemble even remotely the Rajput states of that period. By no stretch of imagination can it be called a Hindu state. Far from harbouring any Hindu consciousness or having a Hindu character, it does not even reflect the objective reality that Hindus constitute an overwhelming majority in this country. And instead of recognising Islam as a species of barbarism, it patronises Islam as an integral part of the Indian heritage. Thus, for all practical purposes, this state is a legacy of the bygone British Raj rather than a conscious creation of any national spirit or vision. The constitution which controls and moves the structure of this state is only a mechanical device for keeping together what it regards as a conglomeration of contending communities - religious, racial, regional - rather than an embodiment of any national aspirations, in spite of all its high-flown verbiage borrowed in bits and parts from several models in the West. It has singularly failed to touch the heart of the Hindu masses whom it treats like handicapped children sunk in stupor and sloth.
On top of it, the mind which has dominated the central government and evolved its policies since the dawn of independence is infinitely worse so far as Hindu society and culture are concerned. This mind is not only self-alienated; it is also self-righteous in the name of what it describes as Secularism, Socialism and some other slogans borrowed from abroad and broadcast with intense zeal. It not only repudiates with repugnance any suggestion (which is often made by the so-called minorities) that it shares any Hindu sentiments; it also carries within it a deep-seated anti-Hindu animus. It frowns upon every expression of Hindu culture in our public life in the name of what it flaunts as composite culture which most of the time means the culture of Islam imported into this country by force of arms. It denounces as Hindu communalism even the most dignified defence of some perfectly legitimate Hindu causes while it smiles indulgently or looks the other way when Muslim hooligans take out violent demonstrations in support of causes which have not even the slightest relevance to this country. And it smells Hindu chauvinism in whatever small effort Hindu society manages to make in order to strengthen itself, while it aids and abets the consolidation of highly aggressive Islamic forces financed by foreign powers.
The Temper of Our Politics
What is still worse is the role of our political parties which are quite a few in number but which shout the same set of slogans. All these parties scowl or shy away when Hindus plead that they also have a case. But all of them incorporate more and more Muslim demands in their manifestos, and feel fulfilled when mullahs and Muslim politicians condescend to speak from their platforms. The more malevolent the mullah and the Muslim politician, the better it is for the secular credentials of the party concerned. All these political parties corrode the cohesiveness of Hindu society by fragmenting it into smaller and smaller vote-banks on the basis of caste, or sect, or language, or some other secondary differences which no normal society can do without. At the same time, all of them contribute to the consolidation of a single Muslim vote-bank which, in turn, blackmails them further, and which has come to wield an influence and a representation out of all proportion to its known numerical strength.
The vote-hungry politics which is promoted by these highly sloganised parties is practically devoid of any public content even of a local character, not to speak of any national concern. This politics has increasingly come to revolve round the personal ambitions of wily politicians rather than round any national policies or programmes. The more dishonest the politician, the better he fares in public life. Politics has become a rat - race in which every politician who wants to survive has to play the game according to certain well-understood but seldom-spoken rules. Most politicians except those in power have to live from hand to mouth and be always on the look out for more and more money to meet the mounting election expenses. This has opened the floodgates of corruption by foreign money which, in recent years, has come to mean Muslim money flowing in ever larger volumes from the oil-rich Islamic countries. One cannot help suspecting that the Secularism sold by certain political parties, in an all-round atmosphere of cynicism, is more a matter of financial compulsion than a matter of conviction. The Islamic countries which pay for the conspicuous consumption and high lifestyle of some politicians, particularly in the opposition camp, can always call the tune.
Such a soft-brained government and a short-sighted politics can hardly be in a position to evolve or employ those forward or long-term policies which are needed more urgently now than ever before. Such a government and politics are most likely to fritter away all their strength and energies, including those of our armed forces, in one frustrating enterprise after another. What has actually happened after our conflicts with Pakistan in the past illustrates the point. The conflicts were not at all of our own seeking and were imposed upon us by a sabre-rattling Islamic state. Our armed forces carried out creditably the tasks assigned to them. But every time the politicians allowed the aggressor to escape without paying any penalty whatsoever for his unprovoked aggression. The victories won by our armed forces on the field of battle at the cost of so much blood and sacrifice were bartered away by the politicians on the tables of diplomacy in exchange for nothing more substantial than international applause.
Take the much trumpeted triumph in 1971. Our armed forces did everything that was expected of them, and gave a good account on every front. But at the diplomatic table in Simla we surrendered every advantage we had gained in exchange for a set of signatures on some pieces of paper by a thousand-year-war demagogue, Bhutto, who went back and immediately launched an ambitious project for making nuclear bombs. We are now holding seminars and making statements in Parliament about this new threat from an old adversary. Again, we freed the people of East Pakistan from the tyranny and terror of their ‘brothers in faith from West Pakistan. But we did precious little to ensure that Bangladesh does not revert to the old ways of her parent state. The result is there for everyone to see. Bangladesh has proclaimed that it is an Islamic state, and has become as hostile to us as Pakistan has always been. She is not only converting by force or hounding out her Hindu and Buddhist population but also pouring hundreds of thousands of Muslim infiltrators through our borders in Assam, Bengal and Bihar. The blood shed by our jawans and the sacrifices made by our civil population in shouldering the burdens of war, have gone in vain.
Hindu Society Should Seize the State
Hindu society has to make up its mind that it is no longer going to tolerate this degenerate politics which has been disintegrating Hindu society on the one hand, and consolidating the Muslim millat on the other. Only a politics created by Hindu consciousness and guided by Hindu ideology can retrieve the situation and meet the challenge of Islamic imperialism.
Hindu society has to stand up unitedly and firmly to seize the central state while it still functions as a democracy. It may not function as a democracy for long, looking at the Muslim, Marxist and dynastic pressures which are deflecting it towards dictatorship, if not in name, at least in spirit. Hindu society has to see to it that the central state acquires a Hindu character and gets infused with Hindu consciousness, and that the central government functions as a Hindu government in a Hindu homeland.
Dr. Misra’s book will help Hindu society not only in acquiring the self-confidence that Islamic imperialism can be beaten back by Hindu heroism but also in evolving and employing a forward policy in the absence of which Hindu heroism had failed in the past. That policy has to be two-pronged - one directed against the ideological frontiers of Pakistan in the world at large and the other against those frontiers at home.
Pursuit of Forward Policies
The first policy has to aim at destroying the bases of aggression. We have to push forward our own ideological frontiers and free every land from the stranglehold of Islam. We have plenty of friends in the forces of humanism, rationalism and universalism with all of which our own culture of Sanatana Dharma is in complete accord. We shall find these friends even in Islamic countries. They are waiting to be mobilised and made vocal. Let us not confuse these forces with the foreign policy postures of particular countries. These forces are of a more permanent and consistent character.
Secondly, we have to liberate our own Muslim masse from the stranglehold of Mullahs and Muslim politicians. The Muslim masses are our own people who have been alienated from their ancestral society and culture by the ideology of Islam. On the other hand, the mullahs and Muslim politicians are mostly descendants of foreign invaders - Arabs, Turks, Iranians - who have not yet been cured of the conviction that India is their patrimony bequeathed to them by the sword of their forefathers. Islam sits lightly on the Muslim masses who otherwise share a lot with their other countrymen. On the other hand, Islam is the only stock-in-trade of mullahs and Muslim politicians without which they will fall headlong from the prestigious pedestals on which they are perched at present. The two have to be differentiated and dealt with differently. The Muslim masses have to be won back to the national mainstream. The mullahs and Muslim politicians have to be isolated and immobilised.
In recent years, the mullahs and Muslim politicians have been receiving liberal financial assistance and sustained moral support from the oil-rich Islamic countries. Their tone has continued to become more and more aggressive. They have frequently fomented riots in which Muslim mobs have turned violent not only against their Hindu neighbours but also against the security forces sent to restore law and order. The so-called Muslim minority is thus being fast converted into a far-flung fifth-column which will not hesitate to collaborate with foreign aggression as soon as that aggression shows some signs of success. This time the collaboration is not likely to be confined to spying as in the period surveyed by Dr. Misra. This time it will inevitably develop into wide-spread sabotage in the rear of our fighting forces.