Everyone knows that I'm not a big fan of the UPA government. Hell, I'm not a fan of any of the probable governments. And it's safe to say that the only thing I know about the election is that I am going to loathe whoever forms the next government.
However, there are two things that in my view the UPA government got right. One, was the Indo-US civilian Nuclear deal and the other was the mature reaction the government displayed after 26/11. That is, after Shivraj Patil resigned to spend more time with his designer clothes.
It was not an easy decision to take. With everyone from the candle light vigilantes, the facebook activists, old leading ladies from Raj Kapoor movies clad in white and every news channel urging the government to conduct "surgical strikes". Yes, because when you want to win a war, you follow the policies of the Bush administration.
Neither do we need a stronger law. When terrorists attack, they don't choose the place with the weakest constitution. It's not like they go "Can't attack India now. They bought back POTA. That makes me want to pee in my snuggie". They come with a motive to kill everyone in their path. And these people aren't afraid to kill themselves either because they have been promised 72 virgins after they die. (Although, from the blog fakesucidebomber we get to know that it's just 7 virgins and they all look like Ritesh Deshmukh in drag).
There are two things that we need to realize about Pakistan. First, the Pakistani state left the building a long time ago. What exists now is a nation and a government just in theory. Secondly, Pakistan was formed on the basis of "We fucking hate India and all the Indians". So for more than sixty years, their whole domestic and foreign policy is based on the concept of being the anti-India. That is why they oppose anything we did or try to do in the international arena. That is why some Pakistani-Americans raised money to defeat Bobby Jindal in Louisiana when he first ran for the US Congress. (Not that Mr Jindal doesn't try to hide his origin at every opportunity. If he could, he would actually go ahead and paint himself white. According to him, he's just like everyone else in Louisiana, except when he needs to pimp his parent's country of birth to further his political career). That is why, India-Pakistan matches held in England are like a warzone. Not that the feeling isn't returned. Even we have our fair share of crazy.
The international community believes that Pakistan is best handled by a military dispensation. That's where they are completely wrong. Pakistan is in the position because of it's military. It's in it's current state because the Pakistani army is still fighting the 1971 war, decades after it has ended. The Pakistani armed forces are so obsessed with Kashmir that they don't even see the writing on the wall visible from their own window. (Actually, it's not just a metaphor. According to media reports, there are actual warnings on the wall written by the Taliban which asks the establishment to either lose their jobs or their head). The last thing Pakistan needs is another trigger happy military dictator.
A major part of the polity of Pakistan is based on making India the boogeyman. This attitude is so deeply entrenched in their system that whenever something which they perceive as negative happens to India, there are simultaneous ejaculations in the Pakistani establishment.
What Pakistan now needs to do is what most of us do while growing up. It needs to "find" itself and base it's identity on something other than anti-India-ism.
On our part, when we talk about national security, we cannot abdicate our responsibility. Whether we realize it or not, terrorism is a reality we all need to live with. As long as their is abject poverty in the world, terrorism will exist in one form or the other. We need to learn to deal with that. Yes, Pakistan is to be blamed for a lot of the attacks, but we also need to take a long, hard look at our security apparatus.
What we actually need is a robust national security policy. We need to strengthen our intelligence gathering operations and essentially need to provide our army and police with training and equipment for specific anti-terrorism operations. What we need is political will in New Delhi to invest time and money into our national security apparatus.
What we don't need is rhetoric. Which, thanks to leaders of our political parties we have enough of. The media does not fare any better. The various anchors across all the channels feign hurt and trepidation to manipulate popular sentiment for increased TRPs. That hurts our country in the long run.
Not that it's surprising. Like always, our media and politicians insist on barking up the wrong tree.