Not toothless tigers anymore


Open Letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on India's response to the Uri terror attack

I am writing this letter when the reports of Indian Army's surgical strikes have started pouring in. I am extremely elated that my stand has not been vindicated after the Army's assault on the terrorist camps inside the PoK. Amid the heated debate for punitive strikes, I had often argued that this government, too, is limited to strong condemnation. But, you have proved all the sceptics, including me, wrong by showing us how to lead and plan in decisive times.

Though I am a pacifist, at times, I have believed that a strong action is necessary to prove that we are not toothless tigers. Your decision to send the Army into the PoK to dismantle the terror camps has made me proud. At the same time, it is also expected to avenge not only the Uri martyrs, but also the countless persons who have bore the brunt of terrorism before.

Therefore, it becomes necessary to walk the talk more forcefully. As you stated, we will have to work vigorously to make Pakistan a pariah state. After the surgical strikes, it is necessary that we become more circumspect and cautious in safeguarding our borders and territories as they will try to counter attack. Please revoke Pakistan's MFN status as soon as possible and work on abrogating the Indus Waters Treaty. Expedite the process of constructing dams on those rivers. 

I hope you already have evaluated these options. The sooner they are implemented, the better it will be.

Sunil Mehtav


Be tactful

Everything is fair in war and politics. Narendra Modi ought to talk tough but the PM needs to be tactful while acting. The burden yoked on the shoulders of the prime minister cannot be undone so easily. The unpleasant legacy handed down to the line of PMs could have been easily and cleverly unloaded soon after Bangladesh war.

Indira Gandhi's charisma was unparalleled in the history of India. We had maintained a gigantic number of Pak prisoners of war (POW) for a whole year in the open jails of UP. Had Gandhi been tough, P.O.K, Baltistan, Gilgit and such other territories occupied illegally by Pakistan could easily have been recovered before handing back the huge number of Pakistani prisoners of war.

The tribe, which was tactless in strengthening the boundaries of India, has been shouting at the tactful Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. Of course, it is their duty to howl. Shameless fellows, I pity them.

All these Indians who have been watching the style and determination of the present PM have, deep in their heart, felt “this man will certainly deliver the goods”. The reason is self-explanatory. He doesn’t have a son or daughter to be protected and projected to occupy the PM's chair.

K.G.N. Shastry



Do not play to the gallery

Ever since Pakistan has repeated its cowardice in Uri, I understand your situation where every citizen of this country has become an authority-unto-himself overnight, and is telling you what action should be taken against Pakistan. 

But, in spite of the fact that I am also equally hurt, bruised and anguished by this attack, I am entirely with you that we need to act with sense and sensibility and not be impulsive and imprudent. We all know that you are no lesser Indian than we are and are equally pained as well. But your position does not permit you to get carried away by emotions.

It is easy for you to press the button from the war room, but nations are neither built in a day nor can be rebuilt in a day. So, every move you take needs a foresight, which could see the aftermath of any offensive. These assessments take time.

If you consider cricketing language, people who are forcing you to act are those who believe in T20 format, where mind is not applied before swinging the bat to send the ball out of the park. But, the situation is like a five-day Test match, where restrictions on time and the balls bowled are more relaxed. One needs to play patiently, which you are doing right now. You have to play like Rahul Dravid, 'the wall', and not like Virender Sehwag, 'the marauder' to ensure long term gains.

We have full faith in your political and diplomatic acumen, and we are sure that every minute being taken by you to reach a final decision is adding another nail in Pakistan's coffin.

Take your time, we are all with you.

Rajneesh Batra


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