India has never played politics with national security. … Indian democracy’s greatest strength is that we have always put the nation above politics.
– Atal Behari Vajpayee in an interview to India Today after Pokhran Nuclear test on May 25, 1998
As Otto Von Bismarck, who has been the inspiration for many nationalists all over the world, has said, “Politics is the art of the possible, the attainable — the art of the next best.” Every party, ideology or even individual has the right to articulate what that ‘best possible’ would be. The fundamental rule for attaining that ‘best’ is to build a bridge between ‘self-interest’ and the ‘common good’. Politics in Bharat has regrettably taken such an ugly turn that like terrorists or irregulars from Pakistan even politicians have become proxies of anti-national thinking. Depicting the same, some self-proclaimed soldiers of ‘humanism’ and ‘secularism’ echoed the Pakistan’s position on recent cross-LoC surgical strikes. What is more conspicuous is the sudden tirade from different quarters asking for proof of surgical strikes. It is certainly a proxy ploy for someone else or else a proxy demand to attain different political objectives. The basic problem with playing ‘proxy’ game is when it gets exposed, it leads to self-destruction.
Pakistan is walking on that path slowly but surely. After pretending to be an ally in the war on terror, it is virtually branded as ‘sponsor of terror’. The creation of Pakistan itself is rooted in anti-Bharat paranoia, inevitably leading to the path of self-destruction. People and parties in Bharat, who gang-up every now and then with anti-Modi approach, should ask themselves whether they can afford to follow the same by playing proxy politics.
The conviction voiced by former Prime Minister Shri Vajapayee in the above quoted statement is not of an individual but a critical ingredient of democratic culture of Bharat, which always abstained from letting politics impinge on security issues. Immediately after the valorous act by Bharatiya soldiers, when voices across party lines and social sections welcomed the act, it resonated the same consensual mode. Suddenly, the party which emerged to transform the ‘corrupt’ nature of politics again raised a tangent voice by asking for proof of ‘surgical strikes’, indirectly providing fodder to Pakistan. Till now, many actions of this party, representing ‘new politics’, raised doubt about their intentions but by bringing anarchist thinking in matters of national security, its leadership has crossed the limit.
Kejriwal and his nascent party can afford to choose that path in an experimental mode. But Congress Party, which is the oldest party and has seen many critical situations in national life, raising questions about the credibility of armed forces, is something dangerous and indigestible. One can understand the pain they are going through due to the dwindling electoral fortunes and power benefits associated with it. As a proxy to that frustration Congress cannot deny the credit of tough decision making at political level and act of precision by armed forces.
As if that is not enough, intellectuals and artists, who are expected to show the path of righteousness through creative means, are joining the calibrated attempts of divisive bandwagoning for selfish motives. For them, their business propositions are more important than national interests. The people who petition for profit-making Pakistanis in the name of art and insulting our soldiers will meet the same fate of self-destruction as faced by the proxy warriors of ‘intolerance’.
Fact of the matter is, Bharat has for first time shown the courage to act beyond the constitutionally unaccepted borders with a strong political will. The proxy war strategy of the enemy country is being completely exposed through real diplomacy. The time is to display our strength as a unified and integrated nation beyond doubt, and not to ask for proof from our forces. Displaying usual practice of proxy politics at this juncture by anyone would certainly lead to the Pakistani path of self-destruction.
By Prafulla Ketkar