In the last 3 months the new government headed by Narendra Modi had one victory after another against Pakistan. But the question is how long we can push it? Is it in our best interest if Pakistan becomes a failed nuclear state? Is that our objective? Because if that is the objective, we will be putting ourselves at great risks.
Yes, politicians like to say things which can stir up nationalistic fervor and gain crucial political points and sadly this is what many of the politicians are doing on the other side of the border. But in India we are starting to get a little bit out of control. We all like to win, but no one likes a winner who gloats too much and this could definitely prove to be a good thing for Pakistan and we do not want that because not all statements deserve a reply.
Pakistan still is trying to stir the pot on the International border to get attention and every time that has proved futile. India must respond strongly but by action and not by words. People forget who hit who but words echo for a long time. The comments made by our defense minister Arun Jaitley when he said "When Pakistan used to fire, we always had a shield in our hand. This time we also had a sword," will help him score major points with the public, but in the long run we do not want it. Now I am not saying the defense minister should not have consolatory comments towards Pakistan and I am sure he and the BJP government want to start a dialogue soon, but under an equitable climate.
Maybe we need to tone down a bit. We have won this round and should remain alert not vocal, empathetic and not belligerent. Remember a cornered beast is most dangerous so it would be good to remember what San Tzu said “The opportunity to secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.” In the long run, the path chosen by Pakistan will not be in its favor because they do not have what it takes to sustain themselves and we can. It is always unwise to discuss ones strength openly and parade the weakness of the enemy in public. Bold statement will give us pleasure but it will motivate them, and who knows what they might do when totally disparate.
Since the BJP came to power it has still somehow managed to get an extension on its honeymoon period, especially in foreign affairs which are rare because sooner or later there is always a cock up. But this has not happed thus far and there may be arguments against this, but so far BJP has won every session. So it would be prudent to continue and just for posterity we will have to carry Pakistan for few more rounds because if we knock them down they will disintegrate which is not in our best interest, so we must wear them down. Use the same tactic against them. A test match only lasts for 5 days but in this case BJP have 5 years and it’s still a long way to go.
Ever since Narendra Modi has taken over the office of Prime Minister, he has set a record of travelling to foreign countries. He has had successful visit to Brazil, Bhutan, Nepal, Japan and America, so far. He also plans to visit Myanmar, Australia and china by the end of this year. This makes Mr. Modi one of the most travelled Indian Prime Minister in a span of just over five months after taking office and there is still two months to go. Also he has managed to win crucial state election in Maharashtra and Haryana and also he had to face two natural calamities, one in south east and one in the volatile state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Now critics can take a fine comb and go through all the decisions Modi and his cabinet has made and come up with several mistakes and yes mistakes have been made, but nothing drastic to stop the momentum of ending the “Honeymoon Period.”
But first let us look into the foreign policy side.
Narendra Modi has taken active foreign policy to new levels which we have not pursued in a long time. India as a nation has lot to offer and by travelling to all these nations, most of which are our neighbors gives a strong signal of a resurgent India. He has also received heads of state of two very influential nations, China and Australia and has managed to negotiate complex deals and agreements.
No one can call Modi a backwater politician because he has proved his foreign policy credentials or he has the good scene to listen to experts. A politician may be highly educated and well versed in international diplomacy but still require policy advisors and it seems he is clearly listening to them. It is always important to talks to major powers, but the attention given to India’s long neglected neighbors was perhaps the most important domestic foreign policy decision he has ever made.
The visit to Bhutan and Nepal was more important than any other visit elsewhere because China was gaining significant track in all these nations and ignoring them would have costs us dearly.
They say politics is perception and when people see a young American President climbing stairs quickly, it gives people hope that their leader is vibrant. Modi some may argue is not be as swift as Obama, but if that is the case he has more than compensated it with his suave. He has managed to generate new energy into the country which has given the people a renewed optimism which was not there in the last five years. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is man more intellectually gifted then Mr. Modi and no one will ever contest that. But what we require now is a real politician and Modi has done exactly that or he has managed to portray that. Either way it has worked.
The defeat in the by-elections is now but a memory and the thumping victory in Maharashtra and Haryana has again proven he is still carrying his momentum from the general election victory. How long this will continue totally depends on how well he manages his political underlings and how much non partisan politics he will commit himself to.