Ultimately, it is the “normal” that dominates our lives. Have you seen the terrorist attack in Manchester? Europeans were definitely sad, but they didn’t really stop… they just went on with their lives.
Increasingly, all over Europe, there is a realization that losing a certain number of innocent people each year to Islamic terrorism is a given. Sure, Europeans will regret it. Any rational human being will regret the loss of innocent human life. But the problem is that Europeans will not “really” care enough about it.
The same logic of the normal applies to the perpetual “war” between India and Pakistan. Does any of us really expect peace to come in our lifetime or in the lifetime of the next generation or the generation after that?
In a vexed war like this, the only positive outcome can be to change the normal. Or if you like technologically slanted language, to change the default setting.
So far, the default setting has been for Pakistan to keep striking India and India maintaining a forever defensive posture. Even in the face of an extreme provocation like Kargil, the Indian military including the Air Force were under strict instructions not to cross the Line of Control (LoC).
It is not that people of India don’t understand. We know there will never be peace. We were just fed up of the normal. They pick their time and their spot and all we get to do is pick up the pieces.
This is what the Modi government has changed forever.
We will now carry out surgical strikes across the LoC when we want and wherever we want. We will destroy their fortifications with large artillery guns and announce it triumphantly to the world.
It is noteworthy that while the surgical strikes of September were against “terrorists”, the operation that the Army publicized yesterday did not try to put up any such facade. The Army was very open about showing the action against official Pakistani army fortifications.
THIS is the new normal. At one time, we were scared to touch our nuclear armed rogue neighbor for fear of an extreme reaction. Now we know that the nuclear bravado was just a bluff.
One only hopes we can keep pushing the normal. Air strikes the next time perhaps? You know like the way Americans do. They don’t put up any appearances.. they bomb Pakistan as and when they want. Sometime they inform Pakistan … sometimes they don’t.
A very similar thing has happened in the jeep “incident” with the dude tied to the front as a human shield. Major Gogoi, the army man who took the controversial decision has received a medal from the Army. On paper, the medal is for his services in general and not this incident in particular, but we all know how well Modi government understands the power of timing.
The timing and the message is clear. The Army has a free hand in Kashmir to fight the war. And human rights activists never won anybody a war. Worse, we are fairly confident that the human rights activists are on Pakistani payroll, selling out their country for literally pennies.
The ultimate beauty of a “new normal” is that it doesn’t matter who holds the power in Delhi. If tomorrow the BJP were to lose power, the “normal” would still be available for the next Prime Minister to use. A new normal has been established and Pakistan has to live with it. Jai Hind!