Only unsettled Issue is Continued Occupation
Ajit Doval, KC - Former Director, VIF

THE ENEMIES, both within and without, use bullets and bombs, not to kill people. They are collateral damages. The real objective is to subdue the enemy by breaking its will and dictating its terms of peace.

National will is the most vital ingredient of state power that erodes when leadership is weak and systems lose their strength. The chosen weapon to break the national will is psychological warfare or psywar; often employed by the adversaries to demoralise and confuse the enemy. Its aim is to manipulate the minds of the decision- makers and the people at large who could pressurise them to make them think and behave in a manner that will serve the attackers’ interests.

In the last few days, there have been some voices in the country questioning the wisdom and expediency of retaining Kashmir. The state, these people say, has bled the country so much in the last six decades. These people unwittingly play into the hands of enemies of the nation and give them a signal that national resolve is crumbling. Such an impression is not only totally incorrect and far from truth, but provokes our enemies to actually intensify their onslaught. Such suggestions are responsible for emboldening the forces of sabotage and subversion, giving adversaries the hope that with little more of a push, the ball will be in the goal. They also create confusion in the minds of people and erode singular conviction of people in the unity and integrity of the nation.

Like metals, states have a melting point. The state building process involves raising this melting point to a level where it is impervious to the heat generated by our enemies within or without. The enemy tries to get to know this metaphorical melting point as well as design its strategy to generate the heat required to reach it. If India wilts under the pressure of terrorists, insurgents, criminal mafia or violent demonstrations funded from abroad, it only indicates how low its meltdown point is. A nation aspiring to be a major player in global power dynamics can ill- afford to be a victim of such a psyche. Once a precedent is formed, all hostile groups will, supported by enemies within and outside, start competing with each other to reach that point at the earliest. This will create total anarchy in the country besides taking a huge toll in terms of lives of people.

Creation of a wrong discourse, by design or default, is the first step towards decline, which over time has a tendency to gather its own momentum.

These ill- conceived discourses start making space for themselves not by their superior reasoning and better understanding of history and strategy, but by an appeal to “ sexy” slogans. Such slogans do immense damage in all settings but are suicidal in democratic polities. It leads to people taking partisan positions without understanding the grave implications. This casts a heavy responsibility on the intelligentsia who have easy access to the media.

It is a pity that sweeping statements and prescriptive judgements are being dished out by some commentators who presume they can authoritatively talk on subjects they know little about.

Kashmir is an integral part of India, not only as per the unanimous resolution of the Indian Parliament and Constitution, but by it being an indestructible part of India’s civilisational identity. It also symbolises the fundamentals on which modern India’s state idea rests.

The only unsettled issue on Kashmir is continued occupation of parts of the state by Pakistan.

Anyone who deviates from this position holds in contempt not only Parliament but also its Constitution.

The author is a former chief of the Intelligence Bureau

Published in Mailtoday on 28 August, 2008

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