- Today a terrorist may rejoice in killing Jews in a holy war, tomorrow it could be any other community that might find itself in a situation similar to the one the Kashmiri Pandits were in the 1990s.
- The foot soldier of Islam can easily be directed in any way his master wants, one who will serve his own interests and this becomes extremely dangerous when the abettors are sovereign nations.
- Bharat’s confused self-image along with the twisted understanding and the crude imitation of the concept of European secularism has led to many unspeakable injustices carried out in the country, which is not the case with Israel which proudly identifies itself as a Jewish state.
“Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”– Eleanor Roosevelt
As the conflict between Hamas and Israel continues with no end visible on the horizon, the line between Hamas and Palestine is getting blurred by the day. Palestine has used this conflict to raise its issue on the world stage including the United Nations General Assembly, pleading for support to its cause. Even though it is justified in its cause, it’s certainly unfortunate that it’s piggybacking on terrorists and their acts of terrorism. Israel for its part hasn’t shown any signs of stopping the constant bombardment of terrorist keyholds and similarly, Hamas continues to target civilians. Geopolitics is running at full steam with every nation looking to make the best of the situation for themselves. Amidst all this, there are some key points and valuable lessons for Bharat.
Similarities between Bharat and Israel
Israel like Bharat is a nation geographically surrounded by bigger and more hostile neighbours. If Israel faces existential threats from the Islamic regimes in the Middle East, it is the threat from China and Pakistan for Bharat. Both countries gained independence around the same time. Both had to survive multiple wars with their hostile neighbours. Neighbours of both countries ally among themselves to bring them down. Both have rich cultural and religious histories, have suffered at the hands of invaders and have suffered one way or the other. Two States’ was prophesied as the ultimate solution to the problems of both countries by the world powers. Parts of their land continue to be the bone of contention with their neighbours. Both have a large diaspora spread across the world holding influential and key positions. Both countries constantly suffer from state-sponsored and cross-border terrorism.
Cross-border terrorism is a constant problem that Bharat raises on every single international stage possible. When compared, Bharat’s border with Pakistan is more militarised than the Israeli border, with more human elements in it. A large-scale attack similar to the one which happened in Israel may not be inconceivable but would be much harder. But complacency is always the worst enemy of defence and internal security. Mossad, Israel’s intelligence-gathering organisation famous for its intelligence-gathering and covert operations was caught off guard this time. Defence and intelligence organisations may be successful 99 times but the 1 time they miss will cost the country and its people very dearly. A minor slip-up by Israeli intelligence has extracted an immeasurable toll on its people this time.
Security and intelligence organisations may be successful 99 times but the 1 time they miss will cost the country and its people very dearly. A minor slip-up by Israeli intelligence has extracted an immeasurable toll on its people this time.
Although Bharat has had one of the best decades in terms of relative peace and fewer terrorist attacks, the October attacks on Israel are a grave and timely reminder that there can be no relaxation in terms of internal security. Internal security must never be taken for granted. Adopting innovative methods and improving the security mechanism is always a continuous process. The way Hamas literally bulldozed the border fence with Israel shows how swiftly circumstances and equations can change. With many politicians looking down on the importance of internal security in the upcoming general election, perhaps voters would be more enlightened to recognise the importance of internal security for the progress of the nation during national elections.
The Exodus of Kashmiri Pandits
The plight of Kashmiri pandits if compared is shockingly similar to the plight of Jews though the timelines are different. They were both driven out of their homes and homeland by genocidal tyrants, who subsequently became residents of the land and with time naturally became citizens of the place. The genocide of Kashmiri pandits was termed by a section of the intelligentsia as the struggle of the oppressed against the oppressor which sounds eerily similar to the views of many “intellectuals” in the media on the terrorist attacks by Hamas on Israel.
The competent and hardworking native victims of the land in both circumstances were blamed for the aggression of the perpetrators. But one thing that differentiates the two is the fact that the Jews did not lose their will to reclaim the land they lost to the invaders. This may have taken several generations due to global politics, the absence of modern technology, telecommunications and the military but the Jews did not lose heart. They lobbied hard to make anti-semitism a global crime and brought awareness of the atrocities suffered by them and their ancestors throughout history. But in the case of Kashmiri pandits, unfortunately, even with such advanced technology, there have been no signs of bringing their cause to the mainstream attention and seeking justice.
The Kashmiri Pandit diaspora too has not been successful in raising awareness about their plight across the world. Though the community is relatively more prosperous, it has failed to mainstream its cause on the global stage to get any semblance of justice and return to the land that it can justifiably call its motherland.
Grappling with an Identity Crisis
This issue of Kashmiri Pandits has a connection to the identity crisis affecting Bharatiyas today. Israel for its part unapologetically identifies as a Jewish state but in the case of Bharat, its identity is much complicated and confused. The crisis starts with many having an issue with calling themselves a part of Bharat. Many would prefer to view it as a country that came into existence only in the early 19th century, instead of recognising the fact that Bharat as a country is a continuous living civilization of thousands of years old, with a rich cultural heritage.
With a huge warning call served to us all in Israel recently, will the people of Bharat at least now accord the importance that Internal security duly deserves or go back to the illusion of safety they had to endure during the previous decade?
This confused self-image along with the twisted understanding and the crude imitation of the concept of European secularism has led to many unspeakable injustices carried out in the country. For example, the grave genocide of Kashmiri pandits instead of being characterised as a collapse of internal security or a terrorist act, has been relegated to being a simple law and order issue, thus deeply reducing the enormity of the crime and its gravity. Even the Gujarat riots were blamed on one community, who were the original victims of an inhumane attack that triggered the subsequent events. Jews on their part need not expend their energy on the kind of monkey balancing that people in Bharat engage in to appease their vote bank and pander to the Western media and audience.
Internal security and cross-border terrorism are the issues that must be the central plank in any general election. Islamic terrorism which views any other religion other than Islam as “Kafirs” has no dearth of targets to choose from to project as its mortal enemies. Today a terrorist may rejoice in killing Jews in the holy war, tomorrow it could be Hindus, who might find themselves in a situation similar to the one faced by the Kashmiri Pandits in the 1990s but on a much larger scale.
A foot soldier of Islam who is on the ground can easily be directed in any way his master wants, one that will serve his own interests. This becomes particularly dangerous when the abettors of such a cause are sovereign nations. With a huge warning call served to us all in Israel recently, will the people of Bharat at least now accord the importance that Internal security duly deserves or go back to the illusion of safety they had to endure during the previous decade? The answer will present itself when the results of the 2024 General elections are available.
(The author has an M.Sc. in Psychology and serves in NIMHANS. He writes regularly on politics, society, international affairs and technology. Views expressed are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of SamvadaWorld or its staff)