An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Is war the only answer for peace with our neighbours?

Was discussing this topic with a teenager – “war is the only answer for peace with our neighbours”. Here are my thoughts on this topic.

Before we go into the answer one way or the other, let us see what the situation is on the ground for India and what the possible options are. I wanted to start with two quotes from the first Prime Minister of India – Pandit Nehru that bring out the options we face.

In reply to first commander-in-chief of the Indian armed forces, General Sir Robert Lockhart, just after Independence when Lockhart presented a plan for growth of Indian Army, Pandit Nehru said:

“We don’t need a defence plan. Our policy is non-violence. We foresee no military threats. You can scrap the army. The police are good enough to meet our security needs.”

Within a year, the strength of Army personnel had been reduced in half.

In the year 1963, after a terrible defeat at the hands of Chinese – after we had signed the Panchsheel peace pact – Nehru was to tell Rajya Sabha members:

“I remember many a time when our senior generals came to us, and wrote to the defence ministry saying that they wanted certain things… If we had had foresight, known exactly what would happen, we would have done something else… what India has learnt from the Chinese invasion is that in the world of today there is no place for weak nations… We have been living in an unreal world of our own creation.”

This second statement which described Nehru’s dejection very well underscored one major principle of war – You cannot practice peace when you are weak!

India has never attacked another country in its history, but has been attacked from time immemorial. These wars have taken several forms. What India faces now from Pakistan, and from the Bangladeshi illegal immigrants is an invasion. The entire demography has changed in the North East. Last month, there were terrible riots, between the local Bodos and illegal Bangladeshis, in Assam where hundreds were rendered homeless and killed.

The attacks in Ahmedabad, Delhi, Banglore have been orchestrated from across the border. Kashmir has been made into an inferno because of short-sighted and extremist minds in ISI and the Pakistani Army.

We have to appreciate that we never fight Armies.. we fight the minds. The minds create wars. The Pakistani establishment of ISI and the Army is symptomatic of that mindset.

Pakistani Army has ruled over that country since independence. No democratic government has ever completed a term in their history. The Army needs reasons to survive and thrive. Wars are a good way to usurp power. That mindset is the one that creates wars. Most of the wars were created because of their belief about the situation that Pakistan faced at that time and their assumption of where India was. For example, Kargil was a brainwave that Musharraf had since long and at a particular time, he felt it was time – based on his assessment of how India would respond and also on his and the Army’s urgency to do away with Sharif.

When a war is thrust upon you, to sit and discuss whether you – at that point – want to fight or not, is foolhardy. And truth of the matter is that we are in the midst of a under-the-radar and unconventional but a war nevertheless. How we respond to it is upto us.

So, War – when thrust – is the ONLY answer. And when not thrust – being ready for it .. is the best antedote for other’s war ambitions (as the China episode well demonstrated).

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4 Comments
  1. Psiplex says

    As a U.S. citizen, and knowing little of India’s true state of affairs, I myopically see India as the great potential for worldwide consciousness. So many great spiritual masters have shown us the path from the beginning of time. It is a shame that our human condition perpetuates these wars when India, in this opinion, is the great engine of consciousness that can bring about an inner shift of consciousness to us all. Let’s trust that it has begun and will continue. We are all connected.

    One Love
    Psiplex
    http://www.psiplex.com

  2. Desh says

    As much as I am one who believes in peace as discussion as the way to proceed, I do realize that wars are a fact of human life. I concur with Krishna in that sense. Where he argued with Arjun on why fighting at that point was the correct way forward.

    War and peace… love and peace are only properties of consciousness.. they do not define holiness or otherwise of the primordial.

    One way when killings occur in wars is to have sorrow for the killed and say “Thou shalt not kill”.

    Krishna had another way to look at that question when he told Arjun – “Thou cannot kill.”

    I find the entire play and drama of this world interesting.. the rise .. the fall.. the good .. the bad.. the creation.. and destruction.

    Neither is creation “Holy” … Nor is destruction “unHoly”. They just are. There is nothing to be ashamed of either. Just be an observer in the play of consciousness playing with and within consciousness.

  3. Psiplex says

    As a U.S. citizen, and knowing little of India’s true state of affairs, I myopically see India as the great potential for worldwide consciousness. So many great spiritual masters have shown us the path from the beginning of time. It is a shame that our human condition perpetuates these wars when India, in this opinion, is the great engine of consciousness that can bring about an inner shift of consciousness to us all. Let’s trust that it has begun and will continue. We are all connected.

    One Love
    Psiplex
    http://www.psiplex.com

  4. Desh says

    As much as I am one who believes in peace as discussion as the way to proceed, I do realize that wars are a fact of human life. I concur with Krishna in that sense. Where he argued with Arjun on why fighting at that point was the correct way forward.

    War and peace… love and peace are only properties of consciousness.. they do not define holiness or otherwise of the primordial.

    One way when killings occur in wars is to have sorrow for the killed and say “Thou shalt not kill”.

    Krishna had another way to look at that question when he told Arjun – “Thou cannot kill.”

    I find the entire play and drama of this world interesting.. the rise .. the fall.. the good .. the bad.. the creation.. and destruction.

    Neither is creation “Holy” … Nor is destruction “unHoly”. They just are. There is nothing to be ashamed of either. Just be an observer in the play of consciousness playing with and within consciousness.

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