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Immature Request


The Opposition wants the Government to ‘provide details’ about the recent border stand-off with China. It wants its questions answered. Don’t the opposition leaders know that the answers to the questions may satisfy their curiosity but also provide the adversary with information that would help it work out India’s strategy on the border issue? Is it their wish that this should happen? Or, are some of them on the Chinese payroll and working to do exactly that?

The government does reveal what it has done from time to time, but in a carefully calibrated manner. It cannot give a knee-jerk reaction to an incident on the border, because if it does so, the skirmishes will be repeated merely to obtain required information. If Indians and the world have learned anything about Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it is that he is a multi-tasker who gets his backroom boys and girls to prepare surprises that he springs most unexpectedly on his targets. Be it demonetisation, abrogation of J&K’s special status, or even offering a meal in the context of International Year of Millets, his power of anticipation is unique.

So, why do the politicians think he has no plan for China? If the matter is to be judged by outcomes, there have already been numerous initiatives to counter the new international bully at several levels. But, as he has said, ‘This is not the time for war’. And as the Chinese Sun Tzu has said, “A war is won before it is ever fought.” It is the preparation that is important – any kind of premature action can be counter-productive.

If they really wanted satisfaction on certain counts, the opposition could have got together a group of responsible leaders who could have been briefed behind closed doors. Going by its approach, it seeks only to embarrass the government by projecting the events on the borders as a defeat for India, its government and soldiers. This reveals these leaders’ inability to think in the long-term, their susceptibility to seeking short-term advantages, and putting political objectives above national interest. If they think the people are foolish enough to be taken in, they are mistaken. And the government is doing right by keeping its plans under a lid. When the time comes, everything will become known.