The war drums are still being beaten. The top brass of India’s defence establishment say that they can carry out “surgical strikes” on Pakistan as soon as they are ordered to do so.
Which brings us to the fourth activity our The State is capable of: War.
This sums up its total State response to Terrorism:
Diplomacy, Bureaucracy, Legislation and War.
Note that there is no mention of “politics.”
Except, of course, from Kashmir. Talking about the “new awakening” in India after the Mumbai Massacre, Arjimand Hussain Talib, a columnist for the Greater Kashmir newspaper, notes not only how, for the first time in living memory, all Indians are expressing disgust for the political class, but also how this is ushering in a sea change in the world’s perception of India.
He adds, however, a note of caution: that Indians should not think that Islam is at war with them. He talks about the real tenets of Islam and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. Terrorists who kill innocent people are going against the teachings of Islam, Talib says. He calls for a “new politics.”
I am in fundamental agreement with this view. I recall the day when Arjimand took me to the house of a big carpet dealer in Srinagar. On his wall was a saying, in Urdu and English, which said: “The honest trader will surely find entry into Paradise, there to meet the Prophet, who was an honest trader himself.”
Islam is a religion of traders and free markets. It is not a religion of soldiers.
Since Hindus discovered Shubh Laabh aeons before Adam Smith, there should be good “political vibes” between Hinduism and Islam – if Liberalism entered the fray.
That is the “political” path to lasting Security.
Note that in the meantime, the terrorists are giving it good to the the US and NATO forces: 160 Humvees were torched in Peshawar yesterday. They were supposed to be used in Afghanistan.
At least I take comfort in the fact that the private security industry in India is expected to be worth over 50,000 crore rupees (500 billion) in a few years. It is growing at over 25 per cent annually.
That’s the antidote: a new politics, and private security.