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“WHERE IS THE SHIVAJI OF MODERN INDIA” ?

Poor India ! What a way to start the millennium… For ten centuries, this sacred land has been raped and plundered by Muslim invaders who came from Afghanistan and beyond. For ten centuries, Indians have been converted by force to Islam, their women raped, their children taken away as slaves, their men slaughtered… And India always took it meekly, as a lamb goes to the slaughter house - except for a lone Shivaji or two.


And when the Muslims invaders were spent, then came the European colonisers - and they too took India for a penny, which surrendered itself like a humble servant to its arrogant master, bar for the fight of a few braves Sikhs. And when the Europeans were gone, Nehru and Gandhism made sure that India remained the goody-goody little boy that it always was, by clipping the wings of its army, so that when the Chinese treacherously swooped down from Tibet, it was a cakewalk, a humiliation which still rankles forty years later.


Is it different today ? No ! Small neighbours of hardly any consequence, such as Nepal or Bangladesh, lend their territories to enemies of India, without New Delhi doing anything, in the spirit of the old Nehruvian “Good Neighbourhood” policy. For three decades, Pakistan, like a Ghazni of modern times, has been able to send its agents murder and loot into Indian territory without the Government reacting, except to mouth a few empty threats. Hindus are still slaughtered in Kashmir, Pakistan or Bangladesh (see Taslima Nasreen’s book), the perpetrators knowing fully well that no retaliation will come from New Delhi.


Yet, six months ago, during the battle of Kargil, the soldiers and officers of the Indian army proved that when they were given a free hand by the bureaucrats and politicians, they are amongst the best soldiers in the world, fighting in impossible conditions against an enemy better equipped and overlooking them. And for the first time in five hundred years, since the last great Hindu empire of Vijaynagar was razed by the Moghols, the Kshatriya Spirit was revived in India – and once more, what the Bhagavad Gita had preached became alive : that violence is sometimes necessary to protect one’s children women and borders; that Knowledge has to be preserved by Might in the true spirit of ahimsa…


But look at what happened when these modern Barbarians took over flight IC 814 : it is not the India of Arjuna, Shivaji, or the Rani of Jhansi who rose-up, but the meek India – the India of Macaulay’s children, of Nehru and LK Gujral, the India who always goes to be slaughtered head down, the India who for fifteen centuries has been conquered and plundered with such an ease.  Instead of giving a free rein to the army, the only body which has shown that it has the courage and leadership to stand-up to terrorism, it was left to the bureaucrats to bungle the Amritsar episode, the only chance India had to overpower five men armed with a lone pistol (before the Taliban furnished them with more weapons) and a few knives (and the NSG was caught napping after all these years of useless and arrogant VIP duties). And it was still in true Nehruvian spirit ( “we are all gentlemen”) left to the bureaucrats, these arrogant men who think that wearing a tie and speaking polished English make them superior, to negotiate with the terrorists, after having opened the “friendly Taliban” avenue.


Friendly Talibans ? Even the hapless Indian reading his newspaper with his morning tea ( and feeling humiliated – once more), knows that since time immemorial, Afghanistan has been Bharat’s worst enemy. He knows that today, Taliban mujahidins are the ones who are inflicting heavy casualties on Indian soldiers by their bold and suicidal attacks on army headquarters in Srinagar. He instinctively knows that since Mohamed Ghazni nothing has changed : Hindus are still for the Afghans (and unfortunately for the Pakistanis too, who are converted Hindus) the Infidels against whom a merciless Jihad has to be fought until all are conquered or slaughtered. True, the odds against a military intervention were enormous : India’s jet fighters would have had to bypass Pakistan and fly over the Himalayan ranges or Iran; and a commando’s action would have put the lives of the passengers in great jeopardy. But such odds did not deter the Israelis 24 years ago from rescuing their nationals taken hostage by other Muslim terrorists in a country which was also hostile to Israel (the Uganda of infamous Idi Amin), nor the French two years ago to storm the Air France plane and killing the all the heavily armed Islamic hijackers.


And the saddest thing is that the name “India” evokes no respect today in the world. Small countries, such as Indonesia or Saudi Arabia, can harbour deadly terrorists wanted by India; or bigger nations like Japan, a great war criminal hardly sixty years ago, give India moral lessons, because they all know that India takes things lying down. But look again at the Israelis: like the Indians, they were slaughtered for centuries  and during the Second World War, six million of them went to Hitler’s gas chambers without even a whimper. But after the war, when the new State of Israel was founded, its leaders decided that enough was enough : henceforth it will be “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”. Every time Arab terrorists struck their land, Israelis would retaliate ruthlessly; and every time the sacred land of Israel was threatened, its army would steal the initiative by invading the enemy’s territory. Today, Israel, a tiny nation surrounded by often hostile Arab countries, is feared and respected not only in the Middle East, but all over the world.


The vacillating attitude of the Indian Government in giving political asylum to the Karmapa, again sent the wrong signals : is India really become a “soft” state ? Are Indians actually “cowards”, as Gandhi once said ? Even Nehru granted immediately political asylum to the Dalai Lama in 1959, recalls  Claude Arpi in his remarquable book “The Fate of Tibet (Har Anand) ! China is a paper Tiger which growls a lot : but when it threatened Israel in December to break diplomatic relations because the Dalai Lama was to meet the Speaker of the Knesset, the Speaker told them to go to hell and he met the Dalai Lama. The NEXT WEEK the Chinese signed a huge arm contract with Israel…


India is a much bigger and powerful nation than Israel. It is an ancient civilization, which in spite of fifteen centuries of Muslim conquests and European colonialism, still carries within herself a Knowledge which once roamed the shores of ancient Mesopotamia or Egypt, but which has today disappeared from a world ruled by the dogmas and intolerance of it two monotheist religions. But who will protect this Knowledge from the modern Barbarians ? Who will redeem India’s long battered honor ? Who will stand-up to Islamic terrorism and Chinese bullying ? Where is the Shivaji of modern India ?


FRANCOIS GAUTIER

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