Every child loves playing war games. But nations are expected to behave like adults. Except, the adults in a nation often behave like children. Like much of Indian electronic media did over the last one week drumming up support for a war with Pakistan.

 


It is not difficult to guess that the terrorists entered from Pakistan, and it doesn’t require investigative skills to expose the terror network that Pakistan fuels in its ‘proxy-war’ against India. But electronic media and social media went hyper-nationalistic because the time had finally arrived for ‘nuclear India’ to teach another nuclear power a lesson.

 

 

One Indian expert on Pakistan wanted to nuke the neighbour and in retaliation, if India, he mourned, lost 500 million, the remaining 500 would rebuild the nation. Some did quick surveys of whether the country should go to war while others in print media recommended diplomatic isolation etcetera. 

 

 

But none saw or wanted to see the writing on the wall; India’s military fundamentals are not in place. India cannot go to war.

 

Ironically, the agency that was hardest hit, the Indian Army, was the most sensible in its reaction (till Friday morning when they ludicrously issued a directive to media houses for ‘pre-verification’ of facts).

 

18 Indian soldiers were killed in an attack in Uri close to Pakistan border. They were at the rear base camp of an infantry battalion in temporary settlements like tents without any peripheral guard wall. This is important to note; the soldiers were exposed completely.

 

A few kilometres from the line of control where infiltration is common and which has been a sensitive border post, why were soldiers kept without adequate protection? Not just Uri, across the state of Jammu and Kashmir reportedly more than 50 army posts have no peripheral guard walls. Military officers say there are budgetary problems in sanctioning of guard walls. Lets wait for the nuclear warheads, can India raise some basic walls around its installations?


Lets assume they build guard walls like Pathankot but are they guarded/patrolled according to standard operating procedures? Unlikely, given the frequency of such attacks.


It took 5 days for the Defence Minister to admit that the attack was fatal because of errors and “something must have gone wrong”.  By then, however, his party colleagues had already declared war and even he announced: “punishment”(along with his Prime Minister) for the perpetrators who of course were dead and buried. I mean I know he meant punishing Pakistan, the country he considers worse than ‘hell’.


What, however, no media or government functionary or public intellectuals would admit is that India cannot go to war with Pakistan simply because the country’s military capabilities are below par. The Indian army has third generation weaponry and is low on ammunition amongst other things. Virtually every single element required for a professional army is not fulfilled. The only asset they have is a dedicated and trained human resource but used as battle fodder.


The most “fitting response” therefore to this attack would obviously be to reinforce Indian installations and make the armed forces equipped to take on the enemy. Before the blustering nationalists fire the warheads.