‘Doubting Thomases’: India’s ‘liberals’ remain believers

The Indian Army has more credibility than the Pakistani Army in the eyes of most Indians, but not this lot. So the voices of what the Defence Minister called ‘doubting Thomases’ have been heard across the land.

Written by Tavleen Singh | Updated: October 16, 2016 10:20 am
india-pakistan, surgical strikes, PoK, pakistan occupied kashmir, CNN news 18, CNN News 18 interview, PoK police officer, Ghulam Akbar, interview forged, fake interview, india news, indian express Indian army soldiers take positions during their patrol near the Line of Control in Nowshera sector, about 90 kilometers from Jammu. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)

As a consequence of India’s intellectual arena having been occupied since Nehruvian socialist times by a dictatorship of very illiberal leftists and liberals, English-speaking Indians have a self-loathing that is increasingly repugnant. This past week was a good one to see these self-loathing Indians in full fettle. This particular genre of Indian despises Narendra Modi, so they have been more than a little unnerved by the ‘surgical strikes’ in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, that the Indian Army conducted in retaliation for the murder of 19 soldiers. So a loud chorus has risen from ‘liberal quarters’ demanding ‘proof’ without anyone noticing that if we should be asking for proof, it ought to be from Pakistan’s military men. Proof that they have stopped using suicidal jihadists in their cowardly, undeclared war.

The Indian Army has more credibility than the Pakistani Army in the eyes of most Indians, but not this lot. So the voices of what the Defence Minister called ‘doubting Thomases’ have been heard across the land. Nothing happened at all, they say, and whatever happened has happened before so it’s wrong for the Prime Minister to try and take credit. In any case, the only solution is dialogue not a violent response on the border. None of them noticed that their voices sounded worryingly similar to the voices of military men from across the border. This is not surprising since many of these doubters have long been involved in a process that has come to be known on the subcontinent as ‘track two diplomacy.’

Having been on more than one of these cross-border junkets, let me describe what happens. Us liberals go to Lahore or Islamabad or wherever and our Pakistani hosts pay for us to stay in nice hotels and then introduce us to charming liberals and leftists whose hospitality so overwhelms us that we rarely speak of difficult things. We never meet the military men who control the Indian jihad. The civilian leaders we meet are usually full of friendship and love. I met Nawaz Sharif on one of these junkets and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, but the only time I have met serving military officers is when I have gone to report on some election or coup. It is from meeting them many times that I have understood that, in their limited worldview, India will always be a hated enemy.

It is from conversations with these military men that I have learned that they believe that India will eventually break up and enable Pakistan to expand its territory and population by luring Indian Muslims to their side. So the real purpose of the jihadists, who the Pakistani army sends us, is to create communal tension by their acts of violence. Spokesmen for the Pakistani government like to say that once the ‘core issue’ of Kashmir is resolved, all tensions with India will end. This is rubbish and they know it. The only people who seem not to know it are the people I described in the first paragraph of this column.

This caboodle includes journalists, academics, bureaucrats, politicians, historians and even judges. They are bound together by the skein of their ‘secularism’ and their hatred of Modi. So they virtually constitute a fifth column of the Congress party without being its official spokesmen. When there is a Congress government in power, these worthies nearly always find (even in retirement) jobs that enable them to continue living in fine bungalows in Lutyens Delhi. Nothing inspires loyalty more than patronage of this kind, and because they hide behind the shield of secularism, they are able easily to disguise their self-loathing.

It is this self-loathing that Pakistan has manipulated very well in the many, many rounds of futile dialogue that began soon after the Islamic Republic was born. Have you noticed that most commentators in the Indian media refer to a ‘deep state’ within Pakistan as if it were constituted by people outside the government? Have you noticed how this disguises the harsh truth that the Pakistani military is the Pakistani government? Have you noticed how we keep talking on our side of the border about the need to strengthen Pakistan’s elected leaders, without ever acknowledging that, in Punjab, jihadist leaders like Hafiz Saeed would not exist without the support of Nawaz Sharif and his brother who is Punjab’s chief minister?

If we want peace with the Islamic Republic next door, India will need to continue proving that she is stronger militarily, economically and in every other way. Only this will persuade Pakistan’s military men to abandon their dream of a greater Pakistan that will, they hope, be powerful enough to match India in every way. For the moment it is just a sad, shabby little country full of hatred and violence. It is seen this way even by countries that once were its friends, but India’s ‘liberals’ remain believers!

This column first appeared under the title 'Fifth column: Doubting Thomases'. Follow Tavleen Singh on Twitter @ tavleen_singh

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  1. R
    Ram
    Oct 16, 2016 at 6:55 am
    You have aptly described what exactly the situation around us. Those leeches who are sucking the blood of India disguised as liberals are loosing grounds now. If intellectuals like you can impart this understanding to mes then there will be no place for them to hide their intellectual Jihad.
    Reply
    1. S
      Sampat
      Oct 16, 2016 at 1:22 pm
      Action just does not mean a large area or higher casualties. A firm reply and warning is a real action too Why not chest thumping !! It's a media was too. Reaction of opposition lacks maturity.
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      1. C
        crickin
        Oct 15, 2016 at 8:09 pm
        I'm curious to see the video of Sirgi kal strike, not becos i doubt Indian Armed forces, just curious how special ops performed inside en emy territory. But, i take exc eption in the way modi govt is using as it is their person al achievement. Since sirgi kal strike, terror incidences have increased, why no response to these incidents. Indian lost some more lives bec os of terror within last 1 week. Where is the Indi an response Mr. PM?lt;br/gt;You are a bl ind modi fan, who is f akin g thru every aspe ct of run ning a count ry.
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        1. L
          Lli
          Oct 16, 2016 at 7:08 am
          All those doubting Thomes, Talveen Singh has a very close connection in stan. She should be able to ask him and being one of the former husbands, he should be bolides ..
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          1. P
            Pritam
            Oct 16, 2016 at 12:36 pm
            Very well said. These so called seculars and for Modi hatred, they are hurting India more than anyone else. They hold important positions in Con govt and now they are jobless.
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            1. S
              S. C.
              Oct 16, 2016 at 3:38 pm
              Very well said. It is foolish to try to strengthen stan government. Just follow the new path being chalked out by our PM. Nawaz sharif has betra Atal Ji and now Modi Ji because that is his real face. Focus on your own economy and military strength. Isolate stan and inflict occasional punishment. Don't look for talks with them. They cheated a gem like Shastriji and a strong leader like Indira Ji. Don't go that route anymore.
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              1. S
                SubbuI
                Oct 16, 2016 at 5:58 am
                THIS ANTI NEHRU ANTI SOCIALIST ANTI HI AND VENGENSEFUL LADY WHEN SHE WRITES CAN NOT TAKE GRANTED THAT HER VIEWS ARE ACCEPTED BY EVERY ONE. THE BAKTHS AND NEO NATONALISTS AND HYPER PATRIOTICS ARE COMING OUT WITH SUPPORT is EXPECTED AND NOT SURPRISING . HALLO MADAM. WHERE IS YOUR COMMON SENSE VANISHED WHEN YOU RIGHT NOW STHAN IS UNDR NALAYAK MODI AND JOKER PARRIKAR FEET. DON'T YOU KNOW THE ONE WHO GOT MAKE NOISE BECAUCE OF PAIN AND NOT THE ONE WHO HURTS. IT IS SO BIG THE ARMY HAVE DONE WHEN THEY ARE HUMBLE AND THEY HAVE TO DO LOT MORE WHY YOU LIKE A PARROT GO ON ABUSING YOUR OWN COUNTY MAN AND WHY THE ITI POUT FOOLISH PARRIKAR IS JUMPING LIKE A MONKEY EATED A 200 grams OF GINGER.lt;br/gt;ARE YOUR ALLOWANCE DOUBLING EACH ARTILE YOU ADD TO YOU MODI BHAJANS ALBUM.YOU ARE THE MOST PERVERTED, ARROGANT AND BAISED WRITTER IN IE AMONG ALL OTHERS
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                  P Subramani Aiyar
                  Oct 16, 2016 at 4:16 am
                  A great piece from Tavleen as always. I myself have the same views about this English speaking lot of Indians and so find it so easy to get her message, Tavleen has been married to a liberal stani and so is absolutely spot on in what she says. It is not difficult to know the people she is talking about. Like someone said, it is hatred of all Hindus, not just Modi. What an irony that the majority in this country is made up of Hindus. That more than anything else will establish how well entrenched the Hindu haters have been.
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                  1. H
                    Harikrishnan
                    Oct 16, 2016 at 6:42 am
                    In todays world of Media, very rarely does journalist like to tell the truth bluntly like you do Mrs. Tavleen on sensitive issues involving Religion and Terrorism.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Your article is simply the absolute truth.
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                    1. A
                      Aman
                      Oct 16, 2016 at 8:05 am
                      Modi is a killer. He killed muslims in Gujarat and now he is killing them in Kashmir one by one. He knows what he is doing.
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                      1. A
                        amartya
                        Oct 21, 2016 at 10:37 am
                        oh how did i miss it ! fantastic article
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                        1. A
                          ambrosial crap
                          Oct 16, 2016 at 4:54 am
                          good 'surgically precise' article by Ms Singh ..... after the Olympic misjudgment.
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                          1. A
                            Arsee
                            Oct 16, 2016 at 6:28 am
                            A cr article full of hate and rubbish , while the writer berates others for being congress lankeys , she herself left no stone unturned in her modi bhakti , what hypocrisy. It is a article fit for publication in some propaa pamphlet. The readers don't get any better view of things by reading her propaa material. IE should be better advised to discontinue this rant.
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                              A.Murali Krishna
                              Oct 16, 2016 at 5:46 am
                              Brilliant article! Pak says "unfinished parion", "thousand cuts" and their are people in India, saying "Bharat ko thukada kareengi". Might is strength and Indian army and Indians must show power and tame the anti-India slogan brigade, either in India or outside India
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                                Atul Bhardwaj
                                Oct 16, 2016 at 4:55 am
                                Behind the veil of secularism,rests an agenda,to grab easy money in any form,from the government of India-if it is not favourable,as is the case now,they are liberal enough to demand from their PAK masters.lt;br/gt;This coterie is in judiciary,bar ociation,historians,media,politicians on the basis of patronage of the past governments.lt;br/gt;Remember,the case of a unwell lawyer,coming to court to convince a judge,successfully-really hilarious!!!lt;br/gt;These congis destro each insutions by appointing pliant persons,who just return fa our to their appointing masters;rather than be loyal to the Consution.
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                                1. B
                                  Babu Gupta
                                  Oct 16, 2016 at 2:16 pm
                                  Great analysis. Congratulations for putting in words what is in the hearts of millions of Indian well wishers. The traitors only could b the courageous stand by current government and effective operation my brave Indian military men as "Khoon ki Dalali".
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                                    Bakumbai
                                    Oct 17, 2016 at 1:45 pm
                                    These pseudo liberals and leftists are the real enemies of India, worse than stan. they have no love for their own country. They were shocked and devastated that the man against whom they peioned to USA not to grant visa, is now the PM of India, the best out of all after Independence.
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                                      bala Raja
                                      Oct 16, 2016 at 1:45 am
                                      Tavleen mixes up multiple things. First, the Modi Govt made a public tamasha out of a military operation by self congratulation and chest-thumping without precedent. Thus, the focus, which should have been on continued operations and fight against Pak terror, descended into a debate on whether the regime had actually done all it said or was exaggerating. As it turns out, there were prior operations which were done more quietly. Granted, the public needed to be reured after Uri, but the manner of "celebration" by the Govt was more to lionize Modi than a sombre message to the country. Second, in all this victory dance, there is no discussion of whether anything substantive had been accomplished towards containing Pak terror or eliminating key terrorists. Is there a long term strategy? Do we have an operation like the US drone program to take out terrorists? Or, was this all a one-time eye wash? I'm not a Congress supporter, but I have been fed up with the current Govt's all talk and no action mode for so long, the hoopla on the "surgical strike" is inducing skepticism.
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                                        bala Raja
                                        Oct 16, 2016 at 2:08 am
                                        The second part is about being liberal. This has nothing to do with how one approaches pak relationship. I want freeer discourses, more room for dissent and less government. The Hindu tradition is by definition liberal. So, don't use the word "liberal" to define the free-loaders in lutyen's Delhi.
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                                          Casteless
                                          Oct 15, 2016 at 9:12 pm
                                          All this is happening as a result of 60 years of coolie Congress Raj. (No disrespect to an ordinary coolie who works hard to earn his living) When NDA could have concentrated on the economic development they have been derailed in Rajyasabha and outside on many occasions. But I think 5 years in power is bound to teach NDA how to deal with these rouges with confidence. Media will also turn round when they realize which side is their bread buttered. Keep writing such articles but I do feel your frustration.
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                                            Barb Dewyre
                                            Oct 16, 2016 at 1:33 am
                                            I'm all praise for our army which conducted strikes "along" the LOC and inflicted significant casualties on the jihadists preparing to enter into India. I have no reason to doubt our DGMO and to that extent the statement was also made in English, a language I'm more at home with and supposedly you, Tavleen Singh, are too since you write so eloquently in it. What you have not told the people is that within a few hours your political heros had interpreted "along" to "across" and significant to range from 40 to 200 casualties,depending on who they were talking to. Revealing the proof or otherwise is the prerogative of the government and should be decided by the strategic considerations. In the case of the BJP and the bluster of the likes of Parrikar and Shah, it almost seemed that they were thumbing their noses at the opposition. For once Modi appeared dignified and his silence spoke volumes. As regards the track two diplomacy about which Tavleen Singh has so much experience, let me remind her that her proximity to a certain politician, who she has such a low opinion of in general, was enough to bear a son! So much for that. Track two was also followed by Doval and Janjua in Bangkok. While our army has proved time and again that we can defend ourselves aggressively, you cannot escape the fact that neighbours have to resolve matters and foreign policy is a lot more than roaring crowds in Madison Gardens and Times Squares. Enthusiastic Defence Ministers like Parrikar may be well advised that war is a very expensive and bloody way of winning UP and Goa.
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