Musings on war-mongering and peace-loving political leaders
Abracadabra By K. B. Ganapathy, Columns

Musings on war-mongering and peace-loving political leaders

May 9, 2024

German Dictator Adolf Hitler had famously and axiomatically said that war is first born in the mind of man. So also terrorism, one may add. Again, it is attributed to Hitler, that war is to man what maternity is to woman.

When we observe the world past and present, rise and fall of empires like Roman Empire, Chinese Empire, British Empire, Mughal Empire, Ottoman Empire, Byzantine Empire and many more, we learn the cause for their rise was war and cause for their fall was war. No wonder the wag had described Peace as an interval between two wars. So also the collapse of civilisations that flourished was caused by war. And there will always be men of epicurean mental state, hedonistic, ready to compromise the principle of loyalty and sentiment of love for the country. They will betray their own people and subvert their own country. India was a victim under this kind of people; sadly for too long a period as about one thousand years — say, post 1000 A.D to 1947. And we see and hear this kind of subverters even        today in our country.

Presently there are two wars, yes wars, being waged in the world. One between Ukraine-Russia and another between Palestine-Israel or one may narrow it down to as between Hamas-Israel. Explicitly between Gaza-Israel. It is now more than 200 days of war resulting in large scale death and destruction and there seems to be no light at the other end of the tunnel. Not the underground tunnel constructed by Hamas!

The ceasefire negotiation has yielded no result so far. And it does not seem to yield result as long as the Israeli  hostages under Hamas are not released and Hamas is adamant, for reasons, in refusing to release the hostages. Israel is equally adamant in making it a condition to accept  ceasefire. Sympathy of the world is shared more or less equally between Hamas and Israel. Be that as it may, one must indeed wonder, if not feel surprised, at the tenacity of  Hamas in challenging Israel despite many constraints and military failures. Worse, many deaths and living in constant fear and misery.

Presently, the humanitarian issue is that 6,00,000 children are facing catastrophe in Rafah, southern part of Gaza, where Israel is threatening to march in and are already controlling the border crossing check-post inside Rafah. It is only America that can bring an end to the war. But will it?

As is known, Gaza’s bloodiest ever war began following Hamas’ unprovoked and unprecedented October 7, 2023 surprise attack on Israel that resulted in the death of more than 1,170 people, mostly merry-making happy civilians. Following this killing of innocents,  Israel conducted a retaliatory offensive that has so far killed 34,735 people in Gaza, according to Hamas sources. Whatever it be, the Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Israel’s iconic, formidable intelligence agency the Mossad are accused of failing in their duty in collecting intelligence about Hamas — about the tunnels or the attack of October 7, 2023. Now what?

This brings me to our own, India’s way of facing the menace of terror attacks that spread its tentacles first in Kashmir and then extended into different parts of the country since late 1960s. It assumed dangerous dimensions during the rule of Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and all those who came to occupy the high office of the Prime Minister belonging to different parties and coalition. One Prime Minister in the face of a major terror attack bemoaned his helplessness due to, what he called, “coalition compulsion.”

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Indian authorities merely accused Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), the two terrorist groups operating from Pakistan and wrote letters pleading for good conduct and to rein-in those terrorist groups. Result? Series of regular terror attacks.

That is what you get when you write letters or engage in talks. Israel and America retaliate militarily and make their enemy ask for ceasefire or peace talks.

Let us look at some major terrorist attacks in India and India’s response to these attacks. India NOT doing enough to punish the terrorists, without learning from America and Israel, has certainly hurt the collective conscience of Indian people. The result was seen in Modi returning triumphantly in 2014 and 2019 Parliamentary elections.

Babri Masjid was demolished on 6th December 1992. In March 1993, a series of 12 terrorist bombings rocked Mumbai. There were 257 fatalities and 1,400 injured. The trial went on and on and some sent to prison and one Yakub Memon executed on 30th July 2015, after 22 years. Indian Government did not pursue this horrendous attack beyond the confines of Law Courts.

In December 2000, a  terrorist attack took place in Red Fort in Delhi killing two soldiers and one civilian. A great discovery was made by the Intelligence Services — it was planned by the Pakistan based Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist Bilal Ahmed Kawa. He was arrested in 2018, after 17 years. Indian Nemesis was silent.

Emboldened, the next year on 13th December 2001, Indian Parliament was attacked. Nine security men were killed and five terrorists were killed by security forces.

Yes, Indian Authorities accused Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed operating from Pakistan. But, what happened in India thereafter?

It is important to remember that a similar attack was carried out on the Assembly of Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir in November 2001 killing 38 people. It should have alerted our ‘authorities’ in Delhi. Goddess Nemesis remained sleeping — ‘coalition compulsion.’


The following year 24th September 2002 Pakistan terrorists attacked the Akshardham Temple complex in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, killing 33 and injuring 80. The INS guards ended the siege next day killing the terrorists. The six accused arrested by Gujarat Police were acquitted by the Supreme Court in 2014.

Come 2006, there was Mumbai Train Bombing — series of seven bomb blasts and pressure cookers were used in the bombings. In Karnataka too pressure cooker was used by the terror outfits.

Then two years later in 2008 the most terrific, shocking inferno-like terrorist attack took place in Mumbai. Ten members of Laskar-e-Taiba from Pakistan carried out 12 coordinated indiscriminate shooting and bombing attack lasting four days across Mumbai. The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Railway Terminus and the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel and Tower, other places were attacked killing 175 people including nine of the attackers and injuring more than 300.

India waited with bated breath expecting the ‘Indian authorities’ to retaliate in a befitting way. But, nothing happened beyond Court proceedings that led to the sole surviving attacker Ajmal Kasab’s execution in the year 2012. However, an important ring leader of the attack was released on bail on 9th April 2015 and he disappeared!

Fortunately, India the sleeping Asian Tiger, woke up in 2014. The terrorist game, as usual, began thinking India remained their playing field like before. In 2016 Uri attack takes place and India responds with a surgical strike inside Pakistan to avenge the Uri terror attack in eleven days’ time. Enter Prime Minister Modi the tiger.

Again on February 14, 2019 there was Pulwama attack killing 40 Indian Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel. This led to India-Pakistan military stand-off. And on 26th February 2019 there was Balakot air strike. By August 2021 the main accused along with six others had been killed and seven arrested. Balakot air strike made big news because of fighter pilot Group Captain Abhinandan Varthaman who was released by Pakistan immediately following India’s warning of military attack.

An intelligence failure on the part of India was alleged in this incident but it was denied. This reminds one of the alleged intelligence failure of the Israeli authorities with regard to Hamas Attack. Even in Kargil War of 1999 India’s intelligence had failed, according to reports.

India’s tackling of terrorist attacks after 2014 reminds one of the Mossad, the Israeli Intelligence Agency, and its landmark missions. For example, the Operation Eichmann; avenging Black September when PLO massacred in 1972 Olympic Games eleven Israeli athletes; the Operation Entebbe and such many more. India may remember the precept ‘eternal vigilance is the price of democracy.’ Effective retaliation is the only preventive deterrence in defending a country.

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