Thursday, June 13, 2024

If Indians ignore Ukraine, history would bite us again

Indians have suffered gravely for shutting themselves out from the world in its history. 

They went far and wide for trade but didn’t learn how to protect its riches though reminders came often from an Alexander or Muhammad bin Qasim; a Ghazni or a Ghouri, or the Baburs or Abdalis. 

If they couldn’t shut the one passage of land from its northwest, they stood no chance on its thousands of kilometres of coastal borders against the rapacious colonialists who arrived in Calicut on May 20, 1498 in the person of Vasco da Gama. 

Over the next 500 years, the Mughals and Englishmen took turns to mutilate our culture and heritage; disfigure our education system, strip the land of its bounty as flourishing industries gave way to droughts and famines. 

This auto-mode didn’t disappear with the independence in 1947, the collective memory took little note of some one-third of our land lost, or otherwise we would have put our best foot forward when the Dragon came breathing fire in 1961. 

Kargil, till as recently as two decades ago, showed India could be easily fooled by smiles and hugs. 

We trusted the enemies when the best friend we had was we only.

xxx

I suspect we Indians are similarly dolt on Ukraine Crisis. 

Smug that if a Nuclear War breaks out, we are too far and thus safe from the scene of action. 

It was same when colonialists were experimenting with their voyages and guns in South America in the medieval ages—that they would never drop their anchor on our Indian shores. 

Or that the Covid-19 is China’s mess and we might be neighbours but are blessed with different fates.  

So this Ukraine matter is a crisis if we are daft; an opportunity if we have our ears to the ground. 

That if we could free ourselves from the propaganda in media, and remember from history what happens in the Old Continent affects the entire humanity, we could stand as one behind the Modi government in the difficult choices it has made on India’s destiny; in its quest to make it India’s golden era.

So I write to engage my fellow Indians; to draw their attention where they could be indifferent; so as history’s tragedies don’t revisit us again. 

To remind all of us that yesterday’s invaders and imperialists, and today’s superpowers, don’t have our interest at heart. 

That they would create a Hindenburg Report, as they did with anti-CAA or anti-farm-laws stir, to scare your admirable government into compliance. 

xxx

So, Ukraine. 

What’s the real story behind what all you read?

So first what you read the latest: Germany is supplying 14 Leopard 2 battle tanks; the United States would send 31 M-1A1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine. Bravo!

Now tanks on its own are worth little if air defense support is missing as we know is the case with Ukraine. If operated in isolation, says military analyst Scott Ritter, it’s simply an expensive mobile coffin. 

Besides, these tanks won’t reach overnight—it could take months. 

There is this little matter of training the crew, and not just the one with the tank but the combined armed team which is further additional few months required. 

Now tanks, even the best ones, break down regularly. These would need to be sent to its origins to be repaired.

The Leopard tanks were tried out against Kurdish and ISIS mercenaries in West Asia twice, in 2016 and 2018. Just IEDs, suicide car bombs and anti-tank missiles were enough to destroy dozens of them. How they stand a chance against Russians with hundreds, if not thousands, of rockets, missiles and other munitions is anybody’s guess.

It’s said that Russia has 5-1 advantage in terms of tanks they possess. Imagine how high the stock of Russian defense forces would go if images of these charred tanks is splashed across.

Last month Ukraine had asked for 300 tanks, 500 infantry vehicles, 500 artillery pieces from their West’s sponsors to “win this war.” So far NATO and its allies have only partially agreed. There is little knowing if it would be done next week, month or even next year. 

Ukraine has also asked Germany to send across one of its submarines to “kick the Russian fleet out of the Black Sea.” Now how do you do to a power entrenched there since the 18th century with just a submarine, Reuters doesn’t tell us.

xxx

And so this tragic-comedy goes on endlessly. 

The Western powers and media is stuffing us with all noise and little substance. 

Meanwhile, Ukraine the country has been destroyed, millions of lives lost or uprooted, the economy world over has taken a hit, howsoever you may adorn the comedian with awards or promise of a bust in Capitol. 

The truth is post-War order is in tatters; European Union is on its last leg; NATO has appeared all bluster and little beef; and Dollar as a currency has run its course. 

The Modi govt has been astute enough to catch the headwinds and is one of the flagships in the armada shaping the New World Order. 

Yet this crisis might outlast Modi as it could Vladimir Putin. 

But if we the citizens know what is at stake, no puppet installed could throw India off course on its march to be a great power. 

Its time to remember what we ought to have from History’s Lessons. 

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