I have repeatedly stressed that Indian web-sites exhibit unjustified euphoria about our arms, economy and sundry achievements while missing the big picture.
The disaster in the Agni 3 and Insat 4A launches is a painful realization that we are not yet capable of targeting Chinese cities with our missiles and our PSLV is incapable of launching any satellite reliably. Thus if China decides to target our cities we would be defenseless and unable to retaliate. High army officials have publicly acknowledged that the quality of arms that the DRDO provides is substandard and if there is a real war we have to fight on hope and a prayer that the armaments will work. The Arjuna MBT is behind schedule as is Dhanush, Surya, LCA & the ATV submarine. We can't even make our own Howitzers or their ammunition and have to buy Russian multiple rocket launchers. There is a reluctance to license technology in favor of finished product purchase to garner bribes and commissions for high officials. The Arjuna MBT prototype has not been inducted into the armed forces and is used for training while we rely on the Russian T-90. Even Prithvi has not been tested ten to twenty times as western countries do with their missiles. To go to war with untested and unreliable arms is suicidal and to go to war without arms is foolish as China taught us in 1962. The suicidal folly is to delay the test of Agni 3 to please America and do it only after receiving the go ahead from the Joint Chief of Staff of the US, thus delaying the nuclear deterrent against China. The equally bad folly is to agree to a moratorium on testing atomic weapons in perpetuity while we have not successfully detonated a fusion device.
Pakistan has bought the engines for its tanks from Ukraine and licensed the technology to make its own. It has also licensed the technology for Agosta submarines from France and now makes its own. It is in joint production with China for the JF17 aircraft and has licensed missile technology from North Korea. According to some estimates it has a larger stockpile of nuclear bombs and missiles than India. Under these circumstances only an idiot would sign a nuclear agreement giving up testing in perpetuity, putting our reactors and breeder reactors under intrusive IAEA inspection, shutting down CIRUS and Apsara, be willing to negotiate a cap on our fissile materials and allow another country friendly to and arming Pakistan to dictate our foreign policy and create enmity between India and its energy suppliers.
Repeated objections by nuclear scientists at the top like Sethna, Iyengar, Prasad, Ramanna, Kakodkar and others and repeated warnings by defense policy mavens Chellaney and Karnad are ignored and no information is given to the people or debate allowed in the parliament. The usual sycophants, vested commercial interests and who knows which politicians who have been bribed, deafen us with their chorus of their master's voice while stifling honest arguments and bombarding the public with false information in the craven, conniving and corrupt press.
This brings us to the latest terrorist attacks on the Mumbai trains. It is important to understand that Pakistan either directly or indirectly through its surrogates' network is training, financing, arming and aiding the perpetrators. The attack on the Indian Parliament, Akshardham temple, Varanasi, Delhi bazaar, Bangalore conference or the Mumbai train network could not have been the act of an infiltrated terrorist from another country acting alone. These attacks require local help in providing safe houses, money, reconnaissance of the target, planning and safe transport. This means that we have enough fifth columnists to provide this help. This poses a real dilemma for a civil society with a rule of law and minorities preferring allegiance to our enemies. This is why even the mighty US is bogged down in a quagmire in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Obviously human intelligence from informers and secret agents, wiretapping and police and intelligence may help, but it will not prevent most attacks in a huge country like India because of lack of manpower and financial means. This requires that the source and financial, logistic and material backer of the terrorists be neutralized. Pakistan must be warned even at the risk of war that limited and pinpointed attacks with conventional weapons will be carried out against the camps and routes of the infiltrating terrorists. This may displease America but its idle talk, praise and support has no meaning and we should do what it practices and not what it preaches, but does not adhere to, just like the case of the NPT.
The current strategy of suffering tens of thousands of casualties, economic and other disruption, talking peace with Musharraf, the architect of Kargil, and toeing America's orders like the prior demotion of General Vij, voting against Iran and not testing Agni 3 when we are not proficient enough and delaying needed aircraft purchases to please America, shows nothing but mental retardation and lack of courage of the Indian government. So let us stop bragging about India shining and we will be a superpower and the third largest economy in 25 years and make sure that we are still a viable country in the present and not a spineless jellyfish helplessly paralyzed by fear, waiting for a permission from an old or new viceroy to act.
So next time one of you runs into Atal Kumari or Manmohan Kaur who has exchanged his Kada for designer Italian Bangles, just give them a wink in response to their meek smiles and bowed heads.