Shathe Shathyam Samacharet (Tit For Tat) by Jaipal Singh SignUp
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Shathe Shathyam Samacharet (Tit For Tat)
Dr. Jaipal Singh Bookmark and Share


When hostilities escalate between two or more nations beyond an acceptable limit, it’s an all-out war with no holds barred. However, during the peace time, situation is different and only few nations in the world have courage, gut and strength to penetrate deep inside the enemy territory, punish the perpetrators and safely return home without escalating an all-out war. The countries like the United States and Israel were known to have this capability, and India is now latest addition with its successful air strike on Balakot terrorist camp in Pakistan on 26 February 2019. There have been a few occasions when the countries like America and Israel actually tracked offenders and perpetrators of foreign origin, attacked and punished them even in unfriendly foreign land.

One such most remarkable event was the operation “Thunderbolt” carried out by the Israeli commando group on 4 July 1976 at Entebbe Airport, Uganda about 4,000 Km away from home. It was a counter-terrorist hostage-rescue mission in a hostile foreign land where the terrorist-hijackers of Arab/Palestine origin had the support of the Ugandan government under the ill-famed dictator Idi Amin. During the daring operation, the hostages were rescued and all the 7 hijackers killed along with 45 Ugandan soldiers; besides, a large number of Ugandan aircrafts were also destroyed. Israelis did it with the loss of life of 1 commando and another 5 wounded in operation with a minimum collateral damage of 4 hostages (3 killed during operation and I died in hospital).

More recently, United States carried out an aerial operation on 2nd May 2011 to nab Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad living in protection right under the nose of the Pakistan army. Laden was the chief architect and perpetrator of 9/11 bombing on the World Trade Centre in 2001 leading to 2,996 casualties including 19 hijackers. The US Navy Seals had executed the operation from Afghanistan, took along Laden’s body for identification and buried him under deep sea.

In almost a similar situation in December 1999 at Kandhar airport in the Taliban ruled Afghanistan, India had to concede the major demand of the terrorist-hijackers (5 numbers) for the release of Azhar Masood (now Jaish-e-Mohammad Chief) and two other accomplices in a week long crisis to secure the release of 171 hostages on 31 December, with one civilian casualty and 17 injuries. India could not afford to take military action for multiple reasons; 1) hijackers had the support of Taliban who had heavily deployed tanks and anti-aircraft guns surrounding the airport, 2) Pakistan would not have allowed India to use of its airspace, and 3) there was an intense domestic pressure to safely bring back all hostages at any cost.

Ironically, the birth of Pakistan itself was an outcome of the religious bias and bigotry because Muslim League leaders who propagated the idea of Pakistan, believed Hindus and Muslims are two different cultures and nationalities which cannot coexist in peace together. The partition also inherited the problem of Jammu & Kashmir, though it was lawfully integrated with India but Pakistan claimed its right on Kashmir because it had Muslim majority population. After failing to achieve its objective in three costly wars on Kashmir, Pakistan resorted to a proxy war by abating and sponsoring terrorism in Kashmir and other parts of India in late 1970s and this war continues ever since.

The Pakistani leaders and army are known for their rhetoric to bleed India with a thousand cuts and they are doing it without any pity or remorse. There is yet another reason for the hate agenda and proxy war against India. Many Pakistani Ulema, Clerics, leaders and experts aggressively propagate the ideology of “Ghazwa-e-Hind” (Conquest of India). For them India is a land of Kafirs and it is a rightful action and religious duty of Pakistani masses to conquer and wipe idolater Hindus from the Indian subcontinent.

The present inescapable situation reminds me the story of one of my cousins who lives in a village. Few years back, he had some dispute with a neighbour that dragged a little too long. During the period, his family experienced a strange nemesis that every night, and occasionally even in daylight, his house would intermittently rained with stones and pebbles. This was very scary and some family members even got hurt too when stones occasionally hit their body. Pelting of stones continued but the mischief-mongers were not identified. With his ongoing dispute with the neighbour, the cousin knew pretty well the reason and source of trouble but had no concrete evidence. Yet he raised the issue with the neighbour but this only further escalated the bitterness and stone pelting continued. Fed up with the trouble, one day my cousin’s family gave measured and calculated but a massive response of returning stones in the sourced direction. To his welcome relief and comfort, the pelting of stones stopped from the other side thereafter.

For ages, India has been traditionally recognized as a soft and predictable state known for spreading the message of peace and cooperation among the neighbours and beyond. In the process, the country has indeed received hundreds of cuts from the enemies and made to bleed profusely for the years. Ever since the terrorism unleashed in late 1970s, the nation has lost about 20,000 lives with another over 30,000 people injured. This image has undergone a radical change with two recent strikes across the enemy border: in the first case after Uri terror attack on 18 September 2016, Indian Commandos had actually crossed the LOC on 28 September 2016 and destroyed terrorist camps located few km inside the territory of Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir; in the second case after Pulwama terror attack, the Indian Air Force carried out an air strike deep inside Pakistan at Jaba hilltop, Balakot and destroyed the largest Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist training camp inflicting heavy casualties.

I do not suggest that with these proactive and preemptive operations of the Indian armed forces, future terrorist attacks will completely stop or terror outfits will be dismantled. But the terrorists and their sponsors would certainly be compelled to sit back and seriously ponder over the futility of their objectives and own vulnerability. There is no doubt that any future adventure of terrorists on Indian soil would invite even more tough and harsh punitive action from the Indian armed forces on the terrorists and their sponsors as well.

We all know and agree that violence in any form should be discouraged and avoided. But what to do when the perpetrator does not understand the value of non-violence, indulges in heinous crimes against the humanity, and clandestinely and indiscriminately kills innocent people including woman and children. Better late than never, India has appropriately shed off its erstwhile weak image to deal with the terrorist organizations and their sponsors. Even Hindu scriptures teach that the evil doer deserves a commensurate punishment. The following verse from Mahabharata is relevant in this context:

Krite pratikritam kuryadvincite pratihinsitam,
Tatra dosam na pashyami shathe shathyam samacharet.


(Maintain a commensurate demeanor; there is no harm if you resort to violent action to avenge violent deed because at times the rogue can be countered through roguish means only.)


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03/17/2019
More by : Dr. Jaipal Singh
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