Unless India stands up to the world, no one will respect us. In this world, fear has no place. Only strength respects strength – Abdul Kalam
Have I crossed the sacred line, putting our revered former president and, how the Dotard calls him, the “Little Rocket Man,” side by side?
Perhaps I did, but there was a compelling reason for what I did. It would be helpful if you read the opening quote, in the context of the successful Pokhran-II, you would understand my sacrilegious act, I hope.
What Kim Jong-Un had done was precisely what India did in 1988, thumb one’s nose at the powers that be and Kalam was all for it. So, now, if you have fallen for the message of the former President of India, you must swallow your pride, and accept that the North Korean dictator is putting into practice what Kalam took pride in.
Wait, wait! – I hear you screaming. You say that when India did Pokhran-II, it was not, in the eyes of the world, a pariah (let me scream back – I am not even remotely using that word in anyway demeaning to individuals, political parties, communities and so forth; it is merely to point out how India in 1988 was, and still is different than North Korea in 2017 was and continues to be in 2018).
Well, I accept that chiding, but in my defence I will put forth my logic and stand my ground.
The opprobrium visited on India in 1988 was rooted in fear of another country, even if only strategically and not tactically, knocking on the doors of that exclusive “Nuclear Club”; never mind, the club was thrown open in the middle to late 1970s to Israel (if not earlier), to South Africa, and India (Pokhran-I). What kind of governance any particular country is practicing was never a consideration. Russia was/is a prime example. Perhaps except for a short period under Mikhail Gorbachev, it has, since the day it formed the club, it has been a dictatorship, any which way you may define the system. No need to mention China.
In 2017 the US turned into a dictatorship - laughable one at that, you may claim, nonetheless a system-defying regime – and no less dangerous than Russia or China. If Trump’s cabinet nominees/appointees are anything to go by, Trump is surrounded by a bunch of “Yes” men/women, with one foot in Wall Street and/or lying in under the inherited wealth comforter, and the other in the White House. Only today I read that Trump’s lawyers are afraid of saying anything that could trigger a blast, a nuclear one at that. And, that is precisely what the world is afraid of in the case of North Korea.
Now, North Korea is stronger than before it demonstrated its nuclear capabilities, but is it being respected more? No, it is being feared more. It is what Kalam wanted and celebrated, for everyone to “fear” India and not necessarily “respect”. Hints of dictatorship.
It appears that Kim Jong-Un is the first person to have understood that in all its dimensions – most of it evil. I rest my case.
Before I sign off, let me tell you that on the other side of the pond from the US, it is chaos all round. It is not for me to prescribe dictatorship there, but if it did come, I would not be surprised. It is 1984, delayed by 30 years and some, across the globe.
George Orwell must be smiling in his grave.