It is not unusual for an army chief to call on the family of a martyred soldier. But possibly because of the public attention the decapitation of the two jawans on January 8 attracted, General Bikram Singh visited the home of Lance Naik Hemraj Singh in Shergarh village near Mathura in Uttar Pradesh. Chandrani Banerjee caught up with him on his return. Excerpts from an interview:
Is India economically prepared to wage a war?
War would be an extreme step. It’s the last thing on the list of priorities, always the last resort. Various steps have to be taken before a country can think about war. It’s the last thing we should talk about.
What is the Indian army’s current position on the recent incidents involving Pakistan?
We will try to use four to five technical steps that are there. Straight talks, dual talks, engagement, battle, and only then does the question of war come. Currently, engagement of people in talks has been encouraged. In the current scenario, it is being used to defuse tension.
You have claimed that we have concrete proof against Pakistan. Could you give us some details?
The Indian army has concrete evidence. This means we have enough and solid intelligence inputs with us. Apart from this, we have other corroborative evidence to show what Pakistan is doing in the frontier and border regions.
What kind of intelligence inputs do we have against Pakistan?
We have given all the details and supporting evidence to the government. There is enough and concrete evidence to support our claim of the beheading of Indian soldiers.
What is our intelligence preparedness on the border?
The amount of proof available on the matter shows our preparedness. We have countered the other country with solid and sufficient evidence, the basis of our claim in the ongoing matter. It was also on the basis of our operational intelligence that we can say that this was a premeditated, pre-planned action by Pakistan.
How prepared is the army for any eventuality?
The Indian army has kept its operational preparedness at the highest level in view of various challenges. I want to assure the nation that the Indian army is prepared to face all challenges to national security.
Thank you to all those who have taken the trouble to read the article and share their thoughts. Out of the arguments made here, there are two that perhaps need answering. So here they go.
1. The first part of the article compares outcomes (relative percentages of population of the religions concerned) irrespective of the process that led to those outcomes - whether immigration, relatively faster population growth or conversions. This was for two reasons. One, to put the figure of 2.3 per cent in "numerical perspective", as the article itself explained. The second reason was that outcomes are ultimately what the crux of debate is about. The rest of the article in any case dealt with process - or conversions in this case, from both a contemporary and historical perspective.
2. Some commenters have tried to cast doubts on the reliability of Census 2001. Those who do this should bear in mind that Census 2001 was conducted by a BJP government. Considering the extreme importance that BJP gives to this issue, it would be reasonable to expect that IF it had perceived a problem with the methodology that was distorting the numbers, it would have fixed it. As the article mentioned, BJP or BJP-supported governments have been in power for 10 of the last 40 years, or about a quarter of the time, and the only reasonable conclusion one can arrive at is that any misreporting of numbers, real or perceived, would be marginal and hence, not of importance.
To all other arguments made, my answer is the following: Please read the article again, with particular focus on the quotations of Vivekananda and Monier Williams, and the history of the missionary efforts in Bengal and their outcome.
I don't think that people avoid war, because war is bad. I mean, the soldier does think that he will have to fight, someday. And, some like me, think that war unites a nation, and some people might appreciate it. Democracy might lead to an unpleasant diplomatic situation, which is extremely strange. I mean, plainly, there are more pressing situations within the borders of a democracy, and when wars are engaged by democracies, it seems that Martians have visited. I don't think that certain situations do not brook wars, because even soldiers who initiate wars, do not expect it. I can appreciate that India is not at war, but no one would want a govt. to govern, if a war is entered into by the Indian democracy, and seen to be instigated by her. Where this idea does not apply to the U. S. invasion of Panama, for instance, is because it seems the people didn't know that Panama would be invaded, before they knew of the invasion. One comes to look at democracy not as an idealist, but as a realist, on such musings.
Jai Hind, sir!!
"Straight talks, dual talks, engagement, battle, and only then does the question of war come"
OK. Dont talk about war. What about battle? I mean, if Pakis can engage in a low level warfare, why cant we do the same?
What wonders me- Does Pakistan also think of war, taking it to be the last thing ?. If it is so why does it violate the agreement,cease fire etc.on LOC. Why does he continue firing on our posts on LOC.Does it not provoke our army ? Why it`s our country that takes the war to be last thing to be talked about
Foolish talk by Gen Singh
War is not talked about, it is fought!! Armchair Generals like Singh do talk about war.
He talked retaliation on being provoked....
Is beheading of indian soldiers is act of kissing or provocation?
He says "The amount of proof available on the matter shows our preparedness."
Beheading amidst such grand preparedness?
Country is not safe in HANDS of MMS
Border is not safe in hands of Gen Singh.
Reluctant Rahul baba did not support openly to Anti-Rape movement... Because he has to fear most as after a law passed he has to fear most as he is not married.
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