The continuous firing on the Line of Control and the Indo-Pak border looks ominous and could spiral out of control with disastrous consequences!
Recently, there have been numerous statements from leaders as well as defence services officers of the two neighbouring countries in the Indian sub-continent about the escalating situation on the border. Saner people have been repeatedly emphasizing that the spiraling situation on the border could blow up into a full-fledged war which would mean virtual annihilation of the sub-continent. A real Armageddon! Surely the enmity has not reached such a level that it should blow out the entire sub-continent. Hopefully, there are still saner people on the two sides? Politicians on both the sides seem to be deriving political mileage for elections and control of opposition in the two countries. The BJP from the very start has been going on the religious turf. From the first day after taking over the government in Delhi they have mounted a sustained campaign for converting India into a Hindu Rashtra. Even though their election campaign spoke more of development (Vikas) yet on taking over they forgot about it. In fact, they have miserably failed to keep their promises to the teeming millions starving under the poverty line.
Having totally failed on the economic front, they are now once again reverting to religious fanaticism. They are in a way creating a religious frenzy to virtually fight the next election. Vikas does not sell now! They can as usual use the religion as the opium of the poor! However, by doing so, inadvertently they may be preparing for the last battle of Mahabharata at Kurukshetra! Mahabharata is one of the two famous Indian National epics. It was written from 540 to 300 B.C. by Sage Vyasa. It relates the legends of the Bharatas, a Vedic Aryan group.
Bharat Bhushan, a senior Delhi based journalist has written an article in Asian Age, “Modi playing with fire, driving J & K to despair”. According to him, “… having failed to deliver on the economic front, given the mess created by demonetisation and the hasty implementation of the Goods and Services Tax, increasing agrarian distress and rising unemployment, Mr Modi needed to rejig the nationalist narrative to maintain and expand the structure of his communalised politics.One of the tropes in this reinvented nationalism is to paint Pakistan as the source of all Indian woes in the Kashmir Valley. A supine mainstream media played the cheerleader in creating a nationalist paranoia to suit Mr Modi’s political ends”.
The ethos of the real India of ancient timesas perceived by Guru Dev Tagore and Dr. Iqbal cannot be brought back by physically merging the broken away parts again into Akhand Bharat. The India of the ancient times can be redeemed only by making the artificial borders separating these countries irrelevant. If this Hindu-Muslim divide had not taken place and India had remained as one united country, it would not only have been a real super power but would have been one of the best welfare states for its citizens. They can still remain united by adopting the European Union model. If, after the most destructive world war, Europe can virtually unite as one country, why cannot India, Pakistan and Bangladesh do the same?
One is reminded of the battle of Kurukshetra in Mahabharata. It would be interesting to recapitulate what some people say about the Mahabharata’s last battle. Mathilda’s Weird Web Blog has translations of some of the verses which look scary because of some resemblance to a few modern weapons like the nukes, rockets and the lasers! “Gurkha, flying a swift and powerful vimana [fast aircraft], hurled a single projectile [rocket] charged with the power of the Universe [nuclear device].An incandescent column of smoke and flame, as bright as ten thousand suns, rose with all its splendour.It was an unknown weapon, an iron thunderbolt, a gigantic messenger of death, which reduced to ashes the entire race of the Vrishnis and the Andhakas”. “The corpses were so burned as to be unrecognizable.Hair and nails fell out; Pottery broke without apparent cause, and the birds turned white.…After a few hours all foodstuffs were infected……to escape from this fire the soldiers threw themselves in streams to wash themselves and their equipment”
Kongari Mahalakshami a computer scientist writes in Quora on the subject. She is debating whether nuclear weapons were really used in the Mahabharata War. “The concept of Astra (Missile) and Dhanush (Launchers) emerged from there. Astra was a super-natural hand-carried weapon blessed by a specific deity. Astras like Brahmashira, Brahmasthra, Pasupatasthra, Vaishnavasthra, Narayana Astra, Agneyasthra, Vayavasthra, Nagasthra, Vajrasthra, Varunasthra etc. were used in Mahabharata along with positive indications of the use of Nuclear weapons (atom bomb) , otherwise how could the war cause the death of around 1.5 billion people in a matter of 18 days”.
Even Oppenheimer, the father of the modern Atom Bomb has said about the possibility of the use of nuclear weapons mentioned in Mahabharata. “No, I’m not totally mad”. Oppenheimer thought it may have happened. He was very familiar with the ancient Hindu texts. When asked if his was the first ever detonation of a nuclear bomb, he said. ‘Yes, in modern times’.Keeping in view all these references one feels scary that the Hindutva frenzy being raised for a war with Pakistan, a Dharam Yudh may be a repeat of the war in the ancient times which had resulted in total destruction.
If both the countries fail to check the religious extremists from taking over, one never knows these western powers may even encourage and allow a small nuclear exchange as a lesson for other similarly disposed countries! Recently a columnist had warned about the possibility of the western countries preparing for a nuclear exchange somewhere in Central Asia. Another possibility could be the Indian sub-continent. Mahabharata mentions Kal Yug, which is already here. India and Pakistan have become Pandvas and Korvas and Kashmir is the Drupadi who has been disrobed umpteen times! Ultimately, this tussle may end in a nuclear exchange which would definitely be the last battle of Kurukshetra thereby ending the whole epic of Mahabharata of the present times! Incidentally, the Kurukshetra of ancient times is the Haryana and Rajasthan of these days which has been usually the main battle ground for recent Indo-Pak wars!
Mohammad Ashraf, I.A.S. (Retired), Former Director General Tourism, Jammu & Kashmir