Now this is something really interesting since in a decade plus of my Twitter existence I don’t think I ever came across such an account of viewing Kashmir Valley from a different perspective.
I’ve read the blog post a quite few times since this morning. It is a short account of an army officer who has served in the Valley with a gun in his hand, and now returns for a different business altogether, in his new role in the organized retail sector.
A wonderfully penned chain of thoughts that has triggered this thread. The contrast in both the situations couldn’t be more different, as is aptly depicted by the two photographs used in the blog.
The first picture depicts the person while in uniform, a gun in hand, possibly on a shooting range since one can just about make out what seems to be a practice target ahead.
The second pic of of the same person, this time NOT in uniform, standing in what looks like a saffron field. You can still see some uniformed persons in the background, however they aren’t there because of the blogger, or for him!
I’ll go thru the blog post in a while. But what I intend to write before that is a perspective from two different perspectives – One of a fauji and the one from the locals that @different_takeinteracted with as part of his new job.
Firstly, the young employees of his organized retail chain that he had gone to meet and possibly, assess/review their work.
One strand that stands out constantly is the optimism in their hearts, regarding their future.
This is a HUGE marker of current situation.
I’ll explain how.
You see, this is a generation of Kashmiris that was born AFTER the Valley erupted in violence in the 90s. Most of them would be under 30 years old.All that they would have seen in their young lives would be the fight between Pakistan sponsored terror and Indian security forces.
In short, I would call this a generation brought up in the shadow of guns and death ever since they first opened their eyes.
An entire generation that would, in all probability, be suffering from some sort of PTSD in varying degree, both individually as well as collectively.
If you think I am kidding, I’ll remind you that Burhan Wani was alive till just over six years ago, and the intense demonstrations and stone pelting after his killing would have had atleast a few of these same people or atleast their acquaintances too throwing stones.
Mind you, I make the above statement from a totally neutral point of view, just as a statement of fact. Especially since the areas that @different_take talks about in his blog post included some of the most violent ones in that phase – Anantnag, Pampore, Bandipur, Baramula ..
Going further back in time, their school yrs would have seen long closures thanks to the never ending Bandhs called by various ‘stakeholders’!
Talking of bandhs, when was the last time you heard ANY news about Hurriyat Conference? Or anyone even talking about them? Get my point?
One can only imagine these kids growing up into the young adults that they are today – With not even a stray strand of hope for a ‘normal’ future.
Yet, here they are, excited to be on the cusp of a journey that will bring about prosperity to their lands.
These are not my words, mind you!
I am merely paraphrasing from the blog post!
Imagine a veteran who would have planned over and over again when going through these areas, now doing so in a taxi, and working out of there .. just as he would anywhere else in the country!
Moving on to the men in uniform who been a permanent presence over the past few decades, they too are stakeholders in the situation in the Valley, IMO. Heck, they put their very lives on the stake, losing cherished brothers ever so often in the line of duty.
Yet here is one of ‘them’ who now walks the same streets without a weapon and without any worry either! The locals too are slowly getting used to NOT having security forces everywhere on their streets. The last statement in this screenshot sums it all up beautifully!
Of course, the positive impact of such a large number of troops on the local economy over the years too is not lost on the local traders.
Before moving ahead in this blog post, let me take a step back and go back a few steps, to the two photographs shared above. Will talk a bit about the sheer symbolism that I see here.
This photo is from his days in uniform. The person has his back turned towards you. A weapon in hand. Body language that is not very communicative, and even ‘cold’ if you may call it so.
Now contrast that with this pic – A carefree smile. Relaxed demeanour. And what seems to be an identity card of the current employer around the neck!
I’d say it is this very contrast that quite sums up the rapid changes that the situation in Kashmir has seen – from the never ending stone pelting, violence and deaths to the current state when individuals on both ends of the earlier reality – faujis and locals – are not only working together without any fear, but are also looking towards an even brighter and prosperous future in these very lands where both would have seen dear ones die.
A LOT have been accomplished by all concerned, especially since the abrogation of Article 370 and thereafter.
The govt has made the separatists and vested political interests, irrelevant.
The security forces have ensured continuing peace, occasional incidents notwithstanding.
But most importantly, the LOCALS have embraced the change. They are the ones that are working hard towards a better future for themselves. And mind you, those born after 1990 are doing so without any prior reference point, or experience of any bit of lasting peace in their lands!
And of course, there are the ever present tourists from Gujarat!
But jokes apart, it is a really heartening blog post to read. So much so, that I have actually read it more than just a few times.
Of course, difficult times are always hiding just behind the next corner. One is aware that enemies outside & within would do anything to ensure that Kashmir gets to a boil again, since it would suit them. Even if it is at the cost of the very Kashmiris they claim to represent!
Who knows, they might yet succeed in scuttling the current development. But then, that fear is not something that should actually stop the good folks from aspiring and actually working towards a peaceful and prosperous future. Hence, the gladness I felt on reading this blog post!
Mind you, THIS was Pampore sometime in 2016. An attack that took the lives of quite a few security personnel.
And here is the same Pampore and someone who was part of the same security apparatus now travelling as any local or tourist would do. And it felt safe!
This in itself is a huge commentary on how far we’ve come as a Nation in securing our crown.
I’ll end this chain of thoughts here. I just had to write it after I went thru the blog. Hope I’ve made some sense.
Anyone with a reasonable thinking head on his shoulders would have come to a conclusion by now that Russia is just not going to stop before either Ukraine is utterly destroyed, or a Russia-friendly regime replaces the Kiev Comedian that has gone amok. However, that doesn’t mean they would just back off from interfering in Russia’s backyard, especially after repeated assertions of this being construed as a Redline by Russia!
On the contrary, nothing would please them more than to see Russia getting into a prolonged war.
I’d say that the ‘wounds’ of Vietnam and Afghanistan are still fresh enough for the ‘Civilized’ World, or America, in other words, to seek the same for Russia as well. Yet, there remains a crucial difference – Ukraine is pretty much Russian backyard, unlike USA that was fighting an enemy thousands of miles from home. However, parallels with the relationship of Cuban Missile Crisis to the Americans, with the prospect of a Western Stooge Ukraine for Russia will never be heard. It would be a bit too ‘inconvenient’, to say the least.
In the meantime, thousands of common Ukrainians will keep dying, just so that the big powers can play their shadow games on their lands, at their expense. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – They will fight Russia till the last Ukrainian. Period.
Don’t believe me?
Well, I’d say this report shines a light not on the efficacy or accuracy of Russian weapons, but rather on the lack of Ukrainian civilian casualties!
Now THAT would’ve been great PR for warmongers, no?
Once again, just my opinion. Feel free to disagree!
So .. on the topic of PR, what could showcase a true Wartime LEADER, than videography ahead of a green screen, hainji? Especially, when ‘heroic’ background can be added at leisure subsequently!
Nope, this is NOT the misinformation campaign that ‘free’ media cries about bitterly!
I think in video, it seems even ‘cooler’, no? I’m sure that Shri Goebbels Ji would wholeheartedly endorse this propaganda from the nether world where he must have taken up residence after his death!
That is not to say that the ‘brave’ camera crews are not putting their own lives at risk, what with missiles and kamikaze drones flying about freely in Ukrainian skies!
Moving on to the other side of the borders, news of the mobilization by Russian last month seems to have already been forgotten, thanks to what has followed since then.
But remember, post WW1 and WW2, I don’t think Russians ever ordered such a mobilization.
This announcement by itself should have been an alarm bell for the West.
Do note I didn’t say Ukraine, but instead, I said ‘West’. That is because IMO, the Ukrainian leadership have already handed over control over what comes next, to the West.
Once again, feel free to disagree.
What caused Russia to mobilize was a series of setbacks on the battlefield, thanks to the uninterrupted and unparalleled influx of advanced weaponry from the West into Ukraine. They chose NOT to see the fact that thus far Russian attacks were kept relatively localised to what was assumed to be lands inhabited mostly by ethnic Russian peoples.
Pretty soon came the referenda in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, this time backed up with a Russian military that was rapidly increasing the number of troops on Ukrainian borders.
A sensible leadership would have read the tea leaves and sought a negotiated settlement, even if from a relatively weaker position.
But for that, you need a politician leading the country, not a showman recording statements in front of a green screen!
On the contrary, I’d say Ukrainian leadership was egged on to ‘keep fighting’, perhaps with vague promises of over military help (remember the charade of admitting Ukraine to NATO some weeks back that was vetoed by some members?).
And predictably, they fell for it!
They needed to do something ‘spectacular’. Hence came the attack on the #CrimeaBridge. The entire western world went into a frenzy of backslapping each other and patting their own backs as well.
But just like their other pet, Pakistan, they failed (or maybe chose not) to wargame how Russia would react. That bridge wasn’t merely a key logistic infrastructure, but a symbol of Russian resurgence and assertiveness as well.
It was an attack on their national pride, I’d say.
To think that Russians would just roll over and go back to their bases after such an attack, would have been idiocy of the highest level. Of course, the inevitable happened – the war became truly ‘all-encompassing’ for the Ukrainians.
What was a localized conflict, now expanded to the entire Ukrainian landmass, with the latest round of attacks over Kiev happening earlier today. I still remember visuals of the ‘BESTEST‘ Air Defence Systems being gifted to Ukraine. But this is what it came down to ultimately:-
Of course, the voices of ‘outrage’ became even shriller as the days went by. However, if you noticed, there was one thing that was constant in all this right from the beginning of the conflict – It was Putin’s war against Ukraine.
It has always been Putin that was painted as the bad man hell bent upon destroying a smaller country.
Never mind, that the smaller country itself is being egged on with vague promises of NATO membership by the same folks who now act aghast at the punishment being meted out to it!
Of course, a NATO membership for Ukraine would never have happened in the best of the circumstances, not to talk about what shit it is in as of right now. For all their boom and bluster, they are happy to fight the Russians so long as their own soldiers aren’t the ones dying.
What followed soon after the missiles over Kiev was one expert after another, talking about the possibility of Putin using a tactical nuke against Ukraine. In fact, some idiots were actually looking forward to it. Climate change, you see!
A lot of sabres too were taken out from the storage and rattled loudly!
But fact of the matter remains that however sad that day might be, but in case Putin decides to actually use a nuke, even a tactical nuke, over Ukraine what will the West do?
Will they nuke Russia in return? And risk a nuclear retaliation on themselves?
Will try and share some thoughts on the latest developments in Russia-Ukraine, this weekend.
But for the time being I'll just leave a question here:
What can the West do if Russia indeed uses a tactical nuke in Ukraine?#JustAsking
In fact, the first thought that crossed my mind once I learnt of the sanctions was that now there is no more leverage to threaten Russia with! Threats of sanctions can still expect a pliable behaviour from the other party, but with sanctions actually imposed, that threat is gone!
In fact, the sanctions have instead hurt the Western economies much more than Russia!
Being a critical supplier of much needed gas and oil, Russia has been able to weather the sanctions storm much much better than Europe or even the USA!
It is bound to be a cold winter for much of Europe.
In fact, this is the reason that they continued to buy Russian gas throughout the war, effectively funding it, even as they supplied weapons to Ukraine and blamed India for purchasing Russian oil!
But as the war dragged on (majorly due to Europe and USA’s own hyperbole), they realised the need for gas in the fast arriving winters. Already, common people in Europe were feeling the heat, even if merely figuratively, since there was little gas to actually heat up their homes!
No wonder, they were having second thoughts! Because instead of merely Ukrainians, their own citizens were now suffering!
And VOILA .. the NordStream pipeline got MAGICALLY damaged!
Or was it sabotaged by ‘someone’ out of a ‘necessity’ to remove any hope of gas supplies in winter, thereby removing any reason for civil protests against their warmonger govts?
Never mind. No need to answer that question!
Coming on to what comes next ..
Well, one thing is for sure .. the war will NOT end as long as Zelensky is in charge. Some might say the same for Putin as well, but thanks to the info blockade on Russian perspective, one isn’t really sure whether a successor would cease the war!
Btw, I hope that the very casual way that I talked about Putin’s successor highlights a thought that I have been having for some days now: By making it Putin’s War against Ukraine and scaremongering about nukes, is it correct to say that the West is positing for an assassination?
All said and done, in the long run there is only one outcome for Ukraine out of two possibilities that I see: Either accept the curse of geography and learn to live with Russia; or die trying to do otherwise.
All the rest is a matter of inconsequential detail.
The world is fast heading for a major shake-up. In fact, I’d say that we are well into one. How that ends up will only be known once the dust settles, which might take upto a decade or even more. But one thing is for sure – the current world order is dying fast.
Dare I say, India too won’t be left untouched.
Multiple hits have already started ever since the West realized that India doesn’t quit appreciate a ‘With us or Against us’ kind of scenario and has its own interests as a priority instead. And no, it isn’t for the first time that India has acted in its own self-interest either!
On Iran. US : "Are you with us or against us?" India : "Yes." US : "Huh?" India : 🙂
However, the West does realise the seriousness of the war they are fighting this time round. Many say that they won the cold war. But with the benefit of hindsight, they are still fighting it.
And it seems to be getting HOTTER each passing minute, even as their citizenry freezes!
This is what puts into context the increasing hits against India by the likes of the UK, US and even Germany. But what they don’t realise is that we live, and actually thrive, in far more contradictions everyday than they can even dream about!
Just take a Rs 10 currency note and count the number of languages printed on it and you will understand what I wrote above. Tolerance for ambiguity is something that is no less than a critical survival skill for politicians / govts in India.
And dare I say, we are working in our own way to find our own footing in the rapidly transitioning world order. We may yet fail in our endeavour but atleast that won’t be for the lack of trying; this is something that I am sure of.
Currency swaps, gold purchases, internationally growing UPI network, controlled foodgrain exports are but a handful of steps that are overtly visible. One can only imagine the number of equally or even more critical steps happening behind the scenes that you & I may never know!
As far as the UN is concerned, well, it has been and continues to be inconsequential. It came about as a result of two world wars and a failed League of Nations and reflected the global balance of power at that time. That balance is rapidly changing.
They are struggling to adapt!
It is indeed an ‘exciting’ time to be alive. Dare I say, if we are lucky to be alive at the end of the next decade, the world that we die in, would be much different from the one we were born in. Whether that would be good or bad for you and/or me, needs to be seen!
As far as Ukraine in its current form is concerned, they already are collateral damage. In fact, history and geography had predicated this outcome for them. This is what I tweeted more than 8 years ago. It is a wonderful book, btw. Even more relevant today.
Wonder how many are aware that Huntington actually predicted a possible breakup of #Ukraine in his book 'Clash of Civilizations' in 1996 ..
Btw, talking about the UN and its priorities, I think this tweet is a perfect specimen of where they are headed!
Refer a few paragraphs above regarding the Nordstream sabotage. THIS is what they were banking upon, even as they continued to arm Ukraine against Russia. A possible understanding might have been continued gas supplies, as happened even during the heights of the cold war, perhaps?
They failed to realize that in a fight for the very survival, something would have to give way. And that their own hands might be forced by an undersea sabotage!
Talking about gas shortages, I’ll just leave a few screenshots that I found amusing, to say the least! The last screenshot of a tweet by @ThePollLady is a personal favourite!
On a more serious note, what is happening in the world today is not some fluke, or due a megalomaniac Putin. Instead, it was something that was pre-planned, but got delayed due to Trump getting elected! “2017 will be the year of offense” – Lindsey Graham (PS: Don’t miss the gleeful hand rubbing!)
So what comes next, you ask?
Well, my reply to that would be ‘Who Knows!’
All I can say is that a lot of actors are involved, all at the same time. This includes India, China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and even Pakistan.
How this interplay of power and money pans out, is going to be really interesting to watch and follow. What I genuinely believe is that a new world order is round the corner. But to achieve that would require a LOT of blood, since the wheels of history do not move without that.
So Brace yourselves, folks! From a de-dollarized economic order, to a multipolar world order or even an entirely chaotic interplay of nations & countries, anything is possible! Till then, wait & watch it is.
Karmic Cycle carries on, for nations, civilizations as well as individuals
Thank you for your patience. I’ll finish this chain of thoughts here, with this self-congratulatory tweet!
(This chain of thoughts was tweeted on the night of 5th August 2019. Somehow I forgot to archive this in the blog. So here it is!)
So this is straight from the mouth of a fly on the wall in GHQ, Rawalpindi about the goings on since 10:30am PST earlier this day.
Here goes ..
The Brown Pants Chief was tunned .. err, sorry .. stunned upon hearing the Indian Home Minister. Did Amit Shah really say what Bajwa had just heard? Or was it his ever present companion – ear wax – that had caused him to hear something else entirely?
It was a bit too early in the day, but what needed to be done couldn’t be delayed any more. After mulling over whether he should do it or not, he picked up the secure telephone line on his desk. And passed a short and crisp order – ‘Oye ADC, chheti ik glass lai ke aa!’
Now while he waited for his ADC to get him his favourite crystal glass, he took out the keys to the safe kept safely hidden inside his office. One moment later, the key was in his ears, scraping out the ear wax for the fourth time this morning.
Damn, it felt sooooo good!
Ears cleaned, he went back to his favourite news channel – NDTV – to confirm his worst fear.
Yes Amit Shah had indeed announced not just the abrogation of Article 370 & 35A, but also hived away Ladakh from J&K. Not just that, but Jammu and Kashmir was to be a Union Territory henceforth.
O B***C*** .. he shouted at no one in particular, just as the young and beautiful Captain Jamal entered his office with his crystal glass!
Get me the Propagandu-in-Chief, he thundered at the ADC.
Yes Sir, the shaking youngster replied and practically ran out of his office!
It was not even 11 am, but he needed that scotch to calm his nerves. So out came the key once again, and this time instead of his ear, it went into the safe.
Out came his bottle of Blue Label, bought from the Duty Free in Washington!
Yes, it would help him think better!
He was on his third and (hopefully) last tot when in came the Propagandu-in-Chief, smiling his irritating smile.
Oye Ghafoore, hunn ki kariye?
Don’t worry Sir, replied the Propagandu-in-Chief, I have already personally cleared the hashtags that we will trend on twitter!
Those Indians will not know what hit them. Aap bas dekhte jaiye Janab kaisi aag lagayenge hum!
The Supreme Brown Panted one let out a loud sigh ..
Then he asked – Ghafoor Janab, toh phir ye Indians Article 370 phir se wapas le aayenge?
Predictably, Propagandu-in-Chief broke into that toothy grin of his because he had nothing to say!
Ghafoor Saab, now you know why you still haven’t been promoted to become a crore .. err .. corps commander?
And just like that, the grin vanished!
And what the fcuk is this #KashmirParFinalFight wala hashtag that you have highlighted, hain? Don’t make those fanboys / fangirls ask for something you cannot deliver.
Kaun ladega Indian Army se? Aur Air Force / Navy se?
Taken aback, Propagandu-in-Chief offered an explanation.
Lekin Janab, Balakot ke baad ki saari fights to hum hee jeete hain .. kam se kam twitter par hee sahi! You don’t know Janab,even last night I won another Twitter War, this time against @AdityaRajKaul!
Ye dekho screenshot!
Oye Ghafoore, B***C***, agge ki karna hai?, Bajwa slipped into vernacular, unable to take this sophisticated bullshit anymore!
Janab, aap jaisa bolenge waisa hoga, Propagandu-in-Chief hit the ball back in his boss’ court with equal ‘finesse’!
How long did we take to issue a formal statement after the Osama bin Laden raid?
Janab, 48 hours.
Ok .. the Boss replied .. he wasn’t too keen on breaking the record.
Btw Janab, apne DGISPR wale handle se ek condom wala statement daal diya jaye?
Oye khotey, CONDEMNhota hai! And no, let the bloody civilians reply. Aisi cheezon mein khud panga nahi lena kabhi.
Ji Janab, Should I call Imran Saheb?
No wait, let me call him.
Oye, uski kal raat ki utar gayi hogi na ab tak?
Utar gayi hogi janab!
Bajwa – Oye Imran, oye uth gaya tu? .. Good, have you heard the news? .. Good, Trump ko phone laga toh, let us hear what he has to say about this Kashmir thing .. Achha? .. Sachchi? .. Chal koi na, let us wait for a while then ..
All OK Janab?, Propagandu-in-Chief asked.
Oye nai oye, Imran was saying that Trump abhi so raha hoga. Washington mein abhi bhi raat hai na. In any case, India may be looking to hire Trump to actually mediate on OUR ‘Azad’ Kashmir!
An involuntary ‘Otteri’escaped Ghafoora’s mouth!
So what do we do now, Janab?, Propagandu Boy asked his Boss even as he stared at the bottle of Blue Label longingly!
Koi na, do one thing, add one more hashtag to your twitter campaign with UN and maybe OIC also. If not on battlefield, we will show them on Twitter atleast.
Propagandu-in-Chief suddenly perked up, the long awaited promotion back in sight!
Already done that janab – ye dekhiye screenshot!, said he even as he gave himself a mental high five for being so clever!
It seemed that the Boss too was happy to see it.
Yes, he was going to give him a Shabash!
Ya khuda, maza aa gaya! Ab promotion duur nahi! Thank you Amit Shah Bhai!
A loud OYEfrom the Boss however, brought the daydreaming Shri Propagandu-in-Chief back to the present!
Abe, ab log bolenge ke Twitter pe bhi bheekh maangne laga hai Pakistan.
And just like that, Ghafoor Miyan’s wet dream of a promotion came to an end!
REMOVE THIS HASHTAG, thundered the Boss!
Err .. Janab .. this is one of our best performing hashtags this morning .. the average citizen is very happy with it.
But no, the boss wasn’t interested in any explanation.
And then he let out an inconvenient truth!
I DON’T CARE, saala bhikhariyon ki kaum ho gayi hai hamari.
Ji Janab, came the expected reply!
But Janab, what about an official statement on the issue?
FUCK OFFICIAL STATEMENT, came the reply.
Lekin Janab, kuchh to bolna padega.
Why should the Pakistan Army be speaking on foreign affairs?, asked the BrownPants-in-Chief.
Before he could control it, an involuntary chuckle escaped Propagandu-in-Chief’s mouth!
Pakistan Army is after all, the OWNER of Pakistan .. or whatever was left of it after 1971!
Lekin Janab, kuchh to bolenge na hum .. kam se kam apni awam ke liye hee?
GET LOST .. NO STATEMENT ..came the next command from the Chief Brown Pants who was on his fifth ‘tot’ of Blue Label by now!
And out ran Ghafoora, praying that the Boss doesn’t remember this conversation when he wakes up!
With this, the fly also flew away!
But on a more serious note, it has been more than 12 hrs since the announcement to trash Article 370 was made in the Indian Parliament. Yet there has been no word on it by ISPR, or Asif Ghafoor’s personal handle, or even Imran Khan’s handle!
Heck, there has been not a SINGLE tweet by them all throughout this day, which is, well a bit out of ‘character’, since they are normally fairly prolific with their twitter handles!
One can very well imagine the dance of headless chickens going on in Rawalpindi & Islamabad!
For all their social media bravado, when time comes to put their money where their mouths are, they all clam up! What is interesting is that after systematically working up the yahoos that compromise much of their awam, now they don’t know how to fulfill their ‘expectations’!
The entire Govt of Pakistan had gone into a tizzy when the bin Laden raid happened. It was perhaps for the first time that a national govt didn’t know what to say, for a full 48 hours!
What today’s events have done is that it has made them go mute all over again, the utterance of their loudmouthed foreign minister notwithstanding!
THIS, folks, is the impact on Pakistan of what the GOI has done!
I conclude this blog post with this twitter poll, posted in the immediate aftermath of the Balakot strike:-
This chain of thoughts was tweeted on 12 April 2019. However, the good old moi forgot to archive it here in the blog. So here goes, even if 3.5 years too late!
Folks, sharing the story of the day my account ‘Temporarily Restricted’ by the good folks at Twitter.
Why I share this, you ask?
Well, I share it because I can BECAUSE MY ACCOUNT IS NOW BACK IN MY CONTROL!
It began late night on 10 Apr 2019. I had just finished yet another tiring day of chhutti, doing nothing, when I realized I should do something!
That something turned out to be a thread on Shri Propagandu-in-Chief and the ‘भसड़’ he had created about all his F-16s being alive!
So late, that by the time I finished the thread, it was not even 10 April, but 11th April! So I decided to call it a night and went off to sleep since I felt that I should be well rested for another day of .. well .. doing nothing!
I slept soundly that night, patting myself on the back for yet another brilliant thread. And then, despite it being a chhutti day, I still woke up almost at the crack of dawn – at 8am!
The Missus was busy because .. err .. she was not the one on chhutti 😀
One ‘not so loving‘ glance from her and I decided to make my morning cup of tea myself! As the water boiled, I unlocked my ‘very’ smart phone and opened Twitter. Anticipation and Excitement was high. (Because of that ‘brilliant’ thread of last night, remember?)
Hmm.. Twitter seems a bit ‘different’ today.
Must be a new update, I mused.
Until my ‘very’ smart phone finally opened the app. And my world came crashing down!
The good folks of Twitter seemed a tad bit unhappy with me!
So unhappy, that they even created a graphic, just for me!
Disclaimer: Above graphic is shared strictly for academic purposes, lest I lose my account again!
So, the algorithm developed by the good folks at Twitter had decided that I was being hateful for calling a Paki, a Paki!
But they were still quite considerate, I must say.
Delete that tweet & you’ll have full control over your account within 12hrs, they offered. In the interim, you can browse twitter, but not engage with anyone except via DM, they said.
As I read the message, I could almost picture one of my strict school teachers admonishing me!
However, they knew that I too might have a point and that they might be wrong. So they even offered me an alternative to deleting the tweet. APPEAL, AND YE SHALL BE HEARD, they said.
But that benevolence came with a caveat – THY APPEAL SHALL TAKE SEVEN DAYS, it read.
I made a mental note: In case I make a social media app some day, I’ll hire the same legal experts as twitter. Atleast they have a sense of humour!
But, mental musings apart, there was a decision to be made.
Thankfully, I was prompt in making it.
I promptly deleted that tweet!
I could almost hear a sigh of relief at the other end by the ‘good’ folks of Twitter!
Heck, I tried to listen closely and I swear, I even heard a faint applause!
So happy were they, that they couldn’t wait for the 12 hours to get over soon enough.
So happy that they even put out a countdown timer for me to track my ‘progress’!
I kid you not!
So the immediate issue taken care of, now I didn’t know what to do for the next 12 hours. I started thinking.
And then I sent out some DMs – OYE TERE KO PATA HAI MERE SAATH KYA HUA?
And right on the heels of those DMs came a mini outrage that made my notifications tab run faster than an Afghan hound! This was totally unexpected.
And that thread on the Propagandu-in-Chief (without the offending tweet, of course ) went viral!
But I still couldn’t engage with anyone. So I decided to go out for lunch, with some good folks of Twitter that I’ve connected with offline. More Twitter talk followed, even as I checked my custom made countdown timer.
9hrs and 6 minutes of penance left, it said.
Dammit, I cursed, even as I sipped on my glass of nimbu paani. Atleast they could have added a ‘seconds’ counter along with the minutes and hours, so that the time could have passed a bit faster!
But, deep within, I was happy merely to note that atleast they gave me a timer!
It was a slow day indeed. After all, how long can one keep staring at a countdown timer, and that too without seconds, hainji?
So post lunch, I ‘volunteered’ to pick up the kids from their bus stop in the afternoon.
The kids were shocked!
Not because I had come to pick them up. But because I told them that we will walk the one kilometre to home! But then, time had to be passed, esp with my custom made countdown timer refusing to move any faster!
But my kids are tough negotiators, I soon realized.
Two ice creams each and I carry their school bags, they offered, in lieu of walking back to home. Ah, well, soon I was just about as overloaded as Shri Govinda Ji in Coolie Number 1!
But there was one big difference. Whereas he carried empty pieces of luggage in the movie, here I was, carrying what seemed like a tonne of load over my shoulders!
Somehow, we reached home. And after a quick glass of cold water and some lunch, I checked the timer yet again!
4hours and 50 minutes of penance pending, it said.
Yesss!, I exclaimed!
The forced वनवास was about to end!
In order to make it end faster, I promptly went to take a nap, even if a bit late in the afternoon!
And then I woke up! Two hours and forty seven minutes remaining, it said.
DAMN, I said!
Damn… Damn… damn… came an echo.
It took me a moment to realize that the echo was actually the Missus crying out to no one in particular when she realized that the maid isn’t coming!
So I spent the next 45 minutes ‘gainfully employed’, washing dishes! I still like to believe I actually ‘volunteered’ to do that, instead of she ‘requesting’ me to!
But thankfully, the clock ticked on and soon it was a mere 15 minutes before I was deemed reformed by the good folks of Twitter. Those were perhaps the longest 15 minutes of my life in recent past!
As the timer ticked and tocked down to ZERO, I said a silent prayer & logged in.
I was back!
The first thing I did was a say a silent thanks to all those who had outraged for me that day. And then I quickly posted the #ObituaryOfTheDay tweets for that day, lest I get locked out yet again!
And then I re-tweeted that offending thread since it had been broken due to that tweet getting deleted. Of course, this time I took care NOT to tweet that tweet again, but then, it was no longer needed since that Paki didn’t return!
Thus ended the story of my day in penance. As regards the word ‘Paki’, I’ll just leave this news report here without any further comment!
(This chain of thoughts was tweeted late on the night of 01 August 2022)
Folks, sharing some thoughts regarding the proposed visit of Nancy Pelosi Ji to Taiwan.
Let’s see how it goes!
Firstly, a bit of history.
The ‘Renegade Province’ of Taiwan actually came into existence as a consequence of the bitter war for domination of China between the Communists led by Mao Zedong and the Nationalists led by Chiang Kai Shek. During the entirety of World War II, it was the Nationalists that fought and fought the Japanese, while Mao conserved his strength by offering only very minor engagements in order to keep the pretense of fighting the invaders.
Naturally, by the time the Japanese were defeated, the Nationalists too were quite weakened. Consequently, it was just a matter of time before Mao was able to rout them and establish full control over mainland China. Chiang Kai Shek had to flee via sea to the island of Formosa.
Thus came about the People’s Republic of China in the mainland, while the Republic of China was established in Formosa, now more popularly known as Taiwan.
Btw, it might be VERY interesting to note that USA was majorly tilted towards Mao in his ‘struggle’ against Chiang in the years immediately before the establishment of the PRC!
But then, who are we to question ‘history’, right?
Especially when the same USA practically forced Taiwan to give up its permanent UNSC seat & Veto to the same Mao!
Anyhow, coming over to the current day and age, it is fairly common knowledge that the People’s Republic of China rapidly transforms into the PARANOID Republic of China if someone even so much as has a dream that Taiwan is an independent country!
So one really wonders what was Nancy Ji thinking when she decided to go to Taiwan!
I’m sure she is quite a seasoned politician to know how China would react and predictably so, China has not disappointed one bit, what with their loud chest thumping and shrill warnings!
Or might it be that she misread the possible Chinese reactions?
Well, time will tell, including whether or not she actually makes good on her pre-announced plans to land in Taipei.
Since that bit about ‘Will She or Wont She?’ is still a few hours away, let me spend some time on what is at stake for both, the US and China.
But before moving ahead, hope you noted in the tweet above that Taiwan gets absolutely no say!
Feel free to disagree, but it is a firm opinion of mine that Taiwan’s own opinion will hardly influence what happens next. It is purely a game of chicken between USA and PRC.
Cold as this statement might sound, but IMO Taiwan is mere collateral damage, akin to the proverbial grass that gets trampled when elephants wrestle.
Getting back to the issue of the announcement of Pelosi to visit Taiwan, as well as the timing, it makes for a very interesting set of observations.
I’ll not go into what motivated this plan in the first place though because frankly, I am not a mind reader!
Instead, I will try & put into context the current realities in the midst of which this latest issue has flared up.
Firstly, current US Govt is not very popular domestically at the moment IMO, what with the economy headed into recession (despite how wikipedia defines Recession!)
Secondly, with the latest ‘expose’ of a much exposed Shri Hunter Biden Ji (which has practically vanished from social media, btw. Kudos to the ‘ecosystems’!) and Papa Biden getting COVID at about the same time, and then once AGAIN when the Taiwan visit issue flared up, things in Washington DC are definitely not very rosy.
And all this as the country heads out for a major election this November which many say is as good as lost for the ruling party!
Understandably, a govt that is already being perceived as weak or even sold out to China (thanks to the allegations of POTUS’ son being on the payroll of Chinese companies / his companies being paid ridiculous amounts of money by Chinese businesses), may not want to be seen as backing down in the face of Chinese pressures and threats.
Hence, the reports and visuals of all that American military hardware – ships, fighters, refuellers and all that – amassing in the region. Almost as if daring China to try and stop the visit!
So .. will China be the ‘Bigger Man’ and permit Nancy Ji to carry on with the visit?
Well .. I think we all know the answer to this question, right?
Xi Jinping has his own compulsions at NOT being seen as weak .. not at this point in his history.
Mind you, I say ‘his history‘ and not his country’s history because Xi Jinping too is well on his way to ensure that his legacy lasts long indeed!
In fact this is the very reason why he chose to anoint himself as ‘Chairman for Life’ aka Mao himself, by discarding the two term limit put in place by Deng Xiaoping. He has his own plans for China, you see!
These plans definitely do NOT include permitting Pelosi to visit Taiwan!
To top it up, the Chinese economy itself is not doing very well and then there is the ‘minor’ issue of the next People’s Congress coming up for Xi Jinping which though already fixed, still needs to be conducted the way he desires!
Consequently, all those visuals of Chinese military hardware heading out towards possible launchpads for the much threatened invasion of Taiwan, and the bombastic statements by govt and quasi govt mouthpieces in China ‘urging’ US not to go ahead with the visit!
Basically, both countries have painted themselves in a corner with no more scope for a diplomatic, or in other words a ‘FACE SAVING’ way out.
(Unless of course there is a major political event back home that demands Pelosi Ji return home post haste!)
All in all, diplomacy has truly and utterly failed. What will decide the issue is the perceived muscle power of the two belligerents now.
Sadly, it has become a zero-sum game due to the extreme positions taken up by both the sides with no scope of a negotiated climbdown!
I would sum up the above statement with the help of this visual for those who didn’t understand it.
You are welcome!
I describe this photograph as: ‘Chal dekhte hain kiski jaan jayegi .. Usne meri aur Maine Uski Kasam Khayi Hai!’
What I’m saying is that even if one side decides to take a pragmatic step and decide to cool things down on their part, they will find it politically impossible to sell to their domestic audiences. Events of past few days have put paid to any possibility of any pragmatic solution.
So the big question is ‘What Happens Next?’
I’ll try and make some sense of it based on my understanding of things.
Disclaimer: Based on MY understanding of things! Feel free to disagree!
Firstly, the trigger for what happens or for that matter, does not happen next is in the hands of the Americans. China have made their very rigid stand very clear. It is now up to Nancy Pelosi to either show up in Taiwan or not!
This is what I wrote in a DM group some days back:
And then a day later came this tweet by the lady in question herself, without any mention of Taiwan whatsoever!
Of course, I was patting my back!
And just a couple of hours later, in a totally unrelated news, THIS happened!
In a way, it is also a very convenient excuse for ‘communication void’ in the midst of a very unappetizing situation, but then, that is mere speculation in some corners!
Just about 30 hours later, the latest announcements coming in from the US insisted that ‘No, she is definitely going to Taiwan. Here is her itinerary!’
Looks like they had finally realised that there was no way out now!
All in all, it must have been a sleepless weekend for diplomats in Washington DC & Beijing as well as the military folks rushing towards Taiwan from both these countries!
There still is time to see whether she actually does go to Taiwan or not. I still won’t rule out she NOT going to Taiwan even though chances of that happening don’t seem too bright. Because if there is one country that can ‘explain’ away a climbdown in this situation, it is the US.
Even though it would be a political disaster to now decide to climb down unilaterally esp after the shrill warnings from China, a relatively sympathetic media might still be able to soften the blow on the current US administration.
Yet, there will be some political cost to it.
Which brings me to my original question – Did they not know of how China will react to this plan?
I am still wondering as to what triggered this visit plan in the first place because I somehow cannot get myself to believe that they would be so naïve to NOT anticipate this.
So was it deliberate?
My gut feeling says it is. But to what end, I am still not fully sure. This tweet below does stands to logic, but then would China be willing to pay a price to ‘help’ out the US Govt? Or is it a trap? Like I said before – Sadly, I’m not a mindreader!
Let’s just assume for a moment that hypothetically, Xi does indeed want to help Biden. So what can he do?
The lowest hanging fruits are the islands of Matsu and Kinmen that are practically PRC’s to take should they decide to.
Heck, even as early as the 1950s, Mao had shelled Kinmen Islands in order to register his annoyance at the US!
But then, those were the 1950s & these are the 2020s. China under Xi Jinping truly believes that their time has now come. Would they be willing to settle for just this?
The might of the PLA, PLAN and PLAAF that is being built up with great vigour for the past two decades is ‘potentially’ capable of taking much much more than just these low hanging fruits, no?
You know why I had the word ‘potentially’ in quotes in the paragraph above? Because when time came to show their mettle against a rag-tag militia in South Sudan, the ‘mighty’ PLA were cowering behind the walls of their compound. It was Indians that saved them!
Here’s the Link to the blog post that captures the above thread about PLA Myths. Do read!
That reminds me, today (or rather yesterday, since it is past midnight now) was the PLA Day as well! A happy coincidence, I’d say!
Coming back to the topic at hand. In case she does land in Taiwan as scheduled, I don’t see any scenario in which force is NOT going to be used by atleast one of the sides.
Like I said before, Taiwan doesn’t really have a say in this matter any more .. UNLESS .. they chicken out and request Pelosi Ji not to visit. In fact, that would be the best case scenario for all concerned and especially for Taiwan!
The USA can sell it by calling it ‘respecting Taiwan’s Wishes’ while China too can declare victory by (rightfully) claiming they scared off the USA!
Taiwan too wins by getting to stay alive!
Jokes apart, as they say, we are all Prisoners of Geography. This is something that just cannot be wished away. Either make peace with it, or continue fighting it forever.
I wrote this not so long ago while talking about the Russian invasion of Ukraine:
A LOT of folks were watching, and are watching still.
This is not about Taiwan being a part of PRC or otherwise. No way. This is more about who gets to be the top dog in the years to come. China thinks it is them, while the US disagrees. THIS, folks, is the bottomline!
Once again, another tweet from the Russia – Ukraine thread of some months ago :
As mentiond in the tweet quoted above, thanks to the horrific visuals from the initial days of the Ukrainian invasion by Russia, Taiwan might actually voluntarily give in to Chinese demands in order to avoid destruction. Call it a flight of fancy on my part, but I still cannot discard this possibility!
Of course, the Taiwanese themselves must already have calculated the risks of a kinetic engagement with China that goes beyond mere airspace and maritime boundary violations!
Btw, here’s a quick question – Name ONE war that the USA has decisively won ever since the end of the second world war and left with its aims achieved.
Saying Panama or Grenada would be an insult to the military might of the USA, I’d say. So try harder!
And if Chinese and American militaries start having a go at each other over Taiwan, guess who else will be forced to jump into the fray?
Not just because American bases in Japanese territory may come under attack, but because the Senkaku Islands and Okinawa itself are hardly one step ahead for the PLAN once they gain control of Taiwan!
All in all, the world is rapidly heading towards another major, and dare I say, inevitable clash of civilizations. On that note, I’ll just leave this eight year old tweet here:
Moving on from an eight year old tweet, I’ll also share a more recent tweet from five months ago:
What this ‘Manthan’ throws out in the end remains to be seen.
We may be well advised to remember that the oldest Manthan that Indian epics talk about, churned out ‘Vish’ before ‘Amrit’ came by.
At that time there was the Neelkanth to take care of it.
Who fulfills that role this time, remains to be seen.
So what role does India play in this?
Well, I’d say the role of a passive spectator suits us the best!
Just as the US did with us in the past!
On a more serious note, a fight in Taiwan Straits, if it comes, is not our fight. Even a notionally victorious China will definitely be a threat in future. But given our current capabilities, I’d say we need to sit this one out if they come to blows.
Feel free to disagree!
On that note, I’ll start to wind up this thread. In the context of the mention of Japan some tweets above, I’ll share this here:
They all know that the waters around them are heating up and they for sure don’t want to get boiled like that proverbial frog!
All I’ll say is that the first shots in the upcoming war wherein China seeks to assert its supremacy and USA seeks to retain theirs, have already been fired by the way of Pelosi’s visit plans. What remains to be seen is whether further shots come by in the form of shot and shell.
I’ve said all that I could, especially at this late hour in my part of the world and an early office tomorrow!
All we can do is to wait now and see whether she lands in Taiwan or not, and if she does, how far is China willing to go to make good their threats.
Hope this longish blog post made atleast some sense to you. Will do another thread in case the situation so demands.
We had just taxied in on our An-32 and switched off late in the afternoon. It was towards the end of November in the year 1997, a large western disturbance had just passed, the temperature was about -2°C. Snow was piled on the side of the runways and the taxi tracks in Srinagar. The sky was covered with low clouds threatening to bring in snow flurries or at least some rain, a brisk 10 knot breeze added to the wind-chill factor. As the vegetables (Hence the name Sabji courier) and cargo was being offloaded, I saw a long line of passengers waiting to board the aircraft. This was my first trip to the valley, my aircraft was also the first one to enter the valley and I had been briefed that there was a lot of rush of passengers. This was because due to unusually heavy snowfall and the Banihal…
Not very tall, thick set, Tamilian boy, if my memory serves me right, with piercing dark eyes, was an absolute bundle of energy. I don’t know how we bumped into each other, it was during the POP (Passing Out Parade) practice period, one, Outpass day (generous permission to visit the town & eat enormous amounts of food) we happened to be on the last bus back to the academy. It was about 2230h which is about 10:30pm in common folks language.
He and I were busy chatting about aviation and flying and the works (A Flight Cadets life is limited to two basic topics flying and food).
If I remember correctly he was talking more, though I was answering some sharp questions. His questions were long and probing and involved a lot of gesticulating (Much to the irritation of fellow passengers). His prompt apologies would follow as soon…
I’ve always enjoyed a challenge but never did I imagine that one day I’d be invited to try my hand at flying in the Himalayas with the Indian Air Force’s elite 114 Helicopter Unit, also known as the “Siachen Pioneers”. I was Officer Commanding 28(AC) Squadron in 2007 when I was notified that I plus one other pilot were to pack for a trip to India to observe their helicopter operations in the mountains of the Himalayas.
This was a new bi-lateral exchange and we were to subsequently host their pilots for a visit to us at RAF Benson to fly in our Merlin Mk3: I think we got the best part of the deal! I selected a junior pilot, Kevin ‘Kevlar’ Harris to accompany me (he subsequently went on to be decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross for his exploits in Iraq) who proved to be an excellent choice…
Folks, sharing some thoughts on the recent trip of a not so distant cousin of Shri Brahmos Ji to the Land of the Pure.
So once upon a time, there lived near a small, nondescript town, a young lad who aspired to run .. run as fast as he could .. run beyond the speed of sound .. and run straight into the lands of the impure ones not very far away in order to fulfill his destiny.
A thorough team player, he would never complete a sentence without referring to his Bros. So let’s call him Mah’Bros for the sake of this story, so as to not let out his true identity!
So Shri Mah’Bros Ji trained hard during his growing up years, and by the time he became a teen, he could actually run really fast. But the way his brains were programmed, meant that his elders kept him on a tight leash, lest he go and run amok!
But they did take good care to keep him well exercised so that whenever needed, he could actually run into the lands of the impure and do whatever was expected of him.
All was fine and dandy, till one day when he suddenly found his tethers loosened!
He couldn’t believe his luck and decided to make a go for it!!
And before anyone could yell ‘Oye Pakad Usko’, our guy Mah’Bros had already gotten a headstart!!
Oh he ran .. and how! Soon he was at nearly 40,000 feet above sea level where atmospheric resistance was minimal and the inevitable happened – a BOOM!
After the initial ‘shock’, he suddenly remembered a Class IX Physics lesson about speed of sound and some such useless stuff .. and realized he’d made a personal speed record!
Meanwhile down in Sirsa, people could only stare at the mooli parantha vapours he had left in his wake!
As he flew blissfully, singing the ageless Kishore Kumar song ‘Chala Jaata Hoon’, there was a sudden itch on the left side of his metallic body which caught him by surprise and made him turn to his right.
It was a moment before he realised that he had actually crossed the borders and was flying over the lands of the impure. ‘Otteri .. mera Passport!!’, he thought as he ‘strayed’ across the borders. But then with all that fire behind his backside, he could not help but keep moving!
Mah’Bros couldn’t help but curse Shri Newton Ji who had come up with his third law, which was now propelling him faster and faster towards .. err .. Mian Channu, as he checked out on his google maps!
Thinking on the fly (pun may or may not be intended!), our man Mah’Bros decided to stop by that town and seek directions back home. So he decided to find a suitable place to ‘touch down’.
THIS was when he realised a deadly problem – he had no brakes!!
‘Ohhhh … Shiiitttt …’ he cried out for a moment, before grim determination took over as he realised his true purpose in life – to scare the Shiiittt of those in the lands of the impure!
Thus, he made a beeline for an open space because, well, he wasn’t at war .. YET!
Soon he landed in the erstwhile lands of his forefathers .. with a DHAMAKA .. what with his supersonic speed and all that!
In his last moments before all went blank, he yelled some ‘not so parliamentary’ words for the unfortunate souls down below which he had picked up while binge watching Netflix over the past few months!
A million curses were cast upon them before Shri Mah’Bros ji died!
That was the end of the body of Shri Mah’Bros Ji.
Soon his predecessors’ souls appeared and started to take him to his allotted plot in the heavens above. As he rose once again (this time WITHOUT the fire behind his backside!), he took a look down where his body lay, destroyed!
Thanks to the sheer kinetic energy that he had generated, quite a bit of the area around his mortal remains had been flattened, even without the explosive payload that he would have otherwise carried.
NOW he understood his own potential, and those of the hundreds of his clones back home!
Once they did a similar run with their warheads, the ‘Flat Earth Society’ would definitely make them honorary members because they would ensure the flattening of a large chunk of land!!
He wanted to linger on just a bit longer, just to see how the Brown Panted Ones that ruled the lands of the impure, would now react. You see, he was a keen, though silent follower of a wonderful twitter handle of Shri Harpreet Ji and knew there would be a thread soon!
But alas, it was not to be. So with a humble bow to his motherland to the East and silent prayer that he would be able to get broadband in the heavens above in order to follow the thread, Shri Mah’Bros Ji ascended to the heavens above!
On the ground however, things were .. well .. flat!
The headless chickens had started running around and soon photos of his mortal remains were running amok on social media, though not as fast as he had run!
‘It’s a Bird .. No, It’s a Plane .. No, It’s Shri Superman Ji,’people cried variously!
Finally, the Brown Panted Ones made an appearance & took over the area!
Soon, an initial consensus formed that it was a bit too metallic to be a bird or Shri Superman Ji. So it was a plane!
Of course, it was a private aircraft, as the ‘good’ folks of Dawn reported. But thanks to the technological advancements in the lands of the impure, even private aircrafts had ejection seats and the pilot had ejected.
However, this factual error was the least of the worries of Shri Editor Ji of Dawn Ji. He checked and re-checked the word ‘ejected’, atleast 13 times and then to be doubly sure, checked it thrice again. You see, he didn’t want to lose his job like this Mohtarma below!
So .. the story was published!
And the Brown Panted Ones carried on clearing and cleaning the area, much like they had done to a supposedly non-existent terror camp for 42 days after 26 Feb 2019!
Meanwhile, peoples of the lands of the impure kept harping upon TWO blasts!
Thankfully, the second blast was attributed to some high quality pindi chana consumed by this Minister Ji in Islamabad, who actually got De-Panted in the process, much like the Brown Panted Ones!
For the next 48 hours, the Brown Panted Ones kept a studied silence, especially since the loss of hundreds of their ‘Otherwise Panted’ comrades of Balakot and the two unfortunate pilots a day later was still fresh in their minds!
They tried their BESTESTto clean up the supposed cold-storage facility even as their higher ups STILL ran around in circles, seeking an explanation. Finally, a call was taken and they decided to do an ‘URGENT‘ press conference, about 48hrs after Sh Mah’Bros had embraced Virgati!
Out came the latest Propagandu-in-Chief!
This one was a bit better rehearsed than his predecessor who had ‘inadvertently’ let out the loss of an F-16 in his exuberance to be the ‘FIRSTEST‘ to break news of Shri Abhinandan Ji’s exploits!
To sum up, the Brown Panted Ones expressed their outrage in a very polite and ‘sehmi sehmi’ language since everyone and also wikipedia knows the actual capability of the 100s of Bros of Sh Mah’Bros Ji which had spooked them into releasing Shri Abhinandan not so long ago!
In fact, rumour mills also have it that this time he was wearing knee braces as well, just in case someone saw his own knees shaking, as was the case with the Brown Pants-in-Chief in Feb 2019 at the mention of Sh Mah’Bros Ji and his brothers by the Indians!
Anyhow, the Propagandu-in-Chief managed to give out a brilliant graphic for which his agency is the most renowned for. In this, he described the last and the longest run of Sh Mah’Bros Ji who had come nearly 124 km inside the lands of the impure, that too WITHOUT any visa!
‘YES!! We had tracked him!!!’, the Propagandu-in-Chief crowed .. apparently in the memory of the crows that his predecessor had killed on the day of the Balakot strike!
‘YES, India will explain’, he thundered with clenched fists and an involuntarily clenched butt!!
Soon, the clean-up squads of the Brown Panted Ones vacated the ‘वीरगति स्थल’ of Sh Mah’Bros Ji and their malnourished populace rushed in to make TikTok videos of the terror unleashed upon them by him in his last moments!
Of course, with a better knowledge of what transpired, the Air Chief was able to explain what Shri Mah’Bros Ji did to the Lands of the Impure with the help of some simple hand gestures which the Beggar-in-Chief, with his limited technical knowhow, could easily comprehend!
Soon came the response by India. ‘It was a mistake’, they said. But they said it right under the phrase ‘हर काम देश के नाम’, much to the satisfaction of the soul of Shri Mah’Bros Ji!
CHEATING CHEATING.. cried the Brown Panted Ones.
The Beggar in Chief also had this to say!
Meanwhile, social media in the lands of the impure was going ballistic! HOW DARE THEY, HAINJI?, some said, while the others crowed about now reverse engineering the body of Shri Mah’Bros!
But the reverse engineering jokers didn’t know one thing – Shri Mah’Bros Ji had ensured utter and complete destruction of any useful body part of his! At best, the Brown Panted ones could sell the leftovers for some scrap metal and feel happy at the jump in their GDP!
Then there were those who were crying for retaliation! NUKE THEM, some said. SEND OUR OWN MISSILES, others said. KEEL THEM ALL, more shouted.
Meanwhile, the Propagandu-in-Chief was furiously working on releasing the next song about the Mah’Bros issue in order to improve his TRPs!
You see, he was well and truly aware of his ‘Soft Power’ and the lack of any ‘Hard Power’ to go with it, which had come back to bite his predecessors bumpy after India had abrogated Article 370!
(Note: This chain of thoughts was tweeted by me on 01 March 2022. Putting it here in my blog for the sake of archiving it on another medium as well)
Folks, sharing some thoughts on the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis. Thoughts have been floating about in my head ever since this thing flared up yet again, some weeks ago and now with the military part of it a week old, I feel emboldened enough to share my thoughts.
But one thing I wish to make absolutely clear right at the onset, I am NOT going to be talking much about the military operations as such. There already are enough handles doing a great job on that, for both sides!
Thoughts are still disjointed, though. Let’s see how it goes ..
If you seek inputs on the military part of the campaign, this is one of the threads to follow, as well as a worthy handle to follow on Twitter.
That said, let’s get going with this monologue of mine!
I had written this tweet below in March 2014, at about the time Shri Viktor Yanukovych was either in the process of being ousted from office, or had already been ousted, unsurprisingly, in yet another ‘revolution’!
Well, out came his book all over again, last week! It is a worthy reading for those interested. It’s been more than two decades since I myself first read it, followed by a couple more re-readings.
So .. going ahead, let’s see what has brought us to where we are on this first day of March of 2022.
Well, in one word, or rather in one acronym, the reply is NATO!
Let me tell you why ..
Post the breakup of the Soviet Union, NATO was NOT supposed to expand any further, having lost the primary reason for its existence in the first place!
In fact, Russia was explicitly promised about this.
BUT .. We wouldn’t be here if that had indeed been the case, no?!
Despite the literal collapse of Warsaw Pact, NATO galloped eastwards, unshackled, or as I originally wanted to say, UNHINGED!
But why did they do it in the first place? Well, it wasn’t the Soviets that were the enemy, it was Russia that was the ‘Other’, CIVILIZATIONALLY speaking.
Feel free to disagree, but European history bears witness to the fact that a strong Russia has always been a threat. Talking about continental Europe, I’ll just leave this 8yr old tweet here for the time being. I’ll come to this 👇 later in the blog maybe
Most of the former Soviet republics have balanced the opposing pulls from Continental Europe and Russia well enough, including those that have already joined or rejected joining NATO, except Georgia and Ukraine, that invited overt military response from Russia.
Georgia is way past in history (relatively speaking, of course!), so I will talk about Ukraine. Remember the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis? Or atleast heard of it? For the sake of repetition, it was precipitated by the USSR placing ballistic missiles in Cuba about 60 years ago.
In response to Soviet missiles in a country about 200km away, the US reaction took the world very nearly to a nuclear Armageddon.
And here we had Ukraine, dreaming of joining NATO, sitting right on the borders of Russia.
A HUGE miscalculation, in my opinion.
But then, why did this miscalculation happen in the first place?
Well, I would say that both sides are to blame for this – NATO for leading on Ukraine, and Ukrainian leadership itself, for not seeing the clear red line that Russia had laid out.
As they say, we are all Prisoners of Geography.
This is something that just cannot be wished away. Either make peace with it, or continue fighting it but without success. I guess any astute political leader would have seen this from afar.
But then, Ukraine elected a comedian!
Well, nothing against Shri Volodymyr Zelenskyy Ji personally, but I don’t think he appreciated that NATO would merely pay lip service and lead Ukraine into actually believing the crap about getting inducted into NATO so that they can fight Ukraine’s wars with Russia!
Zelenskyy is just another manifestation of Leftist Liberal ‘experiment’ with political power through revolutions of various kinds, but one which has bounced back at them so badly. Ukrainian lives don’t matter to them, just like Syrian/Libyan ones. Period.
It was clear as day to anyone who cared to see that Ukraine was being prepped up as yet another ‘frontline state’ against the Russians. But then, an inexperienced ‘leader’ may not have been a wise choice to ‘lead’ the country under such circumstances, no?
Instead, what he has ended up doing is to ‘lead’ his country straight into this mess because of a black and white worldview, that is generally the forte of the ‘liberal’ cabal, instead of the navigation through a LOT of grey that seasoned political leaders are required to do.
Sad as it is, IMO the responsibility for all the loss of lives of Ukrainian and Russian soldiers as well as the civilians in Ukraine, lies solely on the shoulders of the inept leadership that failed to read the tea leaves and kept on dreaming about NATO coming to their rescue.
Yup, this continued even as the Russian forces were already INSIDE Ukraine!
Like I’ve said before in this blog, NATO will happily fight Russia till the last Ukrainian. Even thereafter, Ukraine will NOT be a part of NATO.
So let’s get on to the current conflict as such ..
It has been a personal belief / opinion that I’ve held since long, so I’ll not mind you not agreeing with what I write next.
The world as we knew it, had changed long ago, what with the Arab Spring and states arming militias to go after governments in countries that fell out of favour with the Western establishment that was overrun by the ‘Liberal’ cabal.
Do read the above statement once again.
But this was the first instance that one Nation was forced to militarily attack another. I do believe that this may not have been the Western gameplan originally, but then I still have my doubts. So I’ll not go there.
For me, the first inkling of the imminent commencement of military operations by Russia was the day US/Europe announced the first set of sanctions against Russia, after weeks and weeks of threats.
In fact, the first thought that crossed my mind once I learnt of the sanctions was that now there is no more leverage to threaten Russia with!
Threats of sanctions can still expect a pliable behaviour from the other party, but with sanctions actually imposed, that threat is gone!
Of course, with a comedian presiding over the rapidly sinking Ukraine, any chances of backpeddling / deal-making that some other, seasoned politician might have done, were simply non existent. Small wonder then, that the Russian troops soon entered Ukraine!
The moment that happened, I swear if you tried hard enough, you could have actually HEARD all those High Fives in the corridors of power in various ‘major’ world capitals! Here was Russia, fighting Ukraine!
(Implication – Ukraine, and NOT a NATO member European country!).
The sense of glee must have been infectious enough! But one thing was amply clear – No country would be overtly sending their troops in harm’s way. No way! Not even in the ‘light banter’ in which the British Defence Secretary dreamed on about the 1853 victory!!
Of course, all this happened behind closed doors and threats of ‘We Can Send The Gurkhas‘ were not to be shared outside, but for their own idiots inside their own conference rooms!
But act they had to, especially for optics if nothing else.
Hence came all those renewed sanctions and promises and what not. All, except overt military help that Shri Zelenskyy was so hopeful of.
Btw, even the sanctions were carefully calibrated so as not to harm the West’s own interests!
But STILL .. no troops!
Yet, experiences of Libya and Syria came in handy when they started to wildly cheer on the ‘militias’ and the ‘volunteers’ that promised to fight Russia!
Also came in the narrative building on social media and very very compliant mainstream media in the ‘free’ world! Visuals of Shri Zelenskyy Ji freely walking on the streets of Kyiv, of countless Russian tanks etc destroyed along the roadsides (Hint: They were Ukrainian tanks!) soon filled up the social media landscape as well as were faithfully reported by the various large media houses.
Of course, Russian voices were conveniently cut-off from these very social media platforms that swear by their neutrality and commitment to free speech!
No wonder, Ukraine is already winning the war handsomely, atleast on social media, and kicking Russia’s backsides!
It’s been six days and Russia STILL hasn’t taken Kyiv, shout the TV Channels, announcing the defeat of Russia. If only they knew a bit of history, they would realize that the famous BLITZKRIEG of Hitler still took SIX WEEKS to overrun France!
But then, agendas rule!!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Soft Power is meaningless without hard power. We ourselves learnt it at a great cost in 1962.
Once again, I have nothing against the thousands of dead Ukrainians and Russians thousands of miles away from my home, but then, whey our own people and news anchors start swallowing the ‘Liberal’ pills being peddled by the cabal in West, one cannot but do a facepalm.
Ok, before moving ahead, I will plug in this totally unrelated meme here! 😂
So back to the more serious business of blog writing and all that!
As I mentioned before, Ukraine seems to be winning this war quite handsomely, atleast on social media. But then (and I may be totally wrong), when Russians enter Kyiv, the heartbreak will be even more intense.
Let me now talk a bit about Indian response, both at the govt as well as non-govt levels.
Personally, my own take is – ‘Not my dog, Not my fight’. I think the GOI too did its bit by abstaining in the UNSC vote.
However, our own social media fed ‘liberals’ were aghast!
How could India go against the ‘Popular’ opinion, hainji?, they asked!
In their hatred for the current govt of India and love of their ‘liberal’ heroes, I guess we all know what wins. Each and every time. (Hint: Logic is definitely NOT the answer!)
Before moving ahead, I will just plug in this well compiled thread here. Let’s hope the ‘good’ folks of Twitter don’t do their magic and make it vanish on whatever pretext!
Ok, back to the Indian ‘liberals’ and media now.
Their hearts bled for Ukraine, and in fact they still bleed. They themselves don’t know why, but they still bleed because .. well .. the masters’ hearts bleed as well!
Unsurprisingly, reporting of the situation by Indian media too has been very one sided with absolutely NO perspective whatsoever that I have personally come across, from the Russian point of view.
Yes, we are THAT shallow in what news we peddle and what news we consume.
Indian students getting stuck in Ukraine was a good ‘sad’ story to sell. But the same Indian students now held practically hostages is something that is just not worth telling the audiences, because they might question all the careful narrative building that media has been up to!
Come what may, Ukraine just HAS to be painted as innocent victims of Russian aggression without telling people why Russia invaded in the first place. Also, ‘non-white’ people being prevented from leaving Ukraine by gunmen who should instead be fighting Russia, is given a miss!
^^ Just in case you don’t believe a ‘random tweeter’ above, here’s a video as well
One can go on and on about the military conflict as such, but that is not my aim.
Before moving ahead, all I will say is that the conflict doesn’t affect us, YET.
Atleast not directly.
Let me delve on that a bit before moving ahead.
We are going to be all alone in the battles we fight. A perfect example is the immense ‘outpouring’ of wanton racism from the West just because we ‘dared’ to abstain from the UNSC vote. The way they came about to ‘scold’ India was .. well .. amusing, to say the least.
Why amusing? Well, because they forgot that India wasn’t the only country that abstained.
China did too!
But will they dare even WHISPER sweet nothings to China?
I think we all know the answer!
Here’s one such sanctimonious idiot that I chose to engage with –
The world as we know it, folks, has changed for good. This is just the beginning. Much much more is to follow, fairly soon. All we can do now is to brace ourselves. We all are already witnesses to history in making. Mark this.
Possibly this is the reason why the West is so furious in their reactions, even if non-military for the time being. Of course, another reason being thatcontinental Europe is already effectively disarmed, thanks to NATO!
Had tweeted this thought some days ago, but I worded it wrong. I should have instead said that the Complete and Utter DESTRUCTION of countries and Nations has been the ‘monopoly’ of the Global West, atleast for the past half century. And I stand by it.
What Russia has done now is to have broken this ‘record’ of the West.
Georgia wasn’t destroyed, neither was Ukraine in the Donbas conflict. But this time it is different. V.E.R.Y different indeed. Hence the reactions from US / Europe that we see.
Try as they might, they can’t wish away the Bear. Not even with no overt military support. No way.
On that note, I got reminded of this one as well!
Seems quite apt under the current circumstances!
Fight or perish. Period.
I personally believe that this conflict (not specifically the Ukraine situation) was already in the making over the past decade and half or so since ‘liberalism’ became the flavour of the day. But I also believe it was mostly being shaped in the cognitive domain without any overt involvement of National militaries in the physical domain. It was a war of narratives thus far which has now, for a change, turned kinetic with both sides being sovereign Nations. Yet, some ppl continue to feel happy in the cognitive domain!
THIS, folks, is what social media and the war of narratives has done to us.
A successfully trended hashtag gives a sense of victory, even as Russian tanks are knocking on the doors of Kyiv!
Physical domain is where u will finally be told to put your money where your mouth is.
And it is here that the West is facing a decision dilemma.
You see, they hardly have any military power left in continental Europe!
Hence, the economic warfare being waged against Russia, of course with adequate checks and balances lest it come back to bite them.
But in their haste to satisfy the hysteria that they’ve built up in their own minds as well as their citizens’, they seem to be headed in a rapid downward spiral with ever increasing stringency of sanctions.
Never before has the monetary system been weaponized in this fashion!
Mind you, this is where it will impact us all as well. If not today, then tomorrow for sure. As I wrote above, the world as we know it, has changed for good.
Once the guns stop firing, there will be a mad scramble to find alternatives so that other potential adversaries don’t find themselves held hostage to a monetary system controlled by the US / UK.
The reason why the West has chosen to react so ‘violently’ (without boots on ground of course) is because they see the writing on the wall. If Russia is not defeated, yes DEFEATED, the world order that they have lorded over since the end of WW2 is likely to slip from their grip.
Dare I say, the West have got it wrong this time.
The balance of power has already shifted. What is happening now & what will happen next is merely the assertion of their power by the new leaders.
Of course, this transition too will NOT be pretty, or peaceful.
The current tools that the West is using is their control over the monetary system and info system, thanks to their social media giants. But what of their appetite for actual warfare against a well armed adversary in case it comes to that?
Here’s a quick question – Name ONE war that the USA has decisively won ever since the end of the second world war and left with its aims achieved.
Saying Panama or the other similar operation would be an insult to the military might of the USA, I’d say.
So try harder.
Btw, just came across this very interesting map. What is of interest is not what is written, but the relative divisions of the world. These more or less match the civilizational boundaries mentioned by Huntington, of course with some civilizations subsumed into these divisions.
So back to Western appetite for war. With all the woke shit going on to which even their militaries are not immune, one can understand their reluctance to actually put boots on ground, despite Shri Comedian Ji of Ukraine crying desperately for that. In fact, this just happened 👇
So what comes next ..
Well, for one, I’ll wait for Kyiv to fall, or for Ukraine to beg Russia for peace. When this happens, there will be a LOT of heartbreak all around primarily because of the propaganda fed to us all, thanks to the insane control over narrative by the West.
What has already happened, of course, is that Putin has called the bluff of the West once and for all. Western leaders (currently atleast) appear to be headless chickens even as Ukraine gets systematically dismantled by Russia, even as the Comedian’s calls get increasingly desperate.
He was created by social media.
He is ‘leading’ on social media.
He is PLEADING on social media.
Heck, he is even WINNING on social media!
But the Russian tank crews and other soldiers outside Kyiv haven’t got the memo!
West continues to hang on to fig leaves, even as the desperate pleas by Zelenskyy get louder and louder. So long as some Russian soldiers die, it doesn’t matter to them that thousands of Ukrainians – soldiers as well as civilians – die as well. Period.
However, what they do not (or perhaps they do) realize is that Russia has moved decisively not merely into Ukraine, but into Europe as well, by staking a claim as a major power.
I doubt that short of nukes, continental European Nations can individually, or even collectively, stand up to Russia, militarily. Reminded me of the full form of NATO I heard some years back – Needs America To Operate!
Sad, but true!
Come winters, they will need Russian gas as well and with it will go much of the sanctions. Of course, US elections of November will only get that much more ‘interesting’, to say the least.
So that is about Europe and NATO. Now a word about America.
Europe / NATO are but proxies for America, atleast in the current conflict and the western response to it in terms of sanctions. That is a fact. But .. there is one major actor that isn’t yet involved in this mess, yet.
Europe / NATO are but proxies for America, atleast in the current conflict and the western response to it in terms of sanctions. That is a fact. But .. there is one major actor that isn’t yet involved in this mess, yet.
Of course, they must be furiously taking notes. Just as they did after the First Gulf War and launched their military modernisation programme!
That modernisation, btw, is nearing completion.
Now put into context this warning by the Taiwanese President BEFORE the Russian Attack!
Well, China has potentially the MOST to gain from this war.
A weakened and isolated Russia goes that much faster into a Chinese embrace, economically as well. Remember, Putin waited for the Beijing Olympics to be over, before launching the attack! Yup, a Conspiracy Theory indeed!
Of course, Russian being the first ‘recipient’ of economic sanctions helps China prepare that much better for when the inevitable comes their way as well. But the question remains – Which way will China turn? Towards Taiwan, or towards Himalayas? Will they even do such a thing?
The last question in the tweet above is relatively easier to answer.
It is INEVITABLE, I’d say.
If not now then maybe a short distance in the future. But happen, it will. Especially, with Jinping Ji looking at going beyond a 10 year term soon, that too amidst a rapidly challenging internal situation, a diversion of this kind might actually come in handy. Of course, his role model – Mao – did exactly the same thing! As millions died during the ‘Great Leap Forward’, he attacked India!
Btw, that happened when West was busy with Cuban Missile Crisis! Just like currently and for the forseeable future as well, no?
Personally, with all my biases and opinions, I’d say that a war in the Himalayas, while not entirely implausible, may not be as likely as one over Taiwan. But then that is just my personal opinion. Feel free to disagree.
Of course, Taiwan too must be seeing the emerging situation keenly. If at all, one lesson that they too must have drawn by now is that they are going to fight all alone.
The USA has already lost in this respect, though not yet overtly.
A Chinese attack on Taiwan will require an American response for sure because otherwise America of 2022 becoming like the UK of post WW2 – a power in perpetual decline – will be there for all to see.
Thus, China gains doubly by going towards Taiwan – Reunification as well as Pre-eminence. Mind you, they may not even need to go kinetic (atleast to the extent Russia has gone). Even mere posturing, if met by a tepid American response might actually convince the Taiwanese to agree to an altered political status as part of the PRC, thanks also to the horrific visuals of the carnage that Ukraine is suffering, just because their Comedian-in-Charge chose to take in the snake oil peddled by the US / Europe at face value.
A Chinese attempt at Himalayan borders may not be as easily successful, without paying a larger cost, even if it succeeds at all. Hence my bet on Taiwan front getting activated.
But that does NOT mean that we need to lower our guard. One can never be too sure, or too prepared.
But regardless, the world will be a much more violent place over the coming decade or so. Remember, it took TWO world wars and a failed League of Nations to arrive at the current world order. The next world order won’t come any easier.
Talking about UN, I’ll just leave this here!
All I’ll say as I end this thread, folks, is ‘BRACE YOURSELVES’!
It is blood which moves the wheels of history.. Given the current situation, I bet the wheels are moving faster and faster each passing day.
Thanks for your patience. I think I will end this blog post here 🙏