Shekhar’s false equivalence

A good friend recommended this piece by Shekhar Gupta in ‘Business Standard‘. I read it and these are my comments:

It is easy to agree with portions of this article and not-so-difficult to disagree with, in some other portions.

One, there is a false equivalence he draws between the US and Soviet Union and India and Pakistan. There is a reason why the former was called the Cold War. Pakistan’s actions in India have been more direct. They fall somewhere between proxy war and real war.

That said, I agree with the importance of a sustained smart, sophisticated and even silent campaign rather than a shrill one. The government appeared to have understood the need for the former in the initial days after the strike.

Second, Shekhar also appears to be vastly under-appreciating the public sentiment in this matter.

Third, India might have made a mistake in raising the matter in the BRICS Summit but I am not sure he is entirely accurate in calling India’s new-found post-May 2014 global power a far cry from the reality.

Yes, the government overstates its prestige and its international significance but Shekhar Gupta’s piece suggests that hyperbole is not the government’s exclusive privilege.

Talking to friends who know a thing or two about these matters, I got the impression that, in the highest levels of the government, there is an understanding of how the campaign needs to be conducted. It is a different matter that some do not have the discipline to follow the script of maturity and professionalism. That needs to be addressed immediately but that does not give commentators the license to paint with a broad brush.

I had already blogged on it but worth reiterating: Ashley Tellis’ piece in MINT is worth a read.


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