Friday, January 18, 2013

January 18, 2012

Well, it looks like beheadings by both sides are pretty common:
Despicable as the alleged beheading of Indian soldiers by the Pak­i­s­t­anis was that led to the present military crisis, the fact is that both armies are or have been in it to­g­e­ther. India’s ace TV anchor Barkha Dutt will do the country and the community of journalists a great service by speaking up at this time. She gave the following eyewitness account of the Kargil War to more or less affirm a tradition of beheading the enemy that unfortunately seems to exist on both sides and pe­r­haps straddles other countries too. And I quote from writer-acti­vi­st Shuddhabrata Sengupta’s web­po­st for the piece Barkha Dutt published in Himal magazine in June 2001. 
“I had to look three times to make sure I was seeing right. Bal­a­nced on one knee, in a tiny alley behind the Army’s administrative offices, I was peering through a hole in a corrugated tin sheet. At first glance, all I could see were some leaves. I looked harder and amidst all the green, there was a hint of black — it looked like a moustache. ‘Look again,’ said the Army Colonel, in a tone that betrayed suppressed excitement. This time, I finally saw. It was a head, the disembodied face of a slain soldier nailed on to a tree. ‘The boys got it as a gift for the brigade,’ said the Colonel, softly, but proudly.”

Friday, January 11, 2013

January 11, 2013

If you gaze into the abyss, does the abyss also gaze into you even if you are an Indian? Is my country always right? If you are a 70-year-old grandmother sneaking into PoK, and nobody knows that you've sneaked in, are you an Azad Kashmiri, and is the ceasefire broken? Does it matter if Reshma Bi ran across the Line of Control 16 months ago or six weeks ago? Can we extradite her to India and request her to give a series of expert lectures on guerrilla warfare to our OTA cadets? Is constructing watchtowers a violation of the ceasefire? Even if the watchtowers are facing inwards? Is intimation through a public address system the only way to let somebody know that they're violating the ceasefire? Who pays the bill for the hot line between the GOCs? Is beheading enemy soldiers so common as to warrant something like "...both sides have engaged in cross border raids, which have on occasion included beheadings", almost as if one were referring to an exchange of sweets on Independence Day ("You must try these rasgollas... Oh, almost forgot..." <chop>)? What is a controlled retaliation? Does Praveen Swami have an inside track with respect to the Indian military establishment? Speaking of the establishment, what are the covert actions that B Raman is referring to as retaliation for the Pakistani action? Who are our prospective allies in Pakistan? Does Sarabjit Singh know what these covert actions are? If he does, what does he think of them? What does Afzal Guru think of all this? What about Rabbani Khar? Ban Ki Moon?

(Apologies to Crispin Glover)