Why do we Indians always like to brag about stuff which really doesn’t count for even a nickel in the wider aspect of human life on earth? When will we learn to keep things in their proper perspective? There are numerous events I can recount to support my claim, I will begin with the most recent one which came in today’s newspaper...It was about India(DRDO) going to test its new Agni V missile carrier which is proposed to have a range of about 5000 km. It is really great that we are advancing in our defense preparations and also that people of India are made aware of its elaborate plans, but the two column quarter page article(including the sub heading) had the mention of China or a Chinese city at least 12 times...Now the only inference the article draws, to even a nincompoop reader is that we are at loggerheads with china, almost at the brink of war and we have come up with the miraculous bomb solely to attack China...and, the missile is indeed going to be our savior...thus! It calls for a celebration...Cheers!!
The article pin points the exact cities that we can hit in a manner that it is more or less done and the people of those unfortunate cities are no good than doomed from this moment itself. The argument gloats by assuring that the prime cities like Shanghai and Beijing had already been brought under our scanner’s reach years earlier with the development and successful testing of Agni III...so we needn’t worry in the first place...and now, on top of that we have gained command over the less significant ones too!, reaching the far northern cities like Harbin (names were clearly specified in the article) so raise a toast you guys, our job is done, China is tumbling in our pocket.
Do we fancy assuming a similar line of thought? Do Chinese also think the same way? We don’t know about them. Of course our relations have been a bit ruffled off late with the stone dropping incident and the speculation about nuclear-tech proliferation to Pak etc but we can not generalize based on the views of a handful of Chinese people...They too probably realize as most of us do, that there are better things in this world to engage ourselves into….things that would need co-operation rather than pointing guns at cities. With the reputation of being the most renowned newspaper and also being one of the largest ones in circulation, this article stains the image of ToI in the minds of a reasonable reader. They could have structured the information in a better way by making it less China centric.
The possible repercussions can be ruinous.
1. Wrong impression to the Indian people that this test, which btw is one whole year away from possible results of success, is purely capable to turn the war in our favor, if there happens to be a war in future. Even if it turns out to be successful, we will have a missile with a range of 5000km, where as China already has one with a range of 11,200 Km. hah!...give it maneuverability and it can drop dung heaps over all our cities in one go.
2. China has tested missiles that can bring down a communications satellite, in ‘07. We, on the contrary, have the nerve to discredit that thingy and believe it is pointless, justifying our stance in the wake of a galactic cause- “we don’t want to spoil the outer space with satellite debris, so we wont test any such thing”...its like avoiding a hot water bath because it fogs up the mirror.
3. China may react to this development and secretly build further terrible stuff which could cause destruction of catastrophic measures…It may even remove us from the topography of Asia.
4. Worse, It could give everything of its possession to ever zealous Pakistan who would enjoy providing us a meaner death. That would leave us feeling no less happy than a squashed roach...
5. What if the all-hyped test fails? We have surmountable evidence from the past assuring its possibility. Failure of first Agni III test, the speculation surrounding Pokharan II test revelations, the incompletion of the moon mission, procurement of inexplicably expensive old rugged re-furbished navy vessel from Russia, Bofors scandal, sabotaged or ill-fitted parts being used in the MiGs…etc to name a few. One day all this bolbachchan is going to pinch hard.
Besides these entire, why do we need such a mind inflicting article? For the sake of sanity, it is high time to realize that people do value a peaceful life. Articles such as these tend to assuage the reader’s thoughts with the writer’s. This also endorses an unrealistic behavior pattern which justifies that making an attempt-of-the-sort is relatively as credible as successfully accomplishing any task. Why brag aloud when there is no need…instead, smother ‘em quietly when the precise time arises…both, their damage and our adulation will be more.
Other instances of recent past which I can recount having a similar story was during the acquisition of the naval air craft carrier, and then there was one during the launch of the high-tech spy satellite which only 5 other nations had.