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Home > News > Columnists > Lalit Koul

Mr Prime Minister, please walk the talk

April 08, 2003

May 14, 2002 (Kaluchak, Jammu)

A two-year-old baby is lying in his bed trying to sleep. His mother is telling him stories about his father, who is a soldier and has decided to give his life for his country. She is telling him how brave his father is and how proud he is of his service to the nation.

Suddenly, bullets start raining on the mother from all directions. Within seconds, she is lying dead next to her son. A dreaded terrorist appears at the door and takes a hard look at the crying baby. At the next moment, the terrorist empties his AK-47 into the baby. The baby lies silent in a pool of blood.

33 innocent people, including 11 women and 11 children, were gunned down by Islamic terrorists that day in Kaluchak, Jammu.

Let us fast forward to March 2003.

March 24, 2003 (Nadimarg, Kashmir)

Suraj, 4 and Malu, 5 are sleeping like little princes with their parents. Around midnight, 15 Islamic terrorists show up at their door and wake them up. They herd them to their neighbour's courtyard and in seconds shower them with bullets from automatic guns. The two princes are silenced forever along with their parents. Suraj had just celebrated his 4th birthday.

24 innocent people, including 11 women and 2 children, were gunned down by Islamic terrorists that day in Nadimarg, Kashmir.

That is the ground situation in Jammu and Kashmir. But who cares what is happening on the ground as long the sky is clear.

Yes, as long as the sky is clear.

'The sky is clear.' That is what you, Mr Prime Minister, told the media on May 23, 2002 after the Kaluchak massacre.

Is the sky really clear?

Or are you living on some other planet to which we common people don't have access to?

Let us take a hard look at the record of your great talk:

October 2, 2001 (In a letter to US President George W Bush, after the suicide attack on the J&K assembly on October 1, 2001)

'Incidents of this kind raise questions for our security which, as a democratically elected leader of India, I have to address in our supreme national interest. Pakistan must understand that there is a limit to the patience of the people of India.'

December 13, 2001 (Addressing the nation after the terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament in New Delhi)

'Now the fight against terrorism has reached its last phase. We will fight it to the end. The attack was not only on Parliament but the entire nation. There should be no doubt in anybody's mind about the government's resolve to fight terrorism. We will all do it together. We will foil every attack.'

May 15, 2002 (Addressing the Indian Parliament after the Kaluchak massacre on May 14, 2002)

'Jammu attack was massacre of innocents and India must counter terror.'

May 22, 2002 (Addressing army soldiers during his visit to Kashmir)

'My visit here should be seen as a signal. Whether the neighbour understands it or not, the world understands or not, history will remember it and we will write a new history of victory. Our goal should be victory because now the time has come for a decisive fight and in this war, we will win. We have to fight our own war, we are ready for it, we are prepared for it.'

May 23, 2002 (Addressing a press conference)

'The situation is serious and it is a challenging situation, and we will meet the challenge. We will see what happens in the future. We had said war clouds were hovering, but sometimes lightning strikes even if the weather is clear. We hope that the lightning will not strike.'

Mr Prime Minister, after the Nadimarg massacre, you called a meeting of your Cabinet Committee of Security which, after condemning the bloodletting in 'the strongest terms,' warned of an intensified crackdown against Kashmiri terrorists. When on average 15 to 20 innocent Indian citizens become victims of Islamic terrorism every day, is the sky REALLY CLEAR?

Isn't it actually coloured red with the blood of thousands of innocent lives that have been mercilessly killed by Islamic terrorists?

Mr Prime Minister, you are known for your oratory skills and you are a man of few words. Unfortunately, the problem is that you are a man of words only. Action is not your hallmark.

To be a great leader, one has to walk the talk. Just talking does not serve any purpose. Instead, it encourages the adversaries (in this case Pakistan and its Islamic jihadi terrorists) to inflict more and more injury to our nation.

And all that talk without the required walk has resulted in more than 900 dead innocent Indians in the state of Jammu and Kashmir since September 2001.

On May 23, 2002, to a question whether you were satisfied with Pervez Musharraf's promise to fight terrorism, you said, 'No, I am disappointed. What is important is not making a declaration, but implementing it. Words must be matched by deeds and that has not happened.'

Mr Prime Minister, I, a proud Indian citizen, am disappointed with you. You have to match your words with deeds. And that is to do whatever it takes to defend India and its interests. That is precisely why you are the prime minister.

India cannot and need not listen to the advice of 'Restrain. Restrain. Restrain' from the White House, US State Department and Pentagon. Colin Powell's reasoning for giving us the 'Restrain' advice is Indo-Pak conflict at this time is going to adversely affect our war on terror.'

Apparently, in the eyes of US policy makers, it is okay to keep sacrificing the lives of innocent Indian until General Tommy Franks captures Osama bin Laden dead or alive in Afghanistan/Pakistan or Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

Everything else is secondary. The life of a two-year-old baby, who was gunned down by an Islamic terrorist and thus could not see his third spring, is apparently less precious than an American life.

Suraj who will never celebrate his fifth birthday has no value in the eyes of Colin Powell.

That is the logic of the United States. But that does not buy me and my fellow Indian citizens any peace and security. India needs to stand up for its rights, defend its territorial integrity and sovereignty, with or without the United States.

I wonder how you can sleep at night when two-year-old Indian babies are machine-gunned to death by Islamic terrorists. I certainly cannot.


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