“In international arena perceptions do matter in influencing strategic and geopolitical thoughts and actions of nations, as the context is invariably set by the victor or the dominant geopolitical power or civilisation.” – Veteran Col RS Sidhu
Today the nation faces adversaries along its northern and western borders which have a proclaimed concept of ‘undeclared and unrestricted warfare’, just short of entering the battlefield. The seriousness of the threat posed can be gauged from the deep collusion extending between them to the extent of exchange of embedded Liaison Officers between the two armed forces down to operational level. The two factors combined present an internal and external threat level not hitherto faced by the nation.
In these circumstances, an armed force that is restrained to a reactive role, enjoys neither technological superiority nor quantitative edge, and is led by a conformist military hierarchy, may induce the adversaries to look at the overall strategic situation as a favourable window of opportunity for proactive intervention. We must understand that intent in geopolitics is respected only when backed by capability, and signaling strategic intent without commensurate compatibility is paradoxical.
In the international arena perceptions do matter in influencing strategic and geopolitical thoughts and actions of nations, as the context is invariably set by the victor or the dominant geopolitical power or civilisation. No wonder, managing and influencing public opinions and perceptions is cumulatively near a trillion dollar industry, when combining the budgets of the governments and corporations the world over.
India is a fine example, in the Current Era, of falling victim to such externally manipulated perceptions, impacting its strategic and geopolitical thought and even society at large, to this day. To draw own conclusions on this perspective, one has to just recall the journey of its name from Bharat, to Hindustan, to India, to the current yearning to go back to the cultural roots to rename the nation and its population centers, and juxtapose the same to the parallel prevailing historical context in the country.
Science has too often been used as a tool to deny outright the rich civilisational heritage of this ancient land, impacting its internal dynamics and soft power, so vital in today’s world. Here I have no issue with the scientific rigour of ‘accepting provenance only when proved’. What I do contest is the ‘denial of provenance or existence’ merely on provenance not being established. To understand this soft power onslaught I share a few queries below…
I wonder whether God exists, as scientific provenance is unproven, and how does it mesh in with taking legal oath on a non-existent entity?!
I wonder how to reconcile the scientific denial of the physical effect of the power of human thought, central to Indian culture of spiritual self enhancement, with the medically accepted theory of ‘Placebo effect’, which by itself is premised on the power of auto suggestion?!
I wonder when was the landmass of India formed as it was ‘discovered’ by Vasco da Gama only in 15th century?!
I wonder when the Sun stopped revolving around the Earth, as in the year 1633 CE Galileo was tried and found guilty, by no less an entity than The Vatican, for professing the ‘heretical thought that the earth revolves around the sun’ as opposed to the then held Vatican view of sun revolving around the earth?!
I wonder whether the Bumblebee would have dared to fly if it had read aeronautical principles of flying, and reconcile it with empirical data that suggests to a similar non-conformist existence of aerial vehicles in earlier times?!
I wonder how to countenance the centuries old ‘Hanuman Chaalisa’ sloka ‘Yug sahasra yojan par Bhanu’ which translates to a distance of 153.6 million kilometers between the sun and earth, tantalisingly close to the modern science calculations of this distance varying between a minimum and maximum of 147 to 152 million kilometers, based on respective planetary positions in the elliptical orbit?!
I wonder at the actuality of my ancestors’ centuries old knowledge of our solar system comprising nine ‘grahas’ and two ‘adrashya grahas’ (Rahu – Ketu), while modern science is only now coming to grip with the concept of dark matter (adrashya grahas)?!
I wonder at the realisation of my ancients about the invisible aura surrounding living beings, which modern science began to accept only in the middle of the 20th century post innovation of ‘Kirlian Effect’ photography?!
I wonder at the viability of research into ‘time travel’ by a science which postulates time being linear and irreversible, or do I accept the veracity of Hindu concept of ‘Cosmic scale of Time’, of it being cyclic and not Absolute, and all Time being omni-present in dimensions separated by vibration frequencies?!
I wonder at the existence of the centuries old ancient Sanskrit text ‘Vishwakarma Vaastu Shastra’, containing the secret to harness flow of etheric and magnetic energy, a concept still alien to current scientific temper?!
I wonder at the centrality of the religious institutes in the fighting units of the Armed Forces, raising of religion based war cries by rival armies, the fact of maximum blood being shed world over in religious conflicts, and how it aligns to influence of religion on national security being a taboo for enlightened discussion?!
The geopolitical world order has never been just. It’s all about exercising raw power by the strong to pursue their national interests by all means. The US has the record of maximum international interventions to overturn sovereign governments as well as refusal to honour international agreements and conventions, closely followed by Russia and China. In such an environment, countenancing pursuit of ethical diplomacy by the political hierarchy of the Indian state is nothing but utopia. It is an irony indeed when the same political elite displays no moral compunction in pursuit of power within the domestic political arena, by employing all possible unethical means! This inconsistency too has a strong bearing on national security.
There are innumerable contradictions in the geopolitical sphere and the society and organisations at large, having security and military implications, which need to be taken out from the closet. Shall follow through with alternative thoughts on such aspects with the declared aim of mainstreaming them for being studied afresh from an unfettered prism…
Col RS Sidhu, Sena Medal is a post graduate in History from Delhi University. His write-ups on strategic affairs have been published in magazines and journals of repute, and can also be accessed at his blogspot www.valleysandvalour.blogspot.com . He is also the author of two books, ‘Success from Being Mad’ on entrepreneurship ventures by veterans, and ‘Elephant on the High Himalayas’ on India China discourse.
[author title=”Shefali Kochhar,” image=”http://goachronicle.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Screenshot_20210321-160233_LinkedIn.jpg”]Journalist, Goa Chronicle .
I am an entrepreneur who has tried her hands on various ventures like Electric Vehicle Charging Station , Online Retail Store / Trading and few more ventures. I have done my entrepreneurship from Amity University Noida.
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