The Other side of Diplomacy

Sunil Dang

War & Peace have never lived so close to each other as we see them do in current day world order. Poetic coincidence then that US co-opted Hanoi in Vietnam for the summit level talks with the North Korean leader Kim. Failure is what has greeted them in the familiar territory, perhaps a grim reminder of the historical military overture & outcome, US had embraced decades ago. Curiously the agenda for the summit level talks was how fast to de-nuclearise North Korea & bring the rogue nation back into the mainstream of saner world politics. The world had hoped to see some rapprochement & signing of a deal between the two nations. But that wasn’t to be.

In a paradoxical situation involving Iran & resignation of its foreign minister, some would argue, it was the direct outcome of the suspension of the nuclear agreement deal by US that he was the prime architect of. On one hand, there is great resolve & commitment shown by the US in bringing North Korea on board ship of peace, while on the other they scuttle a similar design elsewhere for some strange reasons. This is no less than a farce, the theatre of the absurd playing out over vested machinations. Expectedly the instagram resignation got rejected prompting US secretary of state to tweet “One of the “front men for a corrupt religious mafia,” “We note @JZarif’s resignation. We’ll see if it sticks,”

There have been disturbing developments back home in India too. Almost instantaneously the spotlight has shifted from some prickly issues of intelligence failure in Pulwama attack, Rafale, unemployment, farmer distress, poll sops to one of national security, pride & honour. It appears that the current situation is unfortunately getting exploited by powers to be for scoring political brownies & this is evident by unabated political rallies by the establishment involving the PM himself. At a time when the whole nation is seething in anger, all that the nation wants to know is, how prepared we are to tackle the menace of proxy war by the enemy country. We expect the government of the day to be more sensitive towards people’s emotions & concentrate fully on strategising ahead to present a tough face to the enemy country rather than using the sacrifices of our brave martyrs as election propaganda. That would be disgraceful. India stands united in this hour & it goes to the credit of the opposition parties to have unanimously backed the government in whatever it deems appropriate to thwart the enemy design.

Some would argue that this situation is tailor-made for the BJP to alienate the opposition unity that had begun to pose serious challenge to its invincibility stereotype. In whipping up a war like hysteria, BJP may be attempting to scuttle any more potential alliances forged by the opposition. It is a fact that in the event of a change in the wind direction, following a short skirmish or a prolonged armed engagement between the two nations, some regional parties may have a rethink on their partnerships.

Again in a choice between war & peace, the later is more beautiful a luxury to lose. History is replete with instances that show that war has had no clear winners, only perceived victories. More so from electoral perspective, wars have always failed the ruling dispensations, Kargil is one such example.

Enter 5G & we hear that the Airtel Chairman & business tycoon Sunil Mittal is reluctant to bid for the 5G spectrum if the telecom department continues to back its proposed pricing. He believes that the prices are simply ‘unacceptable’ given the current market dynamics. In an echo of what most of the telecom players have felt & reiterated, Sunil Mittal has rightly suggested tampered down auction by the government that is sustainable in the long run. The consumers are already facing the brunt of a sluggish 4G & any upward revision in tariffs shall have a ripple effect on consumers’ pockets.

Lastly, it is my earnest hope & desire that we use our good judgement about news that is available off the shelf. There is Good & Bad news; paid & genuine, fake & real news that is peddled all the time over various media platforms. These come in all hues & colours. But the choice of what to hear, watch & read lies with you, the consumer.

Wishing you a Happy Mahashivratri!

Jai Ho!