I have heard a lot of people say India is going to be the next superpower. The Indian economy is growing at the rate if 9% a year and that by some not-so-distant-year they are going to overtake the US and China. The recent happenings between Tibet and China got me thinking. Wikipedia describes a superpower as “A superpower is a state with a leading position in the international system and the ability to influence events and project power on a worldwide scale; it is traditionally considered to be one step higher than a great power. ”
Assuming Wikipedia is accurate; India has the second largest standing army, the fourth largest navy and air force in the world. Quite impressive. Add to this the fact that we test fire one missile every few months, we are in the middle (or is it muddle) or have just closed out of a arms deals with the US, Russia and Israel.
This is where it gets interesting. In spite of all this when we really need to display our might or come to a point where we are being taken advantage of we just prefer to suffer in silence. This is a list of terrorist attacks on Indian soil over a period of six years.
20 March 2000 – Massacre at Chattisinghpora, J&K
1 October 2001 – Attack on J&K State Legislative Assembly, Srinagar
13 December 2001 – Attack on the Indian Parliament,New Delhi
22 January 2002 – Attack on American cultural centre, Kolkata
14 May 2002 – Massacre of family members of Army personnel, Kaluchak, J&K.
21 May 2002 – Firing at Hurriyat meeting; Abdul Ghani Lone killed, Srinagar
24 September 2002 – Akshardham Temple Attack
25 August 2005 – Twin Blasts, Mumbai
5 July 2005 – Attack on makeshift Ram temple,Ayodhya
29 July 2005 – Jaunpur Train Explosion
18 October 2005 – Ghulam Nabi Lone, Education Minister of J&K Killed, Srinagar
29 October 2005 – Blasts in New Delhi
28 December 2005 – Attack on the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
7 March 2006 – Serial Blasts in Varanasi
1 May 2006 – Massacre of Hindus and Gujjars, Doda & Udhampur, J&K
1 June 2006 – Attack on RSS Headquarters
11 July 2006 – Mumbai Train blasts
For a more detailed description of these events see
What have we done about these things? We have nationals from Bangladesh who come in to India and indulge in terrorist activities and yet we do not do anything about this. The minute the culprit in the attack on Parliament was sentenced to death there were mass protests on the streets by “Human Rights Activists”. The same people did duty when Dhanjay Chatterjee was sentenced to death. If you know who Dhananjay Chatterjee was and why he was sentenced to die then it is quite impressive. The public memory in India lasts about as long as one-day series. The really amusing thing is people said they did not want to interfere with the legal process and they had “respect” for the law of the land when it came to showing support for Sanjay Dutt. While that was another circus (and I for one completely support his sentence), why were the other two instances not seen as obstructing the justice system and a downright disregard for the law of the land.
If we cannot stand up for what is right – regardless of whether it is internal or external then what is all this talk of being a superpower worth? It is just like bragging in front of a caged lion. When push comes to shove and we are asked to take a stand on uncomfortable things like justice, equality and secularism (this one is my favourite – I am not writing an article about the minority appeasing mindset of India because it is going to end up as one LONG article- and Sudhir might kick me out for taking up too much space on his blog) we just prefer to look elsewhere and make sure we do not upset anyone – let me rephrase that – anyone that we think matters.