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Editor's Blog - January 2011

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Wikileaks has set the world of governance alight. Julian Assange has assembled a cast of info-warriors, info-martyrs and what not. If it is trunk loads of United States government cables tomorrow it will be another country. Of that there is a certainty, for the doors of defiance have been opened and they cannot easily be bolted again without changing the nature of governance. There is nobody spared, no country free from the vast stores of diplomatic limes. There are a lot more cables on India yet to be released. And Wikileaks have provided enough teasers to whet the appetite. Wikileaks have set the trend.

So it wasn’t in the least bit surprising that the first fake Wikileaks have also hit the public domain. And it wasn’t in the least bit surprising that they originated from Pakistan and concerned the Army in India. There is a curious relationship between Pakistan and India’s Army. It of course began at the birth of Pakistan and its failed ‘tribal’ invasion of Kashmir. It has continued over the years in similar fashion. So it makes sense for Pakistan to attempt a Wikileaks on the Indian Army. For in a very real sense it is the Indian Army that stands between Pakistan and success with its completely awry policies.

The Indian Army has frequently pulled the country’s chestnut out of the fire. Many chestnuts over the years, from many fires. Even as the politics of the country has created a million little mutinies, it has been the ethos and the efficiency of the Army that has saved the country serious blushes. It is the single most respected institution in the country, quite unlike the image of other similar institutions in the neighbourhood. From the first war over Kashmir in October 1947 till date, there have been innumerable instances of the Army coming to the rescue of the country’s leadership. And as is its culture, it will continue to do so. So it isn’t surprising, therefore, that Pakistan would want to target India’s Army with a bunch of fake cables. It hasn’t produced fake cables on India’s diplomatic policies, or its politicians, but has begun the process with the one institution that stands between its warped mission and success, India’s Army.

Despite decades of saving the country blushes there is still a great deal of chasm between the political elite and the Army. There is still a great deal of learning of the other that has yet to happen. Politicians don’t know much about the Army, how it functions and what needs to be done to make it function better. And the Army doesn’t know much about politicians, how they function and their limitations. In a very real sense nobody wants to know about politicians, but knowing the Army is important given the neighbourhood India lives in and its own little political mutinies. It is the least that the country can do for the one institution that has kept its side of the deal. It is important to know what can and cannot, be done by the Army.

 


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