Demonetisation, Dokalam and Debate

Very stern yet very photogenic anchor introduced the topic of discussion,”Dokalam, Demonetisation and India”. India has a weakened economy and a standoff at the border with China. So what is the likely consequence in near future.

Anchor looked at a distinguished lady, who happened to represent and organisation, “Democracy for All”. She started by saying, “Government’s demonetisation policy has created havoc in Indian society. Our GDP growth has come down. On top of that there is standoff with China on the eastern border. I am sure, Chinese have stopped investing in India post Dokalam standoff. No wonder our economy is in shambles. We have a hostile neighbor on the west. Both neighbors are ganging up on us. How do we manage? I bet, macho national security advisor, is not letting peace to prevail. Who will bear the cost of two front war? Why don’t we talk to our neighbors? Why don’t we give diplomacy a chance?

Government spokee tried to intervene, “but we have not seen any widespread protest against the move anywhere in India. On top of that, we have won several elections inspite of the move.”

Arre, winning election is not everything. How many muslim votes did they get? How many muslims did they field as candidate? The party had totally polarised the environment. Now you are talking about election win? This kind of sycophantic attitude had brought disaster to this country.” Commented the lady participant. She represented an organisation for democratic rights of all citizens.

Government spokesperson wanted to respond by saying, “Government has said on the floor of parliament that war is not an option, diplomacy is”. But he was cut short by the anchor. She flashed her beautiful smile and said soothingly, “I shall come back to you. Let me get response of others. So Prof. Mitra what do you think happening in Dokalam? Why are we there? What are Bhutanese people thinking?

Prof. Mitra appeared to be a person whose words carry weight. He was linkedup from his home. After clearing his throat deliberately he responded, “This PM is a dictator. No one can speak in his cabinet meeting. Look first he did demonetisation. Such a disaster. One hundred and twenty people lost their lives. Now he has put our troops face to face with Chinese troops. I am sure, he will stop short of nothing other than a war. Can we really fight with the Chinese? They are a superpower. Look at their technological superiority? And, what about Bhutan? Did we take their permission before we marched in? Many Bhutanese are not happy with Indian interference. Why don’t we leave them alone to choose whom they want to do business and what do they want to with their border.”

Anchor looked at a political commentator, “ So sir, what do you think India should deal with Bhutan? Should we not let Bhutan to sort out their issues with China, on their own?

Since, you are giving me last word, please give me some time without interruption “No Indian wants war. But I am confused. What do learned commentators want Indian government to do. All the while, China objects to India upgrading her border infrastructure, China is doing exactly the same thing in Dokalam. It is true in modern warfare, building roads near our perceived area of discomfort does not matter. Then why is China building it? If it is good for Chinese gander, then it has to be sauce for Indian goose too.

 There is a lot of talk about anger in Bhutan about India and China fighting. Bhutan has to decided for its own what does she wants? If she wants to be gobbled up by China or if she wants to maintain certain relationship with India with occasional meddling only on matters that concern India? If you wish to enjoy advantages, then you have to bear the discomfort too.

 By the way, economy has been slowing down, as said by experts, for last six quarters. So whatever may have contributed to low GDP growth, Dokalam standoff is not one. If India is worried about investment not coming from China, the other party should also be concerned about losing business.

At this point, there was a breaking news, “Indian and Chinese troops had agreed to disengage at Dokalam.” Before, anchor could close the show, the party spokesperson interjected, “Advantage of a critic is that they do not have to face the consequences of what they say. Anyway, there is always an alternative point to any argument that can be raised. Finally, a critic can take refuse in the argument that “it is the job of government to take action. Why did you listen to us.”

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