30 July, 2021

A History Of Yielding

Lax, emotional, fluffy, bully, correct but not ruthless... Definitions of India span the spectrum

A History Of Yielding

The weak-kneed capitulation to forest brigand Veerappan adds to a growing list of incidents that reinforce India’s image as a "soft state". Going by the record, giving in to terrorist demands seems to be the rule rather than the exception. When push comes to shove, India always seems to be the first to blink.

Starting with the release of five militants in exchange for then home minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s daughter in 1989 - which inspired a series of copycat kidnappings - to the more recent hijacking of IC 814 and of course the lifting of terrorist cases against people Veerappan wants freed in exchange for actor Rajkumar, India’s capitulation to the whims of kidnappers, terrorists, hijackers and the like seem endless.

"Is India a country with clear goals, determination and willpower?" asks security analyst Brahma Chellaney. "Lack of these attributes would automatically make India a soft state. And any layman can tell you which side of the fence India is on. We have not even defined our national...

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