Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The Sad Inevitability of War

Pakistani battle tanks destroyed by the Indian Army, displayed as war trophies in Mhow. I wonder how many men died in these two tanks. A google search showed me that the Pakistanis have also displayed destroyed Indian battle tanks as war trophies.

India and Pakistan fought a bitter war in April - Sept 1965. Both sides lost around 7000 men totally. Both sides claim to have won the war.Many independent analysts claim that the cease fire saved Pakistan as it did not have enough resources to sustain a long war. It also taught them a lesson that India could not be defeated so easily. Similarly India also learnt that defeating Pakistan was not a cake walk. The stalemate continued till 1971 when India defeated Pakistan and liberated Bangladesh.

I was a pre-schooler in 1965. But I remember my father, who was then posted in the Army HQ at New Delhi, and his colleagues talking about the war. As a matter of fact it was impssible to not know that a war was on considering one lived in a defence colony like Dhaula Kuan. I also remember how our windows were blackened for safety from attacking aircraft at night time. Luckily no enemy aircraft reached Delhi. In an ideal world there would be no wars - something which is impossible in real life. Like the Jews and the Arabs India and Pakistan will always remain at loggerheads. Their common history has gifted them confrontation. Only, today both have nuclear arms.

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