Sunday 28 August 2016

Blood and Iron

In a speech delivered in the Prussian Landtag ( Parliament ) in 1862, the great future Chancellor of Germany, Bismarck, said " the great issues of the day will not be decided by votes and speeches but by blood and iron ( blut und essen ) ". He said this when the Landtag members were opposing his request to increase the grants to the military which he needed for unification of Germany.

A similar thing can be said about current developments in India, which beg...inning from Kashmir are likely to spread to,other parts of the country too.

For most of the period after Independence in 1947 politics in India was largely governed by votes and speeches ( though there were some sporadic violent incidents too ). The 'giants' in our national scene were people who could give attractive and seductive speeches about how they would serve the people if elected, but behind the scene indulged in their field of expertise of manipulating caste and communal vote banks, and looting the nation. But now after almost 70 years something fundamental has changed in India, these ' giants' have been exposed as paper tigers, and it has started from Kashmir. The era of ' blood and iron ' has arrived in India, and is going to rapidly replace the era of ' votes and speeches '.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, ex Chief Minister Omar Abdulla, PDP member Mehboob Beg, separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, J&K Congress Chief G.M. Mir, National Conference spokesman Nasir Aslam Wani, and even the Prime Minister have all been making fatuous appeals for peace, which have all fallen on deaf ears in Kashmir.. Mehbooba Mufti, like a rat cornered by prowling ravenous tomcats, made a pitiful appeal ' for one last chance ', but who listens to her ?.

All these people do not understand the forces at work in Kashmir, and therefore, like King Canute, are trying to push back the oceanic waves. But like an actor who refuses to leave the stage although his role is over, they will soon be pushed out by forces beyond their control.

I am reminded of Napoleon, who was very powerful at one time ( he used to confer crowns on his favourites like a Roman Emperor distributing coins to the populace ), but on reaching Moscow in September 1812 realized that most of his power had gone ( see Tolstoy's ' War and Peace ' ), and he ultimately ended up in St. Helena.

As Shakespeare said in ' King Lear ' : " As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods. They kill us for sport ".

And as Omar Khayyam said in his Rubaiyats :

" They say the lions and the lizards keep the Court where Jamshed gloried and drank deep
And Behram that mighty hunter, the wild ass stamps over his head, but cannot break his sleep "

Now that the era of blood and iron is dawning in India, beginning from Kashmir, we will witness a rapid, qualitative, change in our politics. All our great netas will be thrown into the dustbin

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