You might be one of those people who might have stopped watching news channels or may have disabled the news app on your phone because all you see these days on them are problems, China something something…, Pakistan blah blah blah.., some state CM blah blah blah.., as if pestering college assignments and the coronavirus was not enough, these news apps are stressing us with stuff that is at least not immediately our problem. But there’s also another section, some people like me who download an extra app and enable all their notifications to ensure we don’t miss any of the stuff that’s going on, different people have different reasons, I just somehow enjoy it.
The point here, although, is not that news channels and apps spread negativity and trouble us with extra stress, the point is that too many things, especially negative things are somehow happening all at the same time, pushing us in a predicament not much short of chaos, I mean as if Corona wasn’t enough of a headache now all our neighbours are seemingly trying their best to harass us, even Nepal! This is intriguing when the entire world is reeling under the corona crisis then why even any government is thinking about anything other than saving the lives of their citizens?
Before trying to figure out the answer to the question raised, I’ll briefly list out all the noteworthy events that have lead to the raising of this question.
The most popular rivalry, our irksome neighbour. We caught some spies working in the Pakistan Embassy here in New Delhi, they reacted by “abducting” our officers in our embassy there. Perhaps the least interesting of all, conflicts with Pakistan are something we are used to, it happens almost on a weekly basis all the time.
Doesn’t top the popular list yet a known adversary, we have always been sceptical of China. Yet this time it has crossed the line both metaphorically and literally, our brave soldiers have had to shed their blood this time, it was ok until it was just a standoff but now this is a real serious issue with the potential of escalating into significantly larger violent military interactions between the two nations.
This is the most shocking of all, Nepal has been acting rogue, they pushed ahead with tweaking their map by passing a bill unanimously in their parliament despite our vocal opposition to their move, claiming some of our territories as theirs, or in a more objective way of describing it, they are trying to anchor their claim on the areas we claim to be ours. That was still ok on some level, but they have gone so far as to killing our citizen along the “open-border” that we share with them, a virtually non-existent border, people living close to the border cross it and come back without even realising that perhaps their casual detour is at some level the foreign trip that they dream about. Violence on the Nepal border is almost unheard of and that is what makes the situation worrisome, not that Nepal is a military threat to us but we certainly do not want to sour our relations with our brotherly neighbour.
The infamous “Resort Politics” is back in action in Rajasthan, some tremors are being felt in the MVA in Maharashtra, some trouble in the BJP cadre in Manipur among other things going on. Although none of this is new, its timing is certainly questionable. But this issue, in particular, seems more of a creation of the paranoid minds of our politicians than due to something real. In Rajasthan especially, both Congress and BJP have lodged their MLAs in resorts which frankly seems quite bizarre. A simple question that comes to mind is why would any party indulge in “Horse Trading” in these times when all of them know that it would at best remain an “open secret” and draw serious ire from the people.
If we delve a little deeper and try to find out the underlying causes behind all that’s going on, we can see that all of those causes have existed either forever or at least for a long time before when people hadn’t even heard about the virus.
So what happens when we as individuals or even governments are faced with huge crises when things seem to slip out of our hands and we don’t know our way out a lot of frustration builds in us, we want to do something about it but don’t know what to do, so we react to anything that comes our way, or may I rephrase it, we “over-react” to anything that comes our way. In crisis times, governments are under a lot of pressure to do something and when they don’t know what to do they start digging out pre-existing issues and take some visible and bold actions to save their face, to show people that they are not sitting idle, they are doing something serious.
China has adopted the approach of offence or attack as a form of defence. Chinese foreign policy has become significantly more (as diplomats term it) “assertive”. History tells us this has been always been their go-to policy when they are faced with trouble and need a face-saver.
Nepalese actions can be majorly attributed to the political ambitions of their Prime Minister who wants to portray himself as a strong and assertive leader.
Pakistan is merely over-reacting, we caught their spies they had to do something after all even their government is answerable to their people (you may read “army”).
When there’s a negative cycle aka crisis all the pre-existing problems somehow find their way out to the open both in our personal lives and in societies as a whole and we seem to feel that the crisis is worsening, similarly when there’s a positive cycle aka boom innovations, ideas come up and make the situation better and better. Common among both is that they are part of a cycle and have a limited life span.
Negativity in a crisis brings with itself chaos.
All in all these “extra” over the top problems are more of a bearing of human nature rather than that of the crisis itself, but even in the midst of all this we can sit back and nicely relax, our diplomatic channels are strong enough to handle everything that’s going on and if it comes to the armed forces then it’s unforgettably 2020 and not 1962.
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