Punching above or below the weight?
For NSA, hanging Yakub is proportionate punching
The National Security Adviser (NSA), and former chief of the Indian Intelligence Bureau Ajit Doval, has grandly sermonized us not to “Punch above, nor below the weight. India has a mentality to punch below its weight. We should not punch below our weight or above our weight but improve our weight and punch proportionately,” he said.
Before his new avatar, he chaired the well known Sanghi outfit Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) established by L K Advani as the Home Minister of India during the erstwhile NDA regime, at the land acquired questionably in the prestigious Chanakyapuri diplomatic enclave, and therefore for years Doval’s political affiliations were clear to all those familiar with his name. Most of the fire and brimstones hurled by Narendra Modi and his enthusiastic party comrades, L K Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitfely, et al, at former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, mocking him as a softy, emanated from VIF, in effect from the same Doval.
The implication of this sermon is also pretty interesting and significant. The subject of this lecture in Mumbai on August 4, 2015,appears to be carefully chosen, obviously approved by the NSA, if not decided on his prompting, “State Security, Statecraft and Conflict of Values.” The context was the judicial murder of Yakub Memon. In fact he was asked when and how the Government proposed to bring back Dawood Ibrahim and Tiger Memon and his comment was obvious retort to this question which he did not directly answer.
So the inference one can draw from the Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger rolled into one was “Don’t seek the extradition of Tiger and Dawood, for that would be punching above the weight. On the eve of the planned hosting of Pakistan’s NSA Sartaj Aziz to New Delhi, our Macho man solicited a very loaded advice to his Mumbai admirers, “If you make a provocation, you are partly responsible.” It means don’t do anything at least for the time being which amounts to provocation to Pakistan, lest our sleuth’s opportunity to serve hot and steamy Biryanai to Aziz is jeopardised in some fresh bickering and protest.
Going by Doval’s speech, India does not yet match up to “proportionately” punch Pakistan to get back Dawood and therefore stop dreaming of getting anywhere close to Lakhvi, or Hafiz Saeed or Masood Azhar. For Doval said, “We should not punch below our weight or above but improve our weight and punch proportionately.” This meek admission of impotence comes from the hawk chosen by our Chhappan Chhati Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide foolproof security to the country. Ironically thumbing their nose at our macho Security Adviser the Pakistani terrorists were caught by unarmed local villagers, loitering around in Jammu and shooting at will Indian Border Security Force (BSF) men.
So hanging Yakub Memon and before him Afzal Guru, in Doval’s perception is proportionate or appropriate punching and he justified that further saying, “But if you are not able to exercise power, it is as good as not having it…There is no point of having Rs 50,000 in your pocket if you starve to death.”
A day after he oversaw the much delayed signing of the peace accord with (Isaac-Muivah faction of) the Naga militants, Doval indicated that by mentioning punching below the weight he meant don’t bother about Naga or other militant outfits in the North East. Just ignore them for that would be for a powerful nation like India, “punching below the weight.” Doval implied.