The summer of
1998 will go down in history and especially the history of India and of Pakistan as a
cruel season. A time in which the callous cynicism of the RSS leadership in India and its
opposite (and twin), the Muslim League leadership in Pakistan exposed naked and unashamed
in all the pristine ugliness of sectarian communalism.
Neither has an agenda for the amelioration of
the hardships of its miserable, deprived and diminished to sub-human levels populace. This
lacuna was most cunningly concealed behind the sounds of exploding nuclear devices.
All that can be said is that it was
sabre-rattling in its most modern, updated version.The TV clips of both countries could
have been produced by the same drama company. Something like the Parsi Theatre or the Shah
Jahan Theatrical Company.
RSS leaders of India wearing Rajput turbans
which made them look quite grotesque as they have the well-fed trader rather than the lean
and supple warrior look, talking like a Bollywood dialogue. Madanlal Khurana offering to
fight Pakistan anytime anywhere as if it was some fixed time event like Ramlila or
The cues and signal of the Sanghchalaks
(leaders) was faithfully taken up by the daily drilling well-trained and disciplined in
street demonstration or riot cadre to provide TV audiences with spontaneous
outbursts of frenzied celebration. There were fireworks, flowers, dancing in the streets
first in India and then in Pakistan.
Because they have the edge in entertainment
over the stodgy Indians, the Pakistanis went above and beyond whatever the Indians did by
showing a Pak woman firing a machine gun at the sky. It is as if the RSS leaders of India
and the Muslim League leaders of Pakistan have never heard of Hiroshima and Nagasaki or
the more recent Chernobyl. Perhaps it is like smokers and cancer: It cannot possibly
happen to me! syndrome.What mystifies observers is the fact that everyone who was
anyone knew that both Indian and Pakistan (besides other countries such as Israel) had
nukes up their sleeves or whatever. Why share this open secret with the world? The RSS
proclaimed national security as the reason.
They even claimed it would reduce Indo-Pak
tension and lower temperatures. Now it is quite clear that they have bombed or failed
miserably. In Hindi or Urdu / Hindustani one would say Lu or Lutiyaa Duboa Dee.This needs
explanation like anything which is really Indian. A Lutiyaa is a water transporting
vessel. It has to be ritually clean as its contents enter the mouth of the user.
If the vessel is soiled,
polluted, desecrated in any manner whatsoever the person drinking
out of it would be soiled, polluted, desecrated and
unable to perform even life support activities like eating food or drinking water to say
nothing of praying or any other religious/ritual acts. This is the importance of the
When a person entrusted with filling it up
with water for drinking, cooking or bathing takes it to the river or the well, he has to
make sure that the job is done without compromising the ritually pure aspect of the vessel
in any manner whatsoever. Imagine, therefore, the calamity that would appear to have
occurred if anything untoward happened to the Lutiyaa.
Lutiyaa duboa dee means that the one entrusted
with filling it has gone and let it sink and drown in the oblivion of the river or the
well. The RSS have, by an untimely and quite uncalled for unveiling of Indias
nuclear capability done the equivalent of Lutiyaa dubao dee. Thus the RSS have achieved
not a bang but a whimper.
The public has to, therefore, consider them
not only unwise but incompetent to boot. This means that their other claims should be
examined in detail because of Caveat Emptor. We are assured that the Pokhran explosions
were sweet and that there was no radioactive fallout or danger to life and
The TV coverage of houses in nearby villages
showed cracks and fissures in the walls. What guarantee is there about radioactivity not
being present? Remember Chernobyl! Perhaps there is need for a non-government inquiry into
Reliable and independent men and women with
competence in the area should be asked to conduct an inquiry into the Pokhran Panchak.It
should be remembered that Indians and Pakistanis are better known for magic and mystery
than for a scientific temper.
Their safety record while handling hazardous
materials or processes is not the envy of the world. The case of the X-Rays or the Rontgen
Rays can be sited as an example.Rontgen Rays or X-ray have been in use since 1895.
The inventors were the Curies, man and wife,
and both died of cancer. Radiology was by trial and error and at great cost of human life
and suffering it has been established that X-rays can be safe only behind nine-inch thick
brick walls or lead aprons screen and gloves.
Despite all this, the radiology departments
and clinics act in a careless and casual manner. The private clinics are staffed by
technicians with little knowledge and training disciplining them in safety.
Even in public hospitals, with highly trained
teaching and research staff, even ordinary precautions like locking the room before giving
exposure is not observed. This means people from other departments, patients
relatives, etc., walk into a live room.
Yet another hazard is caused by the
patients relatives showing off. I have X-ray done at four or five hospitals in
order to make quite sure of the correct diagnosis. The hazard of exposure to
repeated doses of X-ray is not realised.
The lack of scientific temperament displayed
by our attitude to X-rays will help RSS build temples in Pokhran and the
pilgrims will be at risk.In the above gloom and doom atmosphere created by the
humourless and the joyless communalists let us see what has come out of the NRIs of the US
One engineer working with the computers is
convinced that the whole thing was stage-managed by the CIA acting to protect their
President Bill Clinton.The point they make is that as a result of the Pokhran five and the
Pak six, the heat is off their President. No one talks about his misdemeanours in the
areas of sexual activity any more. Who says that they, the CIA have failed?