The present hostage crisis, therefore should be accordingly dealt with. One cannot intervene in a sovereign state without invitation, as it has long-term consequences, specially in context of West Asia where long term energy imperatives are involved. Nevertheless, a mix of diplomacy backed by demonstration of military muscle (not intervention) can achieve the desired results. What good is INS Vikrmaditya for, if it cannot support Indian diplomacy at this critical period and that too in the region.

For those who watched the oath taking ceremony in the Lok Sabha recently, there was some great learning to ponder. The lesson questions the very basis of politics of linguistic chauvinism, and in the larger perspective the hackneyed ‘unity in diversity’ argument. If one were to intently hear the oath uttered by different Members, there was no feeling of any primal difference in Hindi, Bengali, Gurumukhi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Malayalam, Maithli, and the mother of all these languages Sanskrit. There were members, who opted for the Urdu language, which to the ears and sensibilities was nothing but Hindi. Urdu language acquires sectarian and communal colours only when some people insist on Arabic script as the medium of its propagation.

The scorching of passengers in railway compartments at Godhra railway station on 27 February 2002 and the riots that the carnage triggered has so far been analysed only through the communal and political prisms. All commissions and inquiries have been confined to ‘immediate causes’. Security analysts were amiss in ignoring the external machinations responsible for the carnage. The prevailing geopolitical environment was hardly factored in appraisal of the situation. The security discourse in this country has still not sensitized itself to the entire realm of proxy war, the type of war in which Pakistan has few equals.