May 23, 2010

Conversations, #10

I'm falling behind in posting these! Put it down to the driving trip through the south I'm still on -- nearly 3000 km, and counting. Another 3-4 days before we're done.

Here's the tenth installment of the conversation between Beena Sarwar and me over the last few months: The trust deficit.

Previous: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9.


Jai_C said...

Hi Dilip,

I just read your post but will spend some time thinking it over.. I will be back after other commenters have a go here.

Please allow me to continue the train of thought that was set off after reading Kristof's article.

Pak vs BDesh:

Trust appears to be a significant difference in how we perceive BD vs how we perceive Pak.

We have many similarities:
- common heritage & history
- same differences in religious composition
- harboured militants
- border dispute
- water dispute
- bigbrother-ism (Ind)
- some anti-indiaism (BD)
(desher shotru without other qualifiers apparently means India)

- Kashmir (pak)
- nukes (pak)
- illegal immigration (BD)

Kashmir is a big one but nukes is not so critical assuming rational actors.

But we have far fewer problems with BD. The difference does seem to me that BD is at a happier place internally and w.r.t India, it has a more positive attitude. Specific to terrorism, it has handed over militants that we were looking for that had criminal records here.

I think BD has invested in building trust with us and *actually* scaled back from funding and aiding militant groups of NE unlike Pakistan that IMO mostly only talks about it.

PS: Its interesting that you dont seem to find any of this track even comment-worthy let alone take it up with Ms.Sarwar.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Its interesting that you dont seem to find any of this track even comment-worthy let alone take it up with Ms.Sarwar.

As I've indicated a couple of times, I've been travelling a lot and have had limited access and time for the net. I cannot keep up with all I want to comment on.

As for taking it up with Beena, please read all the installments. There are references and allusions that came to me from some comments.

But having said that, I must necessarily make this a conversation involving my views and opinions, not someone else's.

Jai_C said...


Thanks for the response. I am more interested in your views and opinions (more even than Beena's) on the way Pak and BDesh paths have diverged since 1971.

All I really want is your thinking on that.

Whether you take it up with Beena is upto you of course. While I continue to think it is quite relevant to any discussion of Ind-Pak, at least as a useful alternative path (and one that the powers that control Pak steadfastly refuse to take IMO) I absolutely agree you could disagree.

PS: There are a few more differences between Ind-Pak and Ind-BD I could think of:

- Wars:
we fought with Pak and for BDesh. I dont know how badly this needs to affect worldviews 40 yrs down; we fought China in 1962 and yet its not so markedly a *problem* for us.

But it could and is a factor I missed.

Chandru K said...

China is of course not the same kind of problem that Pakistan is. With China, it is more of an economic rivalry than anything else. However, the relations are not so good that critics of India's nuclear weapons programme and the reasons for it, can dismiss India's concerns by saying "China is a progressive, humanistic, leftist, secular, socialist, universalist country, so India should not be wary in any way of it" It's best to be on one's guard, when relations, particularly of the future, are uncertain. Yes, and you can take that as a cue to conduct a series of "Conversations" with Chinese contacts as well.

Jai_C said...

1. This dialog track is not getting much attention, and part of the reason could be that its gotten very repetitive- esp Ms.Sarwar has gotten into a holding pattern.

2. My problems with the Kasab idea, kind of root-caused. The idea of a bad guy in planning and carrying out his bad deeds, acquiring *info* (to convict other bad guys) *valuable enough* to discount his *bad deeds* strikes at some of my core beliefs. I tried over the last few days and discovered this is *not* very negotiable.

In some other context you talked of convicting McVeigh by circumstantial evidence. That would be so much better.

3. Condescension, patronizing etc.

These are loaded words I would hesitate to use in serious dialogue but seem to be common currency in this series.

I would not like preloading my dialogue partner with the need to keep proving they are notX (X being whatever label I have come up with)

After so many repeats on this thread, the labeling generates a counter-perception, a cloak of "hurt victimhood" that the speaker who throws "condescension" around appears to seek.

How I wish we could exchange victimhoods!

ie. Pakistan could take the 26/11 attacks and then condescend ALL it wants to India forever.

I would stand ready to receive condescension, however defined, from every Pakistani in the mood for the rest of my natural life.

Thank you,