You misunderstand the role of evidence, Mr Narayanan

India’s evidence is credible only if India acts on it

India’s national security advisor is piqued at the US State Department for ‘not wanting to know the facts’ about the terrorist attacks on Mumbai before it weighed in on Pakistan’s side. He misunderstands the role of evidence. That’s because the United States is not an impartial judge who will rule on the balance of evidence. It is just another state that will rule on its own perception of the balance of its own interests. Factual evidence, or lack thereof, has never come in the way of pursuit of its own agenda. That is just the way it is.

The only real use for ‘evidence’ of Pakistani involvement is to justify any punitive action, especially of the military kind, after India has embarked on it. Not only would this justify the action but also make the evidence itself more credible. After all, India actually acted on it.

So if India does not intend to act then attempting to convince the Americans on the merits of India’s case is a pointless exercise. Furthermore, lamenting that the Americans are not interested in listening is not just pointless, but shameful. That’s because the Indian people entrust their national security to the folks in New Delhi. Not the folks in Washington. At least the national security advisor should know that.

7 thoughts on “You misunderstand the role of evidence, Mr Narayanan”

  1. Indians are leaving no clue behind that they are turning into a vassal state of the US, slowly but surely.
    Or they are planning something aggressive.

    Knowing Indian governments, it can only be the former.

  2. Narayanan’s primary job seems to have become raising the bogey about all sorts of dangers, most of them probably non-existent, in the media. He’s been talking of every possible thing he could think of as being under terrorist threat.

    Nuclear installations are specifically built to withstand these sort of attacks. One cannot simply blow up nuclear reactors or their cores by strapping a few pounds of RDX to a timer. Nuclear installations are the last things terrorists would be able to destroy. I wonder if Narayanan is deliberately ignoring this or is simply stupid.

    All in all, the primary objective of the government now seems to be to take away people’s freedoms under the garb of preventing terrorism. Every citizen is now a defacto terrorist – unless proven otherwise.

    An interesting development – Non passengers soon won’t be able to accompany relatives inside stations – god knows how that helps. I have a feeling this is just one more way of impinging on people’s rights.

    It is going to be interesting to see how they going to stop terrorists from blowing bombs up in markets like the ones in Delhi or ones that would regularly happen in Israel. Will people be banned from shopping there or asked to shop without bags?

    The more he whines on about all sorts of threats he sees, the faster he will lose his credibility.

  3. Perhaps people miss the point?

    This is not the conduct of a friendly nation.

    Tomorrow if Pakistan detonates a nuke of Indian soil, will the US again “not want to know the facts”.

  4. As you suggest, it seems our establishment has a deep misunderstanding of geopolitics. Underlying their earnest and impatient beseechings to the US seems to be a sense of disbelief that their pure and moral high ground is not all that matters. Look even at our blusterings on the world stage: it is all about morals and less about strategy.

    The thing is that this “no strategy” is actually a strategy on its own that was used by an erstwhile Indian leader quite successfully on the world stage. And that leader was Gandhi, who based his plans not upon actions but upon purported higher moral grounds. And a hefty dose of faith that the passive-aggressive approach of showing one’s higher moral ground suffices.

    This explains our leaders’ disbelief and impatience that even after such a splendidly strenuous display of our moral high grounds, the US and the world polity is not rushing forth to help us.

    The incredulous thing is that with a large country like India, the top crop of politicians have to be extremely cynical and machiavellian. It is not that our leaders are stupid or naive, it is that they are possessed by the ghost of a man who holds sway over our nation even after so many decades.

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