The Many Mogambos in My India


The Many Mogambos in My India

Illustration: Akshita Monga/ Arré


his Sunday, India woke up to the Uri massacre. If this attack, on the heels of Pathankot and Gurdaspur, was meant to provoke India’s warmongers into action, possibly in an attempt to bring international attention toward the Kashmir uprising and the Indian state’s heavy-handed response to the protests, then it succeeded on all fronts. The hawks, whether they were in the government, in TV studios, or on social media, rose to the occasion and unleashed a torrent of chest-thumping, internet tough-guy rhetoric, turning the last two days into a fascinating display of brinksmanship and dick swinging.

Of course, anger and outrage at the attack is justified, even if many of our commentators are (willfully) blind to the realpolitik backdrop against which such attacks take place. Nor is it out of place to call for a firm reaction to such provocation, even though what form such a reaction will take is a much more complicated question than the keyboard commandos calling for “surgical strikes” realise. But what we saw, in these last two days, went way beyond righteous anger into mass psychosis territory. A reminder, as if one was needed, that too many in our country live in a testosterone-flooded, hyper-aggressive cuckoo land.