This article is written by Ramanuj Mukherjee, CEO, LawSikho

The apprehension that is weighing heavy on most of us today is a dangerous war on our borders.

I just want to remind you that we have come very far from the time when wars were won or lost in the battleground through valour and fierceness.

We live in a world where war is not even won through planes, tanks, or warships.

You can’t win a war with nuclear weapons either. In case of a nuclear war, nobody wins. The whole world will be the loser. Some more, and some less, but all of us will lose enough such that our lives will never be the same again.

War is won through superior technology, superior economy and prosperity of the people. That’s the only battle worth fighting, and the only battle worth winning.

We are a generation that has not seen a real war in our lifetime. We do not even understand what it is. I suspect many of my compatriots think it is something like PUBG or Call of Duty.

Kargil was not a full-scale war. Some of our mountain tops were invaded by guerilla fighters and enemy soldiers on whom we unleashed our massive military might. There was not much scope of civilian casualties and certainly no threat of escalation to nuclear war. Airstrikes were mostly one-sided and limited.

What is there for India in fighting a war today? What do we stand to gain?

We are a prosperous nation, and we have many battles to win, of pulling people out of poverty, of strengthening our democracy, of making India a hub of knowledge, innovation and technology. Still, almost half of our government’s budget has to be spent on an arms race, towards defence, because our governments have not been able to bring peace.

If your family had to spend one fourth of its income every year towards buying guns and bombs to defend against your neighbours, would you be happy and peaceful? Can you be content with a situation like that?

90% of the countries in the world do not spend anything beyond 10% towards their defence budget, and can, therefore, invest such money towards the welfare of their people – into education, health, infrastructure.

Surely India has come a long way in the last two decades, but our government is literally working for us with one hand tied behind its back.

Should we not demand that our government sorts out our boundary disputes with neighbours so that we can have a friendly relation with our neighbours and not have to spend half of our government budget on defence every year? Can we not at least pray for it? Could we not even take baby steps towards it?

If China and Russia could sort out their disputes over borders, if North Korea and South Korea can be friends again, why not us?

Security and peace is also a very big concern. Unless we secure peace within our borders, no prosperity is possible. But can we ensure it by going to war?

A colleague told me today that he doesn’t mind if there is a nuclear war. 10-20 crores will die sir, maybe, but then we will wipe Pakistan off the map, he said. Is that an option? Can we afford to lose so much to wipe off another nation from the maps? Which particular people are you ready to sacrifice? What about the innocent people in their country who also oppose war and want peace?

I am not afraid of death, I am ready to die for a worthy cause. But should I sacrifice or even risk the lives of so many other people? And for what? Is this not completely avoidable?

This kind of conversations scare me, depresses me, and makes me want to appeal to everyone’s good senses.

I hope that our anger, ego or lust for revenge will not surpass our sense of self-preservation or love for a peaceful, sustainable environment.

On revenge, Confucius said something which I want to share with you today. Consider it. Stop for a moment and read it twice.

Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves. One for your enemy and one for yourself.

Life is too beautiful to let wars ruin everything. If it has to be fought, let it be fought, but let us hope, pray and work for peace, not war. Let us keep in mind that we have a mighty military we are proud of and a defence budget not so that we can go to war every now and then, but to actually prevent it from happening.

I really did not want to end this mail with links of our courses, but then I thought that we cannot let such environment of gloom and doom deviate us from our duties and daily tasks. Let us declare war on fear and inaction from anxiety.

Our war is a war of prosperity, of educating people about the laws and rights, of fighting for justice. This is a worthy war. Let’s rally the troops and win this.

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