We have always been game for a piece of the action. So anyone who thinks that we would quail at being ranked 128 among 149 nations by the Institute for Economics and Peace in its recently released peace index is barking up the wrong tree. According to the institute (based in peaceful Australia), India is six ranks lower than its 2009 position. In Asia-Pacific, too, we are at the bottom of the barrel — 19 out of 25 countries. The Scandinavians and Japan, as expected, have done well. We consider this ranking a badge of honour.
We are proud of our peace-by-piece approach. Not for us all this Oriental calm and quietism. Take a look at our seat of power. Do you hear debates on crucial issues conducted in hushed tones? No, we like to hit the high notes. Peace is all very fine if you are in Iceland and your nearest neighbour is a passing seal. Here we live in a rough neighbourhood. We have to talk very loud and carry a big stick. You won’t catch us celebrating festive occasions with a calibrated carol or an Easter egg roll. We bring out the artillery in the form of raths, cymbals and conches or, at the very least, wheel out Pramod Muthalik and his goons.
We are grateful that this study has shown us in our true colours. For too long we have suffered the annoying tendency to label us Gandhian and non-violent. Now that we have been outed, we can scream, no shriek, no screech our joy openly. And if anyone has any objections to that, we’d like to see them outside. We will no longer tolerate any piecemeal approach towards our finer qualities. And remember, we won’t be around to pick up the pieces if you have a problem with that.