India Uncut

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Wednesday, February 09, 2005

The rationale of being irrational

Nitin Pai, continuing a conversation we started in this post, coins a fine phrase: Deliberate irrationalism. Behaving in a deliberately irrational manner, he points out, can be an effective tactical move in foreign affairs, because it then makes everybody wary of you, and less willing to piss you off. As an example, he points to China, whose behaviour as regards Taiwan is so irrationally belligerent that no one messes with on that issue for fear of how they might react. Nitin thinks that it might be rational for India to be deliberately irrational more often, as they were during Operation Parakram, when Indian forces headed for the Pakistan border after the attack on parliament.

Nitin's formulation is nice, but deliberate irrationalalism as a tactical ploy, a birdie tells me, has been used by women for ages to control their men. Man not take woman shopping? Woman break cutlery. Man not take woman to holiday at parental home? Woman throw remote at TV and break bangle. Man watch all this carefully and learn lesson: don't mess with woman. And if man is really dumb and does not learn lesson, then woman resort to last option: no sex.

But what good is that when it comes to Pakistan?
amit varma, 5:46 AM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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