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Imagine your friendly neighbourhood accountant or stock-broker dressed in camouflage, hiding behind a stack of ledgers and cheque-books, and firing off rounds at terrorists from a double-barrelled fiscal gun. With thick glasses cracked and foggy, receding hairline hidden with war paint and magazines of lethal economic policies resting safely on the belly – this accountant would put the fear of God in the hearts of anyone thinking of terrorizing our country. And now imagine that accountant to be Chids the FinMin…and you will realize this is the script of a future B-movie titled “Revenge of the Nerds – V” … Or that is what R. Vaidyanathan suggests in a highly entertaining article in Subhash Chandra’s PR machine – DNA. (Thanks to Dee for affecting a great start to the morning…)

Twelve steps to shock-and-awe Pakistan’s economy http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1212468&pageid=0

At the outset…this kind of journalism is like a breath of fresh air. Bloggers have been speaking their minds freely about subjects they don’t have much of a clue about for ages – Grimescene is oft guilty too – what are blogs but extraneous representations of the muddle within our minds? But printing this as a “viewpoint” in a self-proclaimed-major-newspaper? Brave… very brave. Maybe DNA thought – lets put something controversial up… lets see if someone actually visit’s our website…

Well Mr.Chandra…I do. I really think DNA is cool, especially since you started dropping free copies at my doorstep to post higher circulation numbers. But I also think that you should exercise some kind of editorial discretion to ensure that gung-ho theorists from major thinktanks (R Vaidyanathan is a Prof at IIM-B) don’t run amok on your pages. Sure not many read your stuff…but hey, once it’s out there – it’s out there forever, and someone’s RSS feed will pick it up, and bloggers with nothing else to write about go on and on about it.

The article in question is about how we should “Destabilize Pakistan’s Economy” to bring an end to Terror Central. For some reason – or maybe he is a fan of “The Dirty Dozen” – RV chose to list 12 ways to perpetrate this war of the nerds. The intentions are honorable, I must say. Economic policies and embargoes are veritable instruments of war in a world which as defined by economic transactions as physical boundaries. But really, dropping fake Pakistani currency by air to create havoc is a bit too sensationalist for my taste. (Maybe he couldn’t think of a 12th one… maybe he should have just named the article “Crazy Economists XI – The Game Plan”) And I find the idea of offering Indian Passports to Pakistani scientists to hurt their pride a bit childish.

RV goes on to argue that our Government and its thinkers and leaders aren’t thinking or leading. He accuses them of not using Economic tools to solve our terror woes. True. But really, isn’t it a bit naive to think that choking Pakistan’s cash inflows will lead to the demise of the terror forces within that country? Aren’t we giving the bumbling Pakistani government too much credit? RV proposes hitting their exports, arm-twisting other countries to reduce or stop investments in Pakistan, “creating” agents within Pakistan to destabilize the stock market further (if that’s even possible) – basically pushing Pakistan deeper into its mire of financial woes, than it already is in.

I am no expert in Economics, Politics and International Trade – and speaking from behind the safety of my blog’s disclaimer – I think what you are proposing will cause major civil unrest in Pakistan, cause the government to fall and bring back the dreaded military into power – which will in effect bring us back to square one. I believe an ineffectual democracy is still a democracy – and God knows we do not need another Afghanistan.  

You will hit the common man more than the elitist army who can get their funding from rich Pakistanis around the world. The terrorist organizations within Pakistan have enough and more sympathizers around the world. They will still get the funding. The common man in Pakistan will suffer, and more jobless, misguided youth will go and join the terror networks – which will thrive on the chaos and depression around them.

Mr. RV & Mr. Chandra – I think your ideas are highly entertaining and would make a great storyline for a novel… a couple of them might even find favor within the hallways of our government. I am hurting as much as anyone, with these terror strikes – and appreciate you speaking your mind out and calling for urgent action. 

But really, do as I do. Start a blog.