Surgical propaganda

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi, soon after the surgical strike launched by the Indian Army on terrorist launch-pads in PoK, warned his Cabinet colleagues not to indulge in any chest-thumping over the military action. But, ignoring the PM’s advice, everyone in the BJP, obviously expecting political mileage, is out to propagate it, as if, the BJP workers had entered the PoK to handout a crushing defeat to the enemy.

Moreover, Modi’s devotees have put up billboards featuring pictures of the prime minister, finger raised next to a silhouetted soldier, declaring: “We will strike with our gun, and our bullet, in our own time, but in your territory.” This has stirred up Hornets’ nest. Leaders of all the main opposition parties started making acerbic criticism of, what they call, politicising the military action by the PM and the BJP.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar was so generous that he shared the credit of the military action to all the 127 crore Indians. He said, “To all the doubting Thomases, I would like to say that the credit for the surgical strikes goes to all the 127 crore Indians, and not to any political party. It was the Army which carried out the surgical strikes and perhaps a little credit for decision-making can go to our Prime Minister and me.”

Constitutionally, the President is the supreme commander of the Armed Forces of India who can declare war, on the advice of the Union Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister. Mr Parrikar, while sharing credit of the surgical strike, wilfully or ignorantly, was oblivious of the President, or perhaps he may have included him among the127 crore Indians. It shows that the BJP and its men have no regard for the Constitution of India.

The defence minister was also vocal in maintaining that no surgical strikes were conducted in the past during the UPA regime, whereas, a recent report said the Indian Army had launched a deadly surgical strike ‘Ginger’ on Pakistani territory on August 30, 2011 in retaliation of the Pakistani attack on the Indian army post in Kupwara on July 30, 2011. At least 10 Pakistani soldiers were killed in the attack. Media reports citing confidential documents, video and photographic evidence said India and Pakistan had carried out two bloodiest cross-border surgical strikes killing 13 soldiers. Five of the slain soldiers were decapitated. The Pakistani soldiers took away the heads of two Indian soldiers during the July 30, 2011 attack and in a tit-for-tat attack on August 30, 2011 the Indian soldiers brought back the heads of three Pakistani soldiers.

Major General (retired) SK Chakravorty, who planned and executed the August 30, 2011 surgical strike against Pakistan also confirmed the Indian attack. But the BJP government, it seems, wants to downplay the Army action carried out during the UPA rule. Is it not a dishonour to the brave hearts of India? After all, it is politics, where everything is genuine.

After the surgical strike in PoK, terrorists struck at four places in Kashmir. At least six militants have attacked an Indian army camp in north Kashmir, killing one border guard and wounding another. Meanwhile, at a Vijaydashmi function, a local MLA in Bhopal, flexing his “56-inch chest”, was heard making rhetoric that “Prime Minister Modi has finished off terrorism from the world.”

Internal party sources say that the present Army action against terrorism was taken in view of the state elections in the coming months in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, and the 2019 general election. If it is so, the nation may expect many more such strikes – some of them may be for the propaganda. But there has to be some limit of everything, as excess of anything may not always go to the advantage of the ruling party.

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