God hates war, but God loves every soldier – Rick Warren
Surgical Strikes damaged India more than they did Pakistan.
Pakistan lost a few Jihadis; India lost the plot: Indian polity was split down the middle between those who applauded the strikes and those who called the army liars.
Indian ‘liberals’ – communists, sectarian outfits like the SP of Yadavs, BSP of Dalits, JD(U) of ‘Jungle Raj,’ . . . – demanded army give proof of the Strikes. The slow-witted, likes of Sanjay Nirupam of Congress, supported by P Chidambaram, called the strikes “fake” and demanded “proof,” and, the likes of Ajay Alok, JD(U) spokesperson, asked, “what is the harm in showing the video [of strikes]” as proof; the sly ones like Kejri couched their demand in patriotic words – proof to “unmask the propaganda by Pakistan;” the simpletons like Pappu G decried BJP Govt for “khoon ki dalali;” and political novices like Akhilesh, UP’s CM, supported Pappu G.
The politicos are deaf to the repeated pleas by the serving and retired Generals, Chiefs, and security experts, that disclosing info about the modus operandi of the Strikes will seriously jeopardize future operations of the army; that a single photo can reveal a great deal to an experienced interpreter; that videos are even more revealing. Like Arjuna who saw nothing else but the eye of the bird, not even its wings and feet, the politicos see nothing else but the looming elections – especially the one in UP, which sends the largest number of MP, 80, of any state in the country.
Without doubt the successful Strikes benefit the BJP electorally just as 1971 war benefited Congress, and assassination of Indira Gandhi benefited Rajiv Gandhi. Therefore the fact that the govt cannot leak info about the ops is being used to portray the Strikes as fiction, “fake,” created by the BJP govt purely for electoral gains. If in the bargain the credibility of the army – the DGMO army was the one who asserted that Strikes were successful – is knocked down, so be it. Winning elections is more important than the image of any institution.
But the politicos are wrong. Army stands between the external aggression and the sanctity of our culture and Constitution. History of invasions from that of Mahmud of Ghazni, Muhammed Ghori, Tamerlane, Babur, Portuguese and British bear witness to that fact.
Credit for the success of the Strikes goes to the army. They executed it with perfection. No one else has, nor can, claim credit for that. But the credit for the political decision to go for the Strikes goes to the govt. They took the political risk. They get the bouquets because the ops succeeded; just as they would have got the brickbats had the operation failed.
Indian Army has a 121-years history of honour, honesty and valour – it has won 148 VC, the highest British medal for bravery, and 20 PVC, the highest Indian medal for bravery. In independent India, it has participated in 13 major ops/conflicts and won glorious victories in 1971 and in Kargil, 1999 – the highest altitude mountain warfare in history. It has fully lived up to its motto of “Service Before Self.” Army is spurred by the faith in it of 1.27 crore Indians. Do not destroy that faith. Because if people lose faith in the army, the army will lose faith in itself. And that will spell disaster for our nation state.
“Do not destroy the army,” is our appeal to the Leftist, Centrist, Rightist, Secularist, Communalist, Caste-ist – that is to all those whose calling is real politic and whose pope is Henry Kissinger: “Military men are just dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy.”
Kissinger was wrong then. He is wrong now.