After Pulwama : Sense and Sensibility of Politicians

India has given a befitting reply to the proxy war inflicted by Pakistan through a devious mean of terrorism. Even as the Pakistan is licking the wounds of the last surgical strike, the heroes of the Indian Air Force gave another shock. They crossed Pakistan’s border and eliminated the terrorists holed up there. The attack is bigger than the last surgical strikes, but it makes all the more appreciable because of measured reactions coming from all quarters. The responses from both ruling and opposition parties have been subdued this time around. While the ruling party had rushed to take credit of the surgical strike I, the opposition had questioned the action and worse, questioned the Army’s prowess itself. After this arial strike, however, the situation looks a lot different.

Special commandos of the Indian Army crossed the Pakistan border (in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir) on the night of September 28-29, 2016 and destroyed the terrorists launchpads. Our bravehearts returned safely after completing the operation. That operation was touted as the avenging of the terrorist attacks in Uri and Pathankot. Following the surgical strike, on September 29, a Cabinet Committee on Security was held in New Delhi under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. DGMO, Lt Gen Ranbir Singh held a press conference after this meeting. The officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were also present along with him but only Lt Gen Ranbir Singh explained the chronology of the operation. He described how Indian soldiers killed the terrorists after crossing over to PoK.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party left no stone unturned to take credit for this action. Teaching a lesson to Pakistan in its own language was an important part of BJP’s 2014 election campaign. Therefore, it was understandable for the party to take credit for the action taken during its rule. Tweets were made since early morning. The issue was ferverntly presented during the panel discussions on TV by the party spokespersons. Moreover, BJP openly projected the issue during the assembly elections in the five states held at the beginning of 2017. BJP leaders made most of the surgical strike I even claiming that such an operation was never undertaken in the history of India.

On the other hand, other political parties including the main opposition Congress, had accused the government of lying and that surgical strikes were false. Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam had said that the people of India wanted surgical strikes but real, not false. Aam Aadmi Party chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had expressed doubt over the surgical strikes by referring to Pakistani media. It was also claimed that it was not the first surgical strike and similar operation was carried out during Manmohan Singh’s government and all attempts were made to downplay the significance of that action.

IAFmirage2000On Tuesday, when Indian Air Force showed its might through arial strikes, nothing of that sort of thing happened. The announcement of the strike was made by Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale and not by any minister. He described this action in a brief and measured speech.

Even though there was a sense of satisfaction across the country for the revenge of Pulwama martyrs, there was no chest thumping in it. Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar described this action as a great feat. He said that the whole country was standing with the Air Force. Congress President Rahul Gandhi greeted Air Force pilots for this operation, while former Defense Minister A. K. Antony said that it would send a stern message to Pakistan. NCP Chief Sharad Pawar also congratulated the IAF. Arvind Kejriwal tweeted praise in favor of IAF pilots. Not only this, he also announced the postponement of his planned hunger strike.

On Wednesday, the opposition parties lauded IAF action against the terror camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed and praised the armed forces for their valor and bravery.

In a joint statement issued after their meeting in New Delhi, 21 opposition parties condemned the Pulwama terror attack and paid homage to martyrs and expressed solidarity with the IAF in crushing the menace of terrorism. Reading out the joint statement, Congress President Rahul Gandhi said the meeting also condemned Pakistan’s misadventure and expressed deep concern for the safety of the missing Indian pilot. He said the parties have urged the government to take the nation into confidence on all measures to protect India’s sovereignty, unity and integrity.

The meeting was attended by former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, TMC chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP Chief Chandra Babu Naidu, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, NCP Chief Sharad Pawar are attending the meeting.

In essence, this shows that all the responsible people in the country have sensed the seriousness of the incident and have behaved appropriately befitting their place and posts. So this operation was not reduced to a tamasha.