Modi reinforces 'Pulwama solidarity'
Through Balakot, Modi has established a novel India's adamant stance against terrorism
The Balakot air strike has indicated that India under Narendra Modi has redefined the concept of strategic restraint. The strikes were essentially our defence against terrorism and demonstrated India's determination to nip it at the place from where it originates. It unequivocally demonstrated that we are not defensive anymore and are not bound by a false sense of the sanctity of the LoC, which is breached by terrorists who attack our forces and men in uniform. It is only a decisive leader who can take such a decision as the airstrikes at Balakot, a leader who thinks out of the box and for whom India's security and sovereignty is paramount. Modi himself has reiterated that "nothing and no one is above the nation" and that when it comes to safeguarding India's security and freedom he shall brook no compromise.
A certain English daily based out of Kolkata – a daily which is read mainly in West Bengal – which has, of late, decided to evolve into a tabloid and vociferously peddle the Congress agenda by projecting Rahul Gandhi as the alternative to Modi, ludicrously declared in one of its headlines that Modi has broken the Pulwama solidarity! Pray what is the "Pulwama solidarity" and how has Modi broken it? Contrary to what the evolving tabloid would like us to believe, the "Pulwama Solidarity" resides in the psyche and heart of the nation, it has consolidated and crystallised itself in the emotion of the people of India, who are rooted, connected and tuned-in to India's larger national interests. It is Modi who gave voice to the "Pulwama Solidarity"; it is Modi who gave the force of action to the "Pulwama Solidarity." It was solidarity which demanded action against terrorists; it was solidarity in which the people of India had decided to stand by any retaliatory action that the Modi government took and to brace themselves up for any consequences however hard and long-term that it would entail. Far from breaking it, Modi has not only firmed up the "Pulwama Solidarity" but has also given it strength and direction and has led it in a logical direction driven by a multi-pronged action at the ideational, diplomatic, intelligence and strategic levels.
21 Indian political parties which passed a "regrettable" resolution against the government last week, have only played into the hands of Pakistan and have thus broken the "Pulwama Solidarity" or rather steered away from the overwhelming support that it had generated for the need to initiate punitive action against Pakistan-based, supported and nurtured terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed. The 21 political parties instead stood in solidarity with Pakistan, which denied, tried to cover-up and look the other way on Balakot strike. These 21 political parties played into the hands of the insidious Pakistani establishment and instead of calling out and naming it and the JeM, they began casting aspersions on our forces and on the government. This is, of course, an old habit of Congress; even during the Kargil war it had raised doubts on the capabilities of our forces and had doubted their record and display of valour. One had thought that after Lt. General Hooda joined Congress and began working on a national security paper for Rahul Gandhi, one would see a more matured, nuanced and supportive approach by Congress on the issue. But that does not seem to have happened. What the 21 parties did was to generate a "Pakistan Solidarity" in which more questions were asked from Modi rather than from the Pakistani establishment.
Instead of standing by and upholding the valour of our forces, the leaders of these confused parties started raising doubts on the veracity of strikes and thereby heaping insult on the dedication and steadfastness of our men in uniform. Such behaviour in the midst of a situation which requires that we close our ranks against the enemy is regrettable and the people of India are not taking it kindly. One among them, the Chief Minister of a particular Indian state, went so far as to give a clean chit to Pakistan berating the information put out by India on the complicity of Pakistan in the Pulwama strike. Even after Jaish-e-Mohammed had accepted responsibility, this particular leader had difficulty in accepting that the attack was the handiwork of terrorists who had been trained and armed from across the border.
The numbers debate that these opposition parties are indulging in is irrelevant. Never has any force in the world disclosed operational details. Do we have, for example, any authentic detail of the Osama Bin Laden operation in Abbottabad? Has the US establishment ever disclosed details? This raucous cacophony of asking for numbers is doing no service to India's national security needs and capabilities.
But what is surprising is that despite the terrorists allegedly accepting that the damage inflicted by the Indian Airforce in Balakot was heavy, a section of our political leaders continue to be reluctant to admit that India had indeed triumphed in Balakot and delivered a resounding blow on the terror camps in the area. To support this false narrative a few international media agencies have also jumped into the fray. They are propelled in their belief that peddling of such a narrative could lead to Modi's defeat and marginalisation.
In their blind hatred for PM Modi, in their desperation to see him unseated and defeated, these 21 political parties who are now drumming up the "Pakistan Solidarity" against Modi's "Pulwama Solidarity" continue to trample on the sentiments of patriotism and of martyrdom. They have no concern for the martyrs' families, they have no concern for the courage of our forces, they have no sensitivity towards India's security concern. They come across as disconnected entities who are unable to read our national mind and pulse.
But fortunately, the people of India realise that India is safe under Modi. They wish to be part of the solidarity he has created so that his mission of strengthening India continues unabated. They wish to see a strong, steady, stable, self-reliant and safe India. They are aghast at those who are toiling to generate a "Pakistan Solidarity" within India and the world. They are perplexed at those who term "Pulwama" as a gimmick, as "match-fixing" clinched for electoral benefits. They are unable to digest this habit of repeatedly extending the benefit of the doubt to Pakistan and its terror-minions. They have faith that Modi will lead them out of this maze towards that alternative which is guided by "India First". They stand in solidarity with his leadership, challenging the domestic and international coalitions of subversion aimed at retarding India's rise.
(The author is Director, Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation, New Delhi. The views expressed are strictly personal)