Surgical strikes: Not trusting the Indian Armed Forces makes us look weak….writes Bikram Vohra
It is an unbelievable hubris that we would doubt our own military and howl for evidence of a surgical strike following the 18 September Uri attack. But it’s even worse to drag the government and the Indian Armed Forces into petty politics is even worse.
It’s almost like it is more exciting to disbelieve them than to accept that the teams went in, dismantled eight terrors camps, and got home.
Occasionally, one gets the feeling that the need to ‘scoop and sell a story’ is so overwhelming that we dredge for doubt. And are dismayed when we don’t find it. But if this is the sort of ‘dog in the manger’ attitude the media is going to display in its quest to corner the government on a single four-hour operation and send off little salvos of ‘shak’ because it is nice and competitive to do so, what will we do during a war?
Days have passed since the ‘surgical strike’ but we seem incapable of moving on. In purely military terms, it is done and dusted, and was, itself, not such a massive action. In tactical terms, it was an itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny beautifully timed incision, and it is over.
The strikes were ordered to respond to the blatant attack on an army camp in Uri and to show Pakistan, India means business. Period. It was a message and not a major conflagration. It was neither the Battle of Britain nor the landings in Normandie.
As far as the fight against terrorism goes vis-a-vis Pakistan allowing them refuge on its territory, this is not even a start and a lot more will have to be done to rid ourselves of the menace.
If we cannot accept a singular strategic move on trust without having politicians and others hogging the limelight by scratching doubts on the surface, we are in danger of becoming our worst own enemies.
Frankly, many of us in the media and without, are heartily tired of the browbeating and the time and publicity being given to the naysayers. This phrase ‘surgical strike’ like some heady new wine has become a mantra and it seems we cannot get enough of it.
Danger: we will lose sight of the bigger picture by focusing attention on a corner of this canvas.
Bigger danger: our troops will look at each other in wonderment and say, why are we risking our lives for these people who don’t want to believe us. @#$% them.
If I was one of the guys who had gone in that night, and this is what I was hearing and seeing I’d be thinking: What the bloody hell do I have to do before these ###wipes believe me?
Biggest danger: we are giving Pakistan so much comfort and so much fodder to feed their media cannons and ridicule us.
The nonsense we are witnessing over the blaring TV channels and echoing on websites and blogs and newsprint is largely bed-rocked in ignorance and a false sense of entitlement fueled by pro- and anti-Modi factions.
The Army does not owe us the showing of classified material, contrary to our arrogant conclusion that anything which happens has to be shared with the press instantly, or, you are covering up.
It does not. The government will decide what military matters are to be shared, and when.
Seriously, let this surgical strike become a page in military history. A one-goal lead in a game that has only just begun is not the time to scratch the scab or jump up and down with joy.
The Indian Armed Forces themselves will tell you: Get over it.