“The Surgical strike by Indian Defence Forces, on the night of Sep 27/28, 2016, were not the first, nor would it be the last, but hopefully, it will be the last time a ruling party would, in a blatantly public manner, take political benefit out of the bravery and sacrifices of the Defenders of Bharat”.
“Truth neither has soft edges, nor any soft landings”
Soldiers of my genre have fought many wars. Whereas, many of us fought against debilitating odds, I was probably lucky to have been part of forces in sectors, where the Indian Armed Forces were on the ascendant over the enemy forces. We were mostly on the move against an enemy which fought losing battles/skirmishes. Me and my soldier colleagues, therefore, new no fear while facing the enemy, be it probing behind the Chinese lines on a pitch dark and moonless night, when you could not even see your own hands; In the Sialkot Sector, crawling up to within 50 mtrs from an enemy MMG post to blow up a weir, which was holding up water, impeding progress of our troops; or operating around the Enemy Forces in the then East Pakistan, as part of Mukti Bahini in lungis, sporting a beard, with not a care for the fate, in case we were captured.
None of the covert/overt operations between wars, were ever publicized, except the one on the night of Sep 26/27, ’16. Was it to glorify the self proclaimed Bhim of modern times.
As a young Capt during one of these wars, I wrote a ballad, “A soldier’s thought”, describing the gamut of emotions, a soldier went through on the battle field. Nothing, thereafter, happened in the subsequent wars, to change those emotions.
Today, I am in the midst a society that is strangely different from the one I grew up in, early under the British and majority of it breathing free.
As I grew up in the forties, fifties and beyond, I was a free bird, carefree, playing hard, studying hard with Hindus, (Of whom I was a part of then), Muslims, Christians and many the then sub-sects of the Hindus, like the Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists and so on. Strikingly, we could then afford to crack jokes on each other, without the least fear of offending any one.
Well, all that seems a Distant Memory, a forgotten History, something to be ashamed of. The Article of Gopalkrishn Gandhi, titled, “The War Cloud Has a New Shape”, published in today’s ‘The Hindu’, has brought to the fore what I have been pondering over, since Uri and our own much publicized Surgical Strike. In one fell swoop, History has been repainted.
My dear friend Gopal writes in The Hindu :
“Surgical strikes can be expected to be followed by post- surgical complications. Who will pay for them? Those who gloat over the ‘fitting reply’? Certainly not. Those who describe that as ‘the rise of a new India’? Most certainly not.
Soldiers, brave-hearts, trained to fight and be prepared to die fighting, will fight the war if it comes. And we will, as we must, honour them. But while they do their duty by war, we must do ours by peace. Remembering that ‘War and Peace’ are one single entry in the Union List, we — you and I — must fight another.
And that is the war against war-mongering, a war against the psychology that glorifies war, that makes nuclear warheads of our minds. We must step out of the queue for sectarian hatred and line up with that for secular intelligence. We must declare war against the un-entered Entry that seeks to displace ‘War and Peace’, which is ‘War and Polarisation’. We must expunge it.”
I am continuously hearing on the National TV Channels about the ‘National Mood for Retribution’ being actively fanned by the prestitute Media. A new fashion is being modelled in the Country, by expert spin doctors through every means available, print, electronic, et all.
Much against the propoganda let loose in the media, including social one, my research shows that – since independence, we have had approximately 1050 retaliatory surgical strikes across border/LOC, but had let them remain in anonymity of unpublicized encounters at battalion levels, except the latest one, over killed by a publicity hungry dispensation, no doubt for their own narrow short term political gains.
There is, however, another major departure from the past practices. In the past, the Defence Forces were left to plan and execute their own operations at a time and place of its own choosing. Having globalised it and taken full political mileage from the event, it is for the party in power to now convince the disbelievers around the Globe, including the Premier Institution of UN, in a manner the Govt deems fit, without further publicizing the issue and firing their guns on the shoulders of brave hearts.
During wars, just before assaulting the enemy posts, the troops form up in a predetermined place termed as FUPs (Forming Up Place). At the FUP, the soldiers are hyped with pep talks and softly spoken slogans, eulogizing the traditions of the Regiment/presiding slogan.
In today’s India, in an exponential manner, tolerance/intolerance, nationalism/antinationalism, safety/security are continuously being redefined and re-enacted on a day to day basis.
Every other burning issue facing the Nation and its People have been put on the back burner. 24×7, time and space in the media of all forms, shapes and sizes, in propogating so called, ‘mood of the Nation’.
The rank and file of soldiers, while they continue to be placed below the ‘chappals’ of the GoI’s Class ‘D’ office peons, thanks to the present Govt, is being eulogized through lip service at the highest levels, to go and lay down their lives for the Nation and its ungrateful politicians and their cohorts.
None of us are a God. We are a mixture of the good and the bad, both, barring a few, are highly subjective; the ‘good’ of one may be ‘bad’ for the others and vice-versa.
There was a time when ‘Satis’ were persecuted and their was no law to protect them. Was it good; there was a time, when girl-children were married off even before they could walk with no law to prohibit the abhorring practice; there was a time when in certain societies the visiting guest was so worshipped that they had the condemnable practice of one of the woman of the home giving the guest pleasure of her company in bed at night; even to this day in certain communities, incestual practice of a ‘Mama’ having the first call on his ‘Bhanji is in vogue;
The bad emanates from the animal in us, which has no sense of the civilized society. It is always lurking behind the fig leaf of restrain. For most of us it is not difficult for the animal in us to commit a rubicon act.
Our great Nation ‘Bharat’, has stood proud, tall and strong in the comity of Nations for thousands of years, despite many depredations by barbaric invaders, as a composite society, where the small minorities have thrived under the benign gaze of the overwhelmingly majority community, in total harmonious interaction.
I call upon all my sisters, brothers and friends of Bharat to recognize the danger of utter disintegration, dismemberment and consequent annihilation as a Nation, kind courtesy the all- pervasive network of the Parivar, duly pointed out by the eminent Gopal Krishna Gandhi and stand up to boldly oppose the present machinations.
Samuel Dhar is an Army Engineer officer, who took premature retirement 28 years ago to practise as an engineering consultant, specialising in use of polymers in constructions. He has authored scores of Articles and book on philosophy, theology and Nationalism. He also has a collection of poetry. His Blog site, “Samuel’s World” as well as Sainik Darpan, has over 120 article