(The author is a senior manager of Numaligarh Refinery Limited. The comments are his personal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
In response to Pakistan’s long adopted policy to “bleed India with a thousand cuts”, Indian armed forces gave the befitting reply in terms of Balakot airstrike. This has happened never before in the history of India. The whole world has witnessed a sudden change in the approach of Indian Government. This was very much required to make the world community understand that India is no longer soft against terrorism. Of course, air strike happened earlier also, but it was war time then.
When the Foreign Secretary of Ministry of External Affairs, Vijay Gokhale, briefed the media about the successful airstrike on the training camps of Jaish-e-Mohammad, deep inside Pakistan, people of India celebrated in one voice. The morale of our armed forces as well as common people is at the highest again. This reminds me when people of America came out in the street to celebrate the elimination of Osama bin Laden, the worst enemy in American history. If we do the analysis of the official statement of our Foreign Secretary, the following things can be noted:
(i) The media briefing was done by the Foreign Secretary, not by any Cabinet minister.
(ii) The language used was very crisp, clear and carefully worded. Any sort of inflammatory words were clearly avoided.
(iii) (iii) The airstrike was termed as intelligence based operation to avoid further Pulwama-like attacks in India and stressed it to be called as an act of self-defense.
So, very cleverly the statement was crafted and a clear massage was given to the international community that India is not at war with Pakistan. But, it has every right to act to prevent further terrorist attacks in India. Since Pakistan is not doing anything, India does not have any other option but to act. This is what America did in Pakistan too when US Navy Seals hunted down Osama in Abbottabad. Immediately after the attack, India got full support from France, America, UK and Russia. China kept mum as expected. Embarrassed Pakistan will now file a case against India in International court for harming its eco-system. This is a big diplomatic win for India.
Now, people of India are happy. As our Prime Minister promised, Pulwama has been avenged. It is very much obvious that these emotions will definitely help the ruling party to a great deal in the forthcoming election. The oldest political party of India, Indian National Congress seems to lose the confidence and already decided to go for the Great Alliance, popularly known as “mohagathbandhan” with other opposition parties like TMC, SP, BSP, NCP etc. Though the oldest party may call it as a good strategy to win the election, yet this is nothing but lack of self-confidence to fight the battle alone.
History tells us whenever there is a coalition government at the Centre; it cannot function in a very smooth manner. Many times bold decisions are hardly taken in the need of hour, though the leadership wished to do so. We have also witnessed, such a government has collapsed much before its term got completed. Indian economy has always suffered whenever a coalition government was formed at the Centre.
India is a vast country with diversities. In every election, politics based on caste and religions have always played a crucial role. As the Balakot episode happened just before the election, sentiments of common people will definitely flow in favour of the ruling party. In many occasions, the party will try to get some mileage out of it. Already in back foot, the Congress and its allies have started questioning the government about the success of the airstrikes. One of the political leaders has even termed Pulwama attack as an act of “match fixing” between Prime Minister Modi and Imran Khan.
Though, officially the Congress party has distanced itself from this statement, yet certainly these sorts of acts are condemnable. This will degrade the morale of our armed forces. But, as we all know, everything is fair in love and war, all political parties will leave no stone unturned to win this election. This election is not going to be less than any war for them too.