I have been following the current tirade in the media and social media fervently for the last week, following India’s surgical strike across LOC as a response to Uri terrorist attack from the border.
The following stand out:
1. On the one hand the Govt claims credit for giving a befitting reply to the dastardly cross border terrorism and is seen as drawing political mileage out of the Mil Ops (Posters showing PM as Ram and Nawaz Sharif as Ravan, Army being described as Hanuman, RM thumping his chest to claim that under his leadership Army has suddenly become brave and hard-hitting…); and on the other, the opposition asking for proof of the operation to be made public and also trying to carve their own political agenda before some important state elections. And the internal war continues.
2. Some local political outfit demands Pak artistes to be deported and boycotted and there are statements and counter statements, TV debates, social media skirmishes with opinions and counter opinions which sometimes cross over to the space of trolling, some notable artistes showing their solidarity with the Pak artistes and sermonising about art and culture having no boundaries, claiming that art and culture unites, while the counter arguments are coloured with patriotism , nationalism and anger and name calling. Some creative guys come up with clever lampooning of the issue with morphed photos, sarcasm, even threats against the dissenters . And the internal war continues.
3. Visual media that has maximum reach to the public declare a war with each other by staging shows and debates to swing the public opinion this way or that way, well orchestrated by their benefactors and slowly and steadily they seem to succeed. The participants are well chosen, the issues are well crafted, the anchors are well prepared with their triggers to instigate, irritate, even insult and the public laps it up. At the end the public is confused, the media is victorious , the participants bewildered. And the internal war continues.
4. Solidarity for the Armed Forces is discussed in all kinds of media, through debates, posts, comments, tweets, articles on on-line journals and blog sites, but in the process, lot of divisive ideas and controversies are propagated: like whether the DGMO’s statement was his own or he was planted by the Govt to say so, whether the retired generals should be mothballed after their expiry date (?) or should they have a say, why should a Maj Arya or a Gen Baxi be seen on TV why not the Jawan who actually fires his gun from the bunker, why the Govt and other parties when in power did not do enough for the Armed forces but only remember them in a crisis and then give lip service, why did the veterans have to come to the streets for their legitimate demand of OROP, why they returned their medals and why are they now being used for political gains and for lionising the PM and RM, etc. And the internal war goes on.
5. Lastly about the Pak policy and strategy; one party accuses the other for having no permanent solution to the problem and allowing the wound to fester. Current Govt tries to push facts selectively and says that with the surgical strike, the strategy has a clear cut shift from a defensive posture to an offensive defence posture. And that has called Pak’s nuclear bluff. But no one is really sure. Swaying international opinion in our favour is another feather, but are we really sure? The China factor is being underplayed , but one is not really sure if that is under scanner, as it should be. Many arm chair analysts, so called intellectuals like Chetan Bhagat, Mahroof Raza, journalists like AG, Rajdeep, Karan Thappar, Barkha etc. , and few social media activists which perhaps includes me as well, with limited knowledge, limited information, warped and distorted interpretations, uncontrolled emotions, personal agenda and lack of maturity try to address the country’ s security and sovereignty issues like the six blind men trying to figure out the elephant. And the internal opinion war continues ….
Then What? We as a united nation particularly when are facing a war like situation with a hostile neighbour who has harmed us continuously through covert and overt terrorism, should try and draw curtain on all the internal wars, bickering, and leave it to the top decision makers ( whom we only have chosen as our representatives and the govt machinery including the Security advisor and Armed forces at their disposal) and hope that they have all the knowledge and information that we are not privy to , that they have the courage, risk taking ability and resolve that is necessary, to take the right decisions proactively to make things better. If the strategy demands a complete isolation of Pakistan, politically, economically, socially and culturally, so be it, if the strategy demands neutralisation of their possible diabolical terrorist strikes through military operations, so be it, if the strategy demands a deeper military strike at chosen vulnerable spots to annihilate the basic sources of their military strength, so be it. I am not suggesting that the public has no right to open their mouths and to become blind, deaf and dumb to what’s happening, but my appeal is that let’s be more mature and more responsible and don’t add fuel to the fire of internal wars to make things worse for us. Jai Hind.