“Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge. It brings out all that is best; it removes all that is base. All men are afraid in battle. The coward is the one who lets his fear overcome his sense of duty. Duty is the essence of manhood.” ….George S. Patton
Indians are proud of the achievements of Indian Armed Forces that are numerous. We all remember the history-making glorious moment when in 1971, a new nation Bangla Desh appeared on the world map from the ashes of East Pakistan. We are a big country and we invariably have our own set of problems. We have had Kashmir problem, Khalistan dreamers, Naxalbari movement and insurgency in the North-East. The governments at the centre might have made some mistakes in past, there were shortcomings in dealing but their acts had never been rash or illogical. Patience had been the virtue and the latest demonstration of Indian might is a sequence of that.
Nevertheless, in the moments of rejoicing, we have to remember that this action was in response of killing of Indian soldiers who were ambushed by the insurgents. Those who were killed were Indians and those who killed were all supposed to be Indian citizens or related to Indian citizens. It is not an event to celebrate but an opportunity for us to make somber introspection. Blowing the Trumpet would serve no purpose.
We all admired the quick and precise action of government and armed forces. However, when the Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting, Shree Rajyavardhan Rathore spoke Tuesdaynight, it didn’t sound like a serious message but a Red Rag to the bull that was unnecessary. Most probably, he was chosen to give out details the Army couldn’t. The Army, it was felt, had limitations in sharing operational details and its briefing had failed to even acknowledge that its Special Forces had crossed over into Myanmar territory. Stating only that it had engaged separate groups at two locations along the border (Nagaland and Manipur).
Mr. Rathore went on record that the operations “involved our Special Forces crossing the border and going deep into another country” and that the strikes were a message to all countries, including Pakistan, and groups harbouring “terror intent” towards India that “we will strike at a place and at a time of our choosing.” On Wednesday, it was Union minister Prakash Javadekar who declared the strike was a “message”. It was interesting that BJP headquarters chose not to go for celebrations, although some regional units did. “We are not going in for hype,” a party functionary said. “Let the soldiers take the credit for the operation.”
But there seems to be some confusion as Myanmar on Wednesday denied Indian forces had carried out an attack on insurgents inside its territory, adding it would not tolerate rebel groups using its soil to attack neighbours. In a Facebook post, Zaw Htay, director of Myanmar’s presidential office, said: “According to the information sent by Tatmadaw (Myanmar army) battalions on the ground, we have learned that the military operation was performed on the Indian side at India-Myanmar border. Myanmar will not accept any foreigner who attacks neighbouring countries in the back and creates problems by using our own territory.”
The Myanmar’ official’s remarks came in the wake of statements by ministers in India that Special Forces of the army had carried out a surgical strike inside Myanmar to destroy two camps of insurgents hiding there.
The additional director general of military operations, Major General Ranbir Singh, had said on Tuesday that authorities on the Myanmar side were taken into confidence. Should the Indian government explain how the army operation against northeast militants was carried out?
On the flip side, it is now becoming a tableau of Jingoism. An operation by the Military is serious secret matter which is now being exploited to extract political mileage; to burnish the BJP and Mr. Modi’s Image. In fact, the ruling party is using it enhance its support base before the Bihar elections. It is being used as ruse to denigrate and ridicule previous Govt and political leadership.
Let the government deny the statement made by Myanmar officials otherwise these claims of Military crossing into its territory for hunting militants would seem to be a ploy to take POLITICAL CREDIT and that smells more like a FAKE DEGREE or CERTIFICATE.
An expert historian, political scientist or a student of military science could remind these trumpet blowers that more often than none, a country should stay quiet on matters that concern national security. A Government can gain brownie points on other issues which are plenty.
By Naim Naqvi
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