Yes, that is the case right
now in India and we are not going to see tempers coming down soon as Uttar
Pradesh, politically most important state in India, is going to polls in some
months and the BJP, the ruling party in the Centre, will go all out to win the
war of perceptions by exploiting the political mileage associated with this
And they are rightly entitled
to do so. Wars (or cross-border surgical strikes) are never only military in
nature in democracies like India. They need political sanctity and Narendra
Modi's government gave the Indian military this much needed sanctity this time
- unlike the previous political establishments.
The opposition and BJP's
frenemies (like Shiv Sena) are fearing this. So, while frenemies are trying to
make a sort of balance in appreciating this surgical strike while reminding the
BJP of some other nagging (dragging) issue(s) at the same time, the rivals are
going all guns blazing against Narendra Modi and his party, as if they are sworn
like enemies - going to the extent that they are even badmouthing and
namecalling the Indian Army in the process.
So much so that it is now
being aptly called surgical politics.
Yes, in order to discredit
the BJP and deny it the space it is looking for with the surgical strike,
riding on the wave of patriotism and nationalism, the rivals are now busy in
doing the surgery of the initial stand they had taken - of supporting the
Like Pakistan, except the
teams in India that strategized and implemented the surgical strike, no one even
in India had imagined that India would do it. So, as the initial reaction, they
had nothing but to offer their whole-hearted support and they did so, except
the Left Front. And the Left Front now doesn't have much political currency
left in India.
But the BJP had other plans
and rightly so. The party decided to promote the surgical strike on national
and international platforms. Every small and big leader of the BJP got busy in
telling the nation that how it was a result of the efficient and impact
leadership by Narendra Modi. There were tweets, Facebook posts, posters,
banners, placards and voices. And as earlier said, the BJP was entitled to it.
Now everyone knows how the
2011 Osama bin Laden's surgical strike helped Barack Obama in winning the
second term in 2012 and that would be high on everyone's mind here in India in
So, as the BJP proceeded with
its plans, coupled with increased desperation and panic in Pakistan, the rivals
started seeing red. And when it was more than what they could have taken, they
started resorting to means that could have denied the BJP this opportunity -
even if it meant questioning the Indian Army credentials and terming the whole
surgical strike a lie, like Sanjay Nirupam did, or asking for evidence like
Arvind Kejriwal or P Chidambaram or Ajay Alok or many other did.
But their changing stands and
statements say they don't know how to proceed. So, while they are shouting over
the top, their strategy looks quite muddled. A leader says it was fake. Another
leader of that party says it wasn't fake but the BJP should not politicise the
matter. A leader says we need the evidence. Another leader of that party says
providing evidence is the sole discretion of the government. Many voice, many
stands, but no clear signal! And it is sending a very negative message about
them. Because most of them are sounding phoney (and even outrageous).