The recent air-strikes of Indian Air Force (IAF) on Pakistani terror camps in the Pakistani territory have a two-fold effect. One, the sudden strike petrified our ever-ready terror camp neighbour Pakistan. Two, they (the air strikes) rattled the opposition parties for a moment for the credit the ruling BJP is getting just before the crucial (ensuing) parliamentary elections of this year. It was only a jerk for them. For, the opposition recovered from it very soon and appropriated the IAF act. So, they could all say in one voice that they stand by the IAF Jawans and the Government at the crucial juncture.
Now, slowly the hotchpotch parties in opposition are raising their ugly heads. Since, their supposedly sweet plums: the so-called demonetisation mess-up, botched up GST implementation, unemployment and agrarian crisis are all driven away by the air strikes in a whiff. As the NDA government has come out victorious, slowly the opposition has started gathering issues and are enquiring for proof of raids in Balakot.
It is everybody’s knowledge that the air-strikes have happened. Pakistan also agreed to it. In fact, it is aggrieved at the Indian Air Force entering into its territory and making strikes on its sovereign soil. The opposition parties of Pakistan shouted: “shame, shame” on Imran Khan’s Government in Pakistan’s parliament, is proof enough. So, therefore, the fact that the Air attacks have happened on Pakistan’s land, is an established one.
It goes without saying, without the prime minister of India’s nod or approval, the air strikes on terror camps in Pakistan would not have taken place. The government and the PM repeatedly said that their targets were terrorists, not the civilians or the country-Pakistan per se. The act of IAF itself speaks volumes of Indian- anger. The language of anger contains loaded messages. It’s (anger is) the quickest yet the densest form of communication.
Whether the air strikes achieved in hitting the target or the number of terrorists eliminated or the intended strikes yielded the result or the calibrated strikes missed the targets– are questions of secondary in nature. For all the technical glitches or lapses, for the nationalistic bravado of some TV channels, the prime minister of the country is not responsible. In any case, the opposition parties have to believe in the IAF at least, if they have some amount of animosity against the ruling.
The opposition is trying to pin the government down for taking the credit. They are blatantly blaming Modi for mentioning it (the success of strikes) in his campaigns. There is nothing wrong in taking credit by the government, for a credit-worthy act. After all, PM Modi is the person who took the risk of sending the air troops into the enemy’s land. If anything had gone wrong, he would have had to bear that cross. Since, the strikes happened successfully and the IAF returned without a minor hiccup, the PM should be lauded for that endeavour. Often the risk-takers are extolled by the people than the safe-siders.
As far as using the strikes as an advantage to win elections is concerned, always emotions play a role on Indian electorate. The Congress that is seemingly spearheading the opposition was a beneficiary of winning parliamentary elections many a time. In 1984, when Late PM Indira Gandhi was about to lose parliamentary elections, she was assassinated. In the immediate aftermath, the Congress gained tremendous sympathy that led to a massive victory and Rajiv Gandhi became the PM.
When Rajiv Gandhi’s Mr Clean image was weaning with Bofor-gun-deal scandal in 1991 (before election) he was killed by the suicide bomber and the wave of sympathy brought Congress back to power. During the first phase of 1991-elections, the BJP was ahead. The second phase was disastrous, for, it was the compassion for the departed leader that swept the electorate. On both occasions, the Congress did not leave a chance for a time-gap. They wanted the sympathy to be intact.
After Babri demolition, the Congress at the Centre dismissed at a stroke four-BJP ruled governments: the Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh by invoking Art-356. That article naturally lapsed after 6-months. Yet, the Congress was unwilling to conduct elections in those states stating that the people in those states were still emotively-surcharged towards voting for the BJP. So, extended it for another six months. Now, the same Congress harbours fear where Modi may get mileage out of Air Strikes.
It is nobody’s case to argue that the Congress party wanted those assassinations of their leaders to happen or the resulting sympathy. Similarly, the present Central Government was also caught unawares of the terror act in Pulwama. The subsequent air strikes were the Government’s reply, departing from the previous govt’s stand of muted silence in public. So, rightfully, if at all anyone of the members of this Union Government want to milk on Air-Strikes or Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s release through their diplomacy, they could do so calculatedly without losing elasticity.