In the last 4.5 years, there have been many times when the issue related to Nationalism became the focal point, which was expected when a Strong Nationalist Govt is at the helm of the affairs.
We had the JNU case where people were forced to decide, whether harboring the intentions of dividing India, whether the demand for independent Kashmir, whether declaring a SC convicted terrorist as a “Martyr” and consider its death sentence as “Judicial Killing”, amounts to being Anti-National or not.
We had the SC ruling to make it mandatory for cinema halls to play National Anthem before every movie. People were forced to decide whether standing up for National Anthem should be a matter of choice or not and whether is should be considered Anti-National if you choose not to.
We had the cases where refusing to say “Bharat Mata ki Jai” or “Vande Matram” were considered as “free speech” and “secularism”.
As a common citizen, I always thought that no matter what political side we fall on while making the choices in all these cases, we would always agree on one issue “Terrorism and Pakistan”. This has been one issue since 1947 which has always brought us together and make us stand as one. I always thought that this would be one issue opposition parties, pliant media, so-called intellectuals and activists would stand with the common citizen of India and not make us choose side whether supporting “Terrorism” is Anti-National or not.
Terrorism does not differentiate between political ideologies, religion or nationalists. It affects each and every citizen equally, or at least it should. I thought only Pakistan differentiates between “Good Terrorism” and “Bad Terrorism”, we Indians would condemn terrorism in every form and would resolve to hit back whenever and wherever the situation arises.
But, boy o’ boy, was I wrong!
In the last 4.5 years, liberals and opposition has proved that their “Modi Hate” is much profound then fight against terrorism. In 2016, when the Surgical Strikes happened, it signaled a tectonic shift in India’s policy towards terrorism and Pakistan’s policy of “bleeding India with a thousand cuts”. More than the damages that were inflicted, it was a signal that India would not just remain a sitting duck and would increase the cost for terrorists and its handlers to carry out such ghastly form of violence.
BJP and Narendra Modi have taken political mileage out of it, no one can deny that. But don’t they have every right to showcase this tectonic shift in policy as their achievement because India had followed the same policy for last 30 years irrespective of the Govt in power. We did not react when Parliament attacks happened, neither when Mumbai attacks happened or when innumerous attacks happened in different parts of the country whether Delhi, Hyderabad, Gujarat, Varanasi, Bihar or others. But this Govt showed the political will to make that policy change and take the “Bull by its horns”.
However, the “Modi Haters” cannot, even in their dreams, give him credit for anything. The bashing of Surgical Strikes started right from Rahul Gandhi to the lowest pawn in the “Modi Hater” gang. Just like the whitewashing of the history of last 70 years or even before to suit one family, the whitewashing of the achievements of Surgical Strikes were tried. Forgotten the facts that terrorists did not dare to carry out any planned attack on Indian soil for more than 2 years, that the world community praised and supported India for such a huge policy change, that a “new normal” was created while dealing with terrorism and that India announced to the world and Pakistan that it will not allow terrorism to go unpunished. All this does not matter. What matters is the “hate for Modi”.
Despite all the anti-India behavior that we have seen for last 4.5 years, what was on display in these last few weeks since Pulawama Attack has forced me to ask this question “Is supporting or emboldening terrorism would also not be considered Anti-national”?
We had the biggest terrorism in the Kashmir history. We were confronted with a new form of attack on Indian soil. The blood of every Indian was boiling and asking the same question we had been asking for last 40 years “Kab tak?”. Despite the obvious attempts to whitewash terrorist’s act or shift the focus away from terrorism, it seemed that India is united this time. But look at what happened since then in last couple of weeks.
We have had the elected CM of a state insinuate that the Central Govt perpetrated attack on its own Forces! and repeated multiple times by different stooges. We have been told numerous times that the air strikes were done only for political reasons. We have seen India (target Modi) being blamed for attacking its own citizens and for being war hungry. We have the elected CM asking what was achieved through the strikes and demands for proof have already started, despite the Air Force Chief, himself stating “the objectives of the strikes were achieved successfully”.
We have listened the former PM of the country blaming India and Pakistan equally for “mad rush” and “escalation”! Just Pause and think for a moment here. India attacked the terrorist camps, Pakistan army in response tried to attack our military establishments and by sheer bad luck, were able to capture our brave fighter pilot who they were forced to return within 2 days. How is India wrong in all this? What is it that we could have done differently? Not carry out the air strikes at all? Or not defend our territory when Pakistan F16s attacked? What exactly is the former PM trying to say that India should follow the old policy of his to “strongly condemn and after a few months, start the talks again” thereby insulting the bravehearts and victims of all those attacks?
We have seen Imran Khan being hailed as the hero and people praising him so much for the “Peace Gesture” that it seems they would want to see him getting the next “Noble Peace Prize”. We have been told that it is India which is being irresponsible, not by the world, but by our own people, some of which we elect as our representatives.
How exactly did we reach to this state from Pulwama attack just 2 weeks back! How did we forget our “fallen braves” in just 2 weeks! I am not able to believe what am I seeing in front of my eyes. When the discussions should be about how another “new normal” of crossing the International Border has been created while dealing with terror, how can we corner Imran Khan and Pakistan further, what should be the road ahead, how India has been able to associate heavy cost with every terrorist act, the change in the position of the World, a big diplomatic coup by India in OIC; we have discussions like “No to War”, “India is the aggressor”, “Pakistan’s Imran Khan is a statesman and Peace messiah”, “call for deescalation”, “why is Modi silent on the capture of the Indian fighter pilot”, “loopholes in our security and intelligence” etc. etc.
Again I ask “how did we land up here?” Again I ask “Now would we be forced to decide whether supporting terrorism is anti-national or just freedom of speech?”
A grand salute to all the liberals, intellectuals, journalists, politicians who in their quest for “Modi hatao”, have managed to showcase that even emboldening terrorism is not off limits when it comes to “Modi Hate”.