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Surgical strike is a statement by nation India & should be above any kind of cynicism
While 'where's the proof of surgical strike' is currently the top controversy, some Congressmen have claimed that similar strikes have been carried out in the past too during Congress party's rule. Many self-proclaimed intellectuals are also of the opinion that since such strikes by the Indian Army have been conducted a number of times in the past, Modi government need not thump its chest for this most recent strike.

I hundred per cent agree that covert operations by the Indian Army have been conducted in the past as well like every army does for national security. Then, what's so important about this strike? Before going in to specific details let's discuss some general points.

The military of any nation has to conduct covert operations as and when required for safeguarding national security. War is always not possible. But threat to national security from enemies is always there. That's why a standard training of carrying out covert operations is given to all military persons in almost all countries.

Countries like USA, Russia, Israel, UK, France, Germany etc frequently conduct such covert operations that are kept closely guarded secrets. But at times, a few such operations come into public domain in the form of biographies or fictional writings by the military personnel involved in them.

In some cases, in order to give a specific message, a nation's army or government uses diplomatic language such as 'We neither confirm it nor deny it.' When Osama Bin Laden was hunted down and executed in Abbottabad, Americans had the option of not making the covert operation public. But later, they decided to go public, revealing that it was the navy seals who had entered Pakistan and killed Laden. The message was loud and clear to the rest of the world that America will go to any extent to kill enemies of the state.

India too has executed many covert operations in the past. Many such operations were planned and accomplished during the pre-1971 Indo-Pak war era and a few in the later period. Some of them also became public knowledge through revelations made in various books. Thus, if some people cite that covert operations are not new to the Indian Army, they are not at all wrong. But then, they didn't understand the specific implications of this particular surgical strike.

The Uri attack followed by the attack on the Pathankot air base had really posed a serious question mark on the Narendra Modi-led government. There were doubts whether India's approach will remain the same as that during the post Indira Gandhi era or not. The point to be noted is that Narendra Modi's electoral promise was to deal with Pakistan sponsored terrorism differently. Thus, after the Uri attack, Modi government gave clear instructions to the Indian Army for a revenge strike, along with deciding to go public with the news of the surgical strike.

Why did the government prefer to go public with the news of the counter strike? The answer can be inferred from America's public statement after the killing of Osama in Abbottabad. Here, India in fact gave an official statement through this surgical strike that, `Gone are those days of strategic restraints. India has ran out of patience of such dastardly attacks and India is no more ready to tolerate rather ready to retaliate heavily.'

Notably, in a number of his speeches in international forums, Narendra Modi has spoken about departure from the policy of strategic restraint. But according to the world, you are seriously taken only when you act upon your words. Modi has now ensured that India does what the head of the state speaks, much unlike our neighbouring country.

Thus, one should never be in two minds while considering this surgical strike as one of the normal covert operations. This is in fact a strong statement by India to the international community in general and Pakistan in particular. Intellectuals must understand it and stand behind the government of India to endorse its strong resolve and paradigm shift in policy on counter terrorism.

Yes, Narendra Modi is being given credit for this and why not? In India, the political master is the final authority on any military decision. The Prime Minister has to take such decisions daringly as they involve very high risks.

Firstly, just consider the pre-surgical strike period. Narendra Modi was being questioned by the entire nation as to why befitting action had not been taken yet. That's a risk of eroding political popularity.

Secondly, the surgical strike, the magnitude and the risk of failure or heavy causalities of Indian soldiers are matters for serious deliberation. God forbid, had the strike failed for any reason or Indian soldiers had been caught red handed and captured by Pakistanis, imagine what kind of political mess Modi would have landed into? Thus, technically Narendra Modi has taken a huge risk which could have backfired and jeopardised his political career, considering that Nehru is still blamed for India's 1962 misadventure with China, which many claim even cost him his life.

Thus, if somebody takes a huge risk, then he deserves full credit for it too in the event of success. The Indian public is not fool, who can be tutored to praise Narendra Modi. People are politically aware and intellectually sound and hence have praised Narendra Modi's strong decisive attitude by heart. The anti-Modi brigade should also praise him, because he is the Prime Minister of India. But if they still can't, they should at least not indulge in cynicism. A strong statement by nation India must be above all kinds of cynicism.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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