On February 27, 2019 – the fateful day when Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthman was captured by Pakistan army, I was in for a cruel shock on social media. #SayNoToWar was trending for hours on social media, with support from the ‘liberal’ fraternity, while no one bothered to say ‘Say No to Terrorism’.
It is well documented that India has never instigated violence, but always responded to one. Yet, we, the enfranchised citizens of this motherland are of the belief that the responsibility to alleviate potential unrest in the subcontinent lies with India. It is high time we acknowledge that only after all possible options to address the concerns are exhausted, that India has resorted to warfare. For a septuagenarian Nation that has fought five full-fledged wars, we very well understand the cost of conflict and its long-term implications.
The political leadership of this Nation has never depended on warfare for its adrenaline rush. Moreover, no leader has used war to create an international or domestic upset. Also, even the common citizens have never lauded violence or penalized the political leadership for not taking a ‘hard-line’ against Pakistan. And yet, there are those who want to preach us with #SayNoToWar and demotivate our men in uniform, who stand at the front, to protect us, not indulge in warfare.
It is hilarious, how Indian peaceniks have never gathered the gumption to tell Pakistan, globally known for its tacit support to terrorists and terrorism, to mend its ways. As opinion makers who have the power to influence minds across borders, I am not sure, why they never wrote books or organized festivals that discussed how terror bred and thrived in the dark yet protected lanes of Pakistan. I fail to decode why and how does Pakistan manage to enjoy the sympathy of the liberals, despite causing mayhem in India for decades.
As social media got flooded with the blood-stained face of brave heart Abhinandan, perky posts and chirpy pictures of journalists who crossed the border to cover the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Imran Khan haunt me. The numerous times, they have debated on retarded issues like ‘things India should learn from Pakistan’, come back to remind me, that India has failed to tackle Pakistan with might and measure, because of the enemies within. It is our own that have failed us and continue to fail every soldier who dares to wear the uniform.
- Congress MLA, Navjot Singh Sidhu, an acclaimed cricketer was introduced to politics by Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee. After doing India proud on multiple occasions, he has been on a mission to embarrass the Nation on every possible issue related to Pakistan. Not only has he flouted all norms of diplomacy with the terror State, but he is also yet to call out Pakistan and hold the failed State accountable for the terror attack on CRPF Jawans at Pulwama.
- Congress spokesperson, Randeep Singh Surjewala addressed the Indian press minutes after the media announced that CRPF Jawans had been killed at Pulwama in an attack by the Jaish e Mohammad. In the 18-minute press conference, the leader did not condemn Pakistan even once. Moreover, in a yet another press briefing, the spokesperson called the Adil Ahmad Dar, the man behind Pulwama terror attack, a ‘homegrown so-called terrorist’. It puzzles me, why is Adil being called a ‘so-called terrorist’ and not just a terrorist. How is he homegrown? India is not home to Jaish e Mohammad – Pakistan is.
- Mehbooba Mufti made a seditious statement when she said, “If there is an attack (on Article 35A), then I do not know which flag, other than the tricolour, would the people of Kashmir bear in hand. And if they do so, then do not tell us that we had not warned you (Centre). Do not push the people of JK to the wall”. It was unacceptable to observe that the opposition to such a reprehensible statement was limited to just one side of the spectrum. Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and irrespective of our political allegiances we need to unequivocally condemn such inflammable statements.
- Just today, Congress leader Digvijay Singh too joined the bandwagon. He demanded proof of India’s airstrikes and that argument was promptly picked up by Pakistan.
At a critical juncture, when India has the international community’s back and Pakistan stands isolated, it is regrettable that we don’t have the unconditional support of our fellow citizens. Glossy media faces are scrambling for video bytes that present India as a Nation eager to hit the war field, when the fact is, India has been fighting and not waging a war for more than seven decades now. As Indian peaceniks went on an overdrive to sell Imran Khan’s statesmanship, they insulted Indian soldiers, who have been in the line of Pakistan’s duplicity and chicanery.
We have strived to balance dialogue and militancy, only to fail every time. This is the harsh truth, we need to start from. India cannot win any war, be it with poverty, illiteracy, unemployment or terrorism, till we are infested by those who are working to unsettle every move of the Government of India, only to please their paymasters. I am unable to comprehend professional, political or personal compulsions faced by these Indians, so much so that they are forced to conduct themselves like modern-day ‘Jaichands’.
Gunja Kapoor is a policy analyst based in New Delhi. She tweets at @gunjakapoor