While the senior Congress leaders are busy mouthing off platitudes regarding the supposed politicisation of the Armed Forces, the newest leaders to join Congress, an erstwhile Bollywood actor, Urmila Matondkar didn’t flinch from using the posters of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman in her campaign rally.
Wing Commander Abhinandan was held for over 2 days in captivity by Pakistan after which he was released unconditionally by Pakistan owing to the strong stand taken by the Indian government.
आसमंती दुमदुमतो जयघोष विठुनामाचा … गजर विठुरायाचा …. ज्ञानबा तुकाराम!!
आजच्या या मंगल दिनी, महाराष्ट्राच्या संत आणि वारकरी परंपरेला त्रिवार अभिवादन ! जय महाराष्ट्र! #AapliMumbaichiMulagi ?? pic.twitter.com/ufic2nvwMT
— Urmila Matondkar (@OfficialUrmila) April 6, 2019
So while the opposition continues to attack PM Modi, citing that his mention of Armed Forces in the campaign rallies is in violation of the Model Code of Conduct, its silence over the usage of Wing Commander Abhinandan’s poster for their political gain is conspicuous.
First, Urmila Matondkar calls Hinduism the most violent religion.
Then she takes out a rally with war hero Abhinandan’s photo.
Hindu-hate and hypocrisy. Perfect credentials to join India’s ‘secular’ politics. pic.twitter.com/5jcLPwvAqF
— Abhijit Majumder (@abhijitmajumder) April 6, 2019
Urmila’s showcasing of celebrating the Hindu festival also drew reactions on social media as she had claimed that Hinduism has become the most violent religion.
In the aftermath of the Pulwama attack, the Indian Air Force had conducted air strikes deep inside Pakistan, killing hundreds of Jaish-e-Muhammad terrorists. In response to this, Pakistan had sent a fleet of Falcons to target Indian Army’s military assets. The attack was thwarted by Indian Air Forces’ patrol team which chased the F-16s, forcing them to retreat. In the ensuing dogfight, Wing Commander Abhinandan downed an F-16 before his jet got crashed in the PoK. Abhinandan was caught by the Pakistani forces.
Despite overwhelming evidence, several Congress leaders have questioned the veracity of the Balakot strikes, undermining the Indian Air Force and providing enough ammunition to Pakistan and its leaders to dismiss the claims made by the Indian establishment.
Digvijaya Singh, Kapil Sibal, Kamal Nath, Ashok Gehlot are some of the senior Congress leaders who questioned the authenticity of Balakot airstrikes. Advisor to Congress and Rahul Gandhi’s mentor, Sam Pitroda not only doubted the Indian Air Force’s claim regarding the Balakot airstrike, but he also appeared to trivialise the Pulwama attack, asserting that entire Pakistan cannot be held responsible for an attack by a few.
The Congress in their manifesto has also talked about pruning down of the Armed Forces deployment numbers in the Valley and dilution of AFSPA in the sensitive regions of Jammu and Kashmir. It has also accused the armed forces of perpetrating sexual violence. The Indian Army has already registered a strong objection to the Congress manifesto, asserting that it will exacerbate the situation in Kashmir.
This dichotomy vis-a-vis Indian Armed Forces is typical of the Congress modus operandi. On one hand, they undermine the armed forces by doubting their valour, leveling heinous allegations on them, whereas, on the other hand, they use the posters of the Jawans, politicise the activities carried out to solicit votes in the name of the sacrifices made by them.