One is aghast at the mindless mud slinging by the political class over the country’s brave soldiers’ surgical strikes across the line of control in Jammu and Kashmir.
Leading the pack of petty politicians in this vicious exercise is Rahul Gandhi, who at 46, is yet to evolve as a thinking leader who can be taken seriously by the country. However, it must be said in his favour that he makes his allegations without much thought. One may not apparently see the typical viciousness of the politician as he makes his charges.
On the other hand, his seeming snow-white innocence returns to his dimpled visage once he finishes with his verbal assault. And one sees a smug Rahul, immensely satisfied with himself over his performance, which often appears rather tutored. And, most of the time the charges do not seem to be his own but is of others who, in a strange quirk of irony, are trying to make Indira Gandhi’s grandson learn the ropes of the risky and complex game called politics.
After mean insinuations about the veracity of the success of the strikes by the likes of Sanjay Nirupam from the Congress and Aam Admi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal, the Congress vice president went a step ahead and accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of doing “dalali” (profiteering business) over the blood of our soldiers.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar meanwhile sought to put an end to the demand for disclosure of evidence of the strikes, saying, “After the telecast of the interview of the Pakistan police officer by a news channel on the surgical strikes, there is no reason left to release the video of the strike.”
CNN News18 news channel quoted a senior Pakistani police official as disclosing that at least five Pakistani soldiers and an unspecified a number of militants were killed in the strikes.
The Indian Express also reported that eyewitnesses from across the LoC had confirmed brief but intense firing during the strikes of September 29 and how the bodies of those killed were loaded onto trucks for a secret burial.
Countering Rahul Gandhi charging Modi with taking political mileage from the surgical strikes and the sacrifices of soldiers, BJP chief Amit Shah retorted that Rahul had “crossed his limit”.
A furious Shah has demanded a clarification from Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Rahul Gandhi’s “dalali” remark. “By saying ‘dalali’ over soldiers’ blood, Rahul Gandhi had crossed all limits. The remark reflects the Congress’ mentality,” Shah charged.
“I want to ask Gandhi: Does he perceive our soldiers’ blood to be a thing to do ‘dalali’ (trade) with. His words are an insult to the armed forces and the country as a whole. I want to ask what dalali is he talking about,” asked Shah.
As Shah pointed out, it was Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal who started the doubting game over the surgical strikes that were tantamount to casting aspersions on the bravery of the country’s armed forces. The Congress readily took the baton from him and continued with the vicious game.
The Congress leaders, smarting under the disturbing notion that the strikes can not fail to boost BJP’s prospects in the state assemblyelections, including in the politically crucial Uttar Pradesh, due in the next few months were quick to charge the saffron outfit with politicising the strikes. The charges and counter-charges saw a flurry of press conferences by both the parties over the weekend during which both vehemently denied charges against each other.
The Congress slammed the BJP of “insulting” the army by saying that itdidn’t have the courage to control the Line of Control (LoC) for 68 years. Here the Congress was only trying to twist BJP’s implied the message that it was only the BJP government that had the courage to give the ‘green signal’ to the army to cross the LoC to strike at the Pakistan supported terror camps.
Typical of the clever tribe of politicians who are adept at sidetracking the main issue when the going gets tough for them, the lawyer turned politician Kapil Sibal now blamed the BJP for the birth of the Jaish-e-Mohammad. “Today these attacks happened as they (BJP) released Jaish-e-Mohammad militant Maulana Masood Azhar.”
“If BJP hadn’t released Maulana Masood Azhar then the JeM wouldn’t have taken birth,” Sibal alleged. Azhar was one of the jailed terrorists released by the then BJP government in December 1999 to end the hostage crisis and release innocent passengers of the ill-fated Indian airlines flight from Kathmandu to Delhi which was hijacked to the Taliban controlled Kandahar after stopovers at Amritsar, Lahore and Dubai. By taunting BJP over Kandahar, Sibal was only trying to exploit a national crisis that should have ideally united the entire political class.
After this, central minister Ravishankar Prasad taunted the Congress, saying that for the party defending Rahul Gandhi is more important than defending the country. “What does Congress mean by saying that the BJP created Jaish-e-Mohammed. It is the ISI which will be the most happiest people on hearing the remarks,” he quipped.
No party, Congress, BJP or AAP, has come out with glory in this game of one-upmanship. The Congress, the oldest party in the country, especially, is guilty of not being prepared to put national interests above narrow, political interests. Its glorious past as the spearhead of the freedom movement and later as the administrator of the country for most of the seven decades since independence put a particular responsibility on the party to set an example to others.
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