Wars have contributed a lot to the languages throughout the history. Jargons, usages, phrases to name a few. Cold war is no exception. As was the technological boom so was the inflow of linguistics. This legacy is ubiquitous in the United States more than any other country. This has much to do with the general perception of war as something positive, full of heroic and patriotic, if not nationalistic, energy. Even in India, especially among the English speaking urban elites, this is quite evident and the best example would be the phrase “Surgical Strike” and it’s increasing usage. A term which was a part of the military jargons is now widely used in the daily parlance.
The Indian media, especially the English news channels, are back with the battle cry. They have proved it again and again how brilliant they are in cultivation of news. I can’t understand why we are discussing the possibility of a Geronimo model strike in Pakistan targeting India’s most wanteds who are apparently at large in that soil. Everybody knows the political and military realities. Everyone from the euphoric news anchors to the military top brass. We know well why we should not resort to such ‘mis adventures’ (to borrow the words of Gen Kayani). And that pragmatism is precisely what acted as a deterrent whenever we had a strike plan in mind – be it in 2001 or 2008. We retreated from the border after Operation Parakram, a massive military buildup in the borders in 2001. Why? Definitely not because we were afraid of the other side, not at all because we had the slightest doubt in our ability. It was the N factor which ultimately acted as the deterrent. Forgetting all the political mileage which the nationalist BJP led govt had in mind during that deployment, we were (are) not in a position to go for a war and the decision to take the men back to the barracks was a wise one. It’s a reality. We can’t afford a war now. The battle cry by the media and the so called nationalistic upper middle class has to be analyzed against this grave reality.
What the mainstream media is doing is totally against the efforts of the Primeminister Dr. Manmohan Singh to find a way out in improving India’s bitter relationship with Pakistan. You want to grow, you need peace. You want peace you have to talk and not fight. And above all we do not have to imitate American actions which even they would be hesitant to repeat, even though Whitehouse has not ruled out such a possibility.
Now comes the question of National security. On what grounds you can be sure that a surgical strike on one or two top criminals like Mazood Azhar means India is safe thenceforth? Man, we need to work a lot within our territory before thinking about such adventures. Our intel, our corrupt delivery systems, slacky attitude to internal security, lawlessness in many spheres of administration and so on need huge attention. This is a country where a ration card was issued in the name of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (a year ago I think, in Andhra Pradesh). Do you think the terrorist menace exists just because there are brains working against India from across the border? No, that is not the only reason. We have to be vigil, we have to make our part clear first.
Operation Geronimo or the proposed surgical strikes targeting individuals within the territory of Pakistan is all the while misadventurous (as reminded by Kayani, despite all military unequations) and simply uncivilized revenge which will not have any positive outcome. It’s dangerous to regional stability and our own national interest. The media shouldn’t have taken up this issue in this manner as they are doing for the past couple of days. It’s yet another proof why we should not let the mainstream news media to define our national security program. Hopefully the political leadership will be able to show commonsense and promote all measures to bring peace to the region. That would include people to people contacts, trade and last but not least -no misadventures!