March 19, 2019

‘Political Mileage’ of Surgical Strikes…

Indian Army ( IA ) will eventually learn to take these issues in a stride.

In the first world, there’s enough spotlight on military, similarly, in third world, the military junta rules (Myanmar, Pakistan), it’s our ‘cusp’ status which should have been clear long ago. It’s slowly getting cleared.

Let’s not deny that the IA always had the velour, training and ‘*testicular strength*’ to inflict damage on the enemy. Remember the very fact that 10 Dogra and 6 Bihar (who lost men in Uri Attack) sent their Ghatak Platoons to draw equal and more blood in revenge along with the Special Forces (whose task was the Surgical Strikes are in original).

To me, it is a hallmark of force where camaraderie and blood lineage is part of decision making process, otherwise, it would have been a bit drab and straight jacketed.

Ours is an nation which relies too much on British Folklore and lesser on local heroism.  The Charge of the Light Brigade is well known than other local equivalent and more heroics…..

In 1965, when the attack on Raja Post, Hajipir Pass got stalled due to Pak auto fire, the Commanding Officer ( CO) of the Paltan rose amidst the hail of bullets and urged his men to charge…he was put paid within few yards and died in the arms of his Radio Operator (he obviously knew he wouldn’t survive, he also knew another fact, everyone follows one order to its entirety ‘Follow Me’).

Watching their CO run towards entrenched enemy with the War Cry ‘Bole So Nihaal’, the entire Paltan rose and ran into the enemy overwhelming the enemy, the first few ones died, the enemy got over ran not because of those who eventually overran him, but because of those who chose to take on the initial bullets, and that was their CO, the leader….the Paltan lost their Raja (CO) and gained Raja Post……….thus leading to a folklore of ‘Raja Ditta te Raja Litta’ (We lost a Lion King and gained Raja Post)……the credit for Raja, even today, goes to The Raja. (It’s unfortunate that Hajipir eventually was returned back after the war, another fall out of not having military minds into decision making but only having military bodies execute babudom plans).

The IA is too vibrant a force, too dynamic an entity, too historical an organization and way too well led by still to be wayward officer cadre to be written off….it has re arisen and reworked itself to glory too many times and in too many myriad ways. Having suffered casualties in Uri, it gave back the perpetrators in double the measure, as they say in boxing, it’s not how hard you fall, it’s how soon you get up. On that account, collate this Surgical Strike with another from the US, the failed and famed ‘Black Hawk Down’.

The Indian Soldier has remained unmatched on most verticals, right from running into hails of bullets in Hajipir, to direct frontal attack in Kargil, the clearance of buildings in Pampore, Surgical Strikes in POK to Human Rights in Doda…it’s just that the Indian Soldier has never been celebrated enough by its westernized and anglicised, English speaking intelligentsia who can rattle out European History right from Gallipoli to River Seine.

In the Surgical Strikes, the valor was of The Paltans, they must take their place in history, the political will was that of Prime Minister, if there’s political mileage to be taken, then so be it….after all, the NTRO’s re-routing of satellites, drones flying in an area of 250 kms, press statement of DGMO and MEA are all considerable political decisions, similarly, MEA has done a wonderful job of keeping SAARC allies and others on our side…

As I said, if there’s political mileage to be drawn, so be it……10 DOGRA and 6 BIHAR got their revenge, after all, the unit delayed it’s de-induction after a strenuous 29 months tenure and sought revenge before moving out of valley, the Special Forces did one of cleanest surgical strike, the Chopper Pilots did wonders with feinting sorties in other areas than the actual locations where the Strikes were eventually to go, carriage of troops, intimate logistics….

other Armies must be planning a ‘Joint Training and Exercise’ to learn the finer military nuances of such a clean strike where just one guy got hurt, that too on his return in a mine field, after crossing back into territory held by own troops (otherwise, mind you, entire POK is own territory).

The National Technical Research Organization (NTRO) displayed remarkable use of their sattlelites, bringing them into a lower orbit and re-aligning their travel path to remain our eyes in the sky as the Indian Soldier pumped metal into Jihadists, the Ministry of External Affairs  did great job with SAARC Nations…

All this isn’t possible without a political will, and the entire co-ordination  was at the level of PMO (NTRO is PMO’s direct asset).

If there’s political party willing to go that extra mile to draw equal blood to that of an Indian Soldier, it may draw what it exactly wants.. political mileage, after all, if the strikes had yielded negative results, the political fallout would have been negative too.

The military leader who over ran Raja Post on Hajipir Pass deserves every ounce of his Military Credit, similarly, so is the case for Political Credit of the political leader of the Surgical Strikes….

If other Security Forces and Foreign Armies have to draw any lessons, than it is thus ~ the Indian Army follows rules when citizens, seeks professional development and competence, is capable of drawing equal and more blood in revenge, and when doing it, no martyr remains un-avenged, no trooper gets left behind.

Sometimes, your brothers do not have the same surname, and Indian Army is proof of it…

Jai Hind…!

Picture Credit: Mercenaries Wiki

Author is Dr Shobha Shrivastava

Twitter: @DrShobha


About Dr Shobha Shrivastava 4 Articles
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