ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Tale of India's 'War on Terror'

Claiming the military prowess of a "great power," India's self-styled patriots are having a field day.

United States (US) Secretary of State John Kerry had cautioned New Delhi against any Washington-style “war on terror” adventurism. Despite this, Washington’s junior partner presumably went ahead with its so-called “surgical strikes” targeting “terror launch pads” in the Pakistan-administered part of Kashmir. We say “presumably” because both Islamabad and the United Nations (UN), despite what would be New Delhi’s blatant violation of international law if it did carry out the “surgical strikes,” suggest that nothing of the kind happened. If indeed the “surgical strikes” were a hoax, merely for the consumption of self-styled “patriots” who needed to be convinced of the prowess of (what they imagine) the “great power” in the making, so be it. These “patriots,” especially those in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the commercial media, went to town about how New Delhi has finally discarded the “shackles” of “strategic restraint” and called the bluff of Pakistani “nuclear blackmail.”

Indeed, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, a prominent BJP leader from Goa, even likened the Indian armed forces to Hanuman, the mythical monkey-god in the Hindu epic Ramayana, who on being reminded of his prowess, instantly strode across the ocean to teach Ravana, the rakshasa (demon) king of Lanka, a lesson. And, presumably, like Ravana, the military top-brass of Pakistan, Parrikar claimed, have been left “bewildered,” unable to react. He, of course, went on to threaten that if and when Pakistan persists with its sponsorship of terrorism, “we will give them a befitting reply again.”

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