Surgical Strike Day Celebrations !!!
On 2nd May 2011, US Navy Seal Team 6 conducted Op Neptune’s Spear. They flew in two helicopters from Afghanistan and raided a secured safe house of Osama Bin Laden deep inside Pakistan. The house was just 600 meters away from Pakistan Military Academy. The operation lasted for about 40 minutes and they killed the top rated terrorist – OBL.
But the USA never celebrated the anniversaryof their most famous commando operation.
Israelis have so many such successful operations to their credit. On 4th July 1976, four C-130 and two Boeing 707s took off from Israel and flew almost 3500KM to raid Entebbe airport in Uganada to rescue 102 Israeli hostages (3 hostages got killed). In 1972 Munich Olympics, Palestinian terrorist group `Black September` took 11 Israeli Olympics team member (6 coaches and 5 players) hostage and later, killed all of them. Israel did not keep mum and Mossad launched the Operation Wrath of God. The operation is believed to have continued for almost 20 years. Israel tracked and killed individuals responsible for the Munich massacre.
But Israel never celebrated Operation Entebbe or Operation Wrath of God.
Then why did we celebrate 3 days long Prakaram Parv?!!
Actually no country celebrates the anniversary of such operations with so much fanfare. Because it simply defies the very purpose of such operations, which is covert. Purpose of such operations is to give a stern message to your adversary that you are capable to take a quick punitive action at your or their chosen ground causing maximum possible damage to your adversary. In a regular war, Special Ops are tactical in nature and play a very important part in achieving the military objective.
But in the age of proxy wars, apart from achieving your immediate objective, such operations tell the adversary to be mindful of your capabilities, to make your adversary think twice before taking any action again you.
Perhaps, we are the only nation who celebrated 2nd Anniversary of the Surgical Strikes conducted on the night of 29th Sep 2016 to avenge the blood of victims of Uri attack. It was definitely not the first such operation that the Indian Army conducted. The outlook provided interesting details of few such operations of the past. And were we sleeping on its first anniversary?
This whole celebration fits perfectly in the continuous usage of the Indian Armed Forces for the political gains. Calling armed forces to civilian aid during natural calamities is perfectly fine. But then the Government started calling the Army to do what the civilian departments should have done like constructing collapsed bridges, Pontoon bridge etc.
Previous Governments have been doing it and the present Government is no different. Mumbai’s Elphinston bridge was a clear case of Government’s civil departments’ negligence in delaying the reconstruction but the humble soldier had to work as a labourer to build the bridge because `city (BJP) chief Ashish Shelar had requested defence minister to build the FOBs with the expertise of the Army`
Politicians from Pune and Secundrabad met the Defence Minister to get Cantonment roads open and after few meeting with Army higher leadership, their (politician’s) wish was granted. Now a soldier on the front keeps looking back towards his home to check if his family is safe and secured. His belief that his family lives in peace and secured has almost vanished. We all are worried about the deteriorating law and order situation in urban cities but for a soldier who has to man the border for 10 months and will come home just for 2 months, it becomes a serious concern.
And now this Special Operation is being used to take political mileage. We saw SF soldiers on TV with their faces covered, sitting in the shade narrating their deeds or re-producing the mugged up lines. One may not find anything wrong with such celebrations but the ordinary soldier is looking for due recognition and not a glam-world kind treatment.Political usage of such special, secretive and successful operation for which soldiers pay with a lot of sweat and blood (thankfully no Indian solider lost his life in 2016 special operation) will be counterproductive in the long run.
But would it be fair to just condemn the political leadership?Don’t we have an equal complaint Army Chief whoaccommodates undue requests from political bosses?Gone is the time when we had Chiefs like Thimayya or Manekshaw who were ready to resign instead of failing the soldiers they command. Maintaining the Izzat-o-iqbal and welfare of the humble soldier was their paramount duty.
Is it just the politician only to blame? It is true that the Armed Forces are under civilian control, but this control does not mean that there no scope of dissent. What is the pressing need to disclose details of a covert operation?
Instead of celebrating Prakaram Parv, Government should have paid homage to Kalu Chak, Uri and Pathankot victims.