[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]E[/dropcap]very Opposition leader, including Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, is sanctimoniously shouting about the great valor and deeds of the Indian Army—and vociferously condemning Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the entire Bharatiya Janata Party for their real and imaginary sins. The Opposition narrative is: bad things happen because of the government, and good tidings are the result of the government’s incompetence, malice, and worse.
…it is again the BJP regime that has cornered Pakistan.
So, when Pokhran II happened in 1998, Congress and other anti-BJP leaders attributed it to the brilliance and diligence of our scientists. Similarly, the surgical strikes are the result of the bravery and professionalism of our soldiers. If the economy does well, it is because of industrialists, managers, and workers. However, if there is some mishap at a nuclear reactor, it would be because of the inefficiency of Modi. The Uri massacre, in which 19 soldiers were killed, was the result of the government’s ineptitude. If there is an economic slowdown, it is because of policies.
This is not to say that the BJP is a shining example of principled, value-based politics or decent political debate; it is equally bad when it comes to duplicity and self-righteousness. But it should get credit where it is due. We shouldn’t forget that it was the BJP-led government that in 1998 dared to go nuclear. And it is again the BJP regime that has cornered Pakistan.
Had Modi followed the Congress policy of “uninterrupted and uninterruptible” dialogue with Pakistan, which Mani Shankar Aiyar has always wanted, Indian leaders would have been ‘strongly condemning’ the ‘dastardly attacks’ by Pak-supported jihadists, and the US and other global powers would have been imploring us to exercise restraint. Because of the bold action by the Modi government, however, today everybody in the world, except China, is chiding Pakistanis to behave themselves and, simultaneously, goading it to not escalate the matters. The boot is on the other foot.
Consider an unpleasant scenario: Had the mission to destroy terrorist launch pads within Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir failed, or incurred huge casualties, would any of the Opposition leaders have blamed our military for the botched-up operation? The scenario is not improbable; remember sh*t happens. In fact, the Uri massacre was the result of slackness on the part of the Army. Nothing else explains such a large number of soldier casualties at the hands of terrorists, however motivated the latter may be.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]B[/dropcap]ut it was the Modi government that was hauled over the coals for the Uri attack. Leader after Congress leader slammed the Prime Minister for the slaughter of Indian soldiers. Congress leaders blame themselves when the party suffers a setback, which it does more often than not these days, and give the entire credit to Rahul for anything good. In their scheme of things, Rahul can do nothing wrong and Modi can do nothing right. For them, Modi is just a four-letter word.
The grand old party has a problem with the top leadership.
Congress leaders cannot be blamed beyond a point, though; after all, they do the dynasty’s bidding. She-who-must-be-obeyed is not in the pink. So, they take their clues from her son, but the guy is vain, confused, and incoherent. At a time when India is on the verge of a war, he thinks nothing of the situation; instead of rallying behind the government, he calls its head a bloodthirsty politician (khoon ki dalali can mean nothing else).
The grand old party has a problem with the top leadership. But, unfortunately, other parties are also saying and doing the same things, though their leaders have not stooped to the depths plumbed by Rahul. Well, one characteristic all Opposition parties share is their pathological hatred for the BJP, and especially Modi.
But if Opposition leaders think that by constantly badgering and abusing Modi they would gain political mileage, they are mistaken. People admire courage and uprightness in an Indian prime minister. Vajpayee’s pusillanimity in the aftermath of the attack on Parliament in December 2001 hurt his prospects in the 2004 polls. Manmohan Singh’s bold stand against the Left added a few inches to his stature. Modi has gained politically because of the strikes; no matter how much cant and nastiness his opponents spew against him, he stands taller today than he was a fortnight ago.