[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]S[/dropcap]everal questions have been asked about the veracity of India’s claim regarding surgical strikes. And several loaded terms have been used to describe those who have supported the action against Pakistan—jingoistic, chest-thumping, war-mongering. It is curious that doubts are being raised in a country where outlandish doctrines often pass off as gospel truths. And more curious is the maligning of the so-called hawks who are generally depicted by intellectuals as dangerous half-wits.
…intellectuals are often wrong but never in doubt.
This is not to say that journalists, and others, should unquestioningly accept the assertions of the government; but in matters related to defence and security we have to take into account the fact that not everything can be put in the public domain. So, if the Narendra Modi government has not been very forthcoming about the details of the operation, its reticence should not be used as a handle to beat it. The operation was not carried out against some insurgents in the North-East or Maoists in central India but against a nuclear state, in which mad mullahs rule the roost.
As for the strikes, one has to be unreasonably critical of the Modi regime to allude to the falsity of the claim. Pakistan was not rattled for nothing; this was clear from the responses of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf or PTI chairperson Imran Khan, and the Pakistani Army. The US did not exhort Islamabad to exercise restraint without a context. Therefore, it is indubitable that India did cross the Rubicon on September 29, much to the shock and chagrin of Pakistan, which seems to have gotten used to pusillanimous responses from India. It has been rudely shaken off from its complacency.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]E[/dropcap]vidently, these factors have been ignored by the doubters. As I mentioned earlier, skepticism was rarely perceivable when absurd claims were made in the past. For instance, we were told that Sonia Gandhi ‘sacrificed’ the post of prime minister in 2004. There is no proof, documentary or otherwise, to suggest that she was ever invited to form the government.
Over the decades, we have been told innumerable fairy tales, usually told by the kind of folks who would doubt and question everything that Modi does. We were told that the public sector would occupy the commanding heights of the economy; in reality, it has become a drain on the exchequer and a drag on the economy. The green revolution, highbrows told us, will turn red; it proved to be the solution for the food problem. Computers will destroy jobs, we were warned; they are creating jobs. I can go on and on about the follies and worse of intellectuals. But then intellectuals are often wrong but never in doubt.
Then there is the business of defaming anti-Pakistan persons. This is in the best traditions of argumentum ad hominem—that is, attack the arguer rather than the argument; instead of relying on facts and reason to prove your point, you impute motives to the opponent. So, the proponent of liberalization becomes the stooge of World Bank and big business, the opponent of jihad communal, and those who favor a tough line against Pakistan war-mongers.