Surgery of Politicised SURGICAL STRIKE
Egypt under Jamal Abdel Nasser received the disastrous defeat at the hands of Israel in 6 days, 1967 war. Before the outbreak of the full blown hostilities Israel took the offensive and in the brazen attack seventeen Egyptian air force fields were destroyed on the ground leading to the occupation of the Sinai Peninsula. Israel not only occupied the territories of Egypt but also of Jordan and Syria. The state of Israel turned into the orange from lemon.
It is said that in the stalemate between Israel and Egypt the Arab state was asked to exercise restraint but Israel felt no compunction in making the stalemate culminate into the full blown conflict leading to the annexation of the Arab territories.
Egypt’s’ defeat in the 1967 war compelled Nasser to resign naming vice president Zakaria Mohieddin as his successor. However he relented following massive popular demonstrations of support. The defeat of Egypt at the hands of Israel was so traumatic that the Commander In Chief of the armed forces Field Marshal Abdel Hakim Amir was arrested and is reported to have committed suicide while in custody.
The people of Egypt despite the humiliating defeat of the Arab state had a vigorous campaign to retain Nasser at the helm of affairs as the people felt that Nasser had a single minded devotion to serve the larger interest of the Egyptians and the Arab cause.
Jamal Abdel Nasser covers the period of Egyptian history from the Egyptian revolution of 1952, of which Jamal Abdel Nasser was one of the two principal leaders, spanning Nasser’s presidency of Egypt from 1956, to his death in 1970. Nasser’s tenure as Egypt’s leader heralded a new period of modernization, and socialist reform in Egypt, and a staunch advocacy of Pan Arab nationalism and developing world solidarity. His prestige in Egypt and throughout Arab world soared in the wake of his nationalisation of the Suez Canal in 1956, and Egypt’s political victory in the subsequent tripartite Aggression.
The era is regarded as a time where ordinary citizens enjoyed unprecedent access to housing, education, jobs, health services, and nourishment as well as other forms of social welfare while aristocratic influence waned. The national economy grew significantly through agrarian reforms, major modernization projects such as the Helwleen steel works and the Aswan Dam, and nationalization schemes such as that of the Suez Canal.
During Nasser’s time in office, Egypt experienced a golden age of culture, particularly in theatre, film poetry, television, radio, literature, fine arts, comedy and music. Egypt under Nasser dominated the Arab world in these fields, producing singers such as Abdel Halim Hafez, Umme Kulsum, and Mohammad Abdul Wahab, literary figures such as Naguib Mahfouz and Tawfiq el-Hakim, actors like Fatten Hamma and Rushddi Abaza.
The great singer Umme Kulsum had such an enchanting impact over the Egyptians and the Arab World that the legendary actor Umar Sharif known for his remarkable performance in the famous Hollywood movie Macanna’s Gold found deep solace and comfort in her songs.
It was Nasser who had taken the risk of blocking the arms laden ships of Portugal in Suez Canal in Goa war in 1962.
Reckoning Nasser’s achievements Chinese premier Zhou Enlai called Nasser the giant of the Middle East.
The leaf can be taken from the above facts and circumstances that military collapse or win matters for the jingoistic chest thumping to earn the political dividends but the commoners besides desiring military assertiveness would like the government to perform thus redressing the stressing woes and problems of the people. The basic criteria is rooted in the creation of the relief to the masses at large.
In contrast to the logic of putting up good performance on the domestic front for the survival of the government the surgical strike apparently supported by everyone assumed the virulent political connotation.
It is saddening to see that every situation forms part of our overt political discourse in quest of enhancing or declining political gains. Ever situation is dragged into the political discourse leading to the messy domestic imbroglio many a time fraught with the unfortunate fallout. The issues are defined, read and interpreted on the basis of religion to explore the support of vote bank politics and with the BJP coming to power the situation has gone more irrational with the party’s focus more on appeasing the hard core RSS. In the given situation there can’t be any resistance to score the browny points of the military achievements in terms of competitive politics. The situation is further complicated when the sectarian loyalty has superseded the national loyalty. The line of distinction between the sectarian loyalty and national loyalty is blurred. Any denial to sectarian loyalty bordering on the false sense of patriotism is provocation enough to ignite the situation quite victimizing for those on weakest turf either liberals or those living precarious existence like the minorities.
Hence given the hyperventilating situation of the narrow minded notion of patriotism there was an attempt to politically market the needed surgical strike with an eye on green pastures in the impending elections in U.P. and Punjab and other parts. The surgical strikes were needed as the terror attacks are not to go unpunished.
Reaping political dividends from the surgical strike thus prompted response from the rival political formations and the parties.
Falling in line senior Congress party leader Sanjay Nirupam stirred up a massive controversy by calling the surgical strike fake in a tweet.
In a tweet Nirupam wrote that every Indian wanted surgical strike against Pakistan but not a fake one to extract political benefits by BJP. The intolerance of Nirupam’s comment was manifest when Madhav Bhandari doubted Nirupam’s Indianness. This is how politics has touched a new low.
As this was not enough the Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi went accusing Modi of politically ‘profiteering’ from the blood spilt by the soldiers. In the blunt Hindi he used the words ‘Khoon ki Dalali’.
Raul’s words immediately retched up the political tempers and the volley of counter attacks began.
Attuned to the logic of Sanjay Nirupam, Rahul Gandhi and the likes Kejriwal also demanded the proof.
Responding to such raising of doubts over the surgical strike the BJP president termed it demoralising the army. The question of demoralising the army does not arise as the army’s credibility or integrity is not questioned. The government of the day and the army are the two different entities and any attempt to draw them synonymous is not the right logic to develop.
The debate over the surgical strike is anything but enlightening. The lack of enlightening debate is due to the vested interest developed in any matter. The BJP govt. is trying to cash in the sacrifices of our brave jawans in the impending U.P. and other elections as it has failed to deliver as people were promised the moon in the General election. It is not the modicum of responsible behaviour of our political culture to fan any issue out of proportion for political investment.