BY ARUN PRAKASH
By depriving India’s fighters of honour, respect and a pride of place in the national hierarchy, the government has shattered their élan and esprit de corps.
File photo of naval personnel. Credit: Reuters
Nothing exemplifies the periodic descent into the ‘theatre of the absurd’ of Indian politics better than the prolonged and inane debate that followed the army’s cross-Line of Control operations of September 20, melodramatically termed ‘surgical strikes’.
The nation was forced to witness, with embarrassment, the spectacle of all major political parties – ably assisted by the electronic media – jumping onto the stage to indulge in a puerile competition of one-upmanship on an issue of serious national security import. Having grudgingly approved of the government’s response to the Uri terror strike, the opposition, on second thoughts, coalesced in a raucous effort to deny BJP the credit for this operation by seeking ‘proof’.
Obviously, not many of our politicians are aware of the strong linkage that 19th century Prussian strategist Carl von Clausewitz had established between the statesman and military commander. Unequivocally categorising war as an “an instrument of policy” and a “branch of political activity”, he declared, “War does not have its own logic and purpose. The soldier must always be subordinate to the statesman; the conduct of war is the responsibility of the latter…”