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Pulwama Terrorist Attack: 7 Voices That Call For Responsible Action Instead of Adding to The Warmongering

The loudest voices have called for war, bloodshed and violence. Thankfully, they’re not the ones speaking.

The terrorist attack in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir that killed over 40 CRPF jawans on February 14 has evoked myriad reactions on social and news media. The loudest voices — some overzealous and some just playing to the gallery — of course, have called for retribution, war, bloodshed and violence instead of what can qualify as proportional, reasonable and responsible.

Thankfully, not everyone seems to share this philosophy. There are those, who even in these troubled times have not failed to let reason slip away from their grasps. More thankfully so, some of these ideas come from people with social and political capital.

Lieutenant General (Retired) Syed Ata Hasnain

“Aware there is great anger among all of us Indians and justifiably so, but that’s exactly what our adversary wants. Decisions taken in anger always blow back. My job — absorb your anger and offer sane options. I would be failing my 40 years of experience dealing with this if I do not.”

Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh

“Today is the day of mourning. Our country has lost close to 40 jawans of the armed forces. Our foremost duty is to convey to the families that we are with them… We will do all that is necessary to keep this nation united.”

Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury

“The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) conveys its heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families of the personnel who laid down their lives in the line of duty. We call upon the Central government to ensure that peace and normalcy prevails in the state.”

Former Officer in the Indian Armed Forces and now columnist Raghu Raman

Citing an old column titled, “Seven powerful ways India can attack Pakistan – without crossing the border,”  he had authored for Scroll, Raman wrote, “It’s your war. It’s your children who will face the consequences of a weak army, grandstanding leaders, tactical and short term plans. If you don’t play an active, participative role in that, there is no point in blaming Pakistan.”

Professor of Disarmament Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University Amitabh Mattoo

“The PM should convene an all-party meeting immediately. No time, no space for divisive partisanship. We need a national consensus now,” wrote Mattoo, adding, “Always have stood up against violence… And stood up for dialogue in the past too.”

National President of Swaraj India Party Yogendra Yadav

Yadav proposed a for a national consensus on “The government to take the Opposition into confidence, share its strategy; The Opposition and the media not to criticise or pressurise the government on this issue; the success/challenge in any counter-action not to be made election issue by any party.”

Yadav added that “I am not saying ‘don’t ever criticise Govt on national security’. I am for an open, debate. I propose a short-term insulation given the proximity of elections and the real danger that a political slugfest could force the govt into suboptimal knee jerk action and derail elections.”

Retd. Col. Sanjay Pandey

The veteran was quick to school that the correct way to “avenge” was by “accepting that flaw is in organisation, Govt, policies, understanding and implementation”. It is changing such flaws, he says, that ensures minimum casualties.

In an episode of The West Wing, the critically acclaimed US television drama, the fictional president of America Josiah Bartlet comes face to face with a quandary. When a terrorist attack results in the death of an acquaintance, he struggles with “the virtue of the proportional response”.  The story deals with understanding the tenet, “with great power, comes great responsibility.”

Also read: Hours After Pulwama Attack, Amit Shah Attacked Opposition at BJP Rally, Piyush Goyal Got Busy With Party’s Alliance Talks

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