No BJP, There Were Surgical Strikes Before 2014; Just Ask Hanuman
Bajrangbali's visit to Sita in Lanka is no different from a modern-day cross-border operation.
The “surgical strikes“, of late have got into this habit of “surgically striking” the public consciousness of Indians at regular intervals. The fact that everything in India is happening for the first time after the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party government came to power was reinforced once again when India carried out surgical strikes in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir for the “first time” in the history of India.
I was incensed at the ignorance of our domestic help when I overheard her asking my wife “Why were doctors not sent instead of Army for operation at Pakistan? Are there no Doctors there?” — She was convinced only after my wife painstakingly explained the meaning of surgical strike to her.
It was obvious that the Indians had never heard of surgical strikes before 2016.
The Opposition too similarly did not know what these were and asked for proof to understand them. This blasphemy of questioning the Indian Army was roundly criticised, and the Opposition was shamed while the government was naturally euphoric about such a marvellous feat.
Having taken two years to understand the implications of surgical strikes, the Opposition thought it fit to reveal during the election season that several such attacks were carried out when they ruled the country. Several retired Generals have supported these claims.
After the above claims by Opposition, the Prime Minister insinuated that the Opposition, perhaps, had carried the strikes out on video games. A firm believer in the dictum that the king is always right, I contacted a retired soldier friend for more details. He, on conditions of anonymity, informed me that it was a fact that video games were banned, but he could not find out the reasons.
Not being able to bear the PM of the country being contradicted, and intrigued by what the friend told me, I decided to carry out independent research on in the matter to get to the bottom of it.
Frustratingly, my research led me nowhere till the time I heard the honourable Prime Minister describing the Balakot air strikes in his inimitable style. He said that Pakistanis had prepared for a ground strike — even moving their tanks to our western borders — but we, like Bajarangbali, “upar se chale gaye” (Like Hanuman we went from above). This made my task easy, and I did not have to look beyond the Ramayana to discover that India has been a pioneer in introducing the concept of the surgical strike to the world.
I gave deep thought to various episodes documented in the Ramayana and found that a couple of incidents merited to be shortlisted to be categorised as surgical strikes.
I was initially inclined to include the abduction of Sita by Ravana amongst the examples but then decided against it because Ravana was a demon who could change his appearance to deceive the unsuspecting target. Moreover, Ravana targeted a lady for personal ambition and lust not for the good of the nation. While that may have been acceptable behaviour for a demon, it wasn’t for a soldier.
What the Hon’ble Prime Minister said about Bajrangbali kept haunting me and a more in-depth study of the episode of Hanuman going to Lanka with a message from Ram, followed by hours of discussions with friends, left no doubt in my mind that the great Hanuman was the first person in the history of world to have carried out a surgical strike.
Analysing the actions of Hanuman in the context of modern-day military terminology, we find that he single-handedly collected all the intelligence about where Sita was detained and how to reach there. He planned for the operation maintaining total secrecy even while he arranged for logistical requirements of a complicated operation at a place located deep inside enemy territory. He carried out the assigned task of contacting Sita and delivering her the message from Ram, undetected. However, he failed to return undetected but managed to burn entire Lanka when the enemy tried to capture him.
If we put things in perspective, we find that the inability to finish has been our weakness. Abhimanyu too failed in breaking the last stage of “Chakravyuh”. Similar things happened with Balakot when the enemy was ignoring the warnings of all TV studio Generals, especially the one of “India wants to know tonight” fame and the moustached retired General deviously carried out its own airstrikes.
Spurred by my success in finding out the origin of “surgical strikes”, I now am planning on enrolling for a PhD in the subject.
Sanjiv Krishan Sood is a Retired Additional Director General of Border Security Force. Having put in over 38 years of meritorious service he has served along all the borders of our country with Pakistan and Bangladesh including eight years on LC, and in the sensitive Samba Sector of J&K. A security analyst, his interests include Border Management, issues of topical interest, the role of security forces in Security Matrix of India, politics and humour. He tweets at @sood_2