Source: The Hitavada      Date: 29 Sep 2017 11:17:17

THE successful retaliatory strike by the Army to teach Naga rebels a right lesson, is a welcome development. It indicates that the Government is giving an increasing free hand to the Armed Forces to hit back hard to teach rebels, insurgents, separatists and terrorists a tough lesson. This policy, no matter undeclared, is what the nation has been been waiting for all along. Every Indian will welcome such hitting back in larger national interest. 

Insurgency has been a menacing issue in many States along the borders -- from Kashmir to Nagaland. It is obvious that all this insurgency has been fanned by anti-national interests purposefully to disturbing the Government all the time. All those vested interests operate from across the border and their main interest is to keep tugging at India’s territorial and emotional integrity. The main goal of all these vested interests is to demonstrate how the Government has lost control over things in far-flung areas. If this lop-sided input keeps hitting the common Indian people continuously for years, there could be an ugly possibility that they might lose faith in the Government.

That was why common Indians have often favoured a tough stance to be taken by the Government to direct the security forces to tackle insurgency and terror in a no-nonsense manner. As regards Kashmir, this demand has often found expression in public discourse in the country for the past seventy years. Unfortunately, the Government often felt constrained to take such an action for reasons that have never been explained to the common people of India.

The people have believed that the Indian Armed Forces have enough potential to finish off insurgency and terrorism in a clinical fashion. The common people did not mind dialogue between the Government and the insurgents, but also realised its serious limitations. The funny part is that what the common people understood quickly the Government did not, and insisted upon dialogue that was destined top prove ineffective.

On many occasions, the Government did refuse to get engaged in a dialogue in Kashmir or elsewhere. But that toughness of stance did not last for long the Government was back to its own approach of soft-peddling. That only made matters worse, which the Government did realise but did not have the courage -- perhaps -- to act upon.

Now, things seem to be changing for the better. The Government seems to have agreed upon the hitting-back formula which it allowed the Army to implement on several occasions in the past three years since the advent of Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi. The famous surgical strikes, a concerted night-long action by the Army deep into the Pakistani territory, a few other retaliatory strikes in Kashmir, a firm-hand dealing with Naga rebels hiding in Myanmar and eliminating a few of them, and now this current action along Myanmar border -- all these indicate a changing mood at the highest levels of the Government.

This should be considered a good development by any standard. It is necessary, however, that the Indian response to any provocation gets tougher by the day. It is time India started giving the toughest possible response to any overture by anti-national forces.

The dastardly incident of killing of a Border Security Force jawan on leave by militants is yet another provocation that needs a no-nonsense retaliation most urgently. And for that to keep happening, the Armed Forces need an absolute free hand in dealing with such situations. It is good that the Government is seeing sense in this argument. May this mood continue so that the country starts giving appropriate response to the enemy.