The Indian army, on September 29, 2016, conducted 'surgical strike' on Pakistan, rattling the bordering country with one blow after the another. It was an answer to the cross-border terrorism undertaken by Pakistan, wherein many Indian civilians and security personnel were being killed by the terrorists.
Keeping the importance and relevance of the attacks in mind, the Indian government, along with the Indian army, decided to celebrate the second anniversary of 'surgical strike'. While on one side, many people in the country are rejoicing the two-year completion of the historic attack, there are some who have politicised the whole issue.
Speaking exclusively to Republic TV, Sudhakar Reddy of CPI downplayed the achievement of Indian army. He said,
"Why should we celebrate it? This is a routine affair according to the army retired officers. A number of times these type of surgical strikes have taken place. If surgical strike is to be celebrated, how about the Bangladesh liberation, where the India had a big struggle against Pakistan army and defeated it. That is also not being celebrated. This is all BJP's hype to show that they have done something special after they came to the government."
Earlier this month, the UGC had issued a circular, advising the colleges and universities in the country to celebrate the 'surgical strike day'. Claiming that it was done to honor the forces for their brave attack, HRD minister Prakash Javadekar said,
"This is not political. This is not Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) rally. This is purely ex-Army personnel going to various colleges and institutes and telling institutes how Defence forces defend the country. There is no politics, and it is only patriotism."
But the Congress chose to bring politics in this issue, stating the ruling government is trying to take the credit for the work done by the Indian army.
"I do not think since independence, we have seen UGC giving any kind of directive of this nature to universities. For UGC, to give a directive is destroying the very independence of the university system. The only motive of this directive is to reap political gains," Senior Congress leader and Member of Parliament (MP) Kapil Sibal said.
West Bengal's education minister Partha Chatterjee also hit out at the government, stating,
"This is BJP's agenda. And, BJP is trying to implement it before elections. They are using UGC for this. We have enough respect for the country and we also respect our armed forces. If they want to pay tribute to the martyrs, we have no objection. But, why celebrate Surgical Strike? It's important to pay tribute to the martyrs. But, this is simply BJP's agenda which is not right. Armed forces have always remained beyond politics. But now, they are trying to politicise armed forces also. This is not right and we will not follow this."