The surgical strikes conducted in 2016 will be commemorated and celebrated this year from September 28-30th at India Gate through a series of exhibitions and cultural programs attempted to revive and reinstall patriotism.
Kavya is a Writer and Theater Activist – based in Karnataka.
[dropcap]A[/dropcap]s the 2019 elections draw closer we see that the present government has announced the celebration of the anniversary of Surgical Strikes that were conducted last year. As the elections will approach, the government will carry on the celebrations of the second anniversary of the Surgical Strikes which was conducted by the Indian Army on terrorist launch pads in Kashmir in 2016. A three day long exhibition is being planned and the video of the surgical strike will be shown to the public to instil a sense of national pride.
The defence equipment used for the surgical strikes will also be on display and the audience will be explained the intensity and integrity of such a crisis in the life of the nation. While last year no public celebrations of the surgical strikes was held, this year the celebrations will be held for the first time.
The defence ministry is conducting the event along with the army, air force and navy. The event coordinators suggest that the message that the event will try to convey is that the Indian forces have the capacity to transcend boundaries and reach any corner of the world to conduct surgical strikes if they will. It is not unknown that the nation-state has gone to various forums to assert that the surgical strikes were an achievement of India’s heroism. The three day event will be held from September 28- 30th 2018.
The exhibition will be organised in the India Gate lawns and will be open for public to attend. The footage released by the Government of the surgical strikes will also be shown to the public. The surgical strikes were started on September 28 and lasted for two days – the attack was on four Pok terrorist based camps.
The PM is also expected to attend the event. The equipment used by the Indian forces and those seized from the side of the opponent will also be displayed. Singers like Kailash Kher and Mohit Chauhan are going to be performing for the event. The celebrations are taking place not only in India but in many locations across the nation. Footage and pictures from India’s wars with other nations and other Defence operations that saw India gaining success will also be on display. It is asserted that such a program will help revive and reinstall a sense of patriotism and national pride among the ordinary masses of the nation.
At a time when a state like Kerala has just started recovering from the flood incurred losses, when in the name of honour a young man and woman are ostracised and attacked in Telangana, at a time when after months of disillusionment and dismay three thousand farmers and ordinary workers march to the metro cities of Mumbai and Delhi, when five poor sanitation workers in the heart of the nation suffocate to death in the absence of safety gear and dignity of life, when university students in various parts of the country are staging protests against fees hikes and decadence of the government education system, when due to poor construction and corruption falling buildings and bridges have led to stampede and death of hundreds of ordinary men and women and at a time when poverty, unemployment, malnutrition and exclusive development alienate the ordinary people, should we as a nation celebrate an event of violence?
There remains to be accomplished a tremendous amount of work that we have to do in the remote corners of the country- build schools, hospitals and roads, we have to rehabilitate those displaced by exclusivist developmental agendas, we have to ensure that no family starves to death and each child irrespective of his economic status gets an education, before spending crores on bullet trains we have to make sure that ordinary trains on which the normal public is dependent runs on time, we have to ensure that local dispensaries have good doctors and medicine and that ordinary schools deliver good education.
Our struggles and battles, our initiatives and policies have to reach to the ordinary people of the nation and improve their lives and we certainly have a tremendous road to cover. The love that we have for the nation must translate in our work for its people and that alone can be an opportune moment of celebration.