Balakot Didn’t Get Modi Govt The Praise It Got For Surgical Strike

After the Balakot air strike, many on Twitter raised questions regarding the number of terrorist casualties.  

Social Dangal
2 min read
Hindi Female

It’s been nearly two weeks after the Indian Air Force’s air strike in Balakot following the deadly Pulwama attack. After reports of the air strike surfaced on 26 February, many Twitter users lauded the IAF and the government for sending a strong message to Pakistan. Others, however, raised questions about the “pre-emptive” action. Did BJP politicise the attack? Why was Prime Minister Narendra Modi silent during Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s captivity in Pakistan? Why did the BJP speak in multiple voices about the number of terrorist casualties? – were some of the common questions.

On the contrary, in 2016, the surgical strikes in Pakistan had earned the Modi government a lot of praise. Tweeple had lauded the PM for responding to Pakistan after the terror attack in Uri, with #ModiPunishesPak and #56InchRocks trending on Twitter back then.

Although the Balakot air strike was branded as ‘Surgical Strike 2.0’ by many news channels, there has been a discernible difference in reactions to the two incidents. Take a look:

2016 Surgical Strike

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, too, had initially lent his support to the PM after the surgical strikes.

But he also pointed out how Pakistan had denied the strike, asking Centre to “counter” Islamabad’s claims. With many seeing this as Kejriwal asking for proof of the surgical strike, the Delhi CM was even trolled on Twitter with #KejriwalDoubtsIndianArmy.


In fact, many on Twitter opposed the need to see proof of the 2016 operation.

Balakot Air Strike

Immediately after the Balakot air strike, congratulations poured in for the Indian Army. The Narendra Modi-led government was also applauded for taking a strong stand against terrorism. #IndiaStrikesBack trended on Twitter although there were no hashtags specifically mentioning the prime minister.

But soon, the BJP was criticised by Twitterati for allegedly politicising the Pulwama attack and the Balakot air strike for electoral gains.

This time around, many eminent personalities and politicians also raised questions regarding the discrepancies in number of terrorist casualties given by different BJP leaders.

Kejriwal was among the politicians who hit out at BJP President Amit Shah for ‘lying’ on the number of casualties after the Indian Air Force declined to comment on the same.

Why was the number of casualties announced as 300 when there was no confirmation, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram asked.

Twitterati also said that the “government planted the figure of 300+ to mislead the nation, which ultimately has resulted into loss of credibility.”

Apart from this, the government was also pulled up for its silence when IAF pilot Abhinandan was captured by the Pakistani Army a day after the Balakot air strike.


Although it’s hard to pinpoint, it is evident that while India felt emboldened after the Indian Army’s anti-terror operation in 2016, the Balakot air strike was followed by a barrage of questions. The question is – will the February air strike favour the Modi government in the upcoming elections or not?

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Topics:  Twitter   Air strike   Surgical Strike 

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