Dear PM, Can We Launch a Myanmar-Like Operation to Avenge Uri?
An alumnus of Sainik School Imphal writes an open letter to the PM asking for swift action to avenge the Uri attack.
Dear Prime Minister Modi ji,
I am deeply pained – not by the attack on the Indian Army’s 12th brigade headquarters at Uri, Kashmir – but by the manner in which New Delhi responds to such attacks, making a mockery of India in the international community. What pains me is not the loss of lives of our soldiers, as soldiers never die and they never get killed, in fact they are immortal – what pains me is the silence, and indeed the prolonged muteness of New Delhi to respond to such an attack, which quite evidently has been carried out at the behest of our neighbour.
Swift Action Missing
I write here, not as a soldier but as an alumnus of Sainik School Imphal to express my displeasure in the absence of open, swift action from New Delhi to deal with the attack on the administrative block of the 12th Brigade HQs. There are five battalions under the 12th Brigade HQs at Uri, and one battalion was there to give security cover to the admin (administrative) block. This brigade extends to cover an area of almost 40 to 50 kilometres in diameter. The other four battalions are far away from each other, and therefore, they are also at a considerable distance from the admin block.
There is also information that an advanced party of the Indian Army, from West Bengal, had already arrived to the battalion in the admin block to take over from the already stationed battalion. So, as the two battalions changed over, normal duty was disturbed as formalities for one battalion to shift to another location takes a month or two. Probably taking advantage of such a situation, the attack resulted in massive casualties.
Launching a Myanmar-Like Operation
I don’t want to count the number of martyrs because I, like their family members who still consider them to be with their families, don’t want to number the death and those who have been injured in the attack. To me, the life of one soldier is equivalent to the life of our Prime Minister.
Mr Prime Minister, you may kindly recall the news of our Indian Army rushing immediately to Myanmar to hunt down those who attacked the Assam Rifles on Manipur’s border with the country recently. New Delhi responded bravely, proactively and swiftly in a precise surgical operational military strategy, backed by the full might of MI (Military Intelligence), even to the extent of entering Myanmar’s territory.
My simple question to you is, “Sir, what stops you from sending our same soldiers who were sent to Myanmar, to Pakistan? Why is New Delhi behaving differently with regard to Pakistan as compared to its action in Myanmar?”
The only difference between the two attacks is that in the case of Manipur’s Chandel district bordering with Myanmar, the attack was on the convoy, which was not in combat, but only moving to shift its battalion. Whereas the attack at Uri took advantage of the time period between the arrival of the advanced party from West Bengal and the final shifting of the already-stationed battalion in the admin block.
Blow to the Morale of a Soldier
The larger question is not about the alertness of our soldiers during the shift or in the process of shifting, but about the leakage of information on the timings and duration of the shifts. More than this, the most fundamental question is what happens to the morale of our soldiers.
In our Sainik School Imphal, the then Principal Col (Dr) SS Parmar, a Punjabi Sikh from Patiala, who retired as DDG (AEC) from the brigadier rank, motivated us through his line, “If you are a soldier, you must fight. Even if your hands are cut, fight with your legs; if your legs are cut, fight with your teeth; if your teeth are broken, fight with your remaining body; if your remaining body is lost, fight with your soul.” In our school morning assembly, he once said, “In war, it is not a gun that matters, it is the soldier behind the gun that matters, but what matters the most is the morale of the soldier behind the gun. The morale of every soldier must be above the sky.”
A Proactive Approach
I have nothing else to say to you, Sir. You, being the Prime Minister, know what you ought to do. You have the Defence Minister, NSA, and three chiefs of the Indian Armed Forces to explore precisely what needs to be done. You have a Foreign Minister and a Foreign secretary too to discuss the issue. But I just want to make one request to you, and that is: Please do something quickly, swiftly, and proactively, that can be seen by the whole world so that the morale of every soldier of our nation India is boosted.
(The writer is an author, poet and orator. This is a personal blog and the views expressed above are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for the same.)
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