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Dear Mr Parrikar, take all the credit you want but spare us your inanities

Charu Kartikeya | Updated on: 18 October 2016, 17:17 IST

What will it take to stop our indefatigable defence minister? There has been no dearth of occasions when Manohar Parrikar had been caught with his foot in his mouth, but the purported 'surgical strikes' have sent him into a tizzy.

The minister had said at a private event in Ahmedabad on 17 October that given his Goan-background and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's roots in 'the land of Mahatma Gandhi', it was strange that they successfully accomplished the surgical strikes. The only explanation could be, he tried to convey, was that teachings of the RSS would have made them achieve this.

Not only was his attempt to give RSS the credit for the strikes delusional, his entire statement was so nonsensical that it threatens to embarrass the country as a responsible nation.

Also read - Did Indira or Maneckshaw go to a Shakha? - Congress asks Manohar Parrikar

The statement is clumsy on so many fronts simultaneously.

The first is an attempt to further deepen the 'surgical strikes' narrative that the government and sections of the media have been trying to propagate without answering several questions on the claim that have been raised from various quarters.

Second, even if the strikes were conducted, does it behoove senior members of the country's political leadership to go to the town beating their chest about a strategic military operation?

It is wrong enough for a defence minister to brazenly claim credit for an act of the defence forces

Third, Parrikar took this bragging to the next level. It is wrong enough for a defence minister to brazenly claim credit for an act of the defence forces. Passing on the credit to a private organisation is just not just bizarre, but an inconceivable oddity.

Talking of bizarre, what on earth has either 'the land of Mahatma' or the land of feni got to do with it? Does Parrikar imagine that only people from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar or Maharashtra are capable of ordering tactical military operations, since that where the political leaders who led the country to victory in the 1965 and 1971 wars were from? The inane statement of the gaffe-prone defence minister was deservedly roasted on social media.

Parrikar had indicated quite early on that he was going to lead this brazen campaign of claiming credit for the 'surgical strikes'. He had happily presided over a function in Uttar Pradesh where local BJP functionaries had felicitated him for the operation. That was when the BJP's official line was still that no party leader should speak on the operation.

BJP's official line was that no leader should speak on the operation, but that no longer holds true

That line has changed now and everybody, from the party chief to the prime minister, is mentioning it in speeches.

It is also clear that they are not going to try to quell the doubts by releasing any evidence of the said strikes. In the same speech in Ahmedabad, Parrikar cited the example of his grandmother who never believed that the US had successfully sent a man to the moon, till her last breath, even after she was shown photographs of the event.

Since the objective of all this bragging is to win votes in poll-bound states, we will leave it to the grandmothers of Uttar Pradesh to believe or not the story that the BJP is trying to sell. But our sincere request to the defence minister till then is take all the credit you want, just spare us your inanities so that the country is not embarrassed in the international community.

Edited by Aleesha Matharu

More in Catch - Surgical strikes: Ignore Pak claims, but Indians deserve to know the truth

The reckoning: the Modi regime is floundering, and even the RSS chief seems to agree

First published: 18 October 2016, 17:17 IST
 
Charu Kartikeya @CharuKeya

Assistant Editor at Catch, Charu enjoys covering politics and uncovering politicians. Of nine years in journalism, he spent six happily covering Parliament and parliamentarians at Lok Sabha TV and the other three as news anchor at Doordarshan News. A Royal Enfield enthusiast, he dreams of having enough time to roar away towards Ladakh, but for the moment the only miles he's covering are the 20-km stretch between home and work.

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