ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Limits of Triumphalism

Demilitarising the mindset of civil society requires ensuring lasting peace at the border.


The military action carried out by the Indian Air Force (IAF) in retaliation to the terrorist attack by Jaish-e-Mohammed in Pulwama has led to two obvious responses. First, many, including the national leaders from the opposition, congratulated the Indian armed forces for their action. On the ruling front, as expected, Operation Balakot, as it has been officially named, has immediately generated a sense of triumphalism among the members of the government and its supporters. The spokespersons representing the ruling party also lost no time in claiming that the military action in Pakistan was the fulfilment of the “public demand” for the Indian military’s retaliation to the terrorist attack in Pulwama. Second, action by the IAF in Pakistan has also been seen by many as a resolute indication of a unity of minds, of both the government mind and the public mind sharing the same desire to teach the attacker a lesson in order to avenge humiliation. This unity was evident in the public expression coming from the Indian Prime Minister: “Whatever is there in your mind is also in my mind.” This makes it necessary to determine the combative quality of the public mind and what its consequences are for the prospect of peace and harmony, both in society and between nations.

There are a couple of questions that one has to raise at this point in time. First, what is the guarantee that the public mind with a combative quality would work only outwardly, against external threats, and not inwardly, against its fellow members of civil society? Second, is it not the democratic function of the government in power in the embattled countries to demobilise its citizens who are in a combative mood?

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Updated On : 26th Feb, 2021
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