The controversy that erupted when a 20-year old student of Delhi University, Gurmehar Kaur held a placard that said, “Pakistan did not kill my dad, war killed him” is slowly settling down. But in the din of all that was said, it was the voice of sanity that was drowned out. As a free citizen of this country, she had every right to express her opinion and the actions of those who resorted to issuing her threats for the exercise of this right need to be condemned.
But the issue here is not what a student who is still forming her world views had to say. She was well within her rights when she said it was war that killed her father. It can in no way be disregarded that her father made the supreme sacrifice to safeguard this nation and the loss that she has suffered as a daughter is immense. The least that the country can do for her is to respect her opinions by lending a patient hearing. The real wrongdoers in this case are the left liberal thinkers and intellectuals who chose to reduce the issue to a fight for freedom of expression and absolved Pakistan of the responsibility of all proxy wars being mounted on India.
The argument that war is a result of policies taken by those in power is very well true. But what is conveniently ignored by the section of media that has been fervently arguing for the cause is that the Kargil war was an attack on India’s sovereignty. To give an alternative interpretation despite the power of hindsight will enable those sitting in Pakistan to wage more such wars against India. The step will also make India share the burden of a war that was imposed on the country.
The four wars that Pakistan waged against India and the multiple terror strikes that terrorists from Pakistan committed on the Indian soil are a proof that Pakistan does not understand the language of amity. In such a scenario, signs of rupture within India’s intelligentsia will act as an encouragement to Pakistan to further infiltrate the country’s borders and export terrorism. Every voice that questions why the onus is put on Pakistan for the war will serve as an invitation for the perpetration of more violence on Indian citizens.
Such words will also encourage Pakistan to raise the Kashmir issue in international fora knowing well enough that the opposition to the Indian government will come not from any third party from the country’s citizens. It is a dangerous picture that the left liberals are painting to the outside world in the name of freedom of expression. Any activism should take into account the fact that between 1998 and 2017, 14,743 civilians have been killed and 6,276 security personnel were martyred in multiple terror attacks.
In a scathing attack exposing the hypocrisy of SLOBs (Secular Left Outrage Brigade), R.Jagannathan titled his article in Swarajya, “Gurmehar Kaur and the battles that the Right must learn to avoid”. In it he has brilliantly argued how the national narrative is often veered in the direction that the Left wants to present their side of the story eclipsing all other possibilities. The “truth” that is presented to the nation is nothing but a biased account of events leaving no room for independent thought. Perhaps it is time to turn the title on its head and shout out to the left thinkers that there are certain battles that they need to avoid. Among them is the one that questions India’s territorial integrity and sovereign principles.