To pressurise PM Modi and the Army from our drawing rooms and Television studios, without knowing what is happening at LAC at 15,000-feet, is a naïve and irresponsible act

Congress is peeved and desperate to get even with PM Modi after BJP leader and advocate Subramanian Swamy filed a complaint before a trial court in 2012 alleging that some Congress leaders were involved in cheating and breach of trust in the acquisition of Associated Journals Ltd by Young Indian Ltd (YIL). He alleged that YIL had 'taken over' the assets of the National Herald in a 'malicious' way.

Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandes, journalist Suman Dubey and technocrat Sam Pitroda (a close buddy of Rajiv Gandhi) have been named in Swamy’s National Herald case. Sonia and Rahul are currently out on bail.

A point to note in the aforementioned allegedly accused list is Suman Dubey, who is reported to be the brother-in-law of a noted defence journalist an ex-army colonel who writes scathing pieces against the present govt for Business Standard newspaper. Amusingly, he chooses obscure arguments and at times illustrates illusionary lacunas in defence procurement and defence preparedness of the armed forces to attack the govt and the military. Though not lacking in exemplary analytical competence he however prefers to daub in pure political chicanery to demean the current regime.

In a unseemly spectacle, a spat between a prominent journalist of Republic TV and references to this journalist took a ugly turn on a micro-blogging platform. This bickering involved 2 other army veterans and a seasoned journalist. The jeremiad by the Republic TV journalist was in response to the defence journalist being brutally critical of the PM Narendra Modi government's handling of the standoff in Ladakh.

It hurts the mind to read articles and debates flinging nefarious and unchecked criticism on the govt and the military at such a sensitive juncture. Unlike the communist and dictatorial China, which stringently controls information, we have a large number of people in India with misinformation and incomplete information willingly playing into the gleeful hands of the Chinese.

Age-Old Conjecture: Intelligence Failure

It is a well known fact that the government (aided by the RAW & IB and monitored by the CCS) and the military have access to vast up-to-date data, tracked by thousands of bureaucrats and the military intelligence experts to provide relevant data to the govt and the military to take direct action when warranted. Not a single bit of data of operational significance is shared outside this closed loop, so it is bizarre to see so many armchair experts spring up to gorge the govt during times of national crisis.

Accomplished Force

India is led by brilliant men and women who are professionals supported by vast array of astonishing technology and other supplementary tools. Our combatants have proved worthy time and again, even during surprise (the Kargil War) and took appropriate fall-back action to win the war. A resounding victory which gave the enemy a real bad bloody nose. The Doklam crisis was won with equal measures of diplomatic dexterity and affirmative military action which took the Chinese military establishment unawares. Why then doubt now? Our superior military, aided by a capable govt can overcome the crisis with relative ease.

To pressurise the military at this juncture for political bread crumbs is irresponsible and anti-national in its approach. Political brownie points can be won later when the mission is accomplished, there could be myriad of opportunities for the Congress to even the score.

The Philosophy: The Great Disruption

After decades of neglect of defence preparedness and national security, PM Modi has emphasized the urgency to modernize the armed forces. Though it is an arduous task to unshackle the incompetence and policy paralysis that prevailed during UPA I & II periods, the present govt has steadfastly concentrated on measures to beef up our national security. A decade wasn't sufficient for UPA to decided to procure modern fighter jets for the Indian Air force.

Here are the reasons why the opposition has got PM Modi all wrong:

The word status quo held a prominent place in the previous regimes lexicon, you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours was the approach. The Congress stemmed from this determination to change the status quo which was holding the country back, to appease a section of the electorate.

➤ Pakistan's nefarious religious based revenge against India by promoting terrorism and insurgency in J&K has not gone unanswered. First it was the text-book surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the border, followed by incisive and devastating airstrikes against terrorist camps by the IAF. Pakistan has started to bleed and is now paying a heavy price for all its inhuman actions. It is obvious after several decades the Pakistani military establishment is rattled. Even more disconcerting for them is the fact that many ministers in the PM Modi's cabinet have made clarion calls to occupy the so-called PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan regions which rightfully belongs to India.

➤ The revocation of Triple Talaq, Article 370, Article 35A and the introduction of CAA was the imperious nail in the coffin for the Congress. This action caught the opposition with its pants down. The Congress and the communists, especially, among the political parties and the other fringe leftist elements comprising of activists, lawyers and journalists were the most vociferous to oppose the move. There was a time when the prognoses of a few would set the direction of decisions. Their views on any matter would be treated as the final word. But thanks to technology and the democratisation of discourse, opinions of all sections of society have begun to matter and the general public is now getting its views heard in defiance of the well-settled wisdom. This erosion of monopoly, the elite had enjoyed in shaping public opinion has simply vanished into thin air.

➤ The PM believed in replacing a belief in convenience with conviction in governance. The critics thought is that inaction is the most convenient action, conviction to do the right things, and break the status quo... in every sector, is the doctrine which is being followed in getting out of convenience and inaction. Pakistan learnt its lesson and then the Chinese.

➤ The government’s foreign policy had moved past earlier formulations of the Cold War and non-alignment to strike friendships while remaining neutral. There was a period when there was an attempt to stay clear by maintaining distance. Today, India tries to move together by forging friendships, to portend this outlook the government believed in working with Saudi Arabia as well as Iran and with the US and Russia, not to forget China as well. India could have followed the practice of the previous regimes — to make policies based on the recommendations of only a select few. Instead, India created a new path and moved with a new approach, responding to peoples’ aspirations.

➤ Among the great disruptive actions taken by the PM was the demonetisation process of the Indian economy announced in Nov 2016. Scores of crooks and the corrupt lost money in tens and thousands of crores, their ill-gotten wealth vaporised in milliseconds. Corruption and cronyism is being dealt with firmly. Whether it is in banking, FDI or allocation of natural resources, the govt is removing crony capitalism as the government is focusing on simplification and rationalisation of rules and processes, and driving in transparency. The crooks and the corrupt have no room to play their dirty tricks of the past, hence they vehemently attack the PM at any given opportunity. Poor have sound sleep, corrupt are shaken and upset, said PM Modi soon after demonetisation.

➤ China's adventurism with India is bizarre or rather curious, both countries have a stupendous economic relationship, the two deal in billions of dollars in trade and commerce. That's why the Doklam and now the Galwan Valley and Pangong Tso stand-off is peculiar. China has moved two brigade strength of People’s Liberation Army, over 6000 soldiers and support elements, at four locations in eastern Ladakh, three in the Galwan Valley and one near Pangong Lake. In response, India had also moved an equal number of high-altitude warfare troops to these areas closer to the Line of Actual Control. India is playing catch up with China that has built an extensive border infrastructure and laid metalled roads to connect all military outposts to their base camps. But there have been ongoing efforts by the Chinese army, now and then, to stall projects at Pangong Tso, Galwan and Depsang Plains. Another dispute started over a 60-metre long bridge being built by India in the Depsang Plains across the Galwan rivulet. This point is close to the confluence of the rivulet to the Shyok River. This bridge, once complete, would give soldiers easy access to Daulat Beg Oldie, the last military post south of the Karakoram Pass. This has obviously upset the Chinese applecart as the Modi govt is leaving no stone upturned to defend the long Indo-China border in an emphatic manner.

One Foot In The Grave Syndrome

There is a great adage which says "A lesson learned is a lesson earned", 2014 win for the BJPi was a transformation, 2019 win however was a lesson for the Congress. The lesson was emphatic, the Congress went on an attacking spree over Pathankot, Pulwama & Surgical Strikes against the govt, little realising that the people didn't take it well. The electorate meted out a humiliating defeat for the party. But the party has not learnt its lessons well, they seems to be doing it all over again in the same exact manner, the lesson of 2019 not well learned and thus not well earned. Congress is trying to "divide the nation" and "demoralise" the armed forces during crucial situations. This policy of the party is ill-conceived and baffling, why would a seasoned party deliberately put one foot in the grave and commit political hara-kiri.

Hari is a software engineer who tracks military and aerospace issues closely