Facilitators Of Next 26\11
The controversy that was contrived was motivated by political reasons, the basic objective of which was to denounce the claims of the government that a 26/11 type attack on India was aborted 365 kilometres off Porbandar. It did not matter to these anti-nationals that in the process, they were raising questions over India’s maritime security and the Indian Coast Guard
Amongst some others, a politician and a filmmaker’s son facilitated 26\11 for political and personal reasons. Then there were people holding high offices as well as a section of the media who ensured the exit of an army chief and naval chief at the behest of the arms lobby so that India’s security could be manipulated. And to top it all, there was an army chief who in deference to his benefactors, presided over the dissolution of Technical Support Group (TSG) and deliberately destroyed Indian Army’s counter-terror capability. Recently, the same forces reared their head once again . They created a controversy on a security issue, possibly 26\11 only to absolve their benefactor i.e. Pakistan.
On February 18, 2015, an Indian newspaper attributed to a DIG of Coast Guard BK Loshali that a Pakistani vessel carrying terrorists/ smugglers and headed for Indian shores was blown off on his orders on Dec 31, 2014. The said officer had made these remarks during the launch of Coast Guard interceptor boat ICGS C-421, designed and built by L&T, Surat, in capacity as a Chief Guest.
Later the newspaper released a video of the ceremony, which was aired on most television channels. In the video, the Officer could be seen taking a nationalistic posturing. He made a reference that the destruction orders of the hostile boat were justified as he did not want Pakistani terrorists to be served ‘Biryani’.
Is there anything illegal or anti-national about this statement? Is there any hint of immorality? Is there a scope of controversy? Well, the concerned newspaper flaunted its report on the claims of the Officer as an earth-shaking scoop and carried it as the top story. Most TV channels were seen to be desperate in staging animated debate on the issue. In any other self-respecting country, this debate would have been treated as anti-national.
So what was the controversy about?
The controversy that was contrived was motivated by political reasons, the basic objective of which was to denounce the claims of the government that a 26/11 type attack on India was aborted 365 kilometres off Porbandar. It did not matter to these anti-nationals that in the process, they were raising questions over India’s maritime security and the Indian Coast Guard.
They first ridiculed the entire intelligence inputs regarding the boat being hostile. Then they disputed the claim that the boat laden with explosives was set on fire by the terrorists.
These anti-nationals could be seen desperate to let off Pakistan. The same types of desperation was seen when they tried to label 26/11 as a conspiracy of so-called ‘Hindu Terrorists’. These anti-nationals dared the Defence Minister to furnish proof of the incident. These same anti-nationals never once demanded Obama to provide proofs of Osama bin Laden being killed by heliborne operation on Pakistani soil, after penetrating the Pakistani air space. Why were then these elements so desperate to give clean chit to Pakistan vis-à-vis India? What are their motivations? All reports, including those in the said newspaper, categorically stated that the Pakistani boat was being monitored for a period of more than 12 days. This monitoring was based on intercepts of communications. Once an intercept is made, the location of the source can easily be identified. The source happened to be located in Pakistan’s defence establishment in Karachi. Once the Pakistani boat entered the Indian waters, it was intercepted by a Coast Guard ship and its aircraft. These are the details that was made public by the Defence Ministry, after much haranguing by the pro-Pakistan elements.
In any mature democracy and non-subverted political establishment, this kind of clarification would have been construed as most revealing and therefore unwarranted. On the contrary, a segment of the subverted political class and the media clamoured for more. They demanded that the video of the Coast Guard engagement with the hostile boat be released. This anti-national trend of the media needs to be nipped in the bud.
It must be realised that every military engagement, battle or war has more than one version. It depends as to who has observed the events and from what vantage. It is true for 1962-War, 1965-War, 1971-War, Kargil, 9/11 and even 26/11. What really matters is victory or whether the perpetrator has been taken to task or not. These are not police actions.
So to question, whether the Pakistani boat was destroyed by the Coast Guard guns or by fire, amounts to sedition. It is seditious because it fundamentally assumes the Indian security agencies to be the culprit and gives the benefit of doubt to the enemy.
The term ‘interception’ implies that the target has been brought into the destruction range of the interceptor. It involves incremental escalatory warning, i.e. the target is first compelled to submit by aggressive maneuvers, failing which warning shots are fired and this can take more than one form. In the instant case, a Coast Guard ship and an aircraft had intercepted the hostile boat and thereafter what sought of engagement ensued is left best to the sagacity of the Commander on the spot.
Never before, have such professional decisions and actions of the security forces vis-à-vis external enemies been questioned by the media.
The fact of the matter is that a Pakistani boat with hostile on nefarious intentions was tracked, intercepted and destroyed by our maritime security apparatus. This should have been a matter of relief to the country and should have generated pride and sense of achievement in the security forces. Instead, the anti-national elements portrayed it as some kind of a crime.
The role of the media in a democracy cannot be undermined. It should have all the freedom to report events and occurrences, but the way it manipulates ‘news’ is a giveaway of its intentions. The said newspaper’s intention was certainly not patriotic. Some self-congratulatory remarks by a middle-level officer on a ‘successful’ operation having maritime security ramifications with regard to ‘terror by sea’ is not a stuff of ‘headlines’. The tenor of the newspaper was such as if it has nailed a ‘humongous lie’ by the government and the security forces. Remember, this was at a time when the International Air Show in Bengaluru was being inaugurated by the Prime Minister and the entire world strategic focus was centered on India. It was a period when the international armament industry was on overdrive. Was this leak by the newspaper at the behest of the arms lobby? This is the same newspaper, which was discredited for a false ‘coup story’. Why did the rest of the media therefore buy this story of a discredited newspaper?
It was rather painful to see defence experts painstakingly trying to prove either the boat was destroyed by guns or self-destroyed by fire. Some of them based their arguments on ‘time and space’ factors. Some of them even questioned the ‘intelligence inputs’. The position that these experts took was aligned with their political leanings. But the most notorious amongst them were the ‘Track-II’ types, who are very popular in Pakistan. The said newspaper and a particular TV channel known for their proximity to Pakistan did everything to paint India the villain. They gave the much needed reprieve and handle to the Pakistani establishment.
All through the media indulged in inanities. How did it matter whether the boat was destroyed by the Coast Guard or burnt by the terrorists? What was wrong if the Officer in self-congratulatory posturing said that he had given orders for the boat to be destroyed? Whether he exceeded his brief in taking credit for the Operation is to be dealt by the Coast Guard, where do the media figure in? Does the destruction of an enemy boat constitute a crime?
Now that the video of the burning boat has been released, the media and the anti-national politicians are eating crow. This segment of media and politicians are not going to disappear. Some of them could be facilitators of next 26/11. The onus is now on the people to ensure that such characters don’t have the gumption to raise their heads when security forces engage with the enemy next time.
By RSN Singh