Rahul Gandhi | PTI
File image of Rahul Gandhi | PTI
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Narendra Modi’s political opponents are showing ‘Uri syndrome’ as he prepares to give a ‘muh tod jawab’ or face-smashing response to Pulwama terror attack perpetrators.

This syndrome is marked by a leader’s or a party’s inability to express true emotions as they end up saying what the adversary wants. They can’t take a clear stand one way or the other. And they find themselves in a quagmire wherein the more they struggle, the deeper they sink.

Look at the Congress party’s response post-Pulwama attack. In her condolence message, Priyanka Gandhi took a not-so-veiled swipe at the NDA government: “We must also reflect and be concerned about the high number of casualties in Kashmir. We demand that this government take concrete steps to ensure such terror attacks don’t happen in the future”.

After the all-party meeting Saturday, Ghulam Nabi Azad reiterated Rahul Gandhi’s stand to extend full support to the government in dealing with terrorism. But Azad also chose to highlight that the casualties in Pulwama were the biggest since 1947 in a non-war situation. Read between the lines, and the opposition party is damning the Modi government’s record in dealing with terrorism.

Also read: Before Pakistan, India needs to give a clear message to the people of the Valley

Meanwhile, the irrepressible leader Digvijaya Singh was taking pot-shots at the NDA government, questioning the “intelligence failure” in Pulwama and seeking accountability from national security adviser Ajit Doval.

This hug-and-wink politics is typical of the Congress in Modi’s times. It had taken a similar line after the terror attack on the Uri army base in 2016. Accordingly, after the surgical strikes on the terror camps across the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, the Congress hailed the Army and at the same time raised doubts about the strikes. This turned out to be a politically suicidal tactic for the opposition party in subsequent assembly elections. It can’t be diffident about raising questions when it needs to and should, and become a doubting Thomas when it should clap.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi must be aware of the dilemma in the opposition camp and you can’t fault him for relishing it. A day after the Pulwama attack, he cautioned against “rajnitik chhintakashi” or political blame game as the world should see India unitedly fighting against terror.

The opposition parties were too anxious or cagey to ask who started it. His deputy in the Prime Minister’s Office, Jitendra Singh, was first off the blocks. Shortly after the Pulwama attack, the ANI quoted him as questioning those “who while living in India and describing themselves as mainstream Kashmir politicians tend to be apologetic about these terror activities sponsored from across Indian soil”.

Also read: India has been squeezing Pakistan economically even before Pulwama

Politicians across ideological spectrum condoled with the families of the martyred jawans. Did you see the country’s home minister taking TV cameras inside the hospital room when he met injured CRPF jawans? While mortal remains of the jawans were still in Kashmir, the Uttar Pradesh government was publicising the list of ministers who would be accompanying each of them on their last journey. And Akhilesh Yadav was posting his picture, sitting with a grieving family, on his Twitter handle. And Kailash Vijayvargiya, under instructions from party chief Amit Shah, was instructing party chief ministers and union ministers to be part of these funeral rites.

Nonetheless, the entire political class was united in its stand that there should be no politics over terrorism. Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar might have deviated from it Friday. The Indian Express quoted him as saying in Baramati, Pune, that when Modi was Gujarat chief minister, he used to go all over the country (where terror attacks took place) and say that then (UPA) government lacked capability and it was possible only for people like him, with 56-inch chest, to teach a lesson to the terrorists.

Pawar could be referring to Modi’s reaction post-26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. He had rushed to Mumbai even as security forces were battling it out with terrorists and announced Rs 1 crore as “samman rashi (felicitation amount)” to the families of the security personnel who were killed. Talking to TV reporters, then-Gujarat chief minister was unsparing in his criticism of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Whatever Modi government may or may not do to avenge the death of 40 CRPF jawans, the electoral debate in the coming weeks and months is set to be dominated by jingoistic speeches and war cries. Post-Pulwama attack, not even the principal opposition party has any doubt that Modi will give a ‘fitting response’ to Pakistan for its misadventure in Pulwama. The display of ‘Uri Syndrome’ on the part of the opposition parties now could seal their fate in the next Lok Sabha elections.

Also read: Pulwama attack proves JeM chief Masood Azhar’s 2014 public address wasn’t a ‘one-time event’


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6 Comments Share Your Views


  1. It is not ‘Uri Syndrome’ that is afflicting Indian politicians. More accurately we as a country are becoming a ‘Uri Nation’ as our politicians piss on every semblance of propriety or principle in their quest for votes and power.

  2. Nice article. Congress and its supporters can stoop to any level to gain political points because they know they can’t win elections.

  3. Raga’s first reaction on Pulwama was “We are with the Government. No discussion”. BUT, neither Surjewala ( Congress official spokesperson) who taunted Modi’s 56″ chest in mocking at the NDA government following the Pulwama attack, nor Navjot Singh Sidhu, who has been continuously blundering on with his insane comments on Pulwama and the NDA, nor Azad, have been pulled up for their insensitive and outrageous comments. This shows that Raga’s statement was perhaps a only a cover while others were allowed to fire their guns as usual at the Modi Government, using this cowardly and heinous mass killing as another excuse to do so. Amarindar Singh, while isolating himself from Sidhu, merely says that Sidhu acts as a Cricketer while HE acts as a Soldier. As a CM, in whose cabinet Sidhu is a member, even he could have been quite forceful and pulled up Sidhu, IF Congress REALLY wanted people to believe its stance on Pulwama. The overall impression one gets is only of the usual Congress HYPOCRISY.

  4. This is most stupidity of Indian news media and filthy politicians. Who the hell cares for what these scam beg politicians do. Indians and India need s to get rid of the internal terrorists. Those who directly and no so directly support , encourage and praise Pakistan and terrorism. In addition, All internal deshdrohi, who degrade the solders dignity and moral must be severely punished so it can set an examples for other goons. irrespective of who the hell they are.
    If news media start exposing all such deshdrohi, they will earn the publice respect. So stop playing politics on giving out selected and forced information to people like this article but start exposing all deshdrohi. Treatment to Siddhu is an excellent example the news media can follow.

  5. Sir you are confused. What do you expect the opposition to say. Well done Mr Modi for being a Nero when 40 jawans were massacred mercilessly due to gross negligence and intelligence failure of the state and central govts? Biryani kilana band Karo was the refrain of Modi. Parliament attack, Uri, pathankot and now pulwama happened during NDA regimes and the last one was one of the worst. Who is accountable?

  6. why is this hug and wink ? If you take out candle march abuse Kashmiris and praise Govt then its a consistent strategic policy but if you warn of the deteriorating Kashmir situation and complete failure of Govt to create deterrence for Pakistan then its H&W !


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