University Grants Commission’s (UGC) directives to all the universities and colleges thereunder, through a circular of September 19, 2018 for celebrations of second anniversary of the surgical strikes in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir by the armed forces of India on September 29, 2016, by parades of NCC, lectures by ex-service men and others and their videos to be sent to UGC to monitor its compliance has come in for criticism by the people and political parties as a ploy by the BJP led Union Government to politicize armed forces of the country at a time when General Elections to the Lok Sabha (House of the People) are to be held in April-May 2019, to whip up public sentiments to enlist their support to the Sangh Pariwar through its hyper nationalism.
Last year on September 29, 2017, the first anniversary of the surgical strikes was not celebrated. It’s fantastic that UGC rather concentrate on quality of university education in about 900 colleges than swerve from its chosen goal and professed policy to ensure standards of excellence in the higher education institutes. No wonder, large number of Indian students are going abroad to pursue higher education, so much for drift of UGC. Their number is ever increasing yearly during the last over one decade.
As announced by the Union Government, 150 para commandos and 35 militants were killed in 90 minutes long surgical strikes in the last weeks of September 2016. Surgical strikes have been done before by the previous Union Governments but never publicized much less taken credit for that by the Governments, except unprecedently by the present one. This is viewed as a fascistic streak of the Sanghi Government to garner public support for itself for political gain. Surgical strikes had evoked wide scale public criticism as there were conflicting reports and confusion about it, especially when the NDA Union Government took credit for that through wider publicity. In the hyper nationalistic streak of the Sangh Pariwar and its NDA Union Government, one who differs with them is anti-national, not even patriot. Nationalism is militant form of patriotism akin to Nazism, whereas every citizen of the country is patriot.
Responding to public criticism that the NDA Union Government is out to politicize the armed forces of the country, Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Prakash Jawadekar, under whose administrative and budgetary control UGC comes, said the second anniversary of surgical strikes is intended to sensitise young minds to the importance of onerous role played by the armed forces of the union in the defence and sovereignty of India. He also said that it was not binding on the colleges or institutions of higher education.
According to Encyclopedia Britannica, a surgical strike is a military attack, which results in, was intended to result in, or is claimed to have resulted in only damage to the intended legitimate military target and no or minimum collateral damage to surrounding structures, vehicles, buildings, or the general public infrastructure or utilities.
It may be noted here that every Indian citizen is inherently as well as instinctively patriotic as people learn their love for the motherland right from the school days through annual celebrations of the Independence Day and Republic Day, and school curricula. The way Sangh Pariwar would have the people believe, BJP’s hyper nationalism is dictatorial and oppressive of the people’s fundamental right to freedom of expression and fundamental right to life and personal liberty. It also militates against the rule of law based democratic governance as also the professed policy of autonomy of the educational institutions as a hindrance to the evolving critical thinking of the students, researchers and academics!