As the country awaits anxiously for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech at the Dussehra rally in Lucknow, there a question on everybody’s mind: how would he approach the surgical strikes, an issue that has left the country’s political parties divided? Will he assuage ruffled feathers or will he make the divide deeper by taking a hard political stand? We will have to wait for that till the evening. If he is keen on cooling tempers, he can opt for this speech. Here we go:
Brothers and sisters,
Today is Dussehra. My best wishes to all of you. We have gathered here to celebrate the victory of the good over the evil. While the fate of evil calls for celebration, I cannot stop reminding myself that it is back here year after year with all its crooked heads intact despite its crushing defeat it is handed out. It revives itself, maybe one head and two arms at a time, while we are busy with our overlong rejoicing. Perhaps we get too carried away by victory or equate a minor retreat of the enemy with total defeat. Whatever it is, the fact is we lose the sense of balance and get distracted, allowing the enemy to recover.
That brings me to the topic of equanimity. Our ancient texts would say it is a state of mind that is attained after one frees oneself from all worldly attachments, physical and sentimental. It is a condition of equipoise where all notions of pain and pleasure become irrelevant. The person is neither ecstatic nor depressed over the success or failure of his actions; victory or defeat doesn’t drive him to extreme reactions. But the state of equanimity does not mean a state of inaction. The person has to do what he must, and do it well. As a country, we have to do what we must. But let’s not get overwhelmed by our own successes.
The surgical strikes against Pakistan-backed terrorists have left us is a state of excitement. But we must remember it is only a small episode in a big, continuous war. We have defeated Pakistan four times but it has shown the ability to revive itself, the way Ravana does with all his heads every year. One big blow does not mean the end of evil. We have to be alert, on our toes all the time. We don’t know where and how the enemy is going to strike next. So we must guard against getting distracted in celebrations and wild chest-thumping. A sense of equanimity is a must.
I notice with great concern that the country is getting divided over the military action. Some political parties have started demanding proof while others have been busy painting all those asking for proof as anti-national. This controversy is unwarranted. I make it clear here that the credit for the surgical strikes goes entirely to the defence forces. They have been hitting back at terrorists and Pakistan earlier too and they have done it again. They are doing their job on the border with utmost dedication and bravery. They belong to the country, not to the government and certainly not to any political party.
Our gloating over their action and our criticism of them only shows we are insensitive to them. We want to take unfair advantage of their sacrifice for the country. Let’s stop it. I promise no one from our side will get into politicising the action of defence forces. I expect the opposition to put the matter to rest.
In the battle between good and evil the good always wins. That is what we have been told all the time. But no one ever told us what the win cost the good. It is usually enormous. There’s no such thing as zero-loss war. So let’s get out of war-mongering and think with maturity. It is better you let the government think in its own way. I promise you, we won’t disappoint. We shall strike at the enemy in our own ways appropriately and with no mercy.
The evil has to be defeated. When it’s victory finally, it will be of the entire country, not of any government or of any political party. Wish you all well again.