Brave New India: How the 2016 surgical strikes led to a universal shift in perception about the country

As India makes bold strides, let’s rewind and take a look at one of the most pivotal moments that changed how the world saw India, and how it announced the arrival of a brave new nation.

12/03/1993: Mumbai Bomb Blasts. 257 killed, 713 injured.

24/09/2002: Akshardham Attack. 30 killed, over 80 injured.

29/10/2005: Delhi Serial Blasts. 70 killed, over 250 injured.

7/11/2006: Mumbai Train Blasts. 209 killed, over 714 injured.

26/11/2008: Mumbai Attack. 174 killed, over 300 injured.

27/7/2015: Gurdaspur Attack.10 killed, 15 injured. (militant attack)

2/01/2016: Pathankot Air Force Station Attack. 7 soldiers killed. (militant attack)

India has been plagued with terrorist attacks by various militant factions throughout the last 50-60 years. The list above is not even a comprehensive list of the terrorist attacks that have rocked India in the past decades. Thousands of lives have been lost, many more incapacitated, and the mental scars of many families and individuals are yet to heal. The usual practice after such incidents was a condemnation of the attacks, and a dialogue with Pakistan, and a pledge to curb on terrorism, once and for all. All of this, but to no avail.

 And then came the fateful date: 18th September, 2016.

The day when 23 soldiers were killed and over 30, in the early hours of the morning… at Uri.

The issue wasn’t that the militants ambushed and flung around 17 grenades in 3 minutes, burning our soldiers alive; including cooks and barbers. The issue wasn’t that the documents recovered from the slain terrorist were in Pashtun language, linking them to Pakistan and the faction Jaish-E-Mohammed. The issue wasn’t that the original plans revealed through the documents were much worse, including suicide bombings once they finished these soldiers.

The issue was, India had kept mum for long enough. The issue was that India’s silence and plea for peace were being treated as India’s weakness. And India had had enough. It was time to retaliate.

And this time… it wasn’t just dialogues, and a call for peace. This time, India took charge. And it took a mere 11 days for India to answer back in full force. The answer was in the form of one of the most well planned and deftly executed surgical strikes in the history of the Indian Army.

28th September, 12:30 AM. It took a mere 4 hours. Valiant Indian commandoes were airdropped at LoC, and they infiltrated up to 3 kilometres within. On the way, 7 terrorist launch pads were destroyed using assault rifles and rocket launchers, along with killing 38 terrorists and 2 Pakistani soldiers; as they gathered and waited to infiltrate into India and commit acts of terrorism.

While it may seem lightning-fast, the precision required in carrying out a successful surgical strike is indescribable. Along with bravery, what is needed is tact. According to Lt General RR Nimbhorkar, the soldiers carried leopard urine with them to ward off sniffer dogs, in case they compromised the situation. And at the end of it, the commandoes finished the mission at 4:30 am, without a single casualty on India’s side.

The surgical strike marks an important milestone in the shift that India has seen, and followed since then. Be it avenging the deaths of fellow soldiers, or going ahead and occupying what is rightly ours; the new India has transformed into a nation that doesn’t shy back from giving a befitting answer to those who deserve it.

As we move towards our 73rd Independence Day, take a bow for the brave and the valiant, and take pride in the fact that India is a force that will only get better and stronger.

Also, don’t forget to relive the gallantry of the Indian Army, and tune into the Independence Day premiere of Uri: The Surgical Strike on 15th Aug, 3 PM only on &pictures.

Jai Hind!

This is a partnered post. 

Updated Date: Aug 09, 2019 11:27:34 IST