An avoidable act

It is sheer brazenness that the government has arranged to have the University Grants Commission to issue a circular to the universities to commemorate the surgical strikes against Pakistan’s terrorist launching-pads located in Occupied Kashmir. Even if we were to fully trust the claim about the surgical strikes, forcing universities to celebrate them on their second anniversary is a democratic aberration. Such things are generally associated with autocracies and closed societies. It appears as if the ruling party is keen to exploit the dare-devilry of the armed forces for partisan ends.

Since the State and central elections are due in the next few months, the objective is to impress the impressionable young minds in favour of the ruling party. Democratic societies frown upon official cult-making. But the UGC seems to be under pressure to facilitate the ruling regime in constructing an aura of a strong leader around Modi. Defence forces being above the political fray, their contributions, good or bad, are owned by the entire country — and not by the ruling party alone. Celebrating surgical strikes was okay for the ruling party to make a case that its leader does not shy away from taking bold decisions, but getting the UGC into the act was highly avoidable.

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