Riding high on the surgical strikes conducted by India’s Special Forces on terror pads in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir, India’s Prime Minster Narendra Modi’s twenty-minute Dussehra speech in Lucknow focused on terrorism, with a clear warning to Pakistan to stop the export of terror. “Terror is the new target and India will not spare those who shelter and help terrorists,” he said in an obvious reference to the Uri terror strike perpetrated by Pakistan’s terrorists.
He underlined that terrorist are the worst enemy of all humanity and exhorted the international community to unite and fight the menace. Without taking Pakistan’s name, he said: “Terrorism does not have any boundaries and is bound to destroy all. Therefore a need has arisen to root out those who spread terrorism.” This was an obvious reference to Pakistan considering the fact that Pakistan has been fuelling the ongoing unrest in Kashmir valley and has increased the frequency of terror attacks and cross-border infiltration.
In a departure from tradition, Mr Modi decided to skip the famous Ramlila ground celebrations in Delhi and attended the Dussehra celebrations in Lucknow. Political analysts see the choice of Lucknow by PM Modi as politically driven, especially in view of the elections in India’s largest state Uttar Pradesh next year.
“We set Ravana on fire every year. What is the root of this tradition? When we do this, we should be aware that in our own lives and in society too, we will get rid of the faults. We should introspect during Vijayadashami at the faults that we have done away with over the year. The prime minister was equating the scourge of terrorism with Ravana, who epitomizes evil in the Hindu mythology.
“If all of us keep our eyes open and pay close attention to the activities of terrorism, they will not succeed in their designs,” Mr Modi said. With the ongoing tensions with Pakistan, Mr Modi used the occasion to paint Pakistan as ‘Ravan’ and the need for people and world leaders to join hands to eliminate terror from the face of the world and pressurise Pakistan to stop using its soil as safe haven for terror groups.
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