Symbolism of Balakot- Bareilly, Black & 12

Before Balakot lies Lahore, Rawalpindi and Islamabad. But Indian Mirage jets went past, deeper into Pakistan and bombed their target, the terror camp on a Balakot hill, and exited unchallenged.

That must have been extremely hurtful. Witnessing such capability of the IAF, the Generals of the Pak army in their Rawalpindi headquarters must be left shaken about their own safety in case of an escalation or an all-out war.

Balakot has a very interesting significance indeed – The Battle of Balakot was fought on May 6, 1831 in which Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s Sikh troops defeated the Barelvi Mujahideen – from Bareilly, one of the airbase from where the Indian fighter pilots took off on this daredevil mission on Tuesday.

In the 1831 mission, the Maharaja’s men camped at Balakot and killed Barelvi leaders Syed Ahmad and Shah Ismail. Those jihadi preachers were fighting to set up an Islamic State among the Pashtuns!

That may be the reason why Masood Azhar’s brother-in-law Yusuf Azhar set up JeM ‘s jihadi training camp at Balakot. So it was quite befitting then that #SurgicalStrike2 was also carried out there.

It was perhaps coincidental that the strike at Jaish-e-Mohammad’s biggest terror camp that also killed Masood Azhar’s brother and a third relative – all Jaish commanders – was carried out 12 days after the Pulwama attack by 12 jets and they apparently pounded their target with 12 bombs, if we believe the TV news channel reporters.

We don’t know how many noticed it but Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been wearing a lot of black-coloured clothes during this period. The morning after Pulwama attack during the pre-planned inauguration of Vande Bharat express when Modi first said Pakistan had made a big mistake, he was wearing black, perhaps signifying the sadness and mourning.

Last week too when he took bath during the Kumbh at Prayagraj, the PM did so wearing a black Kurta, which was highly unusual as he has never been seen doing any religious act wearing black before, saffron or yellow is his natural choice.

Entirely possible that he must have taken a vow to avenge the senseless deaths of Indian jawans before their Terahveen, or the 13th day ceremony when Hindus believe the spirit goes to the Pitr Lok.

We also believe the martyrs must be in a happier world today with their country having avenged their death. And all the symbolism of this operation should not be lost on people. Wait for our next instalment in this two-part series.

– Neeraj Saxena

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