The Response To #SurgicalStrikes On Twitter Is An Alarming ‘Celebration’ Of Pride

Posted on September 30, 2016 in Politics

By Sourya Majumder:

News broke last morning that India had carried out a military operation across the Line of Control in Pakistan, following the attack at Uri. The attack by India is being referred to as a ‘surgical strike’ as they were precise strikes on specific camps (alleged to be terrorist camps). Twitter has been abuzz with the hashtag #surgicalstrikes, and the atmosphere of ‘nationalist pride’ that has been building up for some time now, fanned by several political parties, has found a very appropriate outlet. Reactions from India, including from several celebrities and media persons, mostly involved celebratory displays of pride, patriotism and congratulatory messages to the army. While it is is a must to condemn terrorism, jingoistic reactions should actually be cause for alarm, as war-mongering on social media and misguided public pressure can worsen this volatile situation.

However, while difficult to find, there were some balanced and cautious voices from both sides of the border asking for a more measured look at the events, and what they could escalate to. Here’s a look at some of the responses.

Many seemed to revel in jingoistic displays of pride:

It gets worse…

Prominent celebrities, journalists, and politicians saw it as a strong response to terrorism:

Some were slightly more measured in their response:

While at least a few voices advised caution and reflection:

Other voices across the border warned of escalation:

Or were critical of typical nationalist reactions (a sentiment that, one feels, cuts across borders):

And well, some extracted humour from the situation:

Amidst all of this jingoistic celebration, let us not forget the actual toll war can take – on our economy, on our soldiers, on civilians on both sides of the border. It is more important now than ever to not spread misinformation, think clearly about the facts and the implications of a move like this, and reflect on where we might want to go in the future as a nation. Is more death and destruction what we really want?