Expert: Boasting of a released prisoner of war and showing off Indias magic

 Expert: Boasting of a released prisoner of war and showing off Indias magic

Why does India praise captured pilots?

Long Xing Chun

The Indo-Pakistani conflict, which has lasted for many days, has yet to ease significantly. But as an interlude, Pakistan recently released captured Indian pilot Abinadan in a peaceful gesture. Abenadan was welcomed as a hero when he returned home, from Indian Prime Minister Modi, Defense Minister Sitaraman to Indian media. Pakistans release of Abinadan, however, was described by India as an inevitable result of pressure and a major victory for Indias diplomacy. Although it is inevitable that the war is false and true, India boasts so much about a released prisoner of war, as well as all kinds of exaggerated results and declared victories before, which still puzzles many people, as if it had made people see the magic of India.

Indian pilot Abinadan captured by Pakistan, infographic

In doing so, India needs to win first to appease its strong anti-Pakistani sentiment. The partition of India and Pakistan has been going on for more than 70 years, but many Indians, especially radical nationalists, still believe that Pakistan and later Bangladesh are part of India. Pakistans independence not only narrowed India, but also hindered Indias ambition to become a major power in the world because of the Indian-Pakistani confrontation that held India back in South Asia. In addition, three large-scale wars between India and Pakistan and frequent attacks by armed groups in Kashmir on Indian army and government targets have accumulated strong anti-Pakistani sentiments in Indian society.

Many analysts believe that India launched retaliatory air strikes against Pakistan-controlled Kashmir because of the upcoming general elections, Modi added points for himself by toughening Pakistan. But in fact, Moodys reaction to the conflict between India and Pakistan over the past decades still belongs to the conventional operation. Without retaliation, the Indian government could not account for the attack, but it was not in Indias strategic interests to escalate the conflict into war. It is necessary to soothe the strong anti-Pakistani sentiment at home and control the conflict to a limited extent so as to magnify the achievements of limited military operations into great victories.

As for the governments heroism of prisoners of war, it is in line with Indias political and cultural traditions. In Hindu caste system, government officials and soldiers usually come from the Shadili caste. They often work in the same profession from generation to generation. The military family is very common. Modern Indian caste system is weakening, but its tradition still affects Indian society. There is no compulsory military system in the Indian army. Being a soldier is a profession that can support a family. The phenomenon of second generation and third generation is very common in the Indian army. The captured pilots are said to be the sons of former air force lieutenant general. In addition, many soldiers and officers of military units come from the same ethnic group, which forms a powerful special interest group in India. The situation and treatment of captured soldiers will be of particular concern to other soldiers, which makes the Indian government and army pay close attention to their attitudes in order to avoid being attacked by opposition parties and social figures.

At the same time, Indian society demands soldiers with professional ethics. Unlike Japanese soldiers who advocate death rather than surrender, India is a culture of human nature. They believe that soldiers are a profession. As long as they do their best, surrender and captivity do not violate professional ethics. As long as they do not betray the country, they are not disgraced. From his performance this time, Abinadan tried his best to destroy documents after the fighter plane was shot down, and did not reveal secrets during the interrogation. It can be said that he met the requirements of the military profession, so he was welcomed and praised by Indian society after his release.

Of course, India is also reinforcing its winning psychological cues by praising Abinadan. India is the country with the largest number of private media in the world. In order to gain sales and traffic, some media cater to peoples psychology in operation, sometimes exaggerating. Because of the strong anti-Pakistani sentiment in Indian society and the fact that Indias national strength is far stronger than Pakistans, Indians believe that India and Pakistan must also win the war against India. In the current conflict between India and Pakistan, the Indian media will naturally not miss the opportunity to incite hype. No wonder the captured pilot Abinadan cannot help criticizing the Indian media before returning home. (The author is a visiting researcher at Chongyang Institute of Finance, Renmin University of China)

Source: Global Times - Global Network. More exciting, please log on to the World Wide Web responsible editor: Yao Wenguang_NN1682