The last five years of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government have seen a vast number of forces arrayed against him, especially from among the tree-lined privileged enclave known as Lutyens Delhi, as well as the ecosystem that has fed off it for seven decades. He has been held in utter contempt by the “liberal” intelligentsia and their political associates as a leader far removed from their own rarefied existences and beliefs. However, their dislike for the Prime Minister is not just ideological, it is also partisan and has largely to do with the loss of power and privileges in the hands of the “outsider”, apart from the lack of access to the inner sanctums of power. Nothing that PM Modi does can be right, as far as they are concerned. But then opposing and even partisan views, criticism and conflicting ideological positions are what make a democracy thrive. The problem arises when the dislike turns into pathological hatred and finds expression in ways that are irrational. When the made in India train, Vande Bharat Express, the country’s fastest, is reported to have stalled for certain reasons, the news is greeted with unabashed glee by this section, forgetting that in mocking the project they are mocking Indian innovation. The matter becomes much more serious, when this hatred for the PM finds an expression that is so vicious that it can be inimical to the interests of the country. The PM’s opponents need not acknowledge that he has boldly broken the status quoist mould of doing business with Pakistan, where even the worst terror attacks on Indian soil could not rouse the Indian establishment into action except for submitting dossiers to those very people who perpetrated the attacks—Pakistan’s toxic military establishment, the fountainhead of jihadi terror worldwide. It has now become public that Indian Air Force was ready to carry out cross-Line of Control attacks after 26/11, but did not get the nod from the Manmohan Singh government, the nod it got from PM Modi after the Pulwama attack that killed more than 40 of CRPF jawans. The PM’s opponents need not acknowledge that the Balakot action has marked a paradigm shift in India’s geopolitical strategy, in keeping with India’s big power ambitions and its people’s aspirations. They need not congratulate the PM for the action taken. It is perfectly reasonable to restrict their congratulations only to the IAF, the implication being the IAF functions in a vacuum and does not take orders from the government of the day. But the least that they can do is to present a united front when confronted with the propaganda war that has been unleashed by Pakistan’s General Headquarters and its ISI against India, that only a few trees were felled in the attack at Balakot. Opposition politicians, with a few being the exception, know it will be electoral suicide to question the IAF’s, nay, the country’s muscular response to the Pulwama attack, so it is the ecosystem that has started asking for proof that the operation at Balakot was successful in killing terrorists. As if the ability to strike terror in the heart of the Pakistan military by crossing the International Border, flying deep inside enemy territory undetected, dropping a few bombs and returning unscathed, was not success enough. Every piece of news floated by a few reporters given limited access to the site at Balakot by the ISI, is being milked to cast aspersions on India’s defence forces. It is being loudly proclaimed that the international media does not believe in Indian claims about the attack. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is being projected as a man of peace and a statesman, compared to the “war-hungry” Indian PM. In the process, it is being forgotten that Imran Khan’s call for peace is subterfuge at best, for he does not have the Pakistan army’s backing to dismantle the terrorist network that is his bosses’ life blood, or that he himself is close to the terrorist organisation Jaish e Mohammed, which campaigned for him ahead of his election; and that his returning Wing Commander Abhinandan was done under pressure and not as a gesture of peace. Even the Indian military’s restrained assertion that they have completed their task in Balakot will not be believed by this section in their bid to run down the PM. The cacophony dominating the political space is also hovering near the surface, and the artificial “ceasefire” by the Opposition is unlikely to last long. Mamata Banerjee has already started asking “curious” questions, perhaps to keep her own vote bank happy. But then these are not ordinary times. The enemy is eagerly grasping every word, every piece of news slightly critical of the government as proof of chicanery on the part of not only the PM, but also the nation as a whole. The morale of the soldiers guarding the borders is at stake here, also the morale of the citizens of the country. There will be time for politics, soon, considering elections are about to be declared. But there can never be politics over the security and integrity of the country. Hatred for the PM should not end up compromising the nation’s interest. Pakistan’s rogue generals should not be given an inch to worm their way out of the hole they have dug themselves into. The nation must speak in one voice against Pakistan sponsored terrorism.