Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday appeared to give credit to "RSS teaching" for the decision to launch cross-Line of Control surgical strikes even as he slammed those seeking proof for the Indian Army's anti-terror operation in the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
"I wonder, with the combination of the prime minister who comes from Mahatma Gandhi's home state, and I, Defence Minister, coming from Goa which never had any martial race, and surgical strikes. May be the RSS teaching was at the core, but this was quite a different kind of combination," Parrikar said in remarks that may trigger a row.
Parrikar was speaking at a function, 'Know my Army', organised at Nirma University in Ahmedabad.
He said the action of Indian Army, whom he described as the world's best, has increased the sensitivity among citizens regarding national security in a very effective way.
The defence minister said the army is giving befitting reply to ceasefire violations by Pakistan.
"From the day of the strike till today, some politicians are seeking proof," Parrikar said without taking any names.
"When Indian Army says something we should believe it. It (Army) is world's best, professional, brave and having a very high integrity. I do not feel that anybody will seek proof from them (Army) here in Ahmedabad."
"There are people who will never get convinced even if definite proof is given," Parrikar said.
Parrikar was referring to some sections which have been asking for proof about the surgical strikes. The army has said the strikes against terror launch pads across the LoC was carried out during the intervening night of September 28-29.
"Violations are regularly taking place for the last five-six years, you can take out figures. But the only thing that has changed now is that we are giving befitting reply," he said on ceasefire violations.
"Two good things have happened after the surgical strikes. First thing is except some politicians, every Indian is rising in unison and standing behind our brave soldiers. And the second thing is we (Indians) have acquired sensitivity regarding national security in a very effective way," he further said, adding that he is receiving mails suggesting suspicious activities.
"If people see anything wrong, they intimate the police or send me mails. Half of mails I get suggest suspicious activities happening. Many ex-servicemen are also offering their service for the nation, saying that they are retired but can still fight."
To a question on security lapses, Parrikar said, "When you are doing things and if there are lapses in it, then mistakes should be rectified."
IMAGE: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar speaks at 'Know my Army' function in Ahmedabad on Monday. Photograph: PTI Photo