The Gujarat government on Thursday staged a special play on the streets of Vadodara where the Uri attack and the subsequent surgical strikes by the Army along the LoC targeting terror launch pads were enacted. The play praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his resolve to “flush out” terrorism.
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The act — organised by the Sports, Youth and Cultural Activities Department on the barricaded streets of Wadi area in Vadodara — was part of a series of performances showcasing the culture of Gujarat.Scheduled as the last act of the evening, the chapter of surgical strikes began with famous song Sandese Aate Hain from the movie Border, with actors portraying Army officers at a camp remembering their families.
Halfway through the song, in a dramatic reconstruction of the Uri attack, bearded “militants” in black pathanis, sporting keffiyeh (arab checkered scarf) and wielding AK-47s “kill” several soldiers at the Army camp. The act then introduced a character dressed as the Prime Minister, lip-syncing one of his speeches.
With an accompanying announcement that the speech was delivered six days after the “big attack on India”, the original audio of Modi’s speech was played. “Hamare 18 jawano ka balidan bekar nahi jayega… Atankwad ke saamne na hindustan kabhi jhuka hai, na jhukega. Atankwad ko khatam karke hi rahega… ye desh bhoolne wala nahi hai, hamare 18 jawano ko… atankwadi kaan khol ke sun lein, ye desh is baat ko bhoolne wala nahi hai… (The sacrifice of our 18 soldiers will not go in vain… India has never bowed down to terrorism, nor will it bow down ever. It will destroy terrorism. This country will not forget the 18 jawans. Terrorists must hear carefully, this country will not forget this incident),” the PM had said in the speech.
The speech was followed by a video playing on a large LED screen of Army helicopters air-dropping Army jawans to secret locations. On the stage, men dressed as Army officials reappeared, clinically executing the hiding terrorists as audience cheered.
The play then ended with an instrumental theme of Saare Jahan Se Accha and chants of Har Har Mahadev, with the jubilant “Army officers” dancing to Bajirao Mastani song Malhaari. A cutout of India’s map and Bharat Mata, along with photographs of the soldiers killed in the Uri attack, was in the backdrop.
The act also included a song for communal harmony — Mile Sur Mera Tumhara, besides chants of Bharat Mata ki Jai at the end.
Among the audience, apart from curious bystanders were local BJP leaders and elected representatives. Minister of State for Sports, Youth and Cultural Activities Rajendra Trivedi said, “The festival of Diwali has begun and Wadi area is aware of Gujarat’s pride and this programme is symbolic of that. There is a series of acts showing the progress of Gujarat, and at the end there is an act on surgical strikes. This act is a warning to anti-nationals and traitors as well as rival nations and terrorists.”
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