By Colonel Awadhesh Kumar, Special Forces
(an old article published in Jagruk Bharat)
In the days of old, children used to read stories of Sindbad the Sailor from the East and stories of Gulliver’s Travels from the West. However it seems that this kind of fanciful story writing has not vanished, it still continues albeit in different forms.
Recently while going thru a old Wikipedia article there was a reference to a write up in THE HINDU, a news paper published in India. Delving further it was seen that the article was dated 04 jul2002 in the HINDU as an International Article taken from the French Daily Liberation. I did not go in for a further search regarding this French Newspaper but just had a hearty laugh. However I wondered why would a French newspaper publish such a foolish article and try to boast against India, which France considers a friend.
The article claimed that for 10 days in year 2002, at the height of the military stand off between India and Pakistan, French aero Naval Forces created a buffer between the two belligerents !!!!! Flying off the Indian and Pakistani coast line, the French Naval Rafales, neutralised the zone, military experts told the reporters… It does not clarify the nationality of these military experts. I am sure they were not from France but incase they had some French connection then they could be from, of all the places, our own Little France… PONDICHERRY. May be, a deeper research may reveal that such expertise may have flourished on one of the several dot like islands in the Indian Ocean which France is still being permitted to call it’s own…..even Britain has this permission though it seems they cannot hold on to even Wales, forget Scotland.
The article further goes on to assert that with their DISSUASIVE presence while carrying out maritime and aerial surveillance, the French Naval Rafales prevented India and Pakistan fighter planes from using the sea route to carry out incursions into each others territory, as was the won’t in the past. Reading this I was at a total loss….why would France try this in 2002, what even Uncle Sam could not achieve in 1971. In spite of USS ENTERPRISE entering the Bay of Bengal, INS VIKRANT merrily continued launching sorties after sorties of it’s Sea Hawks and Alize…..Oh My God again a French connection. And then it was EUREKA…
In case it was French expertise, then hats off to their advertisement skills. What a way to show off their product to a potential buyer. Here were 12 Rafales fighter aircraft not only neutralizing the worlds Fourth Largest Airforce IAF but simultaneously also the 10th largest the PAF, while flying in an area of approx 60000 SQ KMs that too over the ocean. These 12 Rafales also grounded or the correct word would be berthed the entire Western fleet of the Indian Navy in the various harbours on the western coast of India.
Now if 12 Rafales could do this then come on Indians, just think what 126 Rafales can achieve!! Reach Normandy !!! So why are we stopping at 36 only??? But I am certain this kind of article cannot be written by the French…. They were ready to help us way back in the wars waged by the Britishers in Mysore area of India. Then I remembered that this article also fleetingly mentioned that these Rafales undertook these daily patrols along with the US Navy’s F14s and F18s !!!!!
So now I am totally confused. Do Top Guns of Tom Cruise fame equate IAF with the Iceland Airforce ( in spite of Cope India, Red Flag and Garuda series of exercises ) or are French guillotining themselves or some one back stabbing the French or is it some one cleverly trying to sell F 18s to India ???? Most probably it’s just the repeat of those Sindbad the sailor and Gulliver Travels stories in a new form.