The Indian government, currently ruled by the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has planned a countrywide program to celebrate two years of "surgical strikes" conducted by the Indian Army on terrorist camps located inside Pakistani territory in 2016.
"Private news channels may be asked to position the commemoration as part of their programming in the news segment, discussions, interface with armed forces in the infotainment model, i.e., celebrities interacting with armed forces," a government document obtained by Sputnik reads.
The government has also tasked private radio stations to utilize their programming schedule to highlight the occasion on the air. A special anthem invoking patriotism is to be beamed via radio and television across the country.
Opposition parties have upped the ante by launching a fresh tirade against the Narendra Modi government for compromising national security while spending millions on publicity.
"Modi had spent INR 35 lakh ($48,500) on his fitness videos, INR 60 crore ($8.3 million) monthly on updating his pictures on petrol pumps, INR 1100 crore ($152 million) on a sprawling BJP headquarters and INR 2000 crore ($278 million) on his foreign travels. Then why is the Modi government not providing adequate funds to the army?" Abhishek Manu Singhvi, a Congress Party spokesperson, said on Wednesday.
The allegations come amid media reports that the government has been considering curtailing the number of troops in the Indian Army by 150,000 to curb revenue expenditures.