Jammu and Kashmir rally: Did Narendra Modi undermine the Army's authority? | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis In Srinagar, campaigning for his party BJP, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tried to play the role of a senior statesman much in the mould of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Stressing that he would repay the love of the people of Kashmir, Modi said that their development would be on the top of his agenda. But while striking a sombre, conciliatory tone with the people of Kashmir, Modi said, "It is the first time that the Army owned up to the mistake of gunning down two innocent youth in a press conference and action has been taken against those who opened fire. This had not happened in the last 30 years. Ye Modi sarkar ka kaamal hai. Ye mere nek iradon ka saboot hai." (This is the wonder of Modi Government. It is a proof of my honest intentions)â€‹. While Narendra Modi probably tried to give the message that his administration will have a humane attitude towards the people of Kashmir, while driving home his point, he also undermined the authority of the Army in a way. The Indian Army is an apolitical body and has its own justice system. But Modi indicated that they got their act together only after he came to power. This is a dangerous suggestion to make, fraught with possibly dire consequences. Does the statement mean that in cases where justice was not done in time, there was a lack of political will or that a politician had a 'galaat irada'? According to an ex-Army officer speaking on the condition of anonymity, the Army justice system is completely independent of the executive and bureaucracy. Hence, PM Modi may have just jumped the gun with his statement. Another line of thought is that Modi may have implied to say that acche din have generally begun after his government came to power. But PM Modi's claim is still controversial if the timeline of the incidents in the Machil fake encounter case is considered. As early as December 25, 2013 the Army had ordered a court martial of five Army men, which was nearly five months before Modi came to power. So the Army's prompt action in the Chattergam incident (which he most probably referred to) where two innocent youth were gunned down, wasn't the first of its kind. All that can be said is that the then Defence Minister Arun Jaitley promptly condemned the incident to prevent the incident from going out of control. Sure, the government was seen as being assertive and reaching out to the people. But by saying that justice was done only because of his government, Modi has probably exceeded his brief. Jammu and Kashmir is a complicated place, with a perennial tension between the state, Army and a section of the people. There are forces from outside the border trying to use any possible misstep by the Indian establishment. The Army works in extremely difficult conditions, often treading on thin ice. Thus we have to be doubly cautious. Semantics matter as much as real politick does. Winning Jammu and Kashmir for his party, the BJP, is obviously a prime concern for Narendra Modi, but maintaining the sanctity of the armed forces trumps that, ten out of ten days.