Efficacy of Personality Traits, Religious Ideology and Political Capital of Event: The Case of Pulwama Attack



History of tense relations between India and Pakistan dates back to the time of independence of both the states from the British Raj in 1947. Nonetheless, attempts have been made to pave the way for peace and trust building but in vain. This study looks at idiosyncrasy in policy making by looking at three different attacks that took place in India and the response of New Delhi to each. It further explores the personality of Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi vis-à-vis his religious and ideological beliefs and also analyses the extent to which these factors sway Modi in formulating policy particularly towards Indian minority (Muslims) and neighbours like Pakistan. Employing content analysis of the daily Dawn with the timeline of 2001 to 2019, the paper methodologically looks at three significant attacks in Indian administered territories till the Pulwama bombing. To have a perspective of the latter, this paper raises the question why the attack on the Indian parliament and Mumbai attacks failed to generate similar response as the Pulwama attack did. The paper argues that the Pulwama attack generated a different response due to idiosyncrasy, personality traits, religious and nationalistic tendency of the current administrator of India. More importantly, the season of election is always sensitive; meanwhile incumbent government is always scouting for event(s) to be exploited as political capital for election victory. Premised on the theoretical underpinnings of personality traits, religious ideology and an event such as the Pulwama attack, Modi has managed to change the playbook of India-Pakistan relations.

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