Stray Thoughts- 2006

July 1, 2013 Off By Kanchan Bhattacharya

After each war, the Defense Services lost much more than their hard earned victory. They lost their pride and inherent trust in the Nation, knowing that whatever they do is undone by the expedience of vote banks and the pseudo called statesmanship. I also hear the occasional “Karnail hoga to ghar ka”, a typical attitude of the public refusing to be disciplined. They are the electorate.

We have had no statesmen, with the singular exception of Sardar Patel in recent history. Please do not include the hallowed fathers of the nation! That theory of an immense semen bank and array of wombs in the genesis of the modern nation is a fraud bubbling like sewer gas from the mouths of politicians! Of course you can be shocked at my statement!

Today we seem to have forgotten one basic fact. The greed of senior leadership in the country divided the subcontinent, the dithering of a lazy monarch added to the woes. The end products are Kashmir, Siachen, the Bombay and Delhi blasts, Akshardham, Parliament attacks, and the seven state wide Naxalite movement. The creation of Bangladesh has aggravated the problem. What was possible in a united subcontinent was frittered away in the name of the political expedient two nation theory! Damn the dreams of a prosperity that would follow independence!

So we did an Ayodhya, and the hatred increased. On the other hand, look at the world… who are associated with fanatic terrorism everywhere?

We as a Nation equivocated, lacked the moral strength to bring Pakistan to its knees in 1965 and in 1971, by compromising the military victory earned despite leadership of the polity rather than because of it.

Getting out of Bangladesh, I watched the Nation rejoicing in pristine insincerity, and it has carried on through the years, Nagaland, Manipur, Punjab, Srilanka, Kargil, Assam, and now Kashmir. Why is there a delay in settling the case of Afzal?

The Nation has done everything to denigrate the Army, Navy and the Air Force. Paying pittances, going big on promises, and cheating by giving the least priority in the protocol ladder, the nation cannot expect officer-intake to rise. The men, in the name of man-management are being ruined professionally, and being paid abysmally bottom rates by way of salary. Then, there is unfairness to the pensioners too. Why must there be a difference in the pensioner who retired 10 years back, and the one who retires now. Trust me the older retiree will make sure no one from his village joins the Army.

Our nation is the proud and obnoxious creator of caste divisions. A Brahmin by birth, I shed my sacred thread when I joined the Army, for I saw the reason of brotherhood, and I did not need a thread to tell me I was twice born, the Dwija! I do not see any reason why other than economic reasons, the modern India should indulge in further divisive measures, the fathers of the constitution be damned along with Manu! Their short-sightedness will soon see not only trans-border but inter-mohallah terrorism!

In the meantime, Major Pitambare and his ilk will die, obituaries will appear, and of course some poor colonel in the Army will be running from pillar to post to collect the body in a coffin from the airport, waiting bleary eyed, because the night before, Sepoy Bhoop Singh’s body came by the 19:00 plane that reached at 00:00. It was only till 09:00 that the new squad for the body now being dispatched assembled, not because of laziness, but because they did 22 hours duty in the riot torn streets till 07:00 today, and reached the airport just in time! Stress management, Colonel, learn it quickly, the Nation has more bodies waiting for you!

The Nation will pay with blood, sooner or later! It is just a matter of time, for the political share in the RDX trade, like incitement to riot, is enormous! And yes don’t talk of ruthless actions in India. We are rag dolls, created by the polity!

Problem, friends, will also come from Bangladeshis milling around the country! Assam is already paying the price with the political leadership knowing and discounting headcounts!

Paradoxically, the least paid Army is expected to be the best in the world! And the Services oblige!

Let’s have a minute of silence at our departed senses!

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