A CO in the Indian Army recently wrote:-
“This is not a post for the weak hearted and Adarsh Liberals so do not go any further if you are out of your comfort zone.
It really pains a soldier’s heart if the blood of his brethren is not adequate to galvanize a nation.
This nation is so ungrateful, the intelligentsia so spineless and intellectual class so bigoted that they will get mobilised by tragedies of Peshawar, Gaza or France. However, they are immune to our own suffering. Why? I will tell you why, because it is fashionable to get associated with a global cause, it makes you look cool, it is easier to talk about it sipping a single malt in a comfortable South Delhi mansion.
I do not condone any of the terror attacks happened anywhere in the world, not even in Pakistan. However, I shall be candid : a terror attack in Peshawar wherein brethren of one enemy is killed by another has very limited relevance for me. I am aware I would be lynched for this statement but I would hold my ground.
Ask anyone who has lifted the coffin of his brother, his comrade, how heavy is the load? It has the dreams of a young wife, it has the future of his children and hopes of his parents. My dear countrymen, it is far heavier than any coffin.
Few of you will also chide me by saying that soldiers are paid to die. No sir, you are entirely incorrect. Soldiers are paid to protect the integrity of the nation. If you want canon fodder, hire mercenaries. This soldier is even denied a decent last journey, his bullet riddled remains are kept in a dilapidated parking yard in Delhi Airport as the ‘designated place’ does not have the security clearance! The same place is opened every Thursday for devotees as there is a Peer Baba located there. Thank the Lord for small mercies that his comrades in OG, will go out of their way to give him a befitting final journey.
His kids and wife are then part of an archaic system where pay stops the next day and pension starts in minimum 4-5 months albeit with arrears. Somebody ask these intellectuals do they even bother to think about a household where there will be no salary for five months but the stomach won’t stop growling, the school fee won’t stop and the electricity bill is still required to be paid.
The average youth of the nation also disappoints here, he is more bothered about mounting losses on Nestle and the two minute gruel. No candlelight march for his soldier, no white cap for his protector. Somehow, misery of Gaza always outshines misery of his own country.
Coming to polity and bureaucracy, the less said the better. If initial reports are to be believed, they are contemplating de-induction of armed forces from the areas where the encounter took place. As a result, the brothers of the slain will be denied even a chance to seek retribution.
Last but certainly not the least, the most disappointing facet, the harbinger of moral compass, the fourth estate, the Media. Death of a soldier doesn’t sell, period. So why even bother.
A soldier is aware of the dangers involved in the life he has chosen. He also understands that every other profession is as important and everybody can not fight.
Just give him dignity when he is alive and mourn for him when he fades away. That’s it, nothing more, nothing less.
I would end this note with an anecdote :
Late Lieut Saurabh Kalia who was one of the earliest casualties of the Kargil War did not die of a gun shot wound. When his body was returned by Pakistan, his eyes had been gouged out, his ears and nose had been chopped, his entire body had cigarette and electric current burn marks, and his private parts had been cut and stuffed in his mouth and his mouth was sewn up. He was alive during the entire ordeal.
Try selling the idea of ‘Aman ki Asha’ to his parents who were not allowed to see their son for one last time, try selling it to his comrades who indeed saw the body.
Reconciliation comes easy in a comfortable home, not in an unforgiving bunker.”