By: Dr. Suman Kumar Kasturi
The nation as a whole is nonviolent and makes everybody enjoy their own lives. Have you ever thought of the reasons behind such a wonderful life of enjoyed by all of us which are free from all sort of security related worries? It is just because of the diligent efforts put in by the Indian Armed Forces. They strive round the clock to safeguard our boundaries, our skies and our oceans to ensure a peaceful life that each and every one of us enjoys!
The recent episode of Telugu Desam Party’s MP Dr. Pandula Ravindra Babu has shattered my confidence into pieces and forced me to reconstruct my opinion that there might be a few more people like him, who do not know the value of Indian Armed Forces. Defending his actions of carrying a matchbox on a plane, the abhorrent Member of Parliament let loose a bizarre diatribe on Arnab Goswami’s Newshour. Responding to a retired Major Vijay, the TDP MP, Dr. P. Ravindra Babu, went into a personal attack on the Indian Army, accusing them of joining the forces because of the subsidised alcohol and free rations. Nothing more is required to add how any patriotic Indian might have felt for his disgusting comments.
Soldiers, the unsung heroes are praised only in times of dire straits, in times of need, and in times of natural calamities like the most recent Nepal Earthquake. We all enjoy watching the spectacular parades of Indian Armed Forces; tableaus of various states and departments; cultural programs on Republic and Independence days. Let it be fighting a war, rescuing the people during calamities or showcasing spectacular parades -whatever the Armed Forces do, the only message they always convey is – “Patriotism”. Of course, how could a politician of his sort realize what the armed forces actually are?
Just imagine what could have been the feelings of an Air Veteran like me, over such filthy comments made by a Member of Parliament – the so called people’s representative?
Being a soldier is not everyone’s piece of cake. Blessed or those who get a chance to serve the nation with utmost dedication through tri-services. Of course, I proudly say that I am an Air Veteran, who has given my creamy youthful years to the nation.
I would like to expel the prejudices of Dr. P. Ravindra Babu by stating that nobody gets free rations and liquor in Armed Forces – rather – it is the Members of Parliament, who get the subsidized food in the parliament canteen. It is a “never found or seen” menu that is on offer in the Parliament canteen, wherein the poor representatives of people are offered tea for Re.1/- and Non-Veg Thali for Rs. 22/-.
For the sake of people like Dr. P. Ravindra Babu, while asserting that a soldier by choice can become a politician but not vice versa, I would like to bring out the great qualities uniquely possessed by every soldier from any or all the three services (Army, Navy and Air Force):
- The value of discipline in every walk of life
- A thirst for adventure
- Fortitude to achieve set goals
- Practicing Unity in Diversity at all instances
- The true value of friendship
- Patriotic zeal
- Sacrificing for a purpose
- High standards of professionalism
- Maintaining one’s own integrity while expecting the same from others
- A positive attitude at all times
- Dependable in times of need
Before wrapping up…
Plurality is the nature of India – so is with Indian Armed Forces. People from different regions, languages, cultures and heritage get together for the only objective – safeguarding the Indian boundaries. Yes, the success of Indian Armed Force lies in the unity of soldiers. Every individual in general – and the nation as a whole – can draw inspiration from the Indian Armed Forces.
“Jai Jawan Jai Kisan” was a popular slogan given to India by the then Prime Minister of India Lal Bahadur Shastri, in 1965, at a public gathering at Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi. The importance of soldiers and farmers was symbolised in this way to the nation.
Nevertheless, both the farmers and the soldiers are remembered only during the crisis and calamities. At least – don’t ever make mockery of the true spirit in soldiers and their services to the nation.