Our ministers are known for their wayward and foolish statements. They keep proving from time to time that they lack in qualities like intelligence and wisdom, sympathy and compassion. Some time back the minister from Bihar, Mr Bhim Singh made a very reckless comment saying that people join the Army to get martyred. This comment came when the bodies of some soldiers killed by the Pakistani army in the Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir arrived home. Instead of sympathizing with the bereaved families he gave this irresponsible statement and even said that the soldiers got killed when they were doing ‘what they get paid for’! Can money equate for everything? Yes, we know what’s done cannot be undone. But if we cannot do anything to reduce the grief of the families of these people, at least we can keep our mouth shut and not sprinkle salt on one’s burns. It’s hard to believe that such statements are coming from people who are supposed to be our leaders.
Life is not a bed of roses for the defence services. People who watch them from outside can never understand the difficulties they face while on duty or the trauma and tension their families go through while they are away from home. With Pakistan playing foul from this side and China from that side, ( not to mention the in house terror activities ) it’s like a permanent sword hanging on your head. As if this is not enough Army is sent to all possible places in all possible situations like floods, Tsunami ,communal or other riots, earthquake or may be in emergencies like a child falling in a tubewell! Name a calamity and the Army is there as a saviour. No doubt, they are all proud of what they are doing. But when one comes across reckless comments like this, I’m sure , one can’t help but think if all this is worthwhile.
People who are posted in high altitude area like Siachin Glacier which is called the highest battlefield in the world, have a tough time in dealing with weather conditions. Every day wearing multiple layered clothing to beat the skin cutting chilly wind and surviving on tinned food most of the time is not easy, not to mention staying away from their beloved people. It’s observed that people come back with depression, memory loss, frost bites and many other problems when they return after a glacier posting. Does the minister have any idea how it feels there? If he is sent there he won’t be able to stay for a single day. He may not agree to do so even if he’s offered a lakh per day!! Our government had sent the Army to Srilanka ( IPKF ) and also on UN mission to different countries– God only knows how many lost their lives. But who cares? Definetely not these ministers who are busy in multiplying their assets in the given five year term.
The way the Army and Air Force worked together to evacuate thousands of people stranded in the Uttarakhand mishap proved why the country relies so much on Defence Services. Every house that had a TV saw the faujis carrying people in their arms, taking care to put them in safe places, lying down on the ground to facilitate people to cross over to safety and Air force choppers ferrying people tirelessly in the rough weathers– any Indian with a heart would have felt proud with a lump in throat and tears in the eye. Nobody would have thought for a second also, ‘oh they are doing all this because they are paid for it’. How sad people were when one of the Air force choppers crashed and some precious lives were lost. And what did our netas do? So much was written in the newspapers about the ‘aerial viewing drama’ of a number of polititians…that’s all they can do.
I’m really happy that in the coming elections we are getting an extra option “none of the above’. Fantastic! If we don’t think any body is worth it let’s not vote for them. So far we used to vote for x or y on the basis of “andho mein kaana raaja”. Now, thank God (sorry, thank the Supreme Court), we are not any more forced to do so!! Let’s not elect such people to keep repenting for the next five years. When we are given a choice why not take it?