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Soldiering Monologues!

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In the spate of Uri attacks and the surgical strikes that followed the sheer madness and frenzy of social sites and media has been ludicrous to put it mildly. Every other politician and stray individuals acted like the proverbial loose cannon. The bipolar reactions about the ‘heroes’ – the soldiers – speak of a sick mindset of those who have been vocal. The ennui of a very large section of people is indeed very sad. Aparajita presents a case in favour of the soldiers, passionately, in a sad, tongue-in- cheek manner, exclusively for Different Truths.

In the wake of the Uri attacks where the country lost its soldiers, we the people of India were outraged. ‘Pakistan Murdabad’ was the sentiment echoing all around. What patriotism!! It makes my heart swell with pride.

My country responded with its surgical strike. The armed forces crossed the LOC. They went to avenge the lost lives of the sons of the soil and more importantly to avenge the insult to their mother nation. The chants of the people changed, “Bharat zindabad, Modi sarkar zindabad, salute the Indian army so on and so forth.” Yet again, I stood watching my country standing together for a cause. And here one thought that was a utopian dream.

Now all seemed well, so why do I feel like something is amiss? I guess I’m strange. I’d like to think of myself as what others would call a “little miss know it all” (yes, I know it’s not used in a positive sense but let’s take some creative liberty and assume that it is). I feel, I know better because of my upbringing, my father is an ex-military man with a very strong political inclinations and sentiments (we are Bengalis. In case one couldn’t already join the dots). I’m married to an air force pilot, who is trained for times like these and I myself am fiercely opinionated.

Oh now before I go onto why I feel the way I do, I must mention what is going on in the rest of the country i.e., Mumbai. Same difference…so the social media (how stupid of me to specify, as if there’s another kind) was flooded with the posts about how we love our armed forces and blah- blah-blah. The very next day, the mood changed. Now, posts like “Fawad Khan pack your bags” and “Atif go back to Pak” and many others started doing the rounds.

I am amazed at how quickly we share these posts, without a second thought. Because, if I am not anti-Pakistan or Pakistani, then I’m not pro-India. Obviously, I mean even a child knows that – we, as citizens of this great nation, must play our part too…bechaare fauji kya sab kucch karenge.

So yes, throw all the Pakistanis out because that is obviously the problem. The artists eating our food, living in our country, living off of our money. That is the problem! Kudos to the government that at least has some amount of clarity in the matter.

Anyway, without digressing, so why am I not bursting crackers or dancing with joy or running on the streets shouting, “Saalon ko ghar mein ghus ke maara,” why? What’s wrong with me? I thought I loved my country as much as anyone else?

The answer to me is quite simple. My country mocked its soldiers. Yes, that is exactly what I want to say. In case one is wondering if I didn’t choose my words correctly.  The people of my country with their fake pride and their hypocrisy made a mockery of the men, the soldiers, who laid down their lives!

Why this sudden empathy for the soldier and his family? Look at what they did to us in Uri you’d say. Well, in case you didn’t already know, this is not the first and here I am not talking about India-Pak or cross-border tension. I’m simply stating this is not the first time your soldier died. Why don’t you feel as angry or as proud every single time? Why did you not feel angry when men who served your nation and fought for you every single time had to go on a hunger strike to fight for their rights? I’m talking about OROP (One Rank One Pension). Why did the indifference of the government towards these veterans not make your blood boil? Why did you not share posts and chant slogans with them? Why? Because “woh toh taxpayers ke paise pe jeete hain,” because “your money supports my lifestyle, my alcohol, my ration.” Going by that argument, I say, “inko bhi nikaal do. Aakhir desh ke paise pe pal rahen hain. Throw them out, because my country will not recognise the worth of the soldier until he is dead (maybe not even then). My country will hail him as a martyr and maybe, just maybe, walk together and March down to India gate with a wreath in the memory of the dead. But my country will not come together for the soldier, while he lives and fights his battle alone for his rights.

But then again what do I know. I’m after all just a Little-miss-know-it-all!

©Aparajita Rath

Pix from Net.

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