When I joined as a second lieutenant, a teenager in me, my first meeting with Commanding Officer was on the breakfast table. I cannot forget that day of my life.
Apart from various advice, he landed up saying: “You have long way to go, never get involved in partisan politics, it is not done.” I remain stead fast to his words of wisdom, though many dub me Bhakts or Non Bakhts, as it suits them.
I am shaken by the recent events.
Firstly it is preposterous to use Defense Forces in political up-man ship, by showcasing them in one way or the other. No way it behoves any political set up, to either use the achievements of Defense Forces or doubt their capabilities or negate them. All of them from North to East have resorted to this.
Achievements of Defense Forces are the Pride and Face of the Nation, not to be misused or riled or doubted. These days, by and large, Veterans have aligned themselves with one ideology or the other. The worse, in the process each group stands unmasked as to where their loyalties of political ideology lie. Unfortunately the fig leaf in the process has blown off.
Other day there I shared a write up and photograph of Black Hole, within minutes of NASA uploading it, also on a Veterans website.
First comment from one young man from Arunachal Pradesh shocked me.
#Ranka #Subu. U shared it on wrong group. People here only discuss politics and hatred towards other community.”
My Reply :- #Ranka #Subu What a wonderful observation. I seldom read such political onslaughts by Veterans. It is a sad state of affairs. I highly appreciate your views and it should open eyes of Veterans. Believe me that such people have not only hung their uniform but also their values, ethos and apolitical stand. Even our Serving soldiers are loathe about it. Believe me these Bhakts or Non Bhakts, are pontificating at the cost of respect they had and is eroding. Touched by your deep observation.”
Within days after Ranka Subu’s observation, came the Street Fight of Generals/Admirals/Marshals. Few points which remain of deep concern are the political exploitation of Defense Forces; no doubt in that. Should it have developed into a street fight of Senior Officers; #Alarming.
While most of these Senior Officer have been respected and revered, one wonders certain specific claims and omissions in the appeal. Misuse of Armed Forces for Elections, #well #taken; No mention of other side which questioned/doubted actions of Defence Forces (I Ask why); That Senior have Fingers on the “Pulse of Serving.
Has anybody among them sincerely asked Serving, what they think of Veterans and senior Veterans, and their contribution to serving except bringing them also in.
How #cursorily, #casually appeal and statements were circulated. Why and for what reason the ripostes of terror activities is riled by many of them? Why and why it is India only for actions blamed for all terror activities of our arch enemy’s and no word for pseudo intellectuals within.
May I ask why this appeal was intended to be sent by email and not personally by the Group to President of India!!. What was the hurry to endorse this to press within hours of sending to President? Does a Convener leave such an important drafting actions to be endorsed by Senior Officers, to two of his helpers and claim that he was in Singapore? And is it possible for any Veteran to read all the contents circulated on Whatsapp and by Email!! . May I ask the Convener did he try to contact at least the seniors most officers personally to give a personal touch , explain and seek approval?
May ask the Senior Officers concerned that when they got email on WhatsApp, on behalf of an erstwhile Chief, did they keep in mind his earlier activities; PIL against appointment announcement of Gen Bikram Singh, Heading India- Pakistan Peace Foundation (Has his visits, conference, meetings over the years produced any result. None I see); Blaming India for riposte on 26th ; Association with a particular political party and being their Lok Pal. The list is endless. I would have added more but for my respect of Senior Officers, at all levels.
Some extracts from recent interview of the Convener, prior to this appeal:-
“The Pulwama attack was tragic and should never have happened”. .” “Soon after the Pulwama attack, on 20 February, I wrote a letter to the president of India, suggesting that we take the “high moral ground” by declaring “an unconditional Hold Fire” pending a detailed enquiry into the attack(Pulwama).”
“I am very disappointed with what is happening in India at the moment. It is not that the government lacked understanding about the cost of this retaliation when we went ahead with our aerial strike on Balakot, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, on 26 February. This entailed crossing the Pakistani border, into its territory, and not in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. We started the whole escalation process actually, nothing to do with [Pakistan]—no amount of whitewash will change that” .
Are we supposed to lump it. I can understand his concern to live up to the award of Magsaysay Award for Peace, but remaining zombies: no way. The political decision has always been there, but in a way we are questioning wisdom of our current Defence Forces hierarchy. It was so in Sep 16 also and now too. Do we remain inactive to watch carnage in Mumbai when our HM changes into Safari to give orders!! We forget then Air Chief had recommended. And now it is claimed situation. And claim: “ This situation is worse than during the Kargil war in 1999” is contradictory to say the least..
I AM AFRAID THE WILL OF THE NATION REIGNS SUPREME THAN AWARDS FOR EVER ELLUDING PEACE. 👊
for Last 47 Days #Guns of #Navarone 🔫 🔫 are comparatively silent. Some peace I must say.😉🤔👍
With due apologies, the Street Fight has taken us to a limit that we are apt to lose our faith in our Senior Officers, of either ideology. The fair name of Veterans as being apolitical has been razed to ashes. We the apolitical thought Veterans have been engulfed in this Street Fight of Generals. My request to Veterans, specially Senior Ones, that you have taught us to be apolitical, please express your views of Defense Forces in apolitical manner, in dignified way and let us not see this street fight again. I think the Conveners aim, indirectly has been achieved. The appeal has already taken as a political weapon: was that the aim of our “Apolitical Senior Officers”. I at least doubt it.!!
I take it below my dignity and Self Respect to comment on the way the two other Veterans took to represent Senior Officers, simultaneously contact press, and now trying to show up-man ship, in a crude way of confrontation.
Reminds me of Pre BC Era Battle of Ten Kings of two warring Groups on River Pursuni (Ravi). With tongue in Cheek can I call this as Battle of Generals, Admirals and Marshals.
I just cannot stop my yawn. 🤔🤲😉