(Credits with Thanks to various cartoonists whose works have been reproduced here)
Reference is to a ‘Draft Policy Letter’ doing rounds about which is more economical to the Government – keeping a soldier in salaried harness or allowing him/her a blissful pensionable Gods gifted life longer than the account books at the Central Defence Accounts Offices Allahabad!
The Ministry of Defence of India without a single combatant on its staff, who has ever faced or could even imagine what an enemy may use against the defences on the borders of India and within it, but makes polices on which all future wars have to be fought, may have already played havoc with the future of India as many historians & contemporary writers, analysts and the enemies would have already analysed and written about, openly or within their “should know select groups”.
These policies, that are supposed to make India impregnable or test it’s strengths, are a cause of worry to every aware citizen and should worry the leaders too, who will, like Nehru beyond party lines, always be linked to any debacle of the future due to their negligence, today.
Knowing all of the above and cringing at every new policy and statement, it’s a wonder how “Faujis” manage to remain motivated in the service of the Nation until their last breath! What keeps them going?
So here, India’s Political establishment & it’s essential ancillaries are being analysed and laid bare, in a lighter note hopefully touching the right chords in all spheres, the legislature, administration, the public and obviously the Faujis serving and retired.
No insult is intended at all in this write-up. Its just a satire in good humour. Any likeness to anyone living or dead in anyone’s mind may be very true only in that space! Here, it’s just humour without insult or injury.
How Do Aware Servicemen See These Political & Administrative Facades?
On Enrollment/Commission the Govt takes charge of our lives & runs us through a variety of ups & downs & stages during our climb up a greased “Malkhab-Pole” of an hierarchy, as follows: – A happy youngster hopeful officially with a jubilant carefree personal persona –😶🤣. Similarly Senior Subalterns are more thoughtful looking, officially atleast –😑😅! Captains open their eyes to actual professional requirements but still in a position to enjoy the perks –😐😄. Majors-Lt Cols learn to smile on work more officially, but by now start to wonder why in the name of the devil do they do so at all-🙂😳! Colonels get cynical, learn to question everything and also learn to shut up irrespective of all else swallowing the bitterest pills –🤨🤬. Brigs know a that a pained expression will keep all officially uncomfortable but true issues away officially & privately wonder how they pulled off the painful frigidity -😖😯! Its only when they are set to pasture or asked to leave 😪 or are promoted to Gens that they start feeling elated, thinking that they they have beaten the MoD at their own game 😜!
However in a short professional life by IAS standards, all ‘faijis’ soon reach a stage expressed best in Punjabi by the expression of “Ki-Faraq-Penda?-Walla Bliss”😌 and fade away gracefully among buddies in clubs of their own making!
How long Govt wants to pay them a salary or how long it wants them to enjoy pension the politicians & bureaucrats got to decide (at least for now & hopefully not for very long!) – But pay they have to – 😆
The problem with competitive politics is that every dispensation comes to power riding on the backs of their own Cadres (Read ‘Pvt Armies’) who rally the population to vote one or the other way.
The more wayward their leaders, the harder their cadres have to work.
Also, the more wayward the leaders, the more aware leaders are about the fact that they can’t survive without their ‘Pvt Armies’.
Hence alone, their penchant for the word “Army”!
To politicians it’s black & white, either you are in their own camp’s Army or you are the opponent Army (Read Enemy)
Now comes the catch!
These guys are not able to fathom whose “Bhakts” are the Soldiers in the “Defence Forces”! (For Bhakts read – Pvt Political Armies).
“Indian Army/ Country’s Bhakts/ Army with a moto-The Nation Alone” are alien to politicians or are just an antiquated British historic lexicon & body of troops used by the British against politicians of India during the ‘Battle of Independence’ in which every Politician’s Grandfather faced and fought successfully, the “Indian British Army” and which every politician feels should have been cremated respectfully immediately thereafter to be replaced by the Armies of their own “Bhakts” some amongst whom claim lineages to historic Kings & Emperors who successfully captured lands as far away as Afghanistan and Myanmar!
There was never a need for such a category called “Indian Army” within the visible 360 degree horizons of the work spheres of Indian Politicians; because, the later generations never ever (‘ever, ever, ever x infinity’ – just for the Arnab touch) served as such or had to face such trials as facing live bullets at all, which their Grandfathers did enough for all generations to claim immunity from!
To the majority of the politically voting population who have to choose between one politician & another equally bad too, we their Army, are the unknown – “Grey” (thankfully there’s a ‘r’ & ‘e’ not an ‘a’ in it!), antiquated museum pieces, brought back from the lost frontiers of geography, history or even the future, telling quaint tales of how a piece of a ‘hill’ was or could be significant & was snatched from the ‘enemy’ (who to politicians, could be major business partners in future and the place could some day be developed to be a tourist spot!)
The brighter amongst us from the Defence Forces too, change sides to don the Khadi with Nehru Caps or Modi Half Kurtas.
The dictionaries and the words we have used all our lives are changed to align with their new masters.
Their new vocabularies change to something like:
-Enemy becomes Cong/Sanghi/Other Political Opponents.
– ‘KDL Key Defended Locality’ becomes ‘Own Constituancy/Ward/etc.
-Target becomes that which is to be Grabbed & can mean anything, land/ populations/ money/ human beings.
– The list is long & developing as we look inwards for competition to vent energies & gain by hook or crook rather than look outward beyond our borders where the competition is not a politicians cup to be competed for in strength, any more!
These bright stalwarts from amongst us are not employed by their new ‘High-Commands’ for their knowledge or their expertise of the Defence Services, where they could pose a threat by having an ‘upper hand’ & carve out a Constituancy of their own; but they are only meant to adorn the outer walls of the Party functions/functionings to simply garner more applause, because the voters living without a salary, promised pension or even the loan wavier, is an expert in recognising which leader can or cannot deliver him/her the goods s/he needs for survival.
While this cycle goes on one section of this scene, always has the ‘laughs’ from deep within as well as on the sidelines, while Defence Services ‘fight’ & Politicians struggle to ‘survive’ compelx & devious political plans, canards, sabotage, ambushes & hostile depth charges!
These humourless jesters are the record keepers, the ‘Babus’, the IFS/IAS/IES/IPS/Allied Services, without the favours of whom, even Lady Luck shies away!
Many of us find worthy concubines in this Babudom.
These officers like the dignified concubines draft out policies that cater to the present masters in the room rather than for the Services or the Country!
The policies they draft themselves are obviously short-sighted, lack substance and are only meant to appease & show their “efforts” till the end of the year ACRs; these are not meant to “Solve” anything, beyond the room of convince!
So, Soldiers quickly learn to relax & remember where they started out at the time of offering thier lives to the Nation when ever the Government of the day needs them until then they keep busy with the thought, – “On enrollment/commission the Govt takes charge of our lives….” !!
Servicemen & Veterans, just ensure you choose to emote well in the choices you choose- 😶🤣 or 😑😅 or 😐😄 or 🙂😳 or 🤨🤬 or 😖😯or or😪or😜or😌!
In this melee, how you enjoy a salary or a pension is up to you – Pay they have to – 😆
-Col D K Sharma
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