Recently Amit shah had met retired General Dalbir Singh Suhag to kick off its mass contact drive. The meeting many assumed augurs that the retired General might soon join politics, and that Amit Shah might had met him so that he could gravitate towards the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The incident might have stirred gamut of emotions in Ms Barkha Dutt that it forced her to write an article on “Why I think soldiers should not be netas.”
India is a democratic country with a population of over a billion and just as many opinions. While we are taught to respect other’s opinions, we must also correct those who blithely support wrong perceptions.
To those who are not aware- Abraham Lincoln was a Captain, Theodre Roosevelt was a colonel, John.F.Kennedy was a lieutenant and George Washington was a Lt. General. Back home, Captain Amrinder Singh is the Chief minister of Punjab, Jaswant singh was our Ex-Finance,foreign and defence minister, and both of them had served in the Indian Army. Squadron leader Rajeshwar Prasad Singh Bidhuri popularly known as Rajesh Pilothad also served in the forces.
The above examples not just prove that soldiers are excellent administrators but also the fact that they can multi-task. Infact going by the Neta culture of India, where they assiduously work to fill their pocket in the 5 year long term, for which the populace elects them, it is high time we replaced Netas with disciplined and nationalist soldiers.
Those dilettante about our defence forces and how it works, have a notion that soldiers believe in working with a strong fist. What these people fail to see is that a soldier has many qualities which makes him just apt for the chair of a neta. He is known to stay calm under pressure, can carefully plan out logistics, best at resource utilization, leads with integrity and above all he cares for his people. Aren’t these qualities enough? The MMG (Mandir-Masjid-Gurudwara) culture of our forces ensures that our soldiers respect other’s religious sentiments.
Au contraire we have politicians uttering mendacious nonsense, who would not mind inserting a wedge to create a divide, who are charged with scams, and are clueless about the populace’s issues, making them discomfit for the chair to which they get elected. Names like Lalu Prasad Yadav, Suresh Kalmadi and Andimuthu Raja remind us of the mistakes which we should never repeat again.
Those who have a Hitler and Zia-Ul-Huq in mind, please note that Indian Army despite being the largest standing volunteer army in the world, doesn’t have a history of coups. There’s a popular joke known to many in the army circle of Nehru and General Thimayya. During one of his visits to General’s office, Nehru’s curiosity was piqued by a locked steel cabinet behind Thimayya’s desk, and Nehru asked him what he stored in them.
General Thimayya promptly replied “the first drawer contains national defence plans, the second contains confidential files and the third one contains my plans of a coup against you” and they both laughed at the joke. As much as Nehru was uncomfortable with the joke, he was also aware that Indian army, no matter what, would never dream of seizing power. That is our culture and that is how our soldiers are trained.
I do not know about you Ms Barkha Dutt, but I would be happier if laggard politicians were replaced by those who work and care for their country, genuinely.