Saturday, February 2, 2008

Few Drops of Tears for the Beloved

When a soldier dies, only his wife and children weep and few of his colleagues mourn. But when a politician dies, the nation cries. What an irony that the soldiers tend to be honest, with high commitment for his country, whereas most politicians are dishonest, and always think about themselves before the country.

Hundreds of thousands of soldiers have died since the independence of India, but for how many do we drop our tears for? We read about many soldiers, their valiance and their countless services to the nation, but we are in the habit of forgetting all sooner.

I came to know from a soldier who was posted in the Ferozepur border some twenty years ago and in Srinagar (J&K) only 12 years back. He narrated that in those days, there were neither concrete walls, nor any wire fencing between the vast Indo-Pak border. Soldiers on duty sat 50 yards away from the line of control and they made a line of themselves with a gap of six meters between each soldier. Human lives are always cheaper in India than concrete and iron. The soldiers used to have a rifle, a torch each and carried one gunnysack on which they sat throughout their shift irrespective of weather conditions. On many a chilly winter morning, few unfortunate soldiers were found dead due to cold weather they could not sustain. Frequently, they were asked to keep vigil from the tower, after completing their tiring regular shifts. The soldiers kept dying by the shells thrown from the other side, and also by the internal Sikh militants who attacked them from behind. Many soldiers committed suicide, as they were forlorn, more so they detested their life altogether.

In Srinagar (J&K), they had a camp of 300 soldiers, having only five toilets for their use. These dirty toilets had no arrangement of water, and were located half a kilometer away from their beds. The area where these tin-covered toilets were located, were uninhabited and there was always an atmosphere of panic due to the presence of indomitable Pakistani militants. The soldiers started visiting the toilets since 3 am to 7 am. During this period, armed guards were provided around the toilets. But if someone had to go to the toilets other than the time fixed, he would have to go all alone. Under the circumstances, they only had to recite the name of the God they believed in. I asked the soldier whether they had ever thought of how they were being exploited. The soldier replied bluntly that they were not given time to think of such serious matters. Apart from six to eight hours of slumber, they were given jobs on a continuous basis for the remaining period of the day.

During that period, a soldier used to get only Rs.700 p.m., and now they are getting around Rs.8000 p.m. altogether. With this meager salary, the soldiers weep in the border while doing their duty, and their families live a life of beggars in the countryside. The Nation respects them when they die, by putting flowers on their memory, and their families curse the Nation while wiping tears with their dusty anchals.

Mahiprasad whines for the agony faced by each soldier every day, and his tears drop for them. He wishes that let the mighty Indian Armed Forces be run by its officers for only one day without the soldiers. Can they do it, when they enjoy the cream of the forces? Never.

If not, then all the soldiers of the Armed Forces should be given with the best of facilities of life, as they are the one who lay down their lives for its countrymen. Food, shelter, clothing, schooling for their children, travel and entertainment to the soldiers and their families be given free of cost, apart from their salary which they keep for the future. A member of his family must be compensated with a government job one higher than the deceased soldier, when he dies on duty. He should be given an award when he dies on duty, but the award should have meaning, unlike most of the awards. Now we do not need the name of the roads in the name of the politicians, it should go to the soldiers who die, with nobody around them wiping their tears. Nathu Lal Road, Gopi Chand Marg, Banta Singh Chowk are more appropriate than Jawaharlal Lal Nehru Road or Tau Devi Lal Marg or Rajiv Gandhi Chowk.


Blogger Mohinder said...

Good effort to think n write. These are matter of concern for all of us yet being not in control of a common man, therefore not matter of action. A lot of newspapers, magazines are also doing it. Pls don't take negative, I am not discouraging, but putting up my say.

In my opinion the best way to do something good for country and society is to change ourself and be an example for the others to follow through small, small ideas and things.

Don't u think abt Aarthik Azadi ka Abhiyaan.

If interested, pls let me know.

H.O.P.E Foundation

MAAP Consultants
(Exploring Exponential)

February 3, 2008 at 4:05 AM  

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