Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Nothing can be said about our faujis, they're above criticism - By AAKAR PATEL

Every day, on my way to work, I go past the headquarters of the Madras Sappers in Bengaluru. A tank in desert camouflage is at the gate, its cannon overlooking the pretty Ulsoor Lake. I'd like to row on it but civilians are forbidden. On the lake are little rock islands on the walls of which are painted the names of great Sappers victories, like Assaye Ganj.

Who was defeated at Assaye? The Marathas. Who were the Sappers fighting for? Arthur Wellesley, later to become Duke Wellington (of Waterloo fame).The Sappers HQ gate proudly announces the year the unit was formed: 1780, more than a century and a half before Independence. Who did the Sappers shoot and bayonet and mine and blow up all these years? Other Indians.

Colonel Dyer only gave the order in 1919 at Jallianwala Bagh. Aim was taken and triggers pulled by the Gurkha Rifles, and by the Punjabis of Baloch Regiment (the Baloch did not and do not have a tradition of soldiery).

I am revealing no secret when I say that what had been a mercenary army on August 14, 1947 renamed itself a nationalist army the next morning. We have no history before that of a nationalist army, unlike, say, Turkey.

The mercenary tradition of the Indian armed forces goes back at least 2,500 years. The first Greek historian Herodotus describes Indians at the battle of Plataea in 479 BC hired by the Persian emperor Xerxes (the Indians acquitted themselves well, though the battle was lost to the Greek alliance).

Ghalib, who died in 1869, said famously: “Sau pusht se, hai pesha-e-aba sipahgari“ (for a hundred generations, our family profession has been soldiery).The world has long respected the Indian soldier's abilities. It is he who taught the European trench fighting in what they call their Great War.

Alexander the Great's fawning biographers, Arrian, Quintus Curtius Rufus and Plutarch, say only one action stained the conqueror's record. He concluded a treaty with a group of Indian mercenaries and then treacherously had them murdered after they disarmed. He did so because he respected and was threatened by their fighting ability. 

But why in India has this respect changed to reverence? I am saying this in response to the cult of Army worship that we have built so successfully.Nothing can be said about our faujis because they are above criticism.

The Union government is under fire because it seems to have done away with some minor rule which equates an Army officer with a bureaucrat of similar rank. But why must soldiers insist on this parity?

Who opposes one rank, one pension? Nobody really. Already more than 40% of all central pensions money goes to soldiers and it is easy to see why the Modi government is slow on increasing this further.

Why should retired soldiers insist on getting what retired teachers and clerks and postmen do not? Why is their contribution better or more meaningful? I accept that many of them are brave individuals who do dangerous work. But so are the women and men who clean our sewers. They die at a higher rate than soldiers but get neither respect nor compensation.

Observe the competitive bidding over the dead bodies of soldiers. The Aam Aadmi Party announced Rs 1 crore to the family of the man who committed suicide over OROP. There is no such bidding over the bodies of sewer workers. Why? Because the politicians are responding to a nation in which all of us must pay constant and unconditional obeisance to its army . This country sleeps because its soldiers are awake, in the words of the Prime Minister. Such sentiment is accepted unquestioningly . It is because of this sentiment that a nation that spends Rs 33,000 crore on the health of its citizens paid Rs 59,000 crore for 36 warplanes this year. There was some criticism of this government because it actually cut the health budget. But has anyone spoken against the purchase of warplanes by a nation that, by any honest measure, has a population half of which is poor and illiterate? We cannot, because this purchase is an act of nationalism.

When was the last time we actually used fighters in combat? More than 40 years ago and that also in an offensive war that we launched. And more warplanes are being purchased, hundreds more. Who are we going to war against? It doesn't matter. The Army must be fed first because otherwise none of us will be able to sleep.
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(Source- TOI, Hyd ed of 06.11.16)


  1. An individual with limited understanding of relationship between war and peace and even more limited patriotism gets totally exposed when he/she attempts to subvert the national mind set by writing such trash.It is an insane article written purely to weaken the nation from within taking advantage of the fact that morale of the forces is truly low-thanks to a ghastly combined attack by Neta-Babu combination, one trying to snatch the prestige other the plate with a weak DM cooperating complicity.If the author has any self respect he should write about the cost-benefit of Netas and Babus,whose stooge he seems to be.

  2. Patel has lost his mind. He should be fed first and thereafter taken to a psychiatry care unit for examination/treatment. In case found fighting fit,he should be enrolled in the mercenary Indian army and positioned at J&K border to display his valour!

  3. Mr aakar patel, while u pass through the ulsoor gate just turnoff your head the other side you will see few youg men under going training. Stop a while you realise the trauma of a solider in making.
    Here in our country it is become a fashion to comments against nation,nationalism,or sign of patriotism. Here are people to celebrate drastic killing of CRPF jawan by maoist. Few are in universities to chant "dhekka maro india ko girao".and also for praising terrorist who is hanged by the appex court. So if u are an indian I doubt so. Atleast not by heart. If so you will not make a comment by now when our pride are dying in the border by pak bullet. Few of our brothers are also living our country by selling mother india to ISI. Lastly a proverb in malayalam it is like this"a mosquito found happy in sucking blood in cows filled brest".

  4. Mr Patel, you deserve to be in Pakistan the living hell on earth and there you write such article about Pak army. So we have educated idiots in our country ..one is Mr PAtel

  5. AAKAR PATEL I think you were out rightly rejected when you went to defence recruiting center in your younger days.You are a living restless soul, died pre mature mental death

  6. Aakar Patel before writing such article is required to know the distinction between a mother and harlot. Both enjoy sex and give birth to a child.one is called a son and other is called a Randi ka larka.what he would prefer to be?

  7. Mr. Anonymous, I was about to comment but I do not need now after your strong reply to Mr Mental Patel. I served Madras Sappers for 4 years 1996 to end 1999. Thanks.

  8. Despite living as slaves under foreign rulers for more than 1000 years, you have learned nothing.

  9. Dear soldiers and veterans
    Please do not find fault with Akaar Patel. We must not abuse children with autism or retarded mental growth and out right idiotic imbeciles Akaar is all rolled into one. He never studied history and has no clue to what he is intended to write. so forgive him by sending this insult to India to the LoC. Hw may survive because the pak bullets may take lenience to this traitor. He does not know that there was no unified India before 1947 and the army did not belong to centralized India. The soldiers of each Kingdom fought for their honour and defence as the present Indian Army fights to defend our mother land. That is the spirit of Army they fight for the country/state. Patel it will take ages for you to understand what Indian Defence force is. As I said idiots, imbeciles and deranged deserve special consideration.