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Editorial

Disgrace in Army uniform?

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By EMN Updated: Oct 16, 2013 10:19 pm
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[dropcap]D[/dropcap]uring the last few days so many reports came about Indian Army jawans assaulting their officers. In fact, a second in commanded was hospitalized by being bashed up by his very own jawans he was supposed to command and might have become their commanding officer eventually. This case was not the first one. In Samba (Jammu) officers were also assaulted and badly injured.The question among the discerning public is how come even our own regular Army got smitten by the bug? True it is, in the early 1980s two high ranking officers were implicated for spying for the United States. They were Anglo-Indian brothers—one was an Indian Air Force (IAF) Vice Marshal (equivalent to a Major General of the Indian Army). His brother, Major General Larkins also got some years imprisonment.
However, the truth is that they did not really betray India. What really happened was that as leading military leaders and with their half-English ancestry, they were favourite invitees to any function of the US Embassy.
Keeping in mind the nature of many Indians, some very attractive American ladies would hold a glass of wine and keep the two Generals company. Nothing sexual, of course. However, the ladies would display (very decently) a leg and the Indian nature would go haywire. What our Generals said revealed no secrets as such but from that, the Indian media in general headlined “Have a peg—and show a leg.” So, what does this all imply? A man’s greatest weakness is the woman’s greatest advantage. But this is neither here nor there. Surely, any smart woman can take care of herself. So also a smart man can take care of himself.
About a year ago, it was disheartening to read in the newspapers that Major General Govind Singh, General Officer Commanding (GOC), 2nd Division, in Bareilly, was sentenced to two years rigorous imprisonment for selling a truck-full of assorted IMFL (Indian Manufactured Foreign Liquor). That was okay—in certain terms. But he admitted in the Army Court of Inquiry that he kept the profits in his own pocket. It is not so easy to reach the exalted rank of a General but to be sentenced to imprisonment by your own peers does hurt. However, the law is the law.
What may be of concern to us Nagas is that this very same 2nd Division of the British Indian Army fought against the Japanese invasion and is honoured in the War Cemetery at Kohima.
Our esteemed readers may like to ask why such tragedy? In politics perhaps it is understandable. But the Indian Army? Of all the Government institutions, the green uniform was, and still is, the most respected. Minimum corruption—if at all.
The nagging question now is why such indiscipline in the Indian Army which is reputedly one of the most disciplined armies in the world. In fact, no less than a famous British General said to the effect that the “most ideal army” in the world would be what would comprise an Indian jawan (soldier), British Sergeant, and American armaments. Oh! Officers can be from any community in that case.
Unfortunately, many extra incursions have occurred not only from Pakistan—That can be dealt with in no time, The Pakis (English slang for Pakistanis) are like the youngest brother who indulges in what they say in Hindi “nakhra” meaning crying for attention through unexpected means. The Chinese? Beware! They are our permanent neighbours in terms of land basis—and also we have common ethnic roots. You can go anywhere in the world, lie about your village, change your name, and if you have enough money like Michael Jackson, you may even change your skin from black to white, Fine. But the question here is: Can you change your blood? Your ancestry? No way.
Therefore, be happy for whatever blessings one is endowed with and try and help your community with whatever possibilities at your disposal. And that is the greatest satisfaction you can get in your life. Soldiers die in battle and more often than not they are buried in foreign soil yet wherever they are buried the soil remains part of their origins. But they are honoured in various ways. Not all people are soldiers of the guns. But everyone is a soldier of life. Do your duty well and it is not the attendance of people on your birthday which can compare with the number of citizens who will turn up to pay their last respects to your “departed soul.”
So, let us not disgrace whatever uniform we wear.

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By EMN Updated: Oct 16, 2013 10:19:27 pm