LT COL NOEL ELLIS (RETD)
LUKE, Chapter 23, verse 34 of the bible says, Jesus while on the cross said to God “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they’re doing.” So my dear friends when I read the AAKARWANI in the Sunday TOI, I felt the same way. A person who feels offended when he is not allowed entry to a lake, a person who calls us mercenaries, a person who compares us with sewer cleaners, a person who questions why we deserve pension, that too from “his” paid taxes, well lesser said the better, but I am not Jesus. I will have to give my piece of mind to you dear sir on behalf of my fraternity. Take it or lump it.
You called us a mercenary, no issues, you criticize us, we are open to criticism, you say we don’t deserve pension, no problems, but when you compare us with sewer cleaners, well, it hit me very hard and below my belt. By the way Mister, we have cleaned many a blocked drains in our cantonments, with our own hands working in the stench and rot. Why? As for us, the safety, health and welfare of our men comes first always and every time. Have you ever used DTLs Sir? Now don’t ask me what they are. Please find out and then open your mouth, or else what we do in those places will come flying to your mouth before you realize what hit you. We have used them, smoked them and cleaned them, so, now even if you say we are sewer cleaners, I don’t mind, as we stay clean and hygienic, but what about your dirty state of mind, which I feel is not only polluted but needs to be set right.
I would advise you to put a “BELCHA” in front of your pen, and then come to the border, and then we shall see how fast you will dig for cover, when an enemy mortar shell comes and explodes next to you. I want you to be hit, on your writing hand, so that just the finger and the thumb are dismembered and then you bleed, lying there till someone from the forces finds you and evacuates you. I hope gangrene sets in and your arm has to be amputated from the elbow, and then we shall see how you write. Brother, passing loose comments about the armed forces because of which you get the freedom to use your pen, is not only shameful, distasteful and objectionable but needs to be condemned outright.
I suggest never again put your hand in a subject which you don’t know have a clue about, as the saying goes “little knowledge is dangerous”. You have no idea, what the army man does, and above all how he does it? You have no clue, as to how during, rain, hail, sleet and snow, this poor soldier lives, fights, eats, misses his family, cries on the quiet, and still does his job. He dies anonymously, unlike you, where the whole world will congregate to bid the final adieu, as you are well known in the intellectual circles. This man quietly toils day in and day out in conditions worst than the city sewer. For whom! for ungrateful people like you. Frankly, you don’t deserve his protection.
You also commented that we still flaunt our history of being raised in a different bygone century, well; we take pride in our customs, traditions and history. We preserve them like no one else. Every document, every memento, every trophy, every silver piece, every flag, every event of history is docketed and preserved. We proudly remember our ancestors, as they are the ones who laid the foundations of such traditions of professionalism and camaraderie. We pride in our past, we take motivation from our golden days. We love to relive the valour displayed by our war heroes and decorated soldiers, we try and emulate them when we go to war today. Well, had you ever been in uniform, which you don’t deserve to be in, then only would you know, why that tank you mention has its barrel up, or is the barrel pointing to the ground. If you know the difference, then let us know.
Have you ever fought for the human rights of the soldier? Have you ever raised your voice for armed forces personnel? Have you ever raised your voice against militants and militancy? I don’t know. But I understand that you seem to suggest that the country needs to outsource its security as you do for your building you are staying in. So let us outsource National security. Then there is no need for any pension. They will come cheap, they will work efficiently and all the money saved can be utilized for all your health schemes which you are referring to. Can you tell me one country in the world which doesn’t have armed forces Patel Saab? Tell me one country which doesn’t budget for health care? Have you done a reality check, as to how much our centre and state government release for health care and how much reaches the grassroots? Please do it today. Tell me how many medicines are made in India and why aren’t they affordable? Does healthcare need a budget to be diverted from the armed forces pay cheque? You must be out of your mind, I am convinced. Write on subjects like health care and leave the armed forces alone. We deserve to be paid well for doing our time in hell on earth in the face of the enemy. For people like you, once what you flush down the “Shauchalya” gets stuck, hire people to clean your SH*T or do it yourself.
Are you not a mercenary of kinds that you have been hired by someone to humiliate the armed forces by writing in such a cheap manner? Aren’t you getting paid for what you write? Aren’t you an armchair twister, who has no clue about our armed forces history, chivalry, sacrifices and gallantry? Should we give away Kashmir, Arunachal and other disputed territories? Once given, there after no armed forces shall be needed and all the money saved you can utilize the way you want. Well, let me stop here, as you know not what you are saying, doing and writing. This country banks on one force as a last bastion, come a manmade disaster, or a natural disaster or even disasters of your pen. Please don’t belittle us because you are a well know writer.
We are people way above your imagination. We are people of integrity. We take pride in serving the nation. We are people who live and die for the freedom our tri-colour which gives you this liberty to write as freedom of speech. Don’t hurt our dignity. We tolerate a lot of nonsense at the hands of people like you and so called human rights activists; time now has come for you to be put in the sewer. I hope you understand that the uniformed people have been hurt by your thoughts. Imagine what will be India’s state when ever body will be made healthy, wealthy and wise, but there will be no country called India left, thanks to the Bakwaaswani by Mr Bekaar Patel. I think you should only fight for the human rights of the sewer workers, and let the Army do its job and be well fed while in service and even better after they have hung his boots. Will you ever understand? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!