Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said in a seminar in Jaipur on Sunday that the respect for the country's army has diminished because India hasn't gone to a war in the last 40-50 years. He defended his remark saying he isn't favour of wars but felt the soldiers have lost their importance.
Late American author-politician George S McGovern had once said: "I'm fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in." Had he been alive today, what would be his reaction to Parrikar's statement?
Dear Minister, is this jingoism or an effort to woo soldier fraternity after the OROP disappointment?
Though the BJP has stood by Parrikar's side, but what was the need for the latter for making such a remark? Is he trying to show a jingoist side of his government or buying more time in the One Rank One Pension issue by showering praise on the army in general?
Was the latest remark aimed at Pakistan again?
One fears what Parrikar said was a genuine reflection of right-wing thinking. He and some other ministers of the Narendra Modi government were seen issuing strong statements on Pakistan following a retaliatory action by the Indian Army, reportedly in Myanmar territory. One suspects Sunday's remark is an extension of the same mission of indirectly targetting the hostile neighbour. But dear Mr Parrikar, India is not the United States of America, even the people of which have not been impressed by their former war-monger president.
Indian Army is fighting battles at the borders and inside the country to keep the country stable; it is also saving helpless citizens during natural disasters
How does the army lose its sheen if it's not fighting a war? The Indian Army is always engaged in a serious conflict in the borders against elements backed by external enemies and inside the country against domestic menace. Have we seen a drop in the army's casualty figures if indeed the soldiers are sitting idle and losing their edge?
An army is not evaluated by wars it fights but by its commitment to the nation
Do we respect our soldiers less despite seeing them risking their lives to save helpless civilians during devastating natural disasters, both at home and abroad?
When Saurabh Kalias are killed in wars, then why their cases are not pursued?
Moreover, the NDA government couldn't take forward the case of Saurabh Kalia, who was mercilessly killed during the Kargil War, which was not even a full-fledged war, in 1999. It hasn't succeeded to help the slain soldier's family get justice so far in its latest stint. And here we have a defence minister who is speaking in favour of war as a means to heighten the army's stature.
The world has shunned the war route today
The world is not taking the war's route any more. We have seen how devastating wars have proved for the entire world. 'Peace' is a term that the entire planet has struggled to achieve, irrespective of endless talks and signing of instruments to end conflicts.
If India is doing well economically, it is because it has not gone to any war
If India has seen its economy grow decently since the dawn of liberalisation (we are not debating at what percentage did the economy grow under separate governments), one of the big reasons is that it has not gone to any kind of military mission that could impact its resources adversely. Look at countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan or Iraq... how much have they gained from their wars? And how much have their armies gained from bloodsheds?
India already has enough problems, is there any need to turn jingoist?
Such jingoism is not required when India has enough problems in its hand already. If Parrikar wanted to boost the army's psyche, which is a good thing to do since India is always surrounded by hostile elements, he could have done it in a better way. Linking war with soldier's good health is not a desirable thing to do.
Are our nuclear weapons also getting rusted because they are being unused?