Why our politicians so callous in their attitude towards Armed Forces?

via HK Correspondent published on September 6, 2008

From the media it must have come to the knowledge of all concerned citizens that the President, Prime Minister, Defense Minister and even the three service Chiefs did not attend the funeral of Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw who passed away on 27 June 2008. Even though HK mainly deal with subjects related to how the majority community in the country is dictated by a coalition government guided by a minority community leader, we cannot ignore other deliberate insult to true patriots. We are destined to watch in silence how the converts like YS Rajasekhara Reddy and Shibu Soran are kept in higher echelon and a true nationalist Chief Minister was rejected to visit a foreign country on the behest those in power. So, instances of deliberate disregard of deserving person or group must also figure in matters of concern and we must air our views.


The nation is very much indebted to the Armed Forces for the very existence of this country in shape for the past 61 years. Their round the clock vigil allows  over 100 crore population to sleep well, they are called upon to any part of the country when the law and order fails, they only deal with situation like earth quake, floods, famine or any such eventuality. They are called upon to perform such jobs that the ordinary humans cannot perform. So they command respect and consideration than others. But, the reality is that the politicians and the bureaucracy put in their best efforts to ensure that the Armed Forces don’t get much privileges or honour.


Field Marshals do not retire. So, Sam Manekshaw was in active service when he passed away at the age of 94. His attributes have no parallel even though what comes in the mind of everyone is the way he led the 1971 war that ended up as India’s only decisive military victory. As reported in English press, his most famous remark was on the eve of outbreak of the December 1971 war when Prime Minister Indira Gandhi asked him if he was ready for the fight; he replied “I am always ready sweetie”. About the salutation he later said that he could not address her `madam’ because it reminded him of a bawdy house.  So, no wonder that a true soldier of unparalleled attribute was laid to rest quietly without a national mourning.  The government gave a lame excuse that the Field Marshal did not figure in the warrant of precedence. But there are instances when national mourning was declared for business barons, civil society leaders, scholars and artists. Recently national mourning was declared when Baba Amte(great man as he was) passed away and two Union Cabinet ministers attended the funeral. Was that according to warrant of procedures?  Leave aside that, about 40 people have so far received Bharat Ratna since it was first awarded in 1954. About 22 of them were politicians, 13 intellectuals or artists, 2 social workers, 1 industrialist and 2 foreigners. Sadly enough, in 54 years not a single armed forces person has qualified. Surely, Manekshar should have?


The other war hero was Brigadier Rajinder Singh who had saved Kashmir (at least in its present shape). It was he who had held 6000 Pakistani invaders for four days on Uri front to enable Maharaja Hari Singh to accede to the Indian union and the Indian Army to fly into Kashmir in 1947 BY LAYING DOWN HIS LIFE. He had also been forgotten by the state till the Kargil War in 1999 when his birth centenary was celebrated by the state and the people. So, we could deduce from such actions that the government’s response to Manekshaw’s death has been part of a well established pattern of political behaviour which is highly deplorable.

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