Yesterday, January 15 marked the 65th Army Day. It is an apt time for some introspection, especially now that tensions have ratcheted up on the Indo-Pak border. Jingoistic statements are flying back and forth, accusations are rife and even though it may sound alarmist, to the common man, the war drums seem to be beating louder than ever.
In a climate where there is a lot of anger in India over the killing of two jawans and the mutiliation of one of them, it is perhaps natural that some people are bristling about the fact that Pakistan players are in the country, playing the hockey league. However, political parties stoking sentiments with an anti-Pak stance need to realise that to be genuinely concerned, one can do something for the Army jawans and other service personnel instead of shouting at sporting facilities or making bombastic statements on Army Day.
Have politicians used their clout to improve the lives of the army jawan? Or the services personnel? Why don’t they do something for the war widows of India, which could be more productive than sloganeering and disrupting matches? Because creating a ruckus everywhere is bound to get you more headlines and publicity than working for war veterans or widows.
The services are struggling with a shortage of men as younger persons especially in cities like Mumbai do not choose the armed forces as a career. Maybe, the Sena and other parties could do something to make the avenue more appealing to the youth. There are ways leaders could use their influence and money to help the forces, especially the families. That is a more effective way to show that you care for those who make the ultimate sacrifice for the country.