OROP :A call to Politics !

Whether we like it or not the die has been cast.The Armed Forces forever shall no more be the same again, at least even in public perceptions.In a manner of speaking, not politically correct, anymore. Importantly, we have to realise that politics is not a dirty word. To be committed to an ideology or party is a reality.In the shadows the brass profited out of its choices while tom-toming the fiction of being apolitical.The Chiefs in the past in their own wisdom stood silent when some one else was being had. I am not sure if that was smart and good for themselves or the forces that they helmed. I am also not clear if this was what a parliamentary democracy envisaged.The Armed Forces is a necessary burden.People enjoy wars when they are victors.But the cost bears heavily on the Exchequer and soon the questions of the return on investments shall always be there when the breast beating and the mourning of the dead is over.
The military is not any more, those of Rome or Egypt of yore.Drumming up the lore of an ancien regime or of the feudal days is passe.We need to adapt,review and re-orient. The military in modern times and in so called popular democracies will have to go through contradictory pulls and pressures but will have to find its own survival strategies.Colonial mindsets or rehearsed doctrines of the West needs to be put away .We have to find new ones and in our own way: indigenous and home grown.The military is a job with its own description and specifications.It is also about power, money, family and survival.Heroism, sacrifice, losses, risks come along with it.My understanding is that pawing on to the softer emotions of the people and governments at large is at best a soothing balm of an embrace or a hug.But to realise we are in it for the usual reasons which are not so romantic and to be not apologetic about would be the honest definition of the soldier of today. We would then, not be, disappointed easily or appear naive.That is crystal.Having first come out of the closet of apolitical military it would then be moot to decide what kind of military is best suited for third world countries which are beset with poverty, inequality, casteism,abnormal disparities.For a start are all wars just or necessary? Are we a people’s army? Are our histories and traditions just carry overs of the colonial past and contrary to the demands and aspirations of our people?Do we need to rewrite our histories, military in particular? Recall the role and tasks met by the Indian armies under British India?Recall the Great Wars, INA, the Royal naval Mutiny of India at Bombay, the Sepoy Mutiny and so many more?
It would be important, therefore to study the political orientations and practices of the Armed Forces in UK or the USA. It would be an act of vision if we studied the socialist regimes and their militaries, too.In any case, at a first glance, it isn’t what we think it to be, as it obtains in India.I am not illustrating this with examples considering all who are reading are well informed of what I do not elaborate. Politics and war are not just about generals or about politicians and bureaucrats.It is about us all.Vietnam,Iraq and Afghanistan remind us each time that politics is after all the centrepiece of all strategies.But back home and in some wager the Uniform pepper positions of power and authority.That is the quid pro quo.Defence purchases are among the highest in terms of our National Budget.It would be interesting to find out who goes laughing to the bank at the end of the day. We end up with foreign jaunts, some weapons and equipment, warships and aeroplanes and some ranks and promotions.Memorials,too.This is only to remind us of our indulgences and indiscretions.And we yet, do not understand a basic.Know your politics ! Little is not bad at all.But a lot of it is the need of the years to come.Militarism can be done away with but politics of the military befriended instead.Like it or not?

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