Many a times I read articles and watch TV News channel reports, progammes and debates disciplining and exhorting the Nation as to how the service rendered by Armed Forces is far bigger than the service rendered by people in other professions. Now such videos and articles can also be seen on online mobile and other social networks. For some time now they are being telecast and written about to an extent of annoyance. Annoyance in a sense that they try to convey the message that the country is not fulfilling its obligation towards its soldiers. And that is where they also become problematic.
It will be wrong to argue that an armed forces personnel must not have a special status in the country. They do sacrifice their family lives and live away from their children for larger period of time. It is also true that they work in tough conditions and make the ultimate sacrifice for the Nation (by dying for the country). But is the Nation not fulfilling its obligations to its armed forces?
I think the Nation fulfills its obligations towards its soldiers with best of its capacity.
It is very visible. The level of living provided by the country(Government) to an armed forces personnel at any point of time is much better than an average educated civilian person in a village, town or city. The Nation feels its duty towards its soldiers and hence uses every inch of its capability to make up for his services. For example, the country takes responsibility of the Armed Forces personnel and his/her family’s (dependents) education and health. It’s Nation’s indebtedness towards its Armed Forces that it tries to make up for the soldier’s absence by giving preferential treatment to his family. It’s Nation’s sense of indebtedness for Armed Forces that it provides pension to Personnel and family from Government’s own pocket. Which other Govt. service has this distinction? … The Government also ensures that the personnel gets adequately reemployed once he ends his defense services. The list will be long. But let’s not go into it as Nation eternally feels indebted to its Armed Forces. If Nation can do more then it will.
The subject of Armed Forces becomes too difficult to understand when media uses it to make people believe that soldiers are getting lesser than their due. This in essence puts the Nation in the position of blame.
Such media unnecessarily makes people emotional to the extent that they get swayed away by emotion (in Hindi, “bhavnaon me bah jana”). People not only start feeling guilt about soldiers out there, they(people) also start seeing their own service to the Nation somewhat lesser.
In such emotional state, we start believing even those videos which tell us that politicians, MPs, MLAs are unjustly treated superior, when it is the soldier who must be treated that way. Is this reasoning correct? Should we believe in such line of thinking?
No. It is not. Hence, we shouldn’t.
It is quite justified for political leaders, MPs, MLAs treated superior to anyone else. Why?
Because they are running the country on behalf of the People of India. Only in Military States or authoritarian regimes (where military rules the Nation) people’s representatives will be lesser than the armed forces. If India is a democracy ruled by people though their elected representatives, then the status of MPs and MLAs will always be superior.
Finally let’s come to the topic of who serves the Nation more and who serves the Nation less.
The question is self explanatory.
Every person in this Nation — whether a farmer, teacher, factory worker, doctor, safai karmachari, engineer, IT professional, politician, rickshaw puller, daily wage earner, Lawyer, someone employed in Govt. sector or employed in private sector or someone running a business, and every person out there who works hard each single day of his working life and beyond, does a big service to the Nation. The service of a person to the Nation can never be compared in terms of bigger or smaller. Every person’s service to the Nation is equal. We’re simply supporting and helping each other. When a soldier is guarding the country, a teacher is teaching his child, doctor ensuring well being of his family and others are doing it through the career they chose for themselves.
The Nation for sheer gratitude may feel more indebted towards its Soldiers, but does it make the service offered by others to the Nation, anyway lesser?
The answer is No.
If tomorrow, the sweeper stops sweeping the street or the doctor becomes a recluse in some forest, the Nation will miss them dearly as well.
To conclude, it is important for every citizen to see things in correct perspective. If some TV News channel debate or some article in a Newspaper is making wrong comparisons, then we must not accept it or take it for granted. It must be the time to start thinking more rationally.