Monday, 29 February 2016

[ ::: ♥Keep_Mailing♥ ::: ]™ Fw: CIVILIAN FEELINGS ON ARMED FORCES

At last some one in the civil street took his time and
 effort to pen his feelings about the man in uniform . Read it.

Dear Soldier of the Indian Armed Forces,
While the whole nation today is busy debating the contours of nationalism, 
I'm writing to you – whom I believe to be the best example of someone who 
works unconditionally for the good of the nation. 
I'm writing to say those three magic words they taught us as kids – 
"thank you, 
sorry and 
And because I know you prefer straight talking to needless drama, I'll keep it direct.
Indian flag
First and foremost, I'm shouting out a heartfelt "THANK YOU" for 
all you have done and continue to do for me and my countrymen and
 our country. Over the past many years, I have witnessed your unflinching
 resolve to do what is right, your willingness to go the extra mile and your 
constant putting of others before self. I have marveled at your readiness to 
venture into deadly territory because it's the only way to protect this motherland 
and her citizens, despite the fact that many of them stay indifferent to her and to you.

Next, I'm offering an equally deep apology and saying, "SORRY."
I'm sorry for the fact that you and your near and dear ones have
 to undergo such hardships to ensure people like me wake up secure every morning.
I'm sorry that people who know nothing of your tribulations and have 
not experienced even a minute of your life, sit in judgment on your 
eligibility to qualify for a pension that you've earned a thousand times over.
I'm sorry on behalf of all the armchair analysts and media dimwits 
who think they have the aptitude to pronounce your actions inept and
 careless and question if you deserve to be honored when you fall in the line of duty.
I'm sorry that there exist some people who are the anti-thesis of 
what you are and what you stand for – people who advocate 
separatism and shout slogans of chopping our country to pieces and 
say every day in a nation is a plebiscite and yet, 
complain of their freedom of speech being snatched when 
someone so much as counters their insinuations with hard facts.
I'm sorry that one among you has to cry on national television to 
make us common citizens, the beneficiaries of your sacrifices, aware 
of what the National Flag should mean to us. And mixed in with this 
grief is anger at some media persons who ask what the drama is
 all about when they are the ones who don't hesitate to milk 
every distressing incident in the country for their TRPs.
And I'm even sorrier that a few members of my so-called noble profession 
choose to misguide young minds onto paths that advocate an anti-national mindset.
And now, finally, I'll tell you why I decided to write this letter.

When I was young and studying in college, I attended a 
leadership seminar and that was my first brush with the Indian Armed Forces.
 No, the Indian Navy did not host or sponsor the seminar. It did not put up 
a stall to sell the idea of a glorious future which – in every sense – it does provide. 
All It did was send a cadet …a chap still a little green behind the ears, still a 
work-in-progress, to attend that eminently forgettable seminar. There's not much 
I learned about leadership during those two days at the seminar. But a chance 
meeting with that cadet has meant a learning of a lifetime.

I watched the journey he made in the Indian Navy over the last two decades 
in bits and parts from the outside of the arena he chose to inhabit. Perhaps
because my interactions with him were sporadic over the years, I've been able 
to appreciate the spectacular unfolding of an exceptional individual, a maturing
 of the intellect and the heart, under the tutelage of the Indian Navy. And this experience,
 along with all the other things I mentioned at the beginning of the letter, leads
 me to view the armed forces with utmost veneration.

Over the past few months, I have watched a rare cynicism begin to 
tinge the comments of this exemplary soldier towards us civilians. What 
he finds infinitely hurtful is the apathy of the silent, indifferent majority. He tells
 me we are a jingoistic nation, not a patriotic one. And I'm inclined to agree. And
 I'm also afraid that if the scenario today can do this to someone like my friend, 
imagine what it must be like for someone sailing in the middle of the vast open
 sea or patrolling the Siachen glacier or toiling in the
 Thar desert  to guard his country's borders?

But "PLEASE", please do not let these people make you cynical about 
your countrymen. I agree, many of us are slumbering, lost in our own petty 
problems of day to day living, with nary a thought to spare for our country and you,
 her guardians, and for whom, Lance Naik Hanumanthappa is
 nothing more than another statistic.

Some of us are a shade better – we are armchair patriots who put up
 few Facebook posts and send out a few Tweets when we're episodically 
moved by the exploits of our Armed Forces. Standing for the national anthem 
in the comfortable environs of a multiplex or cheering loudly when India 
beats Pakistan in a cricket match is the outer limit of our patriotism.

But dear soldier, let me also tell you that there are some of us who try very 
hard to serve our country in whatever way we know best. We try to stretch 
out of our comfort zone and reach out to the needy in society and try to 
fulfill that need, or empower them to grow out of that need. We work to 
educate our people about the greatness of this nation and what she stands for.

 We want India to forge ahead and take her rightful place in the global order and
 we cherish the vital role your sacrifices play in letting us dream on. We are
 the people who are doers in million small ways, but you won't find our stories
 on any national news channel or in any newspaper. We have not much
 time to spend on self-marketing on social media either – in fact,
 some of us don't even know of its existence. We don't form part of the 
condescending elite who view India indulgently as if she were a unique specimen
 worth chuckling over or ridiculing for her apparent contradictions.

We only know that it is a great fortune to be born in this land that gives us
 such freedom of thought and action. And we know also of the pain that 
comes when someone is indifferent to our cause or sits in biased judgment over us.

We are ever grateful to you and moved and touched by the way you perform 
your duty unflinchingly. If ever you look at happenings in our country and 
wonder what you are struggling for, remember this letter, dear soldier. 
And know that there are others too working for India's good albeit in an 
understated way that can never match your heroism. We too are working 
without any reward or recognition, together with you, but by 
different methods and levels of effort towards the same goal.

Today, every single member of the Indian Armed Forces is prepared to 
give up his life for the nation. The day each and every citizen of this country
 shows this same willingness to sacrifice everything for the 
motherland, that will be the beginning of her glorious future.
I thank you for reading this through to the end, dear soldier. 

God bless and VAND-E-MATARAM

—A patriotic Indian

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