Kanika Sharma

We beam with pride and patriotic fervour, but when the war is over, so are the memories.

I recently watched an extremely emphatic movie on the martyrs of the Indian Army. Progressing with the latter I confronted not only the indifferent attitude of our Government, but mine own. How often do we, the sassy intelligentsia youth of today, lend a thought to the brave soldier risking his life. It’s their noble duty to protect us civilians which they fulfil with profound sanctity.

But what about the newly wed wife who loses her husband, or the little 7-year-old daughter who pines away for her father back home or thousands of those wrinkled mothers who lose their only financial and emotional support amongst the debris of countless others. They lay down their lives for our smug existence and even though we beam with pride and patriotic fervour, when the war is over, so are the memories.

Our economy is enlarging its paraphernalia of income and production in every possible way. The corporate giants continue to gain mammoth profits and pave the way for the most affluent way of life filled with the glitter of luxury. Such news items that fan the ego of the wealthy corporates abound in the media and create a glaring disparity in the income levels of many. Not that I am an out and out capitalist cynic but the ostentatious display of wealth in a country like ours invites a bit of scepticism. But the military profession, continues to be as always, taken for granted. Contemporary trends indicate a lot of corporate social responsibility projects (CSR’s) being run by certain conscientious multinational companies. They are doing projects corroborating environmental and social issues. But we cannot dispute that in the end it all culminates to voluntary charity.

What is this schizophrenic nature of our society? We are moved to tears by compassionate movies like ‘Border’ but the minute we step out of the multiplex, so do our appropriate Indian sensibilities.

Yes, we are citizens and not bureaucrats in power who possess the authority to pass legislations. But we can trigger off the thought process. Why does one of the most dignified of professions require philanthropy? Why does our Government not impose a mandatory army tax on the draconian corporate companies?

My resentment is not against the MNC’s but a frustrated reaction to a government that overlooks the need to compensate the army men or their families. Why does the Gen X prefer to be a CEO and refutes the once elite status of an army man? The pay scales are admittedly, anything but appealing.

So, the government needs to now stop the redundant contemplation on nuclear deals but perceptibly hike the coveted pay scales of the military. I feel confident; I don’t just echo an individual perspective but a collective view point of every aware Indian. So this independence day where we complete 61 years of glorified sovereignty, let’s cross our fingers that our government renders some tangible pay-scales to the army, so that it’s not the just the private companies who realise the almost 9 per cent GDP.