It’s become a thing, of late, for the self-proclaimed nationalists to claim the army as additional fig leaf. Don’t, says an Army officer’s daughter as she widens the nationalism versus jingoism debate.
I was too small the last time he had to report for war, but I remember not seeing my father for months together. Twenty-seven years have passed and my father still serves in the Army, and has made me believe it’s one of the toughest and most efficient institutions in the country.
Having said that, it doesn’t mean that an average citizen like me can’t discuss (anything) about the nation; for not having put my life on the frontier too. I can complain, deliberate, ridicule, praise, sympathise, empathise with any idea that’s in tune with causing no destruction to the society. To put in simple words, I can empathise with Kashmir.
I love the Army, but I’m critical about how it functions in Kashmir. To have to live in a state with constant surveillance and seeing guns at every corner is suffocating. Three weeks of struggle for Rohith Vemula at campus was enough of seeing the lathis and tear gas vans.
Having set up her point, she nails it here:
Is it possible to love the Army and feel the angst of Kashmiris, Manipuris, Dalits, tribals, et al?
Yes, which is why my anger directs to the state, to the government which is using Army as a pawn to reinforce its nationalism and cover up its misgovernance. It’s easy to hail the Army and forget what they were fighting for.