Start seeking careers in defence services- III

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 29 Jul 2018 10:16:15







To protect honour of all honours-our India!

UNTIL recently, that is say about ten years ago, the larger society felt that the careers in defence services did not offer pay as good as in the private corporate sector. That was one of the reasons forwarded by many for not opting for careers in defence services or related fields. That situation has changed completely now, and defence-related careers offer top class financial rewards and comforts, if that is what people look for. Unfortunately, however, this reality is not being publicised properly by the defence services or the Govern-ment or the ex-servicemen. There is a need to tell the larger society that the careers in defence services offer great rewards. If this is done systematically, a lot of changes will come over and many families and their youngsters will feel attracted to defence jobs.

Just as tuition classes have come up everywhere training youngsters to take various national-level tests for entry to careers such as engineering or medical, many institutions, too, have come up in good numbers offering preparatory training for defence-related careers. The families with physically strong and mentally tough youngsters can think of those institutes to train their boys -- and also girls, of course -- as preparation for tests for careers in defence services. Unfortunately, the flow of youngsters to such institutions is not as good it should be.

In this edition of ‘Loud Thinking’, however, I wish to put forward an altogether different point of view when it comes to seeking careers in defence services. This point of view relates directly to one’s patriotic sense. Let us understand the romance of being a soldier -- either in the Army or the Air Force or the Navy. Let us ponder over that emotion of being a soldier. Let us understand that being a soldier does not mean signing a death warrant for oneself. Much to the contrary, being a soldier (or officer, since many of us may want only positions of officers) means living very well, in a disciplined, organised manner so that every moment of living is spent appropriately honoured and suitably rewarded. Let us understand the romance of the uniform, of the weapons, of the idea of defending the country and India’s honour, no matter who the enemy is.

And then, those who have seen the Hollywood movie ‘Patton’, filmed on the life of the legendary American General George Patton. The movie opens with a sentence that reads somewhat like this: “No wars have been won by those bxxxxxds who die for their own nation, but wars have been won by those bxxxxxds who make other bxxxxxds die for THEIR own nation”.

The idea, thus, is not of dying, but of living for one’s own nation and making the enemy die for HIS own nation. The Armies of the world use a term very fondly and respectfully -- soldiering. That means, they go to any distance to protect their soldiers, their interests, and never push the men into fruitless combats. That is also why Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery ‘Monty’ said, in effect, one of the most critical attributes of a great general is not knowing how to make a successful advance when things are good, but knowing how make a successful retreat when things are bad -- so that we save our men and our material.

But then there was one terrific, tremendous soldier whose name happened to be Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw who led the successful Indian military campaign in 1971 to carve Bangladesh out of Pakistan. His favourite expression while addressing his soldiers or officers was Sharam Karo. By that, he meant to say, ‘have the honour’ -- izzat. He used the word sharam not as ‘shame’ but as ‘honour’. For, as he thought, when one is aware of the emotion described by sharam, one knows also the meaning of the word izzat -- honour.

Being soldier means having the honour. Being the soldier also means having the onus of protecting the Motherland from any invaders. Being the soldier means being responsible to keep the marauders from dishonouring the honour of all honours -- our India.