26 Jan 2018. Mother of Lance Naik Nazir Ahmad Wani, Ashok Chakra (Posthumous) walks up to receive the symbol of a nation’s gratitude from the President of India. Eyes on ground she stands as the citation is read that described her son’s selfless courage and glorious end.
My face flush, hairs or end, here comes the lump in my throat and my tears well up. Like every time, thoughts on all those friends I’ve lost to “enemy action” flash through my mind. Good people, not some babaric bloodthirsty war mongers out to kill; but some good people who sacrificed their lives ending the lives of “barbaric bloodthirsty war mongers”. They fight day in till night out on land, at sea and in the air so that the rest of those within the borders of what is known in present history as The Nation of India may sleep in peace.
Take any nation around the world and check out who meets the criteria below. May I present to you, the Ten chains that bind these poor souls :-
- A good human with compassion for the fellow human
- With a strong body, active mind and a heart that can’t be defeated
- Selected from the masses like gemologists sort diamonds
- Ground through training meant to stretch and test their physical, mental and moral strength
- Made to sacrifice the joys of life his fellow citizens enjoy and take for granted and on denial of which masses will be incensed into rebellion
- Made to walk the narrow path carved out by discipline and obedience
- Carrying the burden of morals to abide by lest he/she becomes the enemy they are supposed to fight
- All the while training their body and mind to do the most uncivillised acts on other humans that their fellow citizens would shudder to even contemplate
- Is willing to die protecting those he never met and….
- Is forced by principles of duty, honour and partiotism to kill another human from another nation who meets all the above criteria……. Most of the time…..
There’s only one group of sacrificial goats that you’ll find in any nation around…. In the decent ones at least. Its the Soldier.
And I ask… For what on earth!!! Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you my core argument of this log….
For mankind at this juncture in history, armed with the knowledge and abilities that come with the scientific and philosophical wisdom of the twenty first century; there is no conceivable sound and valid reasoning in the justification of wars between nations.
Nine out of ten among the chains listed above that wrap around the bunch of noble hearts we call Soldiers, I’m fine condoning as necessary. The soldier needs to exist in human society because evil exists in this world. Sometimes evil may take attain monstrous strength. Then we’ll need the courage and sacrifice of noble and selfless men and women who qualify with factors one to nine above to deliver our species from evil. Maintenance of armed forces therefore, is not a necessary evil but a vital guarantee against our species killing each other into extinction.
It’s the tenth in the list that I have a problem with.
The most popular and possibly the only justification for nations letting loose their soldiers against each other is the mythical concept called Patriotism.
Let me reveal an unspoken truth here, on what patriotism is to soldiers in battle. Nothing dilates the idea better than how Patton put it. After his briefing and pep talk to officers and men before the World War II, hollering how they are going to butcher the Huns, he paused, dipping his pitch to a low tone coated with conviction, he said….
Now…. when it comes to whether any of you bastards think that you’ll chicken out in battle, I assure you that’s not gonna happen. I’m sure each and every one of you will do your duty.
‘Cause in the time of battle, when you dip your hand into the bloody goo that used to be the face of your brother a moment ago, gentlemen, I assure you, the courage will come and all of you Will do your duty.
So the unspoken truth is this….
In times of battle, it is not the intoxication on patriotism that compels the soldier to sacrifice his life. It’s because he knows if he doesn’t, his brother-in-arms will need to sacrifice his.
Remember Patton’s goo description above? Every soldier who gave up his life did it because he could never live in memory of his brother turned to goo. He’d rather offer his life than send in Asif here, who got message just before setting off for this Search and Cordon operation, that he’s been blessed with a baby, to go into a terrorist hideout with a grenade in hand, dagger on hip and pistol drawn.
When boiled down and reduced, we come upon the fact that soldiers fight not for their country exactly but they do it for their fellow soldier. This in turn is the reason why soldiers consider camaraderie and loyality as uncompromisable values. Patriotism may have its dark shadow on many selfless decisions that soldiers commit themselves into in battle but at the core of their sacrifice stands tall nothing but their sheer loyalty to their fellow soldier, the one who wouldn’t think twice before sacrificing his or her life for them. Patriotism is a feeble argument that serves no purpose for the long term need to maintain armed forces.
Now comes my general aversion towards Patriotism as an undeservingly popular concept. This is where I start rubbing people on the wrong side during this line of argument.
Now, I have some problems with the reasoning – the fervour behind patriotism. For eg…..
Then out spake brave Horatius,
The Captain of the Gate:
“To every man upon this earth
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can a man die better
Than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers,
And the temples of his gods”
Really??…. Is there really no better reason to die other than your ancestral legacy and temporary buildings erected in the name of imaginary deities? How about giving up your life in advancing our species as a whole rather than imagining that a particular temperory entity called Nation or a particular religion that you group yourselves into, is the one which deserves to win in a war? And by the way….
Is there a more arrogant assumption that humans can make about their self? Borrowing from the ancient Chinese idea of ‘Tianxia‘, isn’t that akin to calling all nations other than yours and your “tributary states” as barbarian? Really?? Won’t the rest of us call you megalomaniacs? And that too in the name of a temporary entity called Nation?
Do we really think that mythical creations like Nations last? History apparantly bears testimony that Nations have a birth, life and death. Most of the nations that ever existed has died. So what kind of supreme arrogance is the bedrock on which is built the confidence of patriots that their nation will survive the unstoppable force called Time? So what justifies the unleashing of soldiers upon each other, when few leaders in their nations get miffed at each other? Think about it deep enough and the answer stares embarrassingly at you….. Nothing.
With the general acceptance in 21st century that democracy is the only civilised way of guiding the people of the world, where they hold god like connectivity and control over the citizens in their fiefdoms, the remaining lines of reasoning available in the arsenal of the masters of modern nations to instigate and sell war are as follows:-
- The simple one for nations with methodically brainwashed citizens…. “Our country and culture are the greatest and hence we need to conquer all these other barbarian nations and teach them our virtues while we systematically suck their resources out of their land”.
- We have an obligation to free those natives from their tyrranical leader, who by the way has been refusing to sell their resources to us at the dirt cheap prices that a great nation like ours deserve. The guy is a monster who has been resisting the legitimate efforts of our noble bankers to take control of their wealth, which would be so much safer in our hands than those ignoramus natives.
- There’s a mess over there. And Mr. YouKnowWho is itching to get in there with his tanks, ships and planes pretending to help those poor native bastards. When the mess clears, we don’t want YouKnowWho to be hanging on there with military bases like a leach and suck the poor country dry, do we? You see their colour? Their horrible language? Oh their skewed values in life? They’ll thrust all that down the poor native’s throat. Imagine the poor bastard’s plight. They deserve better than YouKnowWho. They deserve us. So is it not imperative that we get in there first with our tanks, ships and planes?
- There’s a mess over there. Those two guys are fighting tooth and nail. One guy’s going to win and the other guy’s going to be screwed. We need to take a side and fast because these days wars dont last that long. (Aahh…. those good old days when we could stretch it for years and get rich no matter which side won…. miss them soooo much). We need to be on the winning side. The mess will clear, the spoils will be split and believe me bro, we’ve got to be there…. What?? Splitting those guys up and forcing both to take a cold bath or something and work some deal out?? LO freakin L. You serious bro? It’s their bloody fight. Think not about peace bro think what your nation can get from this situation. Remember which is the greatest nation on earth? So lets have what’s called a goooood waaaaar yeahh braaah, cheers (clink!)
That any of these wars can easily escalate or be manipulated into a world war is of no immediate consideration for them. That the next world war will most likely be the end of this miserable species called Homo Sapiens, is unfortunately not something our soulless masters, who do not have the wiring in their brains to understand compassion, can figure out. And they repeatedly mesmerise the masses into believing in the false dilemma that war is the only morally excusable choice for a true patriot. Really? Let’s check what a wise man once said about that….
It’s when a mosquito lands on your testicle, that you realise that there are other ways than violence
Would you be thinking of violence in such a situation? You really want to avenge the pain the mosquito inflicted but….it magically dawns on you that violence will inflict further pain besides making you look stupid.
The masters of course triumphantly peddle all such ideas to the #Sheeple using all the basic principles of magic and by owning and controlling the money and mass media. And once they have sold their war to a large portion of their own ignoramus population, these evil men and women turn to the noble men and women who don the military uniform and say, “Soldiers please rise. The time has come to lay down your lives for your mother land. Yours not to reason why. Yours but to do or die. Come on guys, get up and yell out “Thissss issss Spartaaaa” or whatever you guys do to psyche yourselves before war. But take your time and say your goodbyes first to those who love you. We’ll take care of them when you are gone”.
And the soldier stands up bolt upright. Chest out, chin up. Elated…. Here’s my chance to die for something greater than myself. He picks up his rifle and asks “What are my orders sir?”
Aren’t soldiers truly the Honourable Unfortunates?
And….Wani, thank you and rest in peace bro