Is news TV clamouring for a war with Pakistan?

Twenty-four hours after the Pakistani cricket team had departed from Indian soil last week, after having soundly thrashed the hosts in the one-day series, news first leaked on television of the mutilated bodies of two Indian soldiers being found, and then breathless coverage of one of them being found “decapitated”.

From then on, it has been a relentless slide on television, with Indian anchors, army men, “analysts” and now even the leader of the opposition Sushma Swaraj, locked in an eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation with Pakistan army men, “analysts” and others willing to go through the ignominy each night.

The media (and resultant public) gaze on what is otherwise a fairly routine violation of the ceasefire has led to a less-than-balanced reaction. The Congress is vying with the Shiv Sena for brownie points on patriotism ( a la Pakistani hockey players); the chief of the Army staff Bikram Singh is vying with his Air chief counterpart N.A.K. Browne.

The competitive jingoism—“If Pakistan does not return the head of martyred soldier Hemraj, India should get at least ten heads from the other side”—is being placed all the door of the media, especially the television media.


Editorial in Business Standard:

“It should go without saying that the media has a role in informing and educating a citizenry about the issues of the day, providing background, context and holding the powerful to account. A case study in how not to go about this is currently being provided by the electronic media in its coverage of recent raids and counter-raids on the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, in which two Indian soldiers have been killed, and one allegedly subjected to post-mortem mutilation.

“Instead of questioning the narrative, news television and some print outlets have instead blatantly beaten the drums of confrontation, hyping even relatively calm statements by the army chief into belligerent displays of national machismo. Coming at a time when the government is attempting to move forward on dialogue with Pakistan that is very much in the national interest, the question should be asked: are some of India’s news channels, and their pursuit of eyeballs, turning into a national security hazard?

“If the electronic media dragoons a weak Indian government into raising the ante with its Pakistani counterpart at a time when it needs instead to be an ally against the powerful Pakistan military’s ability to hijack the security agenda, then the national interest will suffer a serious blow. More, it will count as a signal ethical failure on the part of whichever media outlet is sacrificing context to sensationalism.

“A handful of bellicose television supremos cannot be allowed to dictate a foreign policy that hurts the interest of India’s citizens.”


Mani Shankar Aiyar in The Indian Express:

My friend, the cine artiste and poet, Farooque Sheikh, has summed it up better than I ever could. He describes the TRP war being whipped up by our hysterical TV anchors as “dangerously boring and boringly dangerous”.

It is precisely because one had anticipated outrages of the kind that occurred on Sunday, January 6 (and have a much longer ancestry than TV anchors and their guest cohorts are willing to acknowledge—such, for example, as revealed by Praveen Swami in The Hindu, that I have for so long been advocating “uninterrupted and uninterruptible dialogue” as the only way for India and Pakistan to resolve their issues and normalise their relations.


Editorial in The Hindu:

“Few spectacles have been as unedifying as the contemptible baying of warmongers these past days—most of it, it bears mention, emanating from TV studios located at a safe distance from the nearest bullet.”

Read the full BS editorial: Crossing a red line

Read the Express column: The hostility industry

Read the full Hindu editorial: Stop baying for blood

External reading: Was an Indian soldier decapitated?

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38 Responses to “Is news TV clamouring for a war with Pakistan?”

  1. kunwar Says:

    dear susmaji, don’t encourage and drag bloodpath to our nation, we are living in gandhi’s nations, we should always breach piece and love. please take the example during srilankan conflict where lot of our young tamil men and women being killed by fellow singlaesh army that time india shows and followed gandhian value.if you really want to solve this issue we indian should behead nations head that is kashmir to be free from india.

  2. Deepak Says:

    Expected from a namby-pamby liberal like Churumuri. Pak attacks India via boat and refuses to arrest mastermind Hafiz Saed – we start Aman Ki Asha

    Pak Home Minister visits India and strips us and goes – we fall over each other to resume cricket ties and Italeshwari cuts defence budget by 5% as a mark of goodwill to the good Malik

    Pak beheads Indian soldiers – Govt, calls for restraint and Congi TV anchors lusting for the Padma awards talk about responsible coverage

    Pak beheads Indian soldier – Govt. wants peace, amity and goodwill. But Ramdev and youth protest in Delhi – Govt. launched brutal attack against them!!

    Wah!! What a Govt,, deals with its own with an iron hand, but allows enemy and terrorists to rule the roost.

    Shame on these impotent bunch ruling us and shame on the paid media which licks the boots of these thugs!!!

  3. Augustine Kuriapilly Says:

    I am afraid we are a nation led by base emotions. How I wish we were a nation led by wisdom. We have all the resources to help us to be one. The media have taken over the task of opinion creation ignoring their role in nation building. As a nation we are also led by religious fanaticism which makes us forget that every religion ought to help us create brotherhood as against hatred. India apparently is led by its majority religion. Pakistan is a theocracy, Islam being its guiding religion. Both these religions have massive following. As seen from time to time, mass leaders of both these religions interpret their religious tenets as it pleases them. Religion and mass media make a deadly concoction. Result is mass hysteria. The question needs to be asked is, what good will armed conflict bring about either to the nations or their peoples. After another bloody destructive war, what next?.

  4. harkol Says:

    Well, lot of outrage generated is due to imbecile handling of the issue by govt.

    Let us look at Dr. Singh’s record. He makes some big statements (like he did today “can’t be business as usual with pakistan”) and then quitely returns to ‘business as usual’ given first opportunity and a dazzling smile by Pakistani Foreign Minister.

    He promised the nation he’ll ‘escalate the cost’ to Pakistan for 26/11 attacks, but ended up doing not even ‘one bit’ to change Pakistan’s behavior. Not a single person has been punished and master mind roams around giving hate speeches.

    Many unilateral concessions to Pakistan were made without any reciprocation. Why give Pakistan MFN? Why be flexible in water treaty with Pakistan?

    Why not treat Pakistan as a enemy nation that it is, till it truly comes around and become a more tolerant and civil nation? What is the purpose of any substantive talks with them till then?

    Why A**holes like MS Iyer & Kurshid go on TV preaching to nation there is no alternative and can’t go to war?! Who asked for a war to be declared?

    Our current policy isn’t working – so, Isn’t it duty of the govt. to figure alternatives to failed policies? The alternatives is to truly make it impossible for Pakistan to wage a covert war with India. Economically wreck it, thru various measures and to tell US, PUBLICLY, to take a hike when it tries pressurizes India, after rewarding their client rogue nation. US should get a message (like they get from China & Israel) that when it comes to our interests we just act on our wisdom – not theirs. They can be with us, or alienate us and rely on Pakistan, which in reality has nothing in common with US.

  5. Melanie Says:

    The Kafila piece seems to indicate that there was interpolation with regard to facts. Surely, a defeat in a cricket match, could not be responsible! What is the actual reason then- elections, a plan to deflect from the rape news coverage, which has severely eroded the image of the government- it’s anybody’s guess! I think the time has come for some kind of media regulation?

  6. Anonymous Guy Says:

    Obviously Sushma Swaraj and her vanar senas are the best equipped intellectually, physically and technologically to deal with Pakistan. Let us hand over a few weapons to these brave hearts and send them over the border to get the 10 heads.

  7. Abdulraheman Patrawala Says:

    Though Pakistan needs corrective measures, Sushma and her party are bent upon to destabilise the Central Government at any cost which is anti national. What did she do when her party in power took the terrorists in chartered plane to Kandhar ?

  8. asha Says:

    Another too clever by half posts by our good old Churmuri…who is behind the jingoism of the TV channels and why…today’s interview of the PM Man Mouni singh to hand picked NDTV answers this questions and more…but can we trust this Government with a serious issue like war with pakistan…especially when its image has taken such a drubbing after all the scams and the delhi rape fiasco..and a Foriegn Minister who claims he will do everything in power to help the peace process stay on course…

  9. Anonymous Guy Says:

    Also lets take harkol out of his cubicle chair and put him on some local TV channel to advice the government and army on what to

  10. Anonymous Guy Says:

    We should really turn over the nuclear command center to the only remaning action heroes on India: Ashok Singhal, Praveen Togadia and Sushma Swaraj.

  11. Gaampa Says:

    Watching news is soooo tiring these days

  12. shiv Says:

    24/7 channels especially the english ones are run by devious people who are probably fattening their bank accounts and playing a shrill tune.The noise that has emanated because of rape and now mutilated bodies are a diversionary tactic to minimise the stench arising out of the loot which has been hogging the headlines for the last 2 years.Cong(i) and their henchmen/women in NDTV/TimesNow/CNNIBN/HEADLINESTODAY cannot side track the public impression about the dubious regime ruling us.On the contrary, their shrill shouting of issues to side track the nation only reiterates that the current regime needs to be changed and in double quick time. As for Pakistan, Indians especially the ones influenced by the “ghandy” dynasty have messed up beyond redemption and it is time that elements other than the current lot address the issue.Narasimha Rao and his team proved how easy and quick a terrible problem like Punjab terrorism can be solved.Even the intractable looking pakistan issue will be solved once a broom is wielded in the ruling set of cong(i) politicians, men/women who are sitting in foreign office under the patronage of cong(i) are shifted from making any further damage.

  13. harihara Says:

    We indians have this traditional propensity to gossip and weaving stories ; it is reflected in all forms of expression. we have no patience to wait for facts to emerge; the persons manning the government of the people of this propensity are noexeption to the quality. So they maintains a slow pace attitude and submerge in lack of accuracy syndrome ; it does not clarify things quickly as they emerge in news domain . if we miminimize gossip and spend that energy in intelligent inquiry everything will be more accurate and less painful

  14. dr ramesh Says:

    When I first got u hear the term AMAN KI ASHA, I thought it was a new Bollywood movie, a love story btwn aman and asha with big stars and beautiful locales. Then I realized that it was another page 3 drama enacted by so called celebrity intellectuals.
    Bjp and Congress have erred big-time in dealing with Pakistan, bus journey, cricket, Jinnah tomb visit all of these have hurt India’s interests.
    A day will come when parents in India, mostly poor and underprivileged will start feeling why should their sons fight for the country and sacrifice, when govt and others are enjoying watching Pakistan cricket players and artists performing in India.

  15. shiv Says:

    Here is what I think can be done with pakistan – This a 10 year programme

    Seal the border
    No exports or imports even the dubious 3rd country kind like UAE
    No peace talks unless Pakistan agree to cease all violent activities.
    For every nuisance in India, find a way to undermine Pakistan economy and the army.
    Tell China, you want Pakistan, less trade to India especially the trash that Indians buy from China will stop.Create trade embargoes.Be a big nuisance to China in places like Afrika, SE Asia, there are ways.
    tell the same to Amerikans, any funny weapon programme will result in lesser trade opportunities.
    No sporting contacts, the crooks running the betting syndicate will run.
    Catch hold of all the hawala crooks operating in India and squeeze their cajones,Pakistani army will start crying.For this to happen, we have to remove politicians and Industrialists who engage these hawalas.When there are crooks inside, how can you tackle a rogue like Pakistan?

    This much of my advice is free.Rest costs money!!

  16. Om Shanti Om Says:

    Everyone except the peace loving citizens love a “good war.”

    At war times the media TRPs shoot up. The politicians get the chance of making those “Nani and Nana Yaad Kara Doonga,” kind of speeches.

    The ammunition companies love the war, as they can sell billions of dollars worth of products.

    The Peaceniks love a war, as they get the chance of making their “really stupid” candle lit vigils.

  17. shiv Says:

    “Bjp and Congress have erred big-time in dealing with Pakistan, bus journey, cricket, Jinnah tomb visit all of these have hurt India’s interests.” –
    Finally dr Ramesh, i found something to agree with you., a narrowminded regionalist!!

  18. Anonymous Guy Says:

    This tamasha is cooling down. Seems there is not much to be gained by people in power on either side.

    What will Sushma Swaraj do next with her revenge fantasies now? Send her UK educated daughter to the border with a gun? Send her husband here? Go herself to the border on a head hunting mission? Or surrender and move on to next topic?
    Cheddi commentors? Anyone?


    Bitti salahe yaar bekaare kodabahudhu. Anyway your advice is not worth taking even if you gave money :-)


    4 words for cheddi commentors saying how BJP/RSS/VHP would have done this, that and the other thing:
    Indian Airlines Flight 814

  19. dr ramesh Says:

    Regionalist,chauvinist —is an accolade I would love to have one day, it is far more clear cut and respectable than right, left and straight.
    America is the cause of the problem, Pakistan army is emboldened by Obama’s statement that Taliban will be a part of settlement for a stable Afghanistan, what an about turn.
    Till the time India’s economy and foreign exchange is IT DEPENDENT AND US LINKED, Pakistan will bleed India and US will be the king maker in Asia.
    Time has come for the govt to open the books and revisit great deeds of INDIRA GANDHI and PV NARASIMHA RAO in relation to foreign policy.

  20. Anitha Says:

    For all the people who are quite fond of quoting the kandahar incident, here is something to ponder, provided the dimwits can even comprehend this.

    1. This mozzie mazhoor ahmed was arrested in 1994. The then Congress government knew he was a terrorist. Instead of killing him on the spot, they fed him biriyani, a la Kasab and kept him in Jail.

    2. in 1995, thsi mozzie’s supporters, who called themselves Al faran, kidnapped foreign tourists to seek his release. One tourist managed to escape but sadly the rest were killed by the terrorists. Atleast by now the government should have woken up and shot dead this bastard. But they continued pampering him with biriyani.

    3. Which was the party in power in 1994 & 1995? Don’t even doubt, it is Congress.

    4. BJP Government assumed power in Oct 1999. Much like NaMo had to face the litmus test of communal riots soon after he took over as the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Atalji also had to face this test.

    5. The Indian Airlines Flight 814 ( like the nameless mentioned above) had 176 passengers.

    6. During that period, the newschannels which were in the congress payroll brought the family members of the passengers and made them sit in dharna in front of the PM’s residence.

    7. Purely on humanitarian grounds, it was decided to let go of this mozzy and save the lives of of 176 citizens of this country.

    8. This then is the story behind the Kandahar Hijack and the eventual release of the muslim terrorists. If only the Congress government had acted and killed them, this incident would never have happened. Much like Gujarat riots would not have happened if not for burning kar sevaks at Godhra.

  21. the colonel Says:

    Few months after 26/11, Taj group of Hotels owned by TATAs launched their biggest tender ever for remodeling all their Hotels in India and abroad.

    Some of the companies who applied for that tender were also Pakistanis. To make their bid stronger, two big industrialists from Pakistan visited Bombay House ( Head office of Tata ) in Mumbai without an appointment to meet up with Ratan Tata since he was not giving them any prior appointment.

    They were made to sit at the reception of Bombay house and after a few hours a message was conveyed to them that Ratan Tata is busy and can not meet anyone without an appointment.

    Frustrated, these two Paki industrialists went to Delhi and thru their High Commission met up with than Commerce Minister Anand Sharma.

    Sharma immediately called up Ratan Tata requesting him to meet up with the two Paki Industrialists and consider their tender “enthusiastically”.

    Ratan Tata replied…”you could be shameful, I am not” and kept the phone.

    Few months later when Pakistani government placed an order of Tata Sumo’s to be imported into Pakistan, Ratan Tata refused to ship a single vehicle to that country.

    This is the respect and love for motherland that Ratan Tata has.

    You got to stand for something in your life…
    else you will fall for everything……….


  22. the colonel Says:

    — from the diary of an old soldier ….. people like Lt Gen Bhagat were still alive ……and the modern breed of Gens was beginning to be born!

    The recent brutal killing of two Indian soldiers by Pakistani troops on Indian soil, then the Indian government’s protests and the Pakistani government’s denials, etc has left me pondering and reminiscing about the good old days. I have had three postings in J&K, and I distinctly remember three incidents that took place around NW Kashmir during my first posting at Uri in 1976-77:

    Incident 1:

    A Maratha Light Infantry battalion was newly inducted in a sensitive sector. On the very first night when the rear party of the previous battalion finally moved out and the main body of Marathas newly moved in, Pakis fired 2″ mortar shells on a Maratha forward post. (This has been the usual way to welcome newly inducted Indian Army units by the Pakis for ages.) As soon as day broke, a Major on the Maratha post climbed a tree with an RL (Rocket Launcher, for my civilian friends) slung on one shoulder and two rockets slung on the other, and simply blasted two bunkers of the Mujahid post across the LOC.

    Thereafter, not one bullet was fired by the Pakis on the Maratha paltan for as long as they stayed there.

    Incident 2:

    Pakis observed that Gorkha soldiers in their OP (Observation Post) just left the LMG (Light Machine Gun) unattended for 2 to 3 minutes while they went out of the OP for a pee. One summer day at about 11 o’ clock in the morning, in a daring raid, two Paki soldiers sneaked in and ran back with the LMG.

    Four hours later, which is normally siesta time and security is lax, a team of Gorkha soldiers raided the Pak post and came back with the Paki CO’s 15 year old daughter. (Pakistan Army’s officer lot is super privileged. They even stay on border posts with their families.) The Gorkhas did not harm the child, they just made her sit on a chair on top of the OP bunker. Soon enough, a bunch of Paki jawans came up to the LOC with a white flag and the Gorkhas’ LMG, and a neat and clean exchange took place.

    Incident 3:

    This incident happened when Naga Regiment was newly raised in the Indian Army and Pakis had no clue what material the Nagas were made of! (Those with a weak stomach may please skip reading this incident further.)

    The Nagas were also given the customary welcome on their induction, but they did not retaliate. Then, for the next two consecutive nights, a couple of Paki soldiers would cross over to the Indian side, lob hand-grenades at the Naga post and run back.

    On the third night, a few Naga soldiers laid an ambush and caught 2 Pakis. They brought the Paki soldiers back enough to be hidden from the Paki OP sights. They tied the Pakis to a tree, lit a fire and performed a traditional Naga dance! Then they chopped a leg off one of the Paki soldiers and literally barbecued it over the fire. Both the Paki soldiers were let off the next morning, but not before they were made to hear this dialogue between a Naga Havildar and a Sepoy:

    Sepoy: “Ustaad, inko rakhte hain, bilkul chicken jaisa taste hai.”

    Havildar: “Nahi re, inko jaane do, yeh dono bahut kamjor hain. Ab yahan 3 saal rehna hai; tu tension mat le, aur bahut mote tagde milenge.”

    This news spread like wildfire, and the Pakis (Baluch Regiment) across the LOC were thereafter not to be seen even through binoculars, till the Naga battalion was replaced by another unit after 3 years.

    Nowadays, the only reason Pakistanis keeps blatantly bullying us Indians is because we allow them to do so. How I miss the good old days.

    Jaane kahan gaye woh din!

  23. Anonymous Guy Says:

    Anitha, Nice spin. Does not change basic fact:
    BJP government was in charge when we surrendered to the terrorists in IC814 hijacking. And this was not even the regular Pak army. RSS didnt go across the border and rescue the plane with 176 Indians (many of them Hindus), much less take any revenge. Like your little hypocrites Sushma Swaraj et. al. are now demanding.

    BJP/RSS surrendered then, it will surrender now. It is just Congress with some added hypocrisy, nothing more. You RSSites need to umm introspect a little before creating tamashas and then trying to justify it on internet forums.

  24. Doddi Buddi Says:

    Bravo Colonel. You are right India must stand up to the bullying of Pakistanis.

  25. Sanjeeva Says:

    Bravo Tata. Felt good after reading both. Thank you Colonel sahab! At least there are some who have spines in our country.

  26. Anitha Says:

    It required little grey cells (like Hercule Poirot says) to think. Which is at a premium for many people unfortunately.

    @ AG, if you care to do a little research on this subject, you will know that this plan was in Kandahar in Afghanistan, completely surrounded by hostile Talibanis, from the community that loves peace, ready to blow up the plane at the slightest intervention. The government did what it had to do and thats it.

    On a related topic but on a different country, look how badly the French botched up the hostage rescue mission in Mali. Instead of rescuing its people, the French action made the terrorists ( again from the peace loving community) slaughter the hostages.

    Also, when terrorists can be released for the daughter of a kashmiri muslim, why not to save the lives of 176 passengers??

    Now Congress is sitting on the issue of Afzal Guru for a long time. Some Kashmiri muslims will do another such drama in 2014 and Modi might be forced to release this Guru chap…and there will people frothing at the mouth that BJP released a terrorist.. Ha ha ha

  27. Rastrakoota Says:

    @Anitha, Not sure of the exact timelines to comment but why didnt the saffrons take the first oipportunity to kill the deadly bastard terrorist once they came to power? Why let time pass?

    Anyways, the beheading tamasha is dead by now. its so flippn disgusting to see the EA minster Salma Kursi telling this shud not affect the peace process!!watever that is, just shows the kind of filth his mind is capable of generating!. (n so are the other rajmata’s servants).

  28. Anitha Says:

    @Rastrakoota, you said you are not sure of the time line. Here it is.

    NDA Assumed power in October 1999. The hijacking of the flight happened in Dec 1999. Therefore the new government was just about 50 odd days in power. If you are hinting that a government should give executing a terrorist first priority on assuming power newly, I think it is asking a bit too much from that government.

    Sickulars never tire of pointing fingers at NDA for releasing the mozzy terrorist. My response was to make them realize how stupid their line of thought is.

    I am not sure if you are following the latest controversy involving Burkha Dutt. She apparently had written long time back about beheading of a pak soldier during the Kargil War. Now it is coming back to haunt her. There are enough noises being made in Social Media about the irresponsible nature of her reporting.

    What sickulars say about the hijack falls into this kind of irresponsible blabbering.

  29. Rastrakoota Says:

    @Curnull sahebre!

    Abt the TATA comment, is this really yours or copied from another source? A lookup will find the exactness of what you have presented from another source! This was indeed a gud one but could you start acknowledging the source anymore?

    Onderadu peg haaki paatchkoli swamigale. Blore nalli 5 divasa dinda bejaan chali!!

  30. Deepak Says:


    1) Regarding Kandahar, the moment the plane landed in Afghanistan, there was no option other than releasing. Launching a raid on Taliban land would have been nothing less than suicidal. And there was immense pressure from relatives, media and opposition, so they had no option but to release. But IMO it was totally wrong for Jaswant Singh to escort the terrorists.

    2) Why did NDA not kill the terrorists after they came to power? Because we don’t have covert ops capability, because IK Gujral as PM put an end to the pollicy of carrying out covert ops. And for some strange reason Advani didn’t restore it. IMO Advani was a flop as Home minister, he could have restarted covert ops and taken the battle to Pak, but he didn’t do it.

    3) The attitude of the Cong ministers and some media channels was that – if they cut one head show them another head. Thats the reason why public got worked up and thats the reason why Arnab’s hardline TV shows made an impact. Other channels who were burning with jealousy started the line that news channels are clamouring for war.

    4) We have become a laughing stock before the world and before Pak. They know they can keep launching terror attacks, they can keep sending their ministers to come down and make us looks look like fool and they can humiliate us with beheading acts. And in return we only can talk about Aman ki Asha. Sorry state of affairs!!

  31. Anonymous Guy Says:

    Anitha, Sure Congress did this and that and appeased terrorists. But what did RSS and BJP do – abject surrender to Taliban instead of putting up one iota of a fight. No fight back, no revenge. What will they do different next time? Tell that to your leaders like Sushma Swaraj and her controllers in Nagpur, who are frothing at their mouth asking for heads to roll. Otherwise strap them with an AK 47 and send them all to the border instead of doing tamashas like hijras.

    BTW congrats to RSS for giving Kasab a fair trial and punishment per the law of the land. Oh wait…

  32. asha Says:


    Bravo…nice response to the usual suspects on churmuri. I would like to quote B Raman the security expert who says after Indira Gandhi all the PMs who succeeded her were wussy and would not allow RAW to create trouble for Pakistan in their own country. In fact I K Gujral, whose Foreign Policy was hug every body and every thing that came at arms length handed over a comprehensive list of under cover RAW agents in Pakistan to Nawaz Sharif..but we keep singing paeans of this traitor.

  33. asha Says:


    Do you know the procedures involved in transferring Masoor Azhar from J&K to Delhi and the time it takes to complete them with pro terrorits government in J&K…Even today Farook Abdhullah cautions against hanging Afzal Guru and our Congress government obliges him..reason being the people in Kashmir will revolt…this is how weak the GOI has become…blackmail works all the time with GOI as has been proved time and again.

  34. shiv Says:

    “Regionalist,chauvinist —is an accolade I would love to have one day, it is far more clear cut and respectable than right, left and straight.” – You have reconfirmed what i think you are.But open your eyes little wider, it may strike you that you are Indian first then a kannadiga.The problem is guys like you fester in states like tamilnadu,maharastra,kerala,W.Bengal,Punjab and these little men hold this country down.So what i suggest is divisive little men like you have no right to complain about poor state of affairs in our state or in rest of the country.

  35. asha Says:


    >>The problem is guys like you fester in states like tamilnadu,maharastra,kerala,W.Bengal,Punjab and these little men hold this country down.>>

    Hey you missed Gujarat…btw why do you think all these states are holding back India…let me put it another way…which states do you think are contributing to keeping the country up..BIMARU states..?

  36. the colonel Says:

    this is due to some comments…………….

    Subject: My Army Life (1977 to 2006) By Gopal Karunakaran

    Here is an article written from the heart of a soldier. I wish that each of our citizens and more so men in positions of power whether politicians, bureaucrats , media mughals and other opinion leaders ( hell of a phrase ! ) get to read this. And, more importantly, act proactively for the sake of our nation.

    I Love the Indian Army – but I must leave Now!

    I stumbled into the Indian Army in the late seventies. The School which admitted us mid-session, when we returned from Singapore, where my father had a brief teaching stint at the Singapore University, was The Army Public School, Dhaula Kuan. With teenage sons of Army officers as friends, it was natural to apply to join the National Defence Academy. A friend filled my form and even paid the application fee. I wasn’t serious at all of pursuing a career in the military – much like Hrithik Roshan in Lakshya. I saw a
    movie with my friends, after each of the four NDA entrance papers, and argued with my father when he questioned me on my lack of commitment to the exam.

    Surprisingly, I qualified on the Service Selection Board standing 19th in the Army all India merit list. I then chose to join the National Defence Academy, as a career was assured at such an early age.
    Astonishingly, within a few days of joining the NDA, at pristine Khadakwasala, I began my life long affection and admiration for the Indian Army. The NDA was awesome and I took to it as if the place was always meant for me. It was, and probably still is, a remarkable institution where everything works like clockwork, and boys transform into enthusiastic, self confident young men with fire in their belly and an idealistic vision to contribute meaningfully to the security challenges that India would face in the future.

    Three years later at the Indian Military Academy in Dehra Dun, I learnt that
    > toughness and fitness was not just about well developed physical abilities, but also as much about mental strength, and that the IMA motto of ‘Service before Self’ was not some Gandhian mumbo-jumbo, but the very edifice of life in uniform as an officer.

    The many years in my Infantry battalion were even more memorable. Not a day was spent as “work”. Every day was enjoyable with a huge family of 800 men; the love, respect and camaraderie was astonishing especially in this day and age. A life of great honesty of purpose; lived simply and with great pride, respect and honour.

    I had a tour of duty in Kashmir in every rank I have held. As a Lieutenant in Baramulla before the militancy, as a Captain in the Siachen Glacier at 20,000 feet, as a Major and company commander in Kupwara fighting terrorists, and as Lt Col as second-in-command of my unit in Badgam in a counter insurgency deployment on the outskirts of the Srinagar airport.

    Finally as a Colonel and Battalion commander, I had three different innings in the Kashmir Valley, first as part of the offensive plans during OP PARAKRAM in 2001, then fighting militants in Anantnag during the 2002 Amarnath Yatra and during the state elections, and finally on the Line of Control in high altitude in the majestic Gurez Valley.

    Interspersed between these challenging times was an opportunity to serve with the United Nations in Iraq-Kuwait as a Military Observer where I saw closely officers from 34 different nations from around the globe and learnt from them about their militaries and the relationship between the State and the soldier in other countries.

    I also had instructional assignments at the Indian Military Academy, Dehra Dun and at the Infantry School teaching young infantry officers. I then had an enriching year at the Army War College at Mhow during the Higher Command course in 2004-5, learning the art of higher command in the military and traveling to every corner of the country, expanding knowledge, visiting not just our various military headquarters, but also the citadels of economic power of our nation.

    After the one year sabbatical at Mhow, I moved, in Apr 2005 to a dream job, to the seat of power of the Army in Delhi – the Army Headquarters with an office in South Block and an appointment in the personnel Branch of the Army dealing with postings and promotions of officers of our Army. After three years at Delhi, a Brigadiers rank was round the corner in mid 2008. The sixth Pay commission too was promising salaries to meet with the aspirations of soldiers and government officials who had been made to feel like poor cousins to their corporate friends in the galloping India of the
    21st century.

    Inspite of such a bright future, I felt I must I leave the Indian Army.
    The three years in the nation’s capital left me with a strange emptiness which refused to go away. All the years, I felt that the many years I spent away from my immediate family, in remote corners of India, were for a cause which was noble and worthwhile. I always felt huge pride for my soldiers and brother officers. I felt there is a grateful nation behind all of us stationed so far away, battling the vagaries of weather and the uncertainty of life.I remember in SIACHEN, in 1988, just before we started our deployment on the main Glacier, the shy 17 year old soldier, no more than a kid, who met me, then the Adjutant, and requested me to be posted to the transport platoon after this tenure, as he was very fond of motor vehicles. Four days later, he was violently taken ill at KUMAR our Headquarters at 16000 feet. We tended to him the whole night, as the helicopter could come to rescue him away only in the morning. Sadly, the High Altitude Pulmonary Odema which afflicted him was faster. He was dead before the copter arrived at the crack of dawn. It was a sad loss so soon after our induction on to the Glacier, but we took it on our chin as the accepted dangers of a soldier’s life. We shed not a tear, and proceeded to do our duty for the next six months, battling the odds and the enemy, in incredibly difficult conditions.

    I recall when a soldier, who had slipped and fallen towards the enemy side was rescued at Bana top, at 20,000 feet by a brave and courageous officer who went across single handedly at grave risk to his life, to get him back.

    The soldier spent four hours exposed to temperatures of below minus 40 degrees C, (later both his arms were amputated). When I met him in the hospital a month later he said he knew that his company commander would come to rescue him. It taught me a lesson in trust, faith, camaraderie and leadership which I shall never forget for the rest of my life.

    I also recall the young soldier who bravely jumped into a building, unrelentingly chasing three dreaded terrorists who had hidden there. We were
    > on the outskirts of Srinagar airfield and fighting a fierce gun battle
    > through the cold winter night in Dec 2000. He killed two of them but in the process was hit by a bullet through the head. He died in my arms. What was even more poignant was the gesture by his father when we honoured him on our battalions Raising day, the following year. In an age where money means everything, the old man broken by his young son’s loss, refused the money we as a unit of 800 had collected as a gesture of our sympathy and concern. He said he had no need for the money and the unit could put it to better use by honouring his brave son in any appropriate way.

    What I observed over these three years at Delhi, unfortunately have been a sad revelation of the nature of the relationship between the Indian soldier, the State and the people of India.

    Like RK Laxmans common man, I have observed silently the ignorance and apathy of the establishment towards all issues military.

    As our expectations from our cricket team, we expect the very best from our military in critical moments of our history, like the 71 War or the Kargil conflict.

    If we were to build our home, we shall obviously get the best builders and architects we can afford, if our mother was taken ill, we would look for the very best hospital and doctor that we can afford. The critical question is; do we do enough as a nation to ensure that we have the best military India can afford?

    Are we as a nation doing enough to ensure that we have the best men and systems in place to guard our sovereignty and security interests? Do we do enough to recruit and retain the brightest men and do we have the structures in place to meet the security challenges within and across our borders in the coming years?

    For a start, the inability to put in place an integrated Chief of Defence Staff is the foremost of our weaknesses and is symptomatic of the apathy and ignorance of military matters in modern India. It is often dismissed as a peripheral issue, one that can wait till the services themselves resolve it.

    The hard truth is that without true integration of the Army, the Air Force and the Navy, a modern military will be grossly inept and incapable of prosecuting a modern day war. To use the cricketing analogy a bit further, the Kargil war was T 20 cricket and can hide a few fatal flaws, but a full scale war will be like a Test match, only synergy; balance, close integration and team spirit will ensure success.

    You cannot blame the Defence Secretary or the civilian staff in the Ministry of Defence for the lack of awareness of these issues – very often the Defence Secretary would not have a days experience in the ministry till he joins as the head of the Ministry of Defence. He may have arrived from the commerce, railways or whichever ministry, the senior most bureaucrat is available at that time. The Defence Minister too often has no experience on defence matters till he becomes the Defence Minister. It is like appointing a CEO in a telecom company who had spent all his life in the cement

    We cannot quite expect them to understand the vital need for integration of the Services. As a comparison to our system, the United States has a long tradition of appointing secretaries of Defence and Presidents who have spent years soldiering or they choose from retired Generals with vision and an impeccable record of service for these assignments. In fact, even in India it would be inconceivable for the Foreign Secretary to be appointed from amongst the bureaucrats in say the coal ministry, so this assumption that the defence ministry can be managed by amateurs is an insult and an affront to the security needs of India.

    To cite another example, we have no clearly enunciated and documented national counter-terrorism policy. In a nation where the threat of terrorism looms larger with every passing day, it is a matter of shame that we haven’t formulated one yet. With the best minds in the Army, with years of experience in counter terrorism retiring every year, it is a pity we have failed to capitalize on their experience and set out a clearly laid out document. The alarming growth of the Maoists in the Red Corridor, will test the ability of the Indian state to respond to this challenge in the coming years. Policing being a State subject and internal threats being the concerns of the Home Ministry, there is an urgent need to look at counter terrorism holistically outside the confines of individual perceptions of States and various ministries. We must radically alter the narrow confines of each ministry when we define the policy for internal threats. There is apparently a visible lack of statesmanship and professionalism on any macro issue concerning national security.

    An oblique pointer to India’s concerns on national security and how embedded the military leader is in the psyche of the educated Indian is the representation at various Leadership summits and Conclaves. The ‘who is who’ of India and other countries are invariable present. There will be national political figures, corporate leaders, media barons, and of course movie moughals. So while we have the likes of Aiswarya Rai and Sharukh Khan telling us their take on leadership – the practicing military leader, whether a senior General or the young Major who is an Ashok Chakra winner shining examples of leadership in its many hues – are conspicuous by their absence.

    From our fiercely independent and vibrant media, one would have expected greater maturity in their coverage of security affairs. It is revealing that a study in the USA suggests that the gradual erosion of coverage of international issues by their media networks was possibly a reason for their flawed international security interventions as the American public was not capable or knowledgeable enough to question their leadership. The Indian media must ask itself – do they exhibit enough concern on the larger dimensions of national security and do they have enough knowledge of military affairs to fulfill their role as the watchdogs of the nation? Will the increasing trivialization and localization of news affect our security?

    There are many concerns that we must address as a military, as a society and as a nation. There are individual and collective responsibilities that we must fulfill. Will India and Indians meet the challenge of the future?

    Time, and the collective will of the nation, will tell.


    let this not be another epistle we read and forget….



  37. shiv Says:

    the colonel Says:
    19 January 2013 at 7:40 pm

    this is due to some comments…………….

    Thanks and hats off… At last I could read something thought provoking in churumuri. After living under foreign occupation since 1400s, Indians have become deceitful, shallow,cunning,crude and cowardly.You can spot many of them in this forum.

  38. the colonel Says:

    dear churumuri, please please dont moderate this

    From a mother

    My son, Arjun, has been fascinated by life in the uniform ever since I can remember. He used to pick out fighter jets from toy stores at two, choose books on tanks and naval ships from book stores at three and he could sit through an entire republic day parade at the age of four! Many of his painting are about soldiers or about fighter jets and battle tanks. There is no blood and gore in them though. His soldiers smile as they march along holding the Indian flag aloft. The skies are blue, the grass is green and the sun has a big smiley face! I have never bought Arjun a gun as a toy, but he continues to be mesmerised by military life.

    When I realised that he was genuinely interested in knowing more about military life, I tried to channelize this interest. I took him to visit the NDA, the Tank Museum in Ahmednagar, bought him books on military life and took him for aerobatics shows. ‘Mamma, I want to be a soldier painter when I grow up,’ he used to tell me, his face shining with determination. I felt proud. His grandfather, my husband’s father was an officer in the Indian army, while my father was one of the celebrated freedom fighters of Goa. My son had inherited the fighting gene from both sides of the family. His father and I felt a quiet surge of pride when he declared his intentions to be a soldier though we never said it out loud.

    These days though, I cringe visibly when he talks about becoming an Indian soldier. Someone once said that a nation that cannot respect its fallen heroes has no right to be free. I think India has reached that sorry stage. A group of enemy soldiers violate a nine year old ceasefire, walk into our land with impunity and kill and behead two of our soldiers. The head of one soldier is never found. Yet, all our ‘honourable’ polity can say is that the attacks were highly ‘provocative’! Provocative? Really? So when are we going to be provoked into retaliation? When a few more soldiers lose their limbs, lives and heads?

    And this is not the first time either. Remember Capt. Saurabh Kalia? Yeah, the same Indian officer who was captured by Pakistani soldiers and subjected to tortures that I shudder to even mention to myself! His old father is made to run from pillar to post as he tries futilely to hold the state of Pakistan accountable for what they did to his son. The Indian state just does not care. Forget the state, even the privileged citizens of India do not care. Our idea of patriotism is to light a few votive candles, buy tickets in black for India-Pakistan cricket matches and wave a few cheap plastic tricolours! Once the match is over, we can then trample those very tricolours beneath our feet and go home and sleep in our cosy beds, our role as a cheerleader for the Aman Ka Tamasha show over for the moment!

    India is a country where everyone has human rights. Rapists, murderers, child molesters, serial killers, terrorists, Maoists. Everyone. Except soldiers! They are paid to fight, remember? It is their JOB to die unsung and unlamented, to have their eyes gauged out, to have their dead bodies returned to their families headless!

    A few years ago, all major newspapers in India splashed a picture on the front page. It is a picture that still haunts me in my darkest dreams. Some BSF soldiers were ambushed by a bloodthirsty mob of Bangladeshi villagers. The soldiers were killed after being subjected to the most inhuman tortures. The very telling photograph showed a dead soldier being returned to India slung on a couple of bamboos, like he was some kind of a dead animal! Yeah, that is the respect we bestow upon our fallen soldiers.

    Even now, when I close my eyes and think of that picture, I feel like throwing up. I feel revolted by the attitude of our emasculated, spineless political leadership, by the selling out of our media that can fund meaningless extravaganzas like Aman Ka Tamasha, but does not have the will to follow up a soldier’s story. I feel revolted by the attitude of our thinkers, writers, film-makers, human rights activists, lawyers..all the people who don’t give a red farthing for a soldier’s suffering. I feel revolted by the Indian people, whose idea of patriotism is to light a few candles and paint their faces in the colours of the Indian flag as they cheer the Indian cricket team at an Indo-Pak match and I abhor myself, abhor my sterile helpless, ugly rage that cannot do a thing to change any of this!

    There was a movie called Dhoop that was released a few years ago, a very sensitive portrayal of the struggle that a fallen soldier’s aged parents have to go through to establish ownership of a petrol pump allotted to them. There is a scene in that movie that continues to be etched in my mind indelibly. The dead soldier’s parents are visited by their son’s comrade-in-arms, who fought along with him in his last battle. The mother cannot bring herself to speak for a long time. After a long, oppressive silence, she asks only one question, ‘ Did my son eat anything before he set out for his last battle’? The visitor merely shakes his head and she breaks down completely. She can only say one thing over and over again, ‘ My son went to fight on an empty stomach. He was hungry when he fought his last battle’! I have tears in my eyes even as I write this.

    I am that mother. I am every mother and I will never ever be able to tell my son with all my heart that if he chooses to become a soldier, his father and I would be very supportive of him!

    my words now:-

    We have a lot to say, but it remains unsaid.

    i get 600 ml of water per day to fill my canteen.

    do i wash my backside, or keep it for drinking.

    soldiers die, thirsty, hungry, and the nation, the polity

    Strange is the judicial system, which rejects an Army Chief’s school certificate …………………………. but accepts a rapist cum murderer’s school certificate!

    Mera Bharat Mahan!

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