Anshul Chaturvedi, Times of India 07 September 2010, 06:30 PM IST
Sachin Tendulkar being conferred an honorary IAF rank, one must assume, is at its core, an effort to gain greater visibility and aspirational status for the Air Force among the country’s youth. The IAF as such can surely have no agenda to promote or reward cricketing legends – God knows there is no deficit of agencies keen to felicitate Sachin – and the reality, unfortunate or otherwise, is that it needs the positive rub-off of an idol sporting an IAF uniform more than the cricketing maestro needs any recognition from the uniformed services.
The fact that all the three services in the Indian armed forces are facing a shortage of officers for several years is no breaking news. Now, we are hardly a nation facing a numerical deficiency of young men – and women, since the uniform is hardly an exclusively male domain any more – but we never seem to have enough good enough ones in this context. There are many professional domains where the demand of people good enough to get in far exceeds the supply of available slots, but the defence services are not quite there. Have not been quite there, for quite a while, actually....
And it is the adding together of all such perceptions that makes us resort to having to find a star batsman – with absolutely no offence to Sachin’s stature – to pitch the IAF’s profile. Because, frankly, as a country, we don’t really value the fundamentals that make a job that’s about defending or policing the country, quite worth it. We will come out on the streets during Kargil, applaud the NSG during 26/11, and tsk-tsk when we read that 76 CRPF men are slaughtered – but that’s about it.
Mr 210-crores-in-three-years Dhoni required to pitch for the Army now, anyone?
Read the full article:
Even Tendulkar can’t make the uniform aspirational
Comment by sharan: September 08,2010 at 08:27 AM IST
Anshul, you are writing about symptoms, not the real problems here. The real problems are that as a race of people we are weak in mind, body and character, and we always choose to do what is convenient for ourselves rather than what is right.
The symptoms of this attitude show themselves in different ways, depending on where we are. As leaders and politicians, we resort to large-scale looting without contributing anything useful. As policemen we take sides with criminals and harass the innocent, in exchange for "supari". As soldiers, we cringe before our superior officers like cowards, but in the presence of unarmed civilians we turn into bullies. As Class 4 workers we hold the country to ransom, expecting more and more for doing less and less. It doesn't matter where we are; we will find a way to sabotage the system. What we need is to find a way to strengthen ourselves mentally and acquire the right character as humans.
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