At a time when those complaining about standing in bank queues due to demonetisation are being asked by the ‘so called nationalists’ to compare their pain to that of the soldiers standing at border, a BSF jawan has shared three videos which describe how our national heroes are badly treated, while doing their duty, by none other than the administration. The videos expose the dismal state of affairs in the Armed forces and the hardships our soldiers face everyday due to the “corrupt practices” of their own officers. And there is nothing nationalist about it. In fact, the videos, that have gone viral, may deter young aspirants from joining the armed force.
The video suggests that our jawans are not just exposed to the security threat from across the border and the elements, but are also subjected to humiliation and insult when it comes to their daily meals which are both substandard and insufficient. In fact, they even sleep empty stomach at times, the video reveals.
Army or paramilitary jawans usually don’t speak against seniors fearing strict punishment. However, Jawan Tej Bahadur of 29 battalion showed courage, may be because of his desperation, to talk about that humiliation without caring about the consequences. While we are told that Army provides best of food items to its jawans, the video of Bahadur presents a different picture. Half-baked chapatis and inedible daal are what the jawans get in their lunch, as shown in the video.
“It must be looking very beautiful in the picture. But I want to tell you that our condition here is very pathetic. In these difficult conditions, we are honestly doing our duty. But what we are not getting sufficient food to eat. How can we do our duty then?” Bahadur questions in the video. One can imagine what must be going through the minds of jawans while being served such a distasteful meal.
Interestingly, Bahadur says that he doesn’t blame the government for all this. “Mai sarkar ko dosh nahi deta. Sarkar humey sab kuch deti hai. Ye adhikari hain jo sab kuch bahar bech detey hain. Iski jaanch honi chahiye,” says the jawan, blaming the officers and not the government, adding that his voice be heard by the media. Well, thanks to the power of the internet, his appeal has been widely circulated wihtin a few hours.
From Bofors to Tatra truck, the list of corruption in the Army is not short. And if what Tej Bahadur is alleging is true, then it seems even the basic necessities are subject to graft in the forces. It is sad to note that while we have money to spend on new arms and equipment, there is no mechanism to ensure that our men on the border, our first line of defence, at least get a good meal at the end of the day for their efforts. Those in charge have some serious answering to do.