sudeepj wrote:Narrating an incident about a different force from a different time. During WW II, an American general (Marshal?? Eisenhower??) refused a podium to address the troops/take a salute as he was 'merely their leader' but not a different class of person and because in a democracy, every human being has the same intrinsic value. I am trying to dig up this entire anecdote but unable to right now..
Point is, that in a democratic society with egalitarian aspirations, such questions will be asked. Making such an observation in itself is neither an 'attack' on the forces nor an attempt to undermine authority.. It has happened before in other countries and its natural that it will happen in ours too. Unfortunately, such questions have been raised in the past in bad faith by commies and communal/casteist elements such as the Sachhar committee therefore the harsh reaction is also understandable.
We will all do well to remember that our most effective generals were not spit and polish English hierarchical types, rather sons of the soil.. Hanut Singh, Sagat Singh, Harbaksh Singh.. the list goes on.
All generals, the world over and India being no exception, always are and have to be "hierarchical types" because there is no other type of general. They are a part of the hierarchical system.
Hanut Singh, Sagat Singh, Harbaksh Singh et al were also spit and polish, as hierarchical as they come. Yes, personally they led ascetic lives but spit & polish, age old traditions, deeply embedded core values and rigid discipline was never ever missing from their lives.
Do not mistake spit & polish, age old traditions, deeply embedded core values and rigid discipline as mere pomp and show, meant only for public display. It is an inherent part of life in the forces. Not to be mocked at or dismissed lightly as colonial hangovers.
Egalitarian aspirations are not encouraged in any armed forces, anywhere in the world. Are the chinese or russian armies filled with people who have egalitarian aspirations?? They may surface from time to time even in china or russia but such dolts are either shot or court martialed and kicked out, if they are lucky.
The exercise of command in any armed force is neither democratic nor can it accommodate egalitarian aspirations. If a commander says "fire" and the rest of the paltan with egalitarian aspirations says "Hang on, mate. Lets vote on this because, as per our egalitarian aspirations we each have a say in the matter"
Yes, you are partly right but you did not mention our most beloved one of all: Sam Manekshaw.
He was also the very epitome of an Indian Army Officer, a model that was often imitated but never equaled.
He was all spit & polish, a pucca hangover from the colonial days, traditional to the core, devoted to his men and his men would have unhesitatingly followed him into the very bowels of hell if he has asked them to.
More importantly, his supreme confidence unnerved many a vindictive politician and his due pay and allowances were withheld for no reason, only to be released to him on his deathbed during his final days. No politician attended his funeral.
and yet, they gave the bharat ratna to tax evading, favor seeking, advertisement opportunity hunting "parliamentarian" like amcchi tendulkar who does not even bother to attend parliament.
And there is no doubt that amcchi tendulkar sees himself as a son of the soil.