Monday, April 13, 2009

A Soldier's Life

I recently watched the movie 'We Were Soldiers' which inspired me to write this article.

Right from the ancient period, foreign invaders and rulers were attracted towards the riches of the Indian civilization and constantly tried to invade Indian soil. This resulted into insecure borders and in order to counter these attackers, the rules of various provinces in India took hefty measures by deploying huge army with large number of soldiers. More over, there were feuds amongst the local rulers as well from time to time, and thus to cope with rivals, they needed to be prepared for a prospective war any time. Hundreds of wars were fought since then which resulted in the deaths of millions of soldiers who fought for the pride and honor of their country and its rulers. Talking of today, wars happen now as well, but fewer in frequency. But the causality in terms of lives and money is immense when compared to the past.

Skipping all that which is buried under the layers of time, today I just want to discuss about the present scenario of wars and soldiers who are involved in them. And by soldiers, I not only mean Indian soldiers deployed on the Kashmir border, but to all those soldiers who are fighting for their country around the globe. Now, just for a moment, imagine a war scene. Two soldiers from rival armies are fighting with each other. One even don't know the name of that person with whom one is fighting. In fact, there is a big possibility that one don't even know the exact reason why one is trying to kill the other one. Just because somebody sitting in the administration pointed him towards a certain section and stated that they are the enemies, and ordered them to shoot the person from that section. That administrator might have some political or financial benefits out of the war, but he tries to pretend to be concerned about the security and integrity of the country. So, thousands of soldiers of his army and the rival's were butchered to fulfill the whims and fancies of the administrator. Again, consider this, those two guys are not on the war front (they still don't know each other). They meet in some club or social gathering. Possibility is that, they might end up being friends of each other, sharing a drink or two. Human tendency facilitates them to interact with each other.

These were the two aspects which I wanted to highlight. But, on a more realistic note, what about these soldiers after the war is over? Many of them die and thousands are left disabled, making them useless for any physical activity. What about their family? Who will take care of them now? Governments announce some nominal pension for their families, which is in no way sufficient for their survival. The whole point is, wars are not the only alternative to settle a disagreement. In order to prevent the massacre, one should think of other alternatives. Political interests should not come in the way of the right of the citizens to live in a peaceful environment. And the soldiers are not the only ones who die. The innocent citizens from both sides also face the fallacy and their scars from the war never fade. Therefore, I appeal to all the governments, rulers, administrators who are currently into wars or facing a war-like situation or fueling them in any way, to think over the humanitarian aspect of living and stop the barbaric act of destroying the human civilization.

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