Befitting Reply to Barkha Dutt’s Oped

The other day (I think on 19 Feb) Barkha wrote an open letter to the PM. Those who have not read that please find link here to read. 

Below is the response to that letter by Ltd Gen Vijay Madan, an old Gorkha officer. An interesting read. So thought of sharing it.

Dear Ms. Dutt,

         I read your Open Letter to the Prime Minister. By the way everyone seems to be sending open letters to the poor chap. That is a sign of being in the top "intellectual circles.

         Let me introduce myself. I am a retired Lieutenant General of the Indian Army. A Gorkha officer to boot. I would like to add that I am a Kashmiri Pandit. That however, does not make my views expressed in this letter biased. I retired in1992. So in many ways I am well past my use by date, therefore, I won’t bore you with my CV. Suffice to say that I have been a participant in all ups and downs of the Army and the country called India/Bharat/Hindustan. 

         I saw the aeroplanes carrying the first Indian troops (1 SIKH) flying over my home in Srinagar on 27th October, 1947, to save(?)Kashmir from the Pakistani tribals, and I have lived to see anti-India slogans being raised in the heart of the National Capital. The question mark in my last sentence is because I have come to realise that  perhaps Kashmir didn’t need to be saved. At the worse what would have happened? The non-Muslim population would have been killed, converted or driven out. In any case the Pandits have been driven out. So what? This happened in what was then Pakistan; West and East both. We would have reconciled as we did then. Yes Pakistan would not have had an Article 370 for Jammu & Kashmir. Incidentally, there are various other similar dispensations and provisions in our Constitution to cater to the Northeastern states and other ethnic groups. Are  there a similar provisions in Pakistani constitution for Baluchistan? You may know.

      You and your various colleagues on other channels and various media have cited the demonstrations and riots in the USA during the Vietnam Conflict. What you all have failed to also state that these demonstrations and riots were really against "draft ". The policy under which young people of a certain age were drafted into the Armed forces. Hence the burning of draft cards.These demonstrations were not against the War per se. The State and the Federal governments reacted violently. The local police forces where unable to cope, got the National Guard out to support them. Three or four protesters were killed. Later the "draft" system was revoked and voluntary recruitment put in place. There have been equally bloody conflicts involving the USA since then but one has not seen any sympathetic protests against them erupting.

      You have used the term "Presstitutes" as a badge of honour for yourself. Please don’t throw it in our face. It was not coined by us in illiberal India, but by Gerald Celente, from "liberal, post-modern, freedom of speech guaranteed by the  Fourth Amendment, post National US of A".

      You have mentioned how you get goose pimples when hearing the National Anthem but you don’t mind if someone else doesn’t stand up. Did you get goose pimples when interviewing a Kashmiri terrorist who had come over ground who quite seriously told you that his sole aim in life would then onwards be to "get married to a non-Muslim girl and get her converted to Islam. That would ensure for him a place in Janat". I get goose pimples when I hear the Bands playing "Sare Jehan Se Acha, Hindustan Hamara", when they  march away over the Raisina Hill at the end of the annual  Beating of the Retreat. My Nationalism is coloured by the blood of my peers, men whom I commanded and whom others led to their ultimate sacrifice,sacrificing their lives first. This is now a daily occurrence.  Two of my own nephews got decorated for gallantry in Sri Lanka. One lost an eye and a hand.

        Many of the officers who died for their Country and were graduates from the NDA, got their degrees from the JNU with whom the JNU is affiliated. One was killed yesterday. I wonder if that institution ever held a meeting, let alone a demonstration to commemorate them, as they did for Afzal Guru. 

      Ma’am please keep writing and speaking to teach us about Nationalism, liberalism, the flag etc etc. Please don’t throw in our face what the Nation means to us.

Vijay Madan.

About Shiv Rana

Retirement life is series of transition: from Olive Green to civvies, being woken up a buddy to fetching morning milk from the milk booth. And now trying to adjust with new-normal due to pandemic - CORONA.
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1 Response to Befitting Reply to Barkha Dutt’s Oped

  1. Navi says:

    Thank you for the balm to our wounded hearts. Hearts wounded by words from so-called media persons who think themselves to be the thekedaars of India and what it stands for


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