Chetan Bhagat was one of the authors I enjoyed reading till he decided to get realistic, well Mr Bhagat fantasy is one thing but reality is quite another. I read his article on #OROP in TOI blogs. I can’t belive anybody who is considered a best selling author and blogger can be so immature. I read the article twice because I couldn’t believe some one of your caliber could have written something like this.
You have already received a huge amount of flak from the many many sane people who are infuriated by your so called simplistic (read stupid) approach to the whole #OROP issue. Try as I might being a very proud daughter of an army officer I could not resist giving u a piece of my mind as well.
It’s funny how u say ” it is not difficult to see why the Army enjoys so much support from our civilian population. Our local culture, films and songs show the Army in a positive light (unlike the police and politicians). Media coverage, too, focuses on their sacrifice and hard work.”
In the sub zero temperatures of Siachin base camp ( The temperature goes to minus 50 in winters) where my Dad tells me if u accidently touch anything metal with your naked fingers or any other part of your body accidently that part of the body needs to be amputated. I am sure it makes life so much easier for the Army people there who are struggling to survive in such harsh conditions knowing they enjoy huge popularity in the movies and media. I am sure they are working so hard only to get popularity in songs and films isn’t it just because u can’t think beyond films et all can u?
In the next sentence you outdo yourself you say “Media coverage, too, focuses on their sacrifice and hard work. While this positive image is great,”
It’s only because I am a well brought up person I refrain from saying a lot of things here Mr Bhagat. Image..There is no Image here its reality.. its real people getting killed in the line of duty and you call it an image. Do you remember Kargil? How many people died? I used to wake up see the papers and cry because I knew some of them and even if I didn’t know them personally, I cried for their families and their loved ones but more importantly for them because they died too soon. And you have the audacity to sat “the positive image is great”. A young officer from my Dad’s platoon was passing by Jammu and he came to visit my parents, he couldn’t have gone without meeting them though you will never understand why, it’s something we close knit army people do because there is tremendous respect for each other. Again it’s something I don’t expect you to comprehend. As it happened I was also in town and got a chance to meet him. Next evening he was killed trying to defend our country from the terrorists who had infiltrated in from the border. I cannot tell u how big a shock it was for me. A young handsome officer who I’d met just a few hours ago was dead. I remeber staring at the box of sweets he had brought for us. Can u even imagine the plight of his family? You think he did it for any image.. He was a hero who died in the line of duty and you are undermining the huge sacrifice he made by saying his family should not be well looked after?? It’s not the responsibility of every Indian to respect and honour him and take care of his family after he has gone? Are you that insensitive and stupid.
I have grown up to tales of bravery and valor. My Dad tells me in his younger days how in one situation where they were going in the interiors Arunachal after three days of being in incessant rain the only dry place they could find was where a body had just been cremated and they actually slept there. Of constructing flimsy bridges on the Bramhaputra and then not being afraid to cross them even though if anybody fell it would mean sure death. These are just a couple of incidences and I could go on and on but I hope u get the point as u sit in your cushy office or home daring to talk so opinonatedly about people who are working hard in treacherous and difficult conditions.
Another very important question I’d like to ask you here a point that should have struck you yourself before writing what you did is that does something that cost 50 rupees 20 years ago still cost the same today? No today it would cost 5000 today..perhaps this basic fact slipped your mind. A person could survive on a salary of 10000 20 years ago but can they even think of doing that today? Isn’t it common sense that if salaries go up considering inflation the pension needs to go up too??!!!
Last but not the least knowing you are a fellow army brat is a huge disappointment. I would request you to do a lot more research, dig more for facts and have a lot more sensitivity for who you are writing about if you don’t want to loose your credibility as a writer of any kind.