INS Sindhuratna…. another accident. When do we learn?

February 27, 2014

There can be no bigger sacrifice than giving up one’s life, fighting all odds for the sake of one’s motherland. I’m immensely proud of our soldiers who have martyred themselves to keep our tricolor flying high.  At the same time, I have often been hounded by a nagging concern that we aren’t doing enough for our brave men in uniform. The news of yet another accident of a submarine of the Indian Navy INS Sindhuratna seemed to reinforce this nagging concern. Losing our brave men in war is indeed a sad affair but losing them in times of peace, that too during day-to-day trials & training is a criminal waste of precious lives.

The brave men in uniform who take the responsibility of guarding our borders & the upkeep of our sovereignty were increasingly worried about the government’s apathy towards defense – no investment in modernization, no new equipments, no indigenous technology development, very marginal increase in defense budgets vis-a-vis the aggressive defense budgets of our hostile neighbours. Due to this decade long neglect and cuts in actual defense allocations year after year, the UPA government has not only deprived our soldiers of better equipment & mechanization but also compromised the nation’s ability to protect itself. Most defense purchases under the UPA regime are on hold and whenever there are purchases, there are scams! Okay, the UPA could have some reason or the other to stop purchases from abroad but have we tried to develop anything indigenous? What’s stopping us from investing in one of the country’s finest indigenous resource – our own engineers who form the DRDO?

It was the first time in the history of our great nation that an admiral resigned taking moral responsibility for the naval accidents in the past one year. While I salute the admirable gesture of Admiral D K Joshi, I ponder whether it was in his capability to prevent these accidents. I really feel sorry that such a brave and decorated admiral had to sacrifice himself for no fault of his. Where does the buck stop? Accountability – is it only for the chief of the navy or does it also lie with the ministry of defense as well?

What bewilders me more is that the sensation seeking media have never paid any attention to the needs of the soldiers. They have rather conveniently turned a blind eye to the real causes behind these types of incidents, while at the same time keep criticizing them for the fall of a hat.

All of us need to remember, a weak nation could lose it’s pride anytime. While we demand a soldier’s  services, we need to meet his demands as well. We need to stand shoulder to shoulder with them, equip them & do all it takes to upkeep their pride.  This unity in action would send across the right message that the country is behind them all the way.

Recalling the inspirational mantra that started me on my political journey

“ अश्वं नैव गजं नैव व्याघ्रं नैव च नैव च | अजापुत्रं बलिं दद्याद्देवो दुर्बलघातक:! “

“Not a horse, not an elephant, not a tiger is ever offered as a sacrifice on an altar. It is a baby goat which is offered as a sacrifice. Alas, even God does not protect the weak.”

India will never be weak – we have our brave soldiers to keep it that way!!!

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