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Why Gurmehar Kaur Is A True Blue Fauji Brat

02/03/2017 3:27 PM IST | Updated 03/03/2017 3:07 PM IST
Mukesh Gupta / Reuters

From the busy newsrooms of 24x7 news channels to mesmerising beauty pageants to our very own Bollywood—you will find army brats excelling in their chosen fields. Rahul Kanwal , Gaurav Sawant, Lara Dutta, Sushmita Sen, Priyanka Chopra and Akshay Kumar(Rajiv Bhatia) are just a few fauji brats who are now household names. For that matter even Congress politician Renuka Chaudhary is an army kid!

When army personnel themselves excel at their second careers of "defence analysts" and "security strategists", would their children be far behind? From watching from the sidelines, we now have retired faujis themselves entering the political arena and excelling at that!

As a mommy to a fauji brat I hope he too grows up with as much spunk and courage as Ms Kaur has shown.

So why should Gurmehar Kaur be any different? She has chosen to dabble in student politics. From her views one can gauge that her political views lean to the left. Is that so wrong? Why should everyone who is associated with the armed forces be considered "ultra-nationalist" or "rashtrawadi" and share the same sentiment as BJP or RSS?

Faujis are the last people who want war. After the dust blows over and the media moves on to other stories, it is the fauji families who have to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives. No one knows more about the cost of war than a mother who has to raise her daughter alone or a child who never enjoyed his father's hugs.

Army wives pray that their husbands don't get a Valley posting. And if they do, they come back in one piece—alive. Is that so wrong? After seeing so much suffering and pain firsthand, can you really blame Gurmehar Kaur for being a pacifist?

As a young girlfriend of a dashing young officer, posted at Rajouri, J&K in 2006, I too had questioned him. Why are we fighting over a piece of land that doesn't want us? Why don't we just give Siachen away rather than suffering such human losses? Nothing grows there, it can never be hospitable! What possible benefit is India getting by manning the highest battlefield in the world?

After seeing so much suffering and pain firsthand, can you really blame Gurmehar Kaur for being a pacifist?

His simple point that struck me was that it will never end. Even if we were to consider giving them Kashmir, next they would eye Himachal or Punjab. China would sense us weak and we would lose the Northeast. Bangladesh, the very country India liberated, would love a piece of West Bengal.

On a personal level, today I may not completely agree with Gurmehar Kaur, but had I been her age, I may've said the same things she is saying today. Do her pacifist views make her any less Indian just because they fall short of popular nationalist sentiments?

As a mommy to a fauji brat I hope he too grows up with as much spunk and courage as Ms Kaur has shown in standing up for her views. To a 19 year old, Kiren Rijiju's words about her mind being polluted by leftists would sound condescending and arrogant. If the BJP really wants the next generation of student leaders to steer clear of the left, they will have to package their nationalist rhetoric with some deference.

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