Litmus test of Patriotism

By Dr Oscar Rebelo
11 October 2016 14:09 IST

There are only two things in our lives that we as Indians can be absolutely certain of :

1. The sun rises in the east.

2. That our valiant and spectacular armed forces will never ever lie to us. Never.

But I truly wonder if we, the citizens of this land of ours, deserve an armed force like this at all.

Frankly, it's probably simpler for them to handle a rogue state like Pakistan than us and our political bickering, that has deliberately or inadvertently put them in the centre of a messy dirty controversy, they could very well do without.

There are three classes of political thoughts who are stoking the "surgical strikes" lamp to see if Aladdin's genie pops up and pays off electoral dividends.

1. THE DOUBTERS: The "show me the proof" variety honestly takes the cake. To even imagine that the Army would be in political cahoots and stage the strike is appalling and drives a complete dagger into the morale of folk who do the toughest, toughest job on the planet.

Completely unpardonable, not just because you give treacherous Pakistan a chance to gloat, but let down the very guys who put their lives on the line, without question to keep us safe.

2. THE GLOATERS.: This category of "chest thumpers" are not praising the Army for a job well done, but using a phenomenally successful job the Army has done to further their electoral prospects and use the goodwill of the Army to reap political dividends. Equally reprehensible because this thought, also seeks to make the armed forces a political football without their consent and clearly against their dignity.

3. THE WAR MONGERING MEDIA : This truly must be the first in independent India's history. Ensconced comfortably and importantly safely in studios, they are baying for Armageddon. Who's going to fight and die in that war??? TV anchors?? Columnists?? The social media tribe?? Even selfish citizens like us?? Who would probably watch the war on TV, but skip multiple heartbeats when the stock market crashes? No, it'll be our selfless soldiers who'll have to die to satisfy our bloodlust. A soldier is there to defend us; not a tool for TRP ratings!!!

It is high time that ordinary citizens, who are witnessing this unholy spectacle, say enough is enough and get our political and editorial class to pull back from this abyss of sheer madness.

We need to leave our brave hearts to do their job in peace, say a little prayer for them and thank them silently for all they do for us.

Because patriotism is not measured by how viscerally we hate Pakistan but by how much we love and respect India and more importantly our fellow Indians of all religions, castes, ethnicities and identities and whether we are truly prepared to wage the real war we must all engage in as honestly as possible.

The war against corruption and poverty against injustice and bigotry.

Fundamentally against our own frightening inner demons.

That would be the litmus test of our patriotism.

Blogger's Profile

Dr Oscar Rebelo

Dr Oscar Rebelo is one of the leading social activist of Goa and a practicing doctor. He led the historic peoples’ movement in 2006-07 to get the anti-Goa Regional Plan scrapped and save Goa from total destruction of Goa’s ecology and natural beauty. He is a Goa-based leader of Aam Aadmi Party. He is also a columnist.

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Previous Comments

An overdose of democracy .... the same that you have condemned the deputy CM for saying

- Ravindra, Margao | 25 th October 2016 20:59


Very well written Dr. Oscar. I feel everyone from media to politicians and general public should learn from this how to honour our jawans in uniform.

- V.N.Jindal, Goa | 12 th October 2016 11:00


I fully endorse your views , Doctor.

If anybody expects a commando team to carry out an attack with a video photographer in tow, then all those asking for proof need to grow up.

- gautam, panaji | 11 th October 2016 16:28


Doctor, we are eagerly waiting for your positive response to our aspiration to see you as our Chief Minister.

- Felix Furtado, Cavorim, Chandor, Goa | 11 th October 2016 14:45


Very well said. The Politicians as always would want to take credit for all the good work done by others and not by them. The blind mice of the people just love to follow their Pied Pipers who will delight at pushing them in an abyss. And those fellows who will spare no pains to run down and verbally and if possible to physically attack those who do not subscribe to their skewed views.

- Trevor Pinto, Mumbai | 11 th October 2016 14:31


Brilliant Dotor. Bang on! You poured out our sentiments. And I seriously hope terming this as 'our' sentiments is real and there are several like us who are ashamed of these chaos happening around. Thank you for penning this down. A huge salute to the selfless army and to those families who do not know when they will lose a family member whose mourning and tears too would b camera captures!

- Anwesha, Madgao | 11 th October 2016 14:23


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