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QRant: How Does Questioning the Army Make Me Anti-National?

I respect our Army and admire their bravery. BUT why should that take away my right to question the Army?

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The Army is the new holy cow. We can't ask for proof of the surgical strikes or scrutinise the Army in any way without being called "anti-national” or "seditious." But why?

I respect our Army. I admire their bravery. I know I can never go to the border and face enemy bullets. BUT why should that take away my right to question the Army? Why should that mean I am not a patriotic Indian? Or that I didn't mourn the death of 18 soldiers in Uri. Or that I don't love “Border”?

If I am questioning the Army, why should that mean I am not a patriotic Indian? Or that I didn’t mourn the death of 18 soldiers in Uri? (Photo: PTI)
If I am questioning the Army, why should that mean I am not a patriotic Indian? Or that I didn’t mourn the death of 18 soldiers in Uri? (Photo: PTI)
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Chalo, let's assume that till now we have all been blind to the sacrifices of the Army (which we haven’t!) but lets assume, that from now, we will NEVER question them again. Does that also mean that we will overlook corruption in the Armed forces?

Arre, before you hit that ‘Sedition’ button, let's rewind!

Corruption in the Armed Forces

Corruption in the Armed forces does exist. Check out these headlines.

(Photo: The Quint) 
(Photo: The Quint) 

Now doesn’t corruption in the Army undermine national security, the safety of our own jawans? So if I question corruption in the Army, how am I being anti-national? I’m actually being patriotic, aren’t I?

Human Rights Violations

Okay. Another tricky one: Human rights violations. The Army has faced charges of extra judicial killings in sensitive areas such as Jammu & Kashmir and Manipur. There have been trials and convictions. But, that does NOT and should not tar the entire Army.



Haryana Central University was under the scanner when its students were charged with sedition for staging Mahasweta Devi’s short story which portrayed custodial rape. (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)
Haryana Central University was under the scanner when its students were charged with sedition for staging Mahasweta Devi’s short story which portrayed custodial rape. (Photo: The Quint)

And yet, if college students in Haryana perform a play written by one of India’s greatest writers which talks about human rights violations by the Army, why is our skin so thin that we have to charge them with sedition?

Yes, ALL Indians must be proud of our armed forces, but why put them in a container stamped ‘Fragile’? Our soldiers deserve our respect, not the holier-than-thou pedestal that we have made for them. Let’s support our Armed forces, but can any institution be above all scrutiny, above the interests of the country? That's disrespectful to the idea of India as we know it.

Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam

Camera: Abhay Sharma

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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