Reality Bites: Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor… 

Trust the Chief of Defence Services to spend his time discussing soldiers’ uniforms and quality of boots

General Bipin Rawat (Photo Courtesy: IANS)
General Bipin Rawat (Photo Courtesy: IANS)
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Rupa Gulab

There’s a Cold War on in India. No, not the one with China at India’s borders. The government is trying to hush that up, perhaps because its not-so-secret agent at Times Now, Ms WozHerFace, hasn’t managed to intercept any WhatsApp messages from Chinese soldiers yet.

If you know her, do inform her that WeChat is the popular Chinese equivalent of WhatsApp, and the sooner she snoops there and tells us what ABC or XYZ said to their drug dealer, the better! Then the over-enthusiastic Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) can nab them, and sheep can graze in peace in Ladakh. She’d better get her act together super fast, because according to the last report I read in August, China had already grabbed 1000 sq km of our territory. Till then, all the action is taking place at Delhi’s borders. Farmers are pouring in from all parts of the country (some even managed to escape from the police in Gujarat and have lived to tell their hair-raising tales).

The most vocal lot are from Punjab and Haryana, and they are the ones who are relentlessly attacked by inmates of the BJP IT Padded Cell. Godi/Modi media is lashing out at the farmers too, of course. Perhaps they’re upset because they’ve played footsie with the BJP for years, and even after all that effort, not one charity has bothered to donate foot massage equipment to their offices? To add insult to injury, charities are sending pizzas and almonds to the farmers, and we know just how much Godi/ Modi loves free food. The late Arun Jaitley had proved beyond doubt that the way to their hearts was through their stomachs. Oh, how they would gush about free kebabs and drinks on social media, and how loyal they stayed!

Fortunately, our farmers are a hardy lot and don’t give a damn about Godi/ Modi media. Many families have served in the army for generations, so they’re more than a match for stout, sedentary men. Recently, a farmer was caught on camera saying that if the government doesn’t scrap the new farm laws, their children may quit the army, and then India’s defence will be left to that comical “kachchawali sena” the RSS is so proud of ! Please pray very, very hard that the government comes to its senses soon. I have never heard of a modern battle being won by lathis and iron rods!

As I type this, mothers in rural Punjab are knitting furiously: some of the woollies are for sons at India’s borders, and some for sons at Delhi’s borders. I’ve heard that some women are joining the protests too, and if they come with their knitting gear, it will look like a scene from the French Revolution. Cosier than that for sure, because the farmers have consistently stated that this is a peaceful protest. And unlike the government, they have kept their word.

Which brings me to an important question: Does the BJP really care about soldiers at our borders? The answer is a resounding no, which is why Rahul Gandhi and other Congress members walked out of a Defence Parliamentary Panel a few days ago. They were flummoxed when, instead of discussing China’s aggression and better equipment for our soldiers, the panel’s BJP head steered the conversation in a different direction. From all the reports I’ve read, it was a vacuous kitty party sort of discussion on dashing men in Army, Navy and Air Force uniforms, ooh!

Now I’m wondering if Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s aunty (better known as India’s top bahi khaata designer) is going to be part of this project, and which crony will manufacture polish for the brass buttons. What I’m not wondering about anymore is the job description for India’s Chief of Defence Staff. General Bipin Rawat was part of this animated discussion, you see. Anyway, the Congress party was not allowed to bring up pressing issues, so it walked out in a huff.

Soon after, the BJP attacked Rahul Gandhi and the Congress for a few hours because heck, the colours, designs, and buttons of uniforms are far more important than national security. The only positive result of that defence meeting is that the farmers got a badly needed break from inmates of the BJP’s IT Padded Cell. Whew.

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