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The vulnerable protectors of India

The vulnerable protectors of India

Does the term “Vulnerable Protector” sounds like an oxymoron? Well, technically and grammatically it does sound like an oxymoron because how can a vulnerable person become a protector in first place. However, the context in which I am going to refer to this term may change the perspectives of how we look at things.

Another thing is, the title seems to be specific to India and the reason for that is, I am going to take up the case of a situation which has affected India adversely. I am referring to the current unfortunate situation in Jammu and Kashmir, wherein thousands have been stranded, more than two hundred have been killed and millions have been rescued because of the devastating floods engulfing the region.

And when we hear that millions have been rescued, it gives us a sigh as there seems to be some value for human life though it is unfortunate that many people have lost their lives, limbs and probably everything. However, floods being a nature’s fury, we feel little helpless before such natural disasters, some of which are waiting to happen.

However, that’s not the point I want to raise. What I want to focus upon is the good news that millions have been rescued and the relief work is going on at great speeds and our army jawans have a very crucial role to play in this relief work. Sitting back in our civic luxuries we have little idea and little can we envisage the gravity of the situation in the flood inundated areas however, occasional photos of soldiers rescuing people being shared on social media gives a glimpse of the difficulties there.

And, as if the news about the floods and a plethora of people being affected adversely by this wasn’t enough, we get news of relief workers being attacked by victims. I came across 2-3 such news wherein relief workers have been attacked by stranded people to the extent that they needed to be hospitalised.

The very people who are risking their lives to save others and are also simply discharging their duties are being attacked by the same people for whom they are working. Can it get any more worse? These armed forces, which is predominantly male-dominated, risk their entire lives to save strangers and when they die discharging their duties, they die as unsung heroes. People tend to forget them as soon as they die. Their death is just a “Breaking News” sometimes or a “News Update” mostly. And this again makes us question – “What is the value of human life?”

There have been enough instances in the past wherein the people of J&K have alleged armed forces people with atrocities, rape charges, beaten them up and tarnished their images. Often, these charges have been dumbfounded and baseless and today it is the same army which is putting their own lives in danger in order to rescue these people.

The human tendency to cling to entitlement in times of victimhood is overwhelming and the situation in J&K is a personification of this psychological tendency. Our armed forces are nation’s protectors who secure the borders of our country and give us a feeling of security and if they themselves are vulnerable to attacks from their very beneficiaries of protection, why would our future generations join the armed forces?

Tomorrow, if the strength and morale of our armed forces decreases and that makes us vulnerable to our geographical and political enemies, then we would be responsible for as we failed to respect the selfless duty of armed forces. Whenever, there’s an emergency either at the border or in our civilian premises, it’s the armed forces that have stood high and up in order to protect us.

Can’t we, as a civil and humane society, have even scant respect for them? Yes, while it may be true that the armed forces are our protectors, but unfortunately the entitlement syndrome that engulfs us, it has made our protectors vulnerable.

It is collective discipline that we need to inculcate in order to develop a semblance of an atmosphere of gratitude towards our protectors.