Saturday 26 January 2013

Flexing Military muscle on extravagant Parade, is it necessary

Courtesy Doordarshan
Like every year the Republic Day Parade was held on 26th Jan, 2013 at New Delhi.  In this age and day of globalisation is such a Parade really necessary.  I will try to argue my point before my readers.  I may be wrong but you can always err.
One of the vestiges of the cold war is the mammoth Parade, which incidentally was started by the allied forces in 1944-45, to stamp the authority of a Allied victory over Nazi Germany whenever they overcame a Nazi held area.
However, during the 1960-70's period the Parade became a symbolic sham created by erstwhile USSR to show off its military strength to its cold war enemies, US in particular.  India had just gained freedom from the Colonists and was attacked by Pakistan and China in the fifties and the sixties.  

This culminated in a big Parade which was in the beginning just intended to show off India's military might to its immediate neighbours mainly Pakistan and China.    What began as a show of passive deterrence to hostile neighbours then,  has now become a routine matter every year.  Pakistan, which as of now is increasingly dependent on US aid, as usual follows India and has its own parade, given its army Junta's reliance on the tit for tat policy.

Just imagine the expenditure being borne by both the Government of India and Pakistan on these Parades.  Of Pakistan, I can't comment as the necessity of a parade there is any body's guess.  But India, if it has to take its place in the new world as a leader who can lead by example, has to avoid such infructious expenditure of public money.  

This money which I approximate to be in the region of 100 crores, should be spent on poverty alleviation or literacy programs.  If the military honchos decide this can be used in the welfare of the Armed personnel on duty or building a fund for helping those who die in active duty.  

The unnecessary show of strength is not needed in today's world because we are a democracy.  In China, the parades are a must so as to let its population know, who is in power.  But in India's case we ourselves elect the government, hence the parades are not required.

We have to remember that in this day and age only growth matters and no one can afford a war.  Even the only superpower of the world, US has had a humbling experience with waging wars.     President Obama has made his intentions clear of US army leaving Afghanistan and Iraq  shores during his tenure.  Neither China nor Pakistan can afford a war in the current situation. 

I fully agree that our military should be ready and abreast of the latest threats from our neighbours and for that heavy expenditure on armaments is absolutely necessary.  Because, even though I fully and explicitly trust the Pakistani people, one cannot be just sure of a Mullah Omar type gentleman taking the high seat of Pakistan and trying to be hero.  This has happened before and may happen again.

But Parades to my mind is a relic of our colonial past, its better to bury them and move forward with our nation building which is a prime requirement today.  Instead we should delve on making our country more stronger by enshrining the principals as laid down in our Constitution.

Post your comments/suggestions.  Google + me and add me to your circle.

Vijay Prabhu

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  1. I don't think so.

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