Respect our soldiers, stop parading them at Wagah

Discussion in 'Indian Army' started by AVERAGE INDIAN, Nov 4, 2014.

  1. AVERAGE INDIAN

    AVERAGE INDIAN EXORCIST Senior Member

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    A day after a suicide bomb attack killed at least 55 people on the Pakistani side of the border, Pakistani Rangers (PR) went ahead with the Beating Retreat ceremony on their side. This surprised ---- and angered ---- India’s Border Security Force (BSF) brass because the Pakistani Rangers had requested to suspend the “ceremony” for three days. So when the flag lowering ceremony took place on Monday, a tradition both countries have followed since 1959, the Pakistani side had thousands of flag-waving and slogan-shouting tourists (were they?) to cheer their boys at the border but the Indian side did not have a single one to match their enthusiasm and lung power.

    I have never been to the Wagah border to watch this military spectacle. But many of my friends have and the views are sharply divided. Some have enjoyed the “show of strength” while others think it’s just a pompous show and there is nothing, absolutely nothing, to gloat about.

    So before writing this piece, I decided to check out the “world-famous” parade on YouTube. The first video that popped up was a year-old one by someone called Neeraj Pareta. Pareta’s description of it ---- ‘Parade at Wagah (The true feeling for the Nation comes from here’ ---- sums up his views on the parade. While watching the 12.30 minute-long video, I remembered how British director Michael Palin, who filmed and broadcast the ceremony for one of his television around-the-world travel programmes, had described the parade: a display of "carefully choreographed contempt." His assessment, I think, was spot on.

    But this "carefully choreographed contempt” has left me cold ---- and angry.

    Before my Twitter “friends” brand me as “unpatriotic” etc, let me clarify that I love military parades, especially the one on January 26. I just love the way the servicemen parade in perfect coordination with confidence and pride that’s so missing in the civilian way of life.

    So here’s why I didn’t like the Wagah parade: The BSF jawans are professional soldiers who are trained to keep our borders secure and I think its utterly disgusting on our part to ask these professional and proud soldiers to take part in this drama every single day in front of thousands of tourists.

    Those goose steps, aggressive body language, eye-ball-to eyeball contact with the Rangers, double quick marching steps and a weird handshake with the opposing party is so very infantile and doesn’t behove of a 67-year-old proud democracy.

    I wonder if anyone has ever asked the BSF soldiers how they feel to put up this act day after day, knowing well that one misstep in front of a ‘nationalistic” crowd could well mean a huge blot on their service record.

    I am sure that many think that by cheering the soldiers at Wagah they do their bit for the country. This is a wrong. If you really want to do something for the nation, then why not try and join the Territorial Army or ensure the success of the Clean Indian Campaign? And if you want to say ‘thank you’ to our soldiers, there are plenty of other ways of doing so: Speak up for their rights or thank a jawan when you meet one.

    But for heaven’s sake, please don’t disrespect our brave soldiers and belittle their professional duties by asking them to take part in such a Bollywood-style obnoxious drama at Wagah so that you can have your five-minute fix of nationalism.
    - See more at: Respect our soldiers, stop parading them at Wagah - Hindustan Times
     
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  3. maomao

    maomao Veteran Hunter of Maleecha Senior Member

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    I agree with the author that this stupidity should end!
     
  4. Ashutosh Lokhande

    Ashutosh Lokhande Senior Member Senior Member

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    its very stupid of this author to say that we ask our soldiers to parade. is it bcoz we ask them to parade thats why the parade? lol

    we dont ask em nothing. its bcoz they conduct parade thats why tourist go to cheer them. tourists are not the reson for conducting the parade.
     
  5. jus

    jus Senior Member Senior Member

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    I think it is all about Tourists & recognition.Almost every Indian knows what is wagha, just stop this CIRCUS no bird will visit this place on day two. :lol:

    But those primitive Paki's don't stop this Circus even though lawhore(2nd largest city in Pak) don't need any special recognition.

    Means the ball is in Paki's court.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2014
  6. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Wagah border show, as I had said earlier too, is but a circus with all those high kicking like ballet dancers and the false eye flashing which is stupid.

    But then people flock to see a circus!
     
  7. Virendra

    Virendra Moderator Moderator

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    Actually the ceremony and all that boot stamping etc takes a lot of toll on health.
    It looks good from a distance and gathers applause. But the effects are visible only to the soldiers who bear it everyday.
     
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  8. ezsasa

    ezsasa Senior Member Senior Member

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    I'd say this ceremony should go on. Who knows how many children got their first good impression about indian army and joined the services because of it.

    And secondly this is the only civilised competition with pak armed forces, so let it be there until some other form civilised competition is created.
     
  9. Hari Sud

    Hari Sud Senior Member Senior Member

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    What a bullshit argument. Soldiers Parade because they are soldiers of a proud nation or regiment. They definitely do not wish to do it if it does not make sense, but the other side with their goose steps, body language and their manners are goading you to come and face them. Soldiers are not Gandhians that they will not turn the other cheek. They are proud men and they return the goose steps, body language etc. in the same coin, so that the other side suddenly does not develop a superiority complex.

    The balance is maintained. Each side gets the feel of the other.

    I will definitely shake hand of any soldier, who I find and thank him for his services. That is given. I also wish to thank the proud men of BSF for undertaking such an arduous task of goose steps and sturdy body language . Thank you my friends.

    Note:

    I suggest that the Pakistani Rangers have had enough with this bombing, if they do agree then reduce the thumping of feet and other action so that instead of being a martial parade, it becomes a pleasant everyday parade.
     
  10. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    They are ceremonial soldiers, you know, like the ones that stand outside Buckingham palace all day long, and most other monuments in western countries. At least ours parade just for a small part of the day, and people actually cheer for them....unlike the Buckingham palace guards.

    And they're a major tourist attraction for whoever visits Amritsar or Lahore, and an entire economy is built around their parade alone (transporting people between the two cities and the border, local businesses, etc.) Just as the DMZ is a major tourist attraction in South Korea.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2014
  11. ladder

    ladder Senior Member Senior Member

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    Ceremonial soldiers at wagah are also fully trained for combat. We can't loose (discharged from combat duty) a trained soldier due to injuries sustained during this kind of parade/ceremony. What @Virendra ji wrote is exactly valid, studies have shown the violent steps are affecting the joints of our soldiers. For which it needs to be toned down further ( was done once in 2010).
     
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  12. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    Ceremonial soldiers in western countries are trained for combat, too. They don't just pick any man and give them a uniform and a gun. It was a ceremonial soldier who killed the intruder in Canada's Parliament, recently, and another ceremonial soldier (equally trained) was killed at their war memorial. Fully trained soldiers take turns to do ceremonial duties, in countless countries, free or not-free, liberal or conservative, democratic or autocratic.

    It would be stupidity to close down the ceremony because of one attack, that too, on the other side. Neither side will let go of the commercial benefits of the ceremony. The author's argument was that in parading them, we're being disrespectful to them. That is the most delusional argument I've come across. By parading them, both IA and PA are getting PR for their armies, which could help with not just recruitments, but also bond army-civilian relationship.
     
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  13. ezsasa

    ezsasa Senior Member Senior Member

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    Injury issue can be handled by changing the rota. This need not be a show stopper.
     
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  14. ladder

    ladder Senior Member Senior Member

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    If they are normal soldiers trained for combat, then any soldier wearing full ceremonial uniform is a ceremonial soldier. What was your point in stating that the soldiers are 'ceremonial soldiers'? That was moot point from starting.
    Each and every soldier marching down the raj-path is ceremonial soldier.

    Point out where did I say so?

    Also, standing outside Buckingham palace doesn't affect health adversely.

    So, do you want to say that you have no problem if that function affects the soldiers health?
    And for what economy?
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2014
  15. ladder

    ladder Senior Member Senior Member

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    No, that had been tried. But, with limited effect. The only solution is toning down the ceremony.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-10722514
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2014
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  16. ezsasa

    ezsasa Senior Member Senior Member

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    Sorry bro, I don't consider BBC in well wisher list for india.
     
  17. ladder

    ladder Senior Member Senior Member

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    What does BBC has to do with it? Are you label surfer?
    Read the content then conclude.

    http://articles.economictimes.india...1_flag-lowering-ceremony-wagah-border-request

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/india...ks-get-easy-on-the-knees/article1-575365.aspx

    happy?

    And see how toning down hasn't changed the foot-fall and the economy. So, further toning down wouldn't have economic affects.

    http://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/checkpoint-in-check/article5645568.ece
    @tarunraju
     
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  18. ezsasa

    ezsasa Senior Member Senior Member

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    I reserve my apprehension on BBC, I will continue to do so unless I see a change in their portrayal of india in their news pieces.

    Coming back on topic.

    Articles you mentioned talk about toning down aggressive posturing. That is not I am going for.

    Rota is a shift register or shift roster. Let's say 4 jawans are performing the ceremony with each team taking up a weekly shift. I am saying stress on body can be managed by different jawans doing it every day with gap of atleast 3 days in between. Physical stress can be managed by giving sufficient rest periods in between ceremonial shifts.
     
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  19. ladder

    ladder Senior Member Senior Member

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    What makes you think, that is not done now? It is done but still there are health issues.

    When they are thinking of the extent as below, then what makes you think that what you are saying which are pretty basic have not been tried out.

    http://www.thehindu.com/news/nation...ease-steps-at-wagah-parade/article6210630.ece

    http://www.deccanherald.com/content/295681/cushion-effect-grand-show.html
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2014
  20. ezsasa

    ezsasa Senior Member Senior Member

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    The fact that the news articles were from 2010 and we are still talking about it four years on says that problem still persists.

    I personally believe in Einstein's philosophy that "doing the same thing again and again and expecting different result every time is called insanity"

    Unless someone confirms that they have been at Wagah ceremony continuously for seven days at a stretch, and they have seen different jawans doing the ceremony every day. I will continue to assume this has not been adopted. Unfortunately I have not been to Wagah even once.

    And lastly in my professional experience we Indians react very bad to change. Out of the box thinking does not come naturally to us.more often than not some very good ideas are suppressed by seniority.
     
  21. ladder

    ladder Senior Member Senior Member

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    Off-course it persists, what do you think we are discussing here. It was partially toned down, but needs to be further toned down.

    We have been doing many things which Einstein would have called insanity. But, what Einstein refereed to was individual decision/ activity. But Wagah ceremony is bilateral. So, you are quoting something not applicable here.

    Brilliant advise! why don't you be our ears and eyes? Take a week holiday and head to Amritsar.

    The very fact that the issue has reached the highest authority of BSF proves you wrong.
     

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