Apr 19, 2012

Playing with Fire [109/365]

Mera Bharat Mahaan.

India is a land of public contrasts and private quirks.
We are not the most literate but have the most active media in the world.
Over 50% of our population live in villages and a similar ratio in poverty, yet our cities are bursting at the seams.
Our govt silos are overflowing with food grains, yet millions will go to bed hungry tonight. And every night.
We have one of the best interstate highways, yet nearly all our cities have roads that are miserable to drive on.
Mumbai has Asia's largest slum, and the world's most expensive home.
We have antiquated fleets Sukhoi and Mirages that fall from the sky even without a bullet fired, yet we have a million dollar Intercontinental Ballistic Missile.
Our Army chief tells us that we are sitting ducks, yet we are on the largest spending spree in the planet.

Agni 5, our latest boy's toy. 
While I agree we need to have a reliable defense shield, I wonder if the millions of people earning less than Rs 32 a day will agree to their cash strapped government building a missile that will cost a couple of billion a pop.
But what I can't understand is where are all the lovers of humanity? All those people who carped and complained about how obscene Antilia is in the midst of Daravi.
I remember how we smirked and whispered a conspiracy of hatred about the ludicrous display of wealth when the F1 track was built.

But, don't get me wrong, I have the most respect towards our soldiers who fight against all odds. Even the ones we stack against them.
I salute the brave hearts who patrol inhospitable places like Saichen and Kargil round the clock. We owe you a lifetime of gratitude.


But is having a missile really going to cure our insecurity? I don't think so.
Besides igniting an arms race in an already fragile world that is armed to the teeth, a missile with a fiery name is not going to do squat for our economy.
If our government really wants to make our borders secure, they need to start equipping our ground forces and air combat units with better weapons. With the kind of antiquated guns and sub-par equipment they currently fight with, it is a miracle we have not been invaded yet.

In a nation that is fighting Maoists and Naxals from within, does it really make sense when we spend billions on arms trying to defend itself from external threats?
If you ask me, what we need is not another missile to target China, but one that will target every corrupt politician in our country.

Quick question, Mr Politician, who is funding all this?
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