Recent times are witnessing a sudden eruption of turf wars amongst various cadres of Indian Governmental machinery, with effusive articles, counter-articles & rebuttals at different forums of the social media being used as favored weapons. Whether it’s military, paramilitary forces, Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), IAS or IPS, all are trying to prove their significance through their demi-officially designated or self-designated spokespeople, more-often-than-not by undermining the ‘rival’ cadres rather than highlighting their own achievements. Such underminings range from sugar-coated advisories and recipes on how-to-improve-your-cadre-effectiveness to downright frontal assaults in terms of ineffectiveness-and-corruption-levels-in-your-cadre.
As an example, let’s take the most recent article “The Others” by Major Gaurav Arya (Veteran) on his blog on the reforms needed in CAPFs and a counter-article “Militarization of police only undermines India’s internal security” by Anubhav Kumar, a serving IPS officer, which have led to quite an interesting and heated debate in terms of comments from the sympathizers of all three affected cadres (Military, IPS and CAPF) and some from unbiased Indian citizens as well. While most have simply resorted to taking sides, some of them – Prasanthi Nachiketa, ArdhSainik – Lifeline of Motherland, Raman Gupta, Sabkaa Maalik Ek and Vishnu Mani Tripathi – have brought up really pertinent points which make for good fodder for introspection at various levels.
On the face of it, it looks like an ugly faceoff, with both sides resorting to dirty mudslinging at each other in public forum. Quite a repulsive site for a common man! However isn’t it also indicative of the fact this ‘ugly mudslinging’ is surely touching some raw nerves on either sides? It is also indicative of the fact that officers of either side feel a strong enough sense of belongingness with their respective cadres to come out to defend their reputations. Now I’m not saying that the members of all these cadres otherwise don’t have any sense of belongingness with their respective cadres; but somehow in today’s times of completely materialistic mindset and self-centredness, the ‘sense-of-belongingness’ has taken quite a beating, leading to fault-lines and fragmentation getting pronounced within each of these cadres. An attack on the whole cadre by another acts as a catalyst to bring that submerged sense-of-belonging to forefront.
Now while you pitch in your complete energy to defend your cadre against the onslaught, doesn’t it also pull you inwards for a bit of introspection? It surely does, and well that’s supposedly be good as it paves the path for improvement of the cadres.
I happen to have officers of military as well as IPS in my family, giving me somewhat knowledge on the functionalities of both. I definitely can’t claim to be an expert on either, making me ineligible to comment on how they should go about doing their work. All I can say is that each cadre has its own peculiarities and functional complexities. All cadres need to evolve with times and an essential requirement to do that is to identify the gaps & lacunas within own systems. But with our natural inertia keeping us comfy in our comfort zones in the backdrop of over-selfrighteousness, finding own faults on self-initiative is almost a rarity. Mudslinging by others, in a way, serves the significant function of pushing us into introspection for finding own flaws, snags and glitches. So guys, prepare your salvo of mud-balls, aim and shoot; let’s help each other evolve.
As Kabir said –
निंदक नियरे राखिए, ऑंगन कुटी छवाय,
बिन पानी, साबुन बिना, निर्मल करे सुभाय।
I so hope that the formula I just proposed works. Just take care that you don’t get too deluged in mud yourself in a bid to make mud-balls for others. (Refer to the animated illustration in the beginning of the article). Rather it would serve us better if we also acknowledge and imbibe the strengths of those we throw the mud-balls at.
The fact is that almost all cadres are on the verge of bursting at their seams and in desperate need of a lot of reforms to make them functionally effective with a view on the ever-increasing volatility levels in internal as well as external security scenario of the country. Go ahead and fight the turf-wars more rigorously if that’s what it takes for improvement. I wish each of you Godspeed in taking your respective cadres to greater heights; and in expanding your turfs beyond your cadres. Let the whole country be one turf and let each one of us fight for it.
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