If I were a Kargil war widow, I would be perplexed at a few things emerging from the 'Adarsh' Housing Society scam.....
- Why was Colaba chosen as a location for building houses for war widows? (Ideally, I would have liked to live in a place that provided, among other things, a strong social support network. Especially now, with my husband gone, I would have preferred to stay in familiar surroundings rather than an alien city. That would make me ask my next question)
- How many Kargil war heroes were from Mumbai? How many of their widows even knew of this scheme?
- Were the flats meant only for the widows of officers, or for those of persons below officer rank (PBOR) too?
- Assuming I was allotted a flat in "Adarsh', how would living there actually be for me?
- If I as an officer's wife would find it difficult to survive in a place which is said to have one of the highest costs of living in the country (my husband would have been a young man in his thirties, and maybe a young father, who at the time of his death wouldn't have had a very substantial saving), could the wife of a PBOR even think about it?
- How many of us would have then sold our respective flats to the highest bidder, and bid adieu to Mumbai?
Questions that haven't been raised by even the media, because like every other Mumbaikar and metrophile, it is completely consumed with the fact that some people who didn't deserve to, got a flat in a prime location.
If I were a Kargil or any other war widow, I would be dismayed that the term 'war widow' , instead of being used with great caution and respect, had been (mis)used to throw people off guard and stop them asking too many questions.
I would be indignant that the term could also be associated with something as murky as a scam
I would wonder how many cases of real need would now be viewed with suspicion because of this one incident.
I would wonder how one act of greed could bring such indignity upon the service and the war that my husband and others like him gave up his life for.
I would find it very difficult to remind the public that they need not get cynical about the Armed Forces just because of the greed of a few men.
With passing time, and scam upon scam, who knows how long my child/children and I would be able to view the Armed Forces and the country as my husband saw it, worth dying for......