Saturday, 27 November 2010

If I were a Kargil war widow.....

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......


  1. The Adarsh scam is just about a lot of greedy people in high places, which our country unfortunately has a surplus of. I think and hope Kargil war widows can always hold their heads high because their husbands defended their motherland. The common man is grateful for their sacrifice and respects the martyrs.

  2. Very true, Irene, but take a look around you and see what is being talked about more today, the sacrifice of the martyrs or the scams? It hurts to see cynicism creep into conversations about the Armed Forces where only admiration and awe resided. It takes a lifetime to build a reputation, and a few seconds to destroy it.

  3. The disregard for the brave soldier and his sacrificing family, in our country, seems to have reached the nadir.....

    Sad and shameful...

  4. Given the scams we hear about everyday, that may be true, Rati. However, it is also a fact that one has yet to come across a more pragmatic, stoic, and positive person than the Indian soldier, which makes me hopeful that he will weather this and many other such storms. At the same time I feel our taking this nature of his for granted is also a form of the disrespect you mention, which I wish to protest against. The young Indian soldier is the best human being in the world!

  5. Govt doesnt realise the damage they have done to the nation.One can blame a few officers of the forces for being corrupt.
    Larger issue is --Is the govt serious about getting rid of corruption?I dont think so.
    I have seen my father work for the Army.Had he been alive, he would have cursed the day he had seen this level of corruption.

  6. I completely agree with you. In some ways I also blame our public, as they have so far not shown clear intolerance of such practices, but until now have been brushing them aside with an attitude of "such things happen in such positions."
    How do you think Lalu Prasad got to rule Bihar for fifteen long years?It needs a participatory zero tolerance approach by all stakeholders (of which we the public are no less than any other) to rid the country of this malaise.
    I know how pained and helpless the majority of the service officers, especially of your father's time (God bless their souls) would be feeling in such cases.

  7. I am totally agree with you and you are right.
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    1. Thanks Steve, the sad part is that though many of us know the truth, its difficult to prove it, and the ones who have indulged in this malpractice may just get away with their deed....