Don’t take your freedom for granted. Before you decide to ignore this sentence because it sounds preachy, let me put things in perspective for you. The obvious question would be why I endorse this statement unequivocally. Well, let’s just say, I’ve been there, done that. Ever since I was a little girl, all of eight years old.
Over the past two years, I’ve written and talked about the war, the Indian Army, peace and the politics of it all. In fact, after studying about insurgencies and war stories while I was doing my Master’s in Journalism, I had almost made up my mind to be a war correspondent. Because, to be honest, in books, a war scene seems poetic and dramatic, and that’s basically why I decided to do journalism in the first place. To be a part of such an active work environment.
Another reason would be that I wanted a glorious death like my father’s, who is a Kargil war martyr. Again, poetic.
Well, I eventually became mature enough to realise that the reality of war is far from our vivid imagination. In reality, war results in a bunch of people being much more worse off than a few people who reap the benefits without sowing the seeds. That’s us.
This is where cost-benefit analysis from my economics syllabus makes no sense. Cost overshadows benefits, always. And there’s no ‘better alternative’ with the same impact.
The first time I wrote my father’s story, it was emotional. It went viral. The next time I told my father’s story on television, it was emotional again. The more I talked and read about the toughest wars that India has fought in recent times, another one being Indo-China war in 1962 at Re Zangla, the more I’ve tried to rationalise the need for a war. I soon found out: there is no need. But I also realise that there is no end to it either. Destruction is needed for evolution and the decision is not in our hands.
What’s there in our control, however, is that we can work towards making the ‘benefits’ side heavier in our cost-benefit analysis to make it a ‘utilitarian approach’, at least.
How can you do that? By making all those deaths of the soldiers count by doing what you can with your brain while staying alive, for the economy, for the country. Fight for peace, if you have to.
This freedom has come for free to some of us. So you’re already at an advantage because you don’t have to start your lives from scratch.You just have to focus on making the deaths of many fathers, brothers and husbands worth it.
You have your freedom to start with, a freedom that is still being fought for – every day. The fact that you don’t have to care about a civil war going on in your country right now — is a great position to be in. You have freedom today, you may not have it tomorrow or you may not have the same kind of freedom.
So while you have it, do something about it. Because without benefits equalising the cost, this economy turning into a superpower one day will only be a distant dream in our lifestyle. It’s true.
Major Rane’s two-year-old son tomorrow will feel the value of his freedom because he’s paid a heavy price for it but that shouldn’t be the case.
Truth is it’s not about patriotism, it’s about what makes sense to the economy. And what makes sense today is that we realise the value of this freedom till we’re still young to do something with this kind of independence.
We’re a younger population today, tomorrow will be a new day. Think about it.