AFP PHOTO/Prakash SINGH
The following is the text of an open letter from Col Arun Hariharan to Army chief Gen Suhag.
Dear Gen Suhag,
From putting out yoga mats for International Yoga Day to the Hyderabad mayor threatening to call the Army to clear garbage in the city to our troops using war-like equipment (which is already in a poor state of serviceability due to its vintage) for making pontoon bridges for an event organised by a Godman, to god knows what all next, I - as a relatively young veteran - am aghast to say the least, watching the Army I was so passionate about being degraded so publicly.
I know that some of the so called demeaning work has and will always be given to the Army, simply because no one else wants to do it. But isn't it getting a little too frequent and a little more in the public gaze now than ever before?
As the patriarch of this great Army have you taken the Chetwodian motto so seriously that you have started confusing all these duties with service to the Country.
Even my mind, which is much less matured than yours, can understand what is going on and so can the minds of the soldiers who so uncomplainingly toil day in and day out giving out their best, irrespective of the quality of the work imposed upon.
Whether the job is good, bad, ugly or very ugly, they do it simply for their Regimental pride and the pride of donning the OGs, and let me tell you it takes a helluva lot of junior leadership to ensure that this pride does not wane.
You too were a junior leader once and am sure you will understand what is going on...but only if you open your eyes, look around and be the man on ground once again...just for a moment!
Col Arun Hariharan, a Proud Veteran