My point is not if we really need an Air Force in our country or is our Air Force capable enough to weather out the danger in eventuality of any. That is an entirely different debate as, honestly the veracity of our Air Force as far as efficiency is concerned is not yet tested to the limits and hence we shouldn’t be too conclusive in either way on this. One might like or dislike but every developing or developed nation has its own defense system where the Air Force plays a vital role and we certainly can’t be any different more so when we are surrounded by great neighbors like Pakistan and China. It is also a fact that not being a wealth generating institution our defense establishments depend on the public money to keep themselves afloat which in a way holds merits as long as the money pumped into them is not wasted on entirely unnecessary activities that all our defense wings seems to have mastered in with Air Force leading from the front.
As a tax payer I pledge my money for our defense forces without any compulsion or objection since I want to see myself, my family and my country in safe hands. My problem starts when I see my money being WASTED in the name of defense expenditure which otherwise could have been consumed in constructive endeavors like building schools, hospitals or simply feeding the enormous poor mass of our country. When a nation like us which has got more than 200 million of its citizens below poverty line and are deprived of a square meal per day, even occasional waste of money seems like a cardinal sin. In the time of double digit inflation; 30% infant mortality rate; 10% of our kids begging on streets; 40% deprived of even basic education; 70000 maternal deaths during the time of child birth; 2 million kids dying before they could reach the age of five; an organized mechanism of public money wastage framework and that too officially looks grossly immature and ridiculous.
One such money wasting nonsense that Indian Air Force is been patronizing for long is called AFWWA. As absurd as it may sound while pronouncing, it actually stands as an acronym for an equally absurd and nonsensical sounding mini institution within the Air Force ambit – ‘Air Force Wives Welfare Association’. When I say nonsense, I am not questioning the thought process behind constituting such an association but the way the thought process being promptly hijacked and type-casted the whole AFWWA to a platform for the wives of the Air Force officers to showcase their jewelry boxes, their cosmetic using skills and of course the sense of dejavu for being able to display their fractured knowledge base through their limited mental faculty via some language that primarily sounds like a combination of 75% Hindi and 25% crippled English, spoken in an half American and half Indian ascent. The core idea behind having such an association for the welfare of the widowed, retired, wives of paralyzed Air Force personnel has long been thrown out of the window with showing off of many not so required extracurricular skills becoming the motto.
AFWWA has also got many fundamental problems other than being an outright public-money wastage extravaganza. Every such association calls for voluntary participation of members for a social cause. But here is the catch with AFWWA. Wives of all officers are forced to be a part of this nonsense whether they want to be a social activist or not. Now this force social activist conversion leaves many unwilling members running all around AFWWA platform like headless chickens not knowing what they are supposed to do, and hence leaving nothing more for them than flaunting their jewelry and wardrobe details to others. The second problem with AFWWA is its undemocratic nature. If there were any seriousness about the core idea (helping the needy Air Force officer’s wives) behind AFWWA then people at the helm should have made arrangements to see the best lady with a genuine aspiration for helping the needy honoring the chairmanship. But that is far from being done as the real motive behind AFWWA was not to do social work but to engage in a lot of gimmicks and money wasting. Hence as anyone can guess, the wife of the station commander turns out to be the automatic head of the so called AFWWA of the station where her husband is already contributing handsomely to the waste by being the head. This is nonsense when I give my hard earn money for the security of the nation but find them being distributed among individuals who barely manage to behave rationally as not to be called as complete sycophants. The Air Force could certainly have done better if they would have this AFWWA at some centralized location but for some strange reasons they have this nonsense in each and every air base stations of India. That is some serious amount of money wasting I must say, where it is left for many Nautankibaz to flaunt their miserable idea about the world outside and some pseudo concerns for the needy uttered in a fashion which would talk volumes about the insanity and mental level of the person.
Being brother of an Air Force officer’s wife, I have some firsthand horrible knowledge of such rhetoric exercising associations. In the name of welfare crores of rupees are pumped into such sabbatical associations which at the end of the day turn out to be a complete wastage of public money. Far from doing any constructive work these AFWWA ladies make this whole affair a kitty party at large. If my sister is taken with slightest of seriousness then she hasn’t seen a single constructive effort from this AFWWA in her 10 years’ experience and that too in four different air bases. If AFWWA is not good enough a money waster, the Air Force team came up with yet another marvelous nonsense in the name of ladies club which is more or less a refined and official version of kitty party. Being the warriors of the nation I do have my obligations towards the Air Force officers but that no way suggests that I have to give away my hard earned money for the kitty parties of their wives. These ladies clubs arrange get-togethers at the drop of a hat to show their latest purchase from the city malls and we tax payers are forced to part away with our hard earned money to accommodate such fancy. Not to mention, every air base has one such ladies club to felicitate this colossal waste of public money. This is where I object to the free and unaccountable distribution of my money to a set of people (non-qualified and non-deserving wives congregation) possessing a knowledgebase that would make them fail standard 8th exam 9 out of 10 times.
It is not only the money wasting activities but also the pathetic state of affairs in our Air Force stations towards life and the unbounded display of cruelty gives me a jerk. Even though our Air Force bases need an overall cleansing from various things, the guys at the helm of business take the act of massacring all the canines in their respective air bases at the top of their priority. As if all the dirt and rot within the Air Force is being quarantined, the biggies with help of their not that deserving over inflated ego thought of killing innocent animals’ left-right-and-center. This first of all looks grossly cruel and overtly inhuman as being human we were taught to adhere to ‘Jibe Daya’ philosophy. This scavenging also hurts an animal lover like me and thousand others to see innocent animals being butchered by our own security forces for no apparent reason. The Air Force base at Ehlanka in Bengaluru is a testimony to the inconsiderate attitude of our defense personnel towards life. In the said station they alleged to have butchered hundreds of dogs in a single day. This BLOODY nonsense (in literal sense) must be condemned and answers be sought. But as all know how answers are farfetched from our defense establishments. The self-aggregated ego that they are the only true servants of the nation and rest lesser mortals like us are all waste, reflects in entirety in their nonchalant answers whenever asked for the precise reason of this innocent killing spree. The idea that they have the only authority to live in this planet as if the planet earth is their paternal property and rest all must die should change at once.
Having said that, am I asking for too much? Could our defense personnel leave their wrong notion of only them having greatness as their sole proprietary and behave like responsible citizens of the nation? Am I expecting the non-expectable from a set of people where the combined mental ability adds up to a little more than naught? Can I hope any sense of maturity and responsibility from the colony of absurd when I see a retired Colonel shooting down a poor 13 year old boy just because he trespassed inside the camp to pluck some mangos? Thank God, the obnoxious idiocy of a senior so called army officer, who could give the biggest of rascals a run for their money, flashed in my mind. Thank God the killing of an innocent 13 year old Dilshan is still fresh to answer my last question ever so convincingly – “When we care nothing for the lives of the very people whom we are designated to protect, you are asking us to care for the dogs roaming around our campus? Are you nuts or all bloody civilians are nuts by default?”