Angry over certain derogatory remarks made by a Maharashtra politician targetting army men, an Indian Army soldier has vented public ire at politicians and bureaucrats in a video and a large banner in his home village on Monday.
The soldier, Ranjit Gawde, a Lance Havaldar serving with an army regiment in West Bengal, and currently on a short vacation to his Mhalunge village here expressed his grouse at "objectionable" statements by a BJP-backed independent MLC, Prashant Paricharak, during election campaigning.
Paricharak reportedly commented that soldiers serving at the borders distribute sweets when they father children even though they had not gone home for a year, indirectly implying that their wives were unfaithful.
Following an uproar last Thursday, Maharashtra Legislative Council Chairman Ramraje Nimbalkar suspended him for 18 months and even appointed a nine-member panel to probe the entire issue though Paricharak later apologised for his indiscretion.
Without naming any politicians or bureaucrats, Gawde has penned a poem – which figures partly in the video content and on the banner displayed prominently in his village – expressing his outrage at the legislator's comments.
"This has nothing to do with the Indian Army or any political party… All soldiers who serve in far off places have been deeply pained by such irresponsible remarks made by some persons in recent times. I have merely gone ahead and expressed my anguish in this manner," Gawde told IANS.
He has broadcast a grim message in his video and the banner displays his full size colour photo in army fatigues, with the headline – "Who Am I'.
"In the event of my martyrdom in the service of the nation, these corrupt politicians and bureaucrats should not touch my body. This is my last Will."
Gawde urged the soldiers fraternity to come forth and unite if they wanted to live with dignity and teach a lesson to these "barking dogs".
He said in conclusion on the banner that whatever be the outcome of his missive he "is a soldier and would always continue to fight".
The video has gone viral on social networks and the hoarding has been attracting large crowds in the village and even surroundings, but there has been no official reaction to it.