(The author Arun Purohit is CEO of Simplibuy and was an officer in IAF for 6 years before he gave in for his love towards technology startups.)
It was year 2001 , I was posted to Bathinda and that evening we had a Squadron party. I was not actually looking forward to it. The parties were getting routine and not great. Most of us were talking mundane stuff and were too coy to break into a dance. Suddenly, the music changed and we saw a girl break into a wonderful jig. The entire crowd was spell bound. The fluency of her movements was the best I had seen any amateur attain. She was barely 16 but the energy in her and the lightening in her eyes were awe inspiring. The performance ended, I went and congratulated her. She told me that she was from Khagaria( A small town in Bihar) and had come to visit her sister. Coincidentally, her brother in law, Corporal X worked in my flight. I wished her happy stay and went away.
2 days later, I saw the Corporal X come to my office. The tears in his eyes had not spilled over and he appeared very agitated. The kind of anger which is just a tipping point away from doing something violent. He started with this – “Sir ! my sister in law….. she was walking towards the shopping complex…. Sir I will not leave these guys… These guys circled her, teased her, passed lewd remarks and then one of them made a ball of paper and threw it on her breast. .. She is terrified and shocked.. Sir I am going to kill these guys ”. I asked who these guys were . He said – “Babu”. Immediately the character filled my mental screen. He was favorite personal servant of some officers ( especially fighter pilots ) . He was short, had green eyes, curly hairs , sharp nose and was mostly seen sporting rough stubble. He was from a village near Nepal border I had often seen him moving around, whistling bollywood songs in perfect chordance.
I was stunned by the incident. I saw the anger and I knew the implicit expectation from me. The runway was short. As a leader of flight, I was expected to do something and do it fast. I asked him if he would trust me to take appropriate action. He just said he was just losing control of his senses. I immediately got up and said – ”If by evening you are not satisfied with my action, feel free do any thing you want to “. I cranked the bike and left.
My first stop was at Security Officer’s cabin. Squadron leader Joshua ( Name changed ) was an upright navigator, 6 feet tall and was from Kerala. I told him about the incident and said we have to do something right now to restore faith of a soldier. We immediately worked out agreeable steps this is how it was executed:
- Called 4 IAF police personnel immediately ( Among the strongest, tallest and fittest )
- Sat in a closed police jeep.
- Caught Babu at Mess in 10 minutes.
- One soldier got hold of his neck and pulled him 2 feet above his ground. “Where is your gang – ” he roared. ” Where are they ? “.
- Quick came the pointers.
- In 30 minutes the entire gang was in the cabin.
- Joshua thundered – “Take them inside, beat them every where without leaving any physical marks “. He turned to me. and assured they will be taken proper care off and I can go back assured.
I started back feeling good that that justice was getting delivered. Later in the evening , I saw Babu, limping badly and in intense pain. Every move of his body, it seemed triggered a needling pain. His eyes were not black but they loudly screamed of the pain and misery he had undergone.
Next day at Office , I was walking around and I saw Corporal X working on a missile. I asked him how he was. A big smile broke on his face and he said “Thank you Sir ”
The faith in leadership was restored.
Closing thoughts : The way leadership in military works is very different from how civilian officers work. If you notice the speeches made by Sonia, Sushma or Shinde , you will notice that their statements reek on insincerity. They are imprecise in terms of action to be taken and the timelines. ”Harshest punishment, voices have been heard, we will punish the guilty “are the cliches these parasites blurt out without creating any specific action. No credible deterrent against enraging modesty of women in civil society exists. Its time, we learn from some of the most efficient social system( Defense ) to make our cities safer.