Justice Pratibha Rani began her bail order on Kanhaiya Kumar with the patriotic song “Mere desh ki dharti”, an upbeat celebration of the beautiful land that yields gold and pearls. Her judgement was emotional about the soldiers who give their lives so that the rest of us can be safe.
Here is another sort of patriotic song from another Hindi film, which Justice Pratibha Rani might connect to. This haunting song about the futility of war also goes out to all those who say it is insulting to the armed forces to raise our voices against widespread militarization of the Indian subcontinent.
The refrain of the song is – “Ask the departing solider, where do you go?” It talks about death and destruction, of weeping women and hungry children. The poet is Makhdoom Mohiuddin (a communist and a Muslim – anti-national on two counts). Whose wars do these men fight?
Would we all be safer, including our soldiers, if the elites of neighbouring countries and a global military industrial complex did not have immense stakes in keeping tensions running high?