From ‘Josh’ to ‘Hosh’


After having recently watched ‘Uri: The surgical strike’, my ‘josh’ has been  high and my spirits upbeat. As patriotic emotions run high, I am charged and enthused.

However, when the rousing slogan, ‘How is the Josh?’ is  resonating  not just with me but across the nation, the dastardly Pulwama terrorist attack in which 40 jawans lose their lives sends a wave of anger and anguish among the people in the country demanding befitting reply.

And this demand for retaliation and retribution is spearheaded by the 24×7 news channels that position themselves to be the voice of the people. Even before the government and the armed forces respond, media immediately jumps the gun. The verdict is announced in the studios, “Pak needs to go.” Television studios of the TRP hungry news channels turn into battle ground where high pitched war cries against Pakistan are raised. War mongering television anchors and the chest thumping panelists of most channels-English and vernacular- scream for decimating Pakistan. Jingoism is at full display as the television anchors shout for revenge.

The Indian media is not alone in whipping war-frenzy, Pak electronic media too, packed with loud mouths, spews a lot of venom against India. Even as the political bosses in both the countries try to act with restraint, the irresponsible media on both sides of the border feeding on provocation is on an overdrive -provoking offensive and counter offensive narrative.

From the main stream electronic media the pro- war rhetoric spills over to the social media platforms escalating tension. The twitter yodhas, WhatsApp warriors and the Face book hawks are in attack mode in both the countries.

My emotions are stirred as I follow the narrative from the tragedy of Pulwama to the retaliatory Balakot air strike and then see Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman- his capture and subsequent release by Pakistan. My heart swells with pride to the see his exemplary poise, calmness and fearlessness in the face of adversity.  But at the same time Abhinandan’s moving saga makes me realize how vulnerable the life of a soldier is and how agonizing war can be for the families of the armed forces.

Amidst a plethora of jarring pieces of information circulating in social media, an emotional post by an army officer’s wife shakes me into ‘hosh’ or I may say brings me to my senses. Her words of sanity have a sobering impact on me.  I realize how hollow my ‘josh’ is –limited to posting Jai Hind, Vande Matram messages on the Facebook and Whats App.  How stupid of me to gloat about war! Neither I nor the chest thumping television anchors nor the aggressive hawks of the social media are going to the front to fight war. These are the soldiers who leave their families behind to bear the agony of not knowing whether the brave will return.

I realize, “Those who celebrate war will not participate in war, those who participate in war, will never celebrate war.”

(Published in HT Chandigarh ( Sunday  Read )on March 24 , 2019)



18 Replies to “From ‘Josh’ to ‘Hosh’”

  1. You are absolutely right Rama. You have handled the issue with great sensitivity.
    I would be happy if we always respeoour soldiers and their families. The families are fighting the same battle on a different front.

  2. Media hype is not good – look what happened during 26/11 attack. There should be some restraint. War is never good, but sometimes retaliation is necessary. Let diplomacy tackle the issues, like Modi ji has done 👍🌺🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳

    1. Yes, retaliation is required at times but the strategy is not to be discussed and devised in television studios. The media must act responsibly with restraint.

  3. Very well put up and rightly concluded. War is something that never is to be celebrated. Bhagwan Krishan said ‘ war should be restored only when all other options are closed’

  4. Very well written Rama. No one wants war but sometimes situation demands it.Peace is good but not on the cost of National Pride.

    1. Agreed sometimes war is a necessary evil. But what I am against is war mongering and also certainly hate the tendency of the political parties to take political mileage out of the sacrifices made by our soldiers.

  5. I can only say one of the best pieces written by you and on the reality of war.Even the title deserves heartiest applause. You are a gifted writer indeed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Verified by MonsterInsights