Rang De Basanthi
How many of you know the OTA? Yes, the OFFICERS TRAINING ACADEMY! I personally did not know this place and what it was even though i have driven past this place to the airport pretty much close to 500 times to drop and send off or receive friends and cousins…
This place as i have had the opportunity to experience is one of the best things that can happen to you if you are a vehement supporter of gender equality and women’s rights issues.
I could start off better but pictures speak more than words so here is something you can look at to see what I’m talking about. The pictures are of course are from a photography perspective and nothing from the point of discussing the place as such so look at it from a photography perspective. Read on for more on this place.
I got to know of this place last year through a good friend of mine “Captain Suresh Sharma” through flickr and he invited me over to this passing out parade with the army. We had unlimited and unsurpassed access to photograph these people and events even when the press were caged in their enclosures while we freely wandered around steaming their jealousy :-P
To start with the BIG NEWS about this place is it’s the ONLY academy in the entire country that trains women for the Short Service Commission, I was told. The cadets have to go through a rigorous 9 month training program and graduate at the end of it (many of them don’t at first shot) and get posted in various positions all around the nation. Surprisingly I found out that many of our cadets are sent abroad to the UK, Afghanistan, and USA for cross cultural training and international terrorism resistance courses as such.
The parade I must tell you is downright kick ass! There is nothing like I’ve seen stuff like this before. I personally think every stupid male chauvinist on bharat matrimony who wants a “homely wife who can cook, clean, respect, understand, love and adjust” to everything they need and want for look at these women cadets here and wake up to the fact that their women enslaving days are so long over now and they have to act up like real men.
I’ve had the opportunity to interact with a lot of these male and female cadets and there is something about them that runs in the family. I mean, the father, the uncle, the sister/brother have always at one time or the other been killed in the line of action and they come to fulfil their dream here.
My close friend, hero and personal favourite of this place though indisputably is “Major Sangram Singh”. His badges, his achievements and his stories just blow my feet off the ground.
I’ve always wanted to be in the Indian Air Force since childhood but lately did I realize this dream of mine was an impossible one and this place was a refreshing breather of my childhood aspirations to be an army man.
Unfortunately though, the government of India still remains a jackass who does not want to make the war stories and heroism of these people public and thereby inspire the people to take up the army as a profession. It’s such a ridiculous misconception that everything that has to do with the government jobs are crap. To an extent this being very true I was proved so wrong when I went to this place.
For starters none of them here are brain dead like they are in all other govt offices. Secondly their dedication to the job and the effort they put in at things is unbeatable. Thirdly who ever said Army men are the “rough and tough” figures have either been gravely misinformed or have watched too much of captain vijayakanth’s movies. Reality is that these people are down to earth and absolutely kind in every approach.
As I drove by the last time into these army roads and every soldier salutes at you when they make contact I felt my tax money was worth every paisa paid. Hell with the bad roads, hell with the politicians, hell with this system and hell with every irresponsible dude spitting on the road, if 1 rupee of my tax money is being spent on these people I’m okay with the rest of the discrepancies, simply because these people deserve the best of everything.
While you and I take to our A/C filled rooms and snug into our beds with our loved ones they wait in the line of fire for their turn of the bullet to their head. I think that says it all they are above all things.
Chak De India!