November 10, 2015 7:34:45 pm
There are three points of view when it comes to opinions on whether returning awards and accolades is the right way to protest. The first who think it’s right, the second who don’t agree with the symbolism, and the third comprises those who are not sure. Production firm V Seven Pictures may not have anticipated ex-servicemen using the same symbolism to protest the OROP (One Rank One Pension) notification, when it released the short film titled ‘Tolerance: Reply from Soldiers to Intolerant Fools’ on November 8.
The 2.46 minute video, which has been widely shared ever since it was released, shows two armed Indian Army officers fighting in the battlefield. While criticising that “Everyone wants to be Dhoni and Tendulkar, no one wants to be Major Veer Pratap Singh,” the senior mocks his subordinate: “What will you do about it, will you return your medals?”
Here’s the video:
As expected the video has evoked mixed emotions, which was not what its director Vivek Joshi had anticipated. Over a telephonic conversation, Joshi clarifies that the video was made much before the ex-servicemen announced their decision to return their awards on November 7. “First, It’s not at all a mockery of the ex-servicemen returning their medals. Second, the video shows currently serving army men and not ex-servicemen. Also, the sole intention of the video is to send a message that love for the country should be the priority despite all disputes”.
The decision of the ex-servicemen has also been criticised, with Lieutenant General Balbir Singh (retd) saying returning awards as a mark of protest is an “un-soldier activity”, in an interview with a media channel.
In fact, Joshi says that his film emphasises that one should learn tolerance from the soldiers who fight for the country and don’t return home for years at length. “That’s tolerance,” he says.
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