Armyman strikes at corrupt politicians with acerbic banner

I wish no corrupt politician or government official touches my body if I die while performing my duty, says lance-havaldar Ranjit Gawde in a poster in his village.

Published: 14th March 2017 02:12 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th March 2017 02:12 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

MUMBAI:Angry over certain derogatory remarks made by a Maharashtra politician targeting Army men,  their wives and children an Indian Army soldier has vented public ire at politicians and bureaucrats in a video and a large banner in his home village on Monday.

Ranjit Gawde

“I wish no corrupt politician or government official touches my body if I die while performing my duty,” lance-havaldar Ranjit Gawde has said in a poster, appealing to fellow armymen to unite to be able to live with dignity.

Gawde, who is serving with the Indian Army unit in West Bengal, is on a short vacation at his village Mahalunhe in Kolhapur district. He released a video and a banner on Saturday that condemned several statements made by politicians recently.

“One can see a new leader being born every day. Some of them sell the country, some religion and some family. And then some of them call us rapists, some others just shame us, some say we are out there just to die and they even question our intellect. This leads us to the question— why should we fight? Why should we die? We live with this question in mind. Yet, we shall keep fighting, keep dying to protect our country from all ills,” Gawde said in the poster he made public on Sunday.

“We are the same soldiers who have been fighting for ages. From the times of Mahabharata to that of King Shivaji and even today. We shall always fight off all ills,” Gawde said in his poster that bares the title— ‘who am I?’. Gawde has urged the soldiers to come forth and unite to be able to live with dignity and teach a lesson to the—“barking dogs”.

The video that Gawde released and the photographs of the banner that he has displayed at his village have gone viral on social media. Maharashtra legislature saw pandemonious scenes for a couple of days before BJP supported independent MLC Prashant Paricharak’s membership being suspended for 1.5 years.
Paricharak, a legislator from Solapur, had joked — during campaigning in local polls last month — that soldiers stationed at the border distribute sweets when their babies are born although they haven’t come home in a year, indirectly alleging their wives are unfaithful. He later apologised for his remarks.

Following an uproar last Thursday, Maharashtra Legislative Council Chairman Ramraje Nimbalkar suspended him for 18 months and even appointed a nine-member panel to probe the entire issue though Paricharak later apologised for his indiscretion. A committee of the upper house of the legislature too has been formed to decided on whether he needs to be imprisoned or his membership terminated permanently.

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