dekho! is ko ‘Take It Easy’ lo

Posted on April 3, 2009
Filed Under >Owais Mughal, Photo of the Day
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Owais Mughal

This show is part of the daily drill performed by Pakistan Rangers at Wahga border. We would like to hear your comments. My comments are:

dekho! is ko ‘take it easy’ lo

32 Comments on “dekho! is ko ‘Take It Easy’ lo

  1. shahzad shameem says:
    April 3rd, 2009 12:44 am

    Weldone, Sirf aik Qadam aur, aur MANZIL BA MURAD.

  2. bonobashi says:
    April 3rd, 2009 1:25 am

    I think both sides have reduced themselves to performing robots, and the entire exercise should be banned on aesthetic grounds. In any case, it is a travesty of military discipline and the principles of drill. Look at them jerking and grimacing through their very badly executed manoeuvres. You have shown only the Rangers; the BSF are no better.

    An utterly abominable show, encapsulating the worst aspects of both countries.

  3. Saad says:
    April 3rd, 2009 1:32 am

    Agreeing with bonobashi. I think this right here clearly shows the mental state of two countries. Still trying to act like single cell animals.

  4. Naseer says:
    April 3rd, 2009 2:32 am

    – Ive been watching this ‘show’ from childhood,which always resulted
    in a ” lahu garma diya ” situation.
    But then came WWF —-
    Now maybe our children would call it ” bharkain ”,
    not me, not yet !!!!!
    Naseer

  5. yaseen ch says:
    April 3rd, 2009 6:24 am

    dimagh harab kar rahein hein.

  6. Jav says:
    April 3rd, 2009 10:55 am

    Kya Yaar – I thought the post might be about the “Brand NEW” gates the Government has placed at Wagah…but NO – oh well….

    Guys instead of the stomping of feet maybe both sides could gyrate there hips to the sound of, Sahahida Mini’s “Disco Deewani” lol… (maybe then the tourists will get there money’s worth)

    But on a side note totally agree with bonobashi – time to get rid of the quick stepping and shouting – and replace it with a silent and more dignified flag lowering ceremony.

  7. Neena says:
    April 3rd, 2009 11:55 am

    Get a hobby, LOL!

    We can have competitions of sports, singing, dancing, poetry, and so much more but then thanks to mullaization of Pakistan most of the stuff is quite impossible in Pakistan. We need to save our next generation by giving them hope and something to do with their energy. We need to open schools and encourage Boys and Girls to study and take part in sports.

  8. mohasbah-e- nafs says:
    April 3rd, 2009 12:08 pm

    This spectacle is a proof of murda quam. Watch the video of the girl being flogged in Swat and then what this circus. Pakistanis are all about show but no real substance.

    We have no one else to blame but our own hollow selves. We allowed the demonic JI and their off shoots to spread like cancer over the decades. The evil has fully taken root now.

  9. ali raza khan says:
    April 3rd, 2009 12:55 pm

    As one who has done a bit of marching and saluting myself, I feel for these guys. They are destroying their tendons and ligaments with every step.

  10. Mian khan says:
    April 3rd, 2009 1:55 pm

    Soles of shoes of Pakistan rangers.

    I think this form of march should be changed to our regular military style.

    Although i have served in PAF and i do not like what Hindus and India has done to Muslims and Pakistan and will do in future… still i think it is not decent to show sole of shoe to humans. (And yes Hindus in India are humans although a pretty mean kind of humans when they interact with Pakistanis)

    Pakistanis can not remain in denial of India’s development by showing of soles of their shoes and decreasing the anxiety they are going through.

  11. GHAUS says:
    April 3rd, 2009 5:35 pm

    Great title Owais… Title even nicer than pic.

  12. Ali Dada says:
    April 3rd, 2009 10:09 pm

    Dear Brothers Owais/Adil and other Brothers/sisters of Pakistaniat,

    Thank you very much for all the amazing articles you post on this blog. This truly lets us discover more about Pakistan. You guys are great and are doing a wonderful job. Keep it up!

  13. Mahmood says:
    April 3rd, 2009 11:46 pm

    This could not be a comfortable thing to do :-)

  14. Taimur says:
    April 4th, 2009 9:40 am

    really funny caption.

  15. Umar Shah says:
    April 4th, 2009 12:08 pm

    Rrrrip…ouch! ouch! -’Workplace Hazards’

  16. coldrain says:
    April 4th, 2009 1:29 pm

    we need to give these guys a new job…..

    couldnt have come up with a more useless routine. They probably get arthritis by the time theyre 40.

    if anything, we should create a more civilized routine for our troops and let the indians continue with theirs. They will look like fools and everyone will recognize them as so.

  17. D_a_n says:
    April 4th, 2009 2:47 pm

    @ Bonobashi….

    you are right to say that this ‘show’ is an encapsulation of the worst of both countries and is a vulgar display of machismo which does not do any favours for the mindset of the average joe on either side of Wagah….

    however…as an ex- Military man (4th generation mind you…)…..the drill on display is absolutely fanstastic on both sides no question about that….

  18. bonobashi says:
    April 4th, 2009 3:25 pm

    @D_a_n

    I’m in trouble, I can see, but let me try and explain.

    I am objecting to the distortion of the drill book insofar as the huge exaggerations at Wagah are concerned; I see no sense in the elevation of the arms beyond shoulder height during the parade step, in the raising of the knee above the waist-line, and those features. Those were not part of standard drill; why are they brought in? On these issues, I’m old-fashioned; I regret the decline of the slow-step parade inspection gait, and I regret this bizarre Russian business where the squad being inspected turns to face the dignitary as he/she moves along the front.

    Instead, the normal drill at normal tempo (what is this tempo, btw? It goes beyond a Rifle Regiment, almost an Italian Bersaglieri squad’s double tempo) seems to my very prejudiced eye a far more aesthetic pattern. I can understand a Gurkha regiment or any Gurkha para-military squad marching to rifle regiment tempo, but for these tall fellows to do something beyond that seems grotesque. I am reminded that both the British Guards regiments and the Germans in ceremonial squad drill, picked squads with their personnel at a minimum height of 5’10″ but typically taller, actually use a slower marching tempo than normal line regiments, two tempi slower than a rifle regiment. Given their height, these two sets of jawans at Wagah should march to a slower, more dignified beat, without those tendon-wrenching exaggerations and wild flourishes that completely ruin it for me. And what is that hip-hop that has become fashionable in South Asia before coming to a halt?

    Going back to continental practice with tall men, the Germans, and following them, the Russians, used a relatively slow goose-step (originally), as we can see for ourselves at Russian military monuments even today, although regrettably tempi have inexorably speeded up over the years even in this. Certainly preferable to my jaundiced vision to this.

    Finally, you will understand what a crusted conservative and a hopeless case you are dealing with if I tell you that I prefer the slow, swaggering march of a Pipe band (please God, to a Highland tune, Cock of the North or Bonny Dundee or Hey Johnie Cope, and not one of the abominations dreamt up by a Goanese or Anglo-Indian band master), and a Highland regiment in step to it, to any other martial sight that I have seen – except the Gurkhas, always except the Gurkhas.

    Why can’t we just have a dignified flag lowering the way we used to? I don’t hold with these new-fangled notions.

    (On a personal note: I envy you very keenly. I was trained for the Navy at a Sainik School, to follow a relative who was our first aviator admiral, and since they found out two days before the SSB that my eyes were bad, have spent the rest of my life trying to find out what to do instead. Never quite succeeded).

  19. zakoota says:
    April 5th, 2009 4:40 pm

    Highly proud of these soldiers, may Allah give them long lives and safe them from devil enemies, ameen!

  20. D_a_n says:
    April 6th, 2009 10:13 am

    @ Zakoota…

    judging by your previous comments in praise of the murderous butchers killing these very soldiers….and as an ex soldier myself…I say no thankyou …. please keep your prayers and wishes…for they are not needed…

    The children whose fathers left their home in the service of their country never to return have seen you and your ilk clap, cheer, hoot and high five each other every time a Jawan’s blood wet this very soil….
    so no please…take your prayers …they are not welcome…

  21. bonobashi says:
    April 6th, 2009 10:25 am

    @D_a_n

    Oh, well said, Sir!

  22. D_a_n says:
    April 7th, 2009 9:11 am

    @ Bonobashi…

    you were not in trouble at all…I knew that you were from the old school but I didnt realise just how old school till I realised you have actually watched Brig. ‘Hesky’ Baig play polo :) ….
    my apologies for pointing out the old school-ness but it was meant as a compliment…

    but back to the drill..and it was a pleasure to hear you talk about marching bands and goose stepping :) … a bengali version of ‘Col. Haathi’ from jungle book ( I’ll allow myself a chuckle here)

    I will however, make the following observations…

    ‘I am objecting to the distortion of the drill book insofar as the huge exaggerations at Wagah are concerned; I see no sense in the elevation of the arms beyond shoulder height during the parade step, in the raising of the knee above the waist-line, and those features. Those were not part of standard drill; why are they brought in?’ …

    the distortion is there true……the elevation of the arms above the shoulder is not very pretty…and the raising of the knee above the waist can produce a curve in the back ruining posture…but all this…at Wagah…is not strictly military in nature…think of it as a production…militray does cirque du soleil I like to think :)

    ‘Given their height, these two sets of jawans at Wagah should march to a slower, more dignified beat, without those tendon-wrenching exaggerations and wild flourishes ‘ …

    that would make for drill that is definitely easy on the eyes..but what of the mob? :) this show is not meant for people like you and I…

    ‘And what is that hip-hop that has become fashionable in South Asia before coming to a halt?’

    That ‘hip-hop’ dear sir, is what we call a ‘Check-1-2′ stop….the intial raising of the leg to stop is the check…..and the 1-2 is the marking time movement to stop where you are ….at Wagah the check is hugely amplified…
    normally officers are not encouraged to amplify it while on parade…but the Jawan is asked to really put his all into the check to give it some swagger…’nakhra’ is the Urdu word for it…

    ‘I regret the decline of the slow-step parade inspection gait, and I regret this bizarre Russian business where the squad being inspected turns to face the dignitary as he/she moves along the front’

    that slow step parade inspection is still a major part of drill…and the harder one to master actually….but the format at Wagah and the nature of the ceremony makes it hard to incorporate that into the ‘show’ …

    I dont like the russian turning/tilting of the heads to face the dignitary either….thankfully that’s not followed in any of the services in Pakistan and I believe the Indian services are the same….(correct me if I am wrong)

    ‘I prefer the slow, swaggering march of a Pipe band (please God, to a Highland tune, Cock of the North or Bonny Dundee or Hey Johnie Cope, and not one of the abominations dreamt up by a Goanese or Anglo-Indian band master), and a Highland regiment in step to it, to any other martial sight that I have seen’

    you are a man after my own heart….no comparison for a highland marching tune…I never was a fan of the local band tunes….crusty…but they dont make crust like that anymore… :)

    now, the reason I think the drill is fantastic is thus:

    you have to take it for what it is…a show…Yes it is vulgar..but sadly that is the whole point and the jawans are asked to carry out the drill in a particular manner…in fact the steps at Wagah are a whole separate genre and the jawans need to be trained extensively…
    and those soldiers put everything they have into it…I detest the idea and the intent behind the ceremony…but I still think the standard of what the soldiers are asked to do is very very good….

    This vulgar show serves no purpose and does us no favours and I often felt that if I were one of the jawans on parade at Wagah…I would feel disgusted..that here I am a finely trained soldier…a prime martial specimen…and I am being used for mob entertainment……a 3rd rate gladiator that is only allowed to preen and swagger and not even given the diginity of single combat…..(folks are literally eating pop corn there)
    but the good people on both side lap this sort of stuff up and so the show shall continue..
    This is cricketing equivalent of T20 cricket….something that I hate!

    I am in the mood to ramble so I will…as a soldier…(and I got this from my forefathers who were far more dignified men at arms than I was)…..I always had a lot of respect for the ‘enemy’…it seemed natural to respect a man who was willing to face you in combat and spent his life preparing for it….and never thought that anty one side had a copy right on courage…
    I wondered if people on the other side also saw it that way…I remember stories from both my grandfathers of how they interacted with officers from the other side right on the battle field in the days just after the cease fire in 65…I can share details later if you are interested…they will surprise you

    not to mention my Taya who post retirement…started a correspondance with a Pilot from the IAF who’s plane he had shot down….this was to give you an idea of the mentality of my mostly military upbringing…
    coming from that….wagah seems inescapably childish to me..and frankly I feel its degrading to the Jawans on parade…

  23. Zahid says:
    April 7th, 2009 4:17 pm

    I will simply say I don’t see any reason to elevate public patriotism by paying this game right at the border with our neighbour. It is just hard to understand what we are doing and teaching our comming generations and what the rest of the world is doing. It looks clearer sitting 1000′s of miles away in a place where things are different, just because people want it to be different and not because they are supoosed to be.
    This whole drill episode each and every day, is an open demonstration of our minds stuck in 1947 and what ever history we have.

    From

    Calgary, Canada

  24. Bloody Civilian says:
    April 8th, 2009 6:20 pm

    D_a_n and Bonobashi

    FRom your comments, I suspect you have not scene the whole diabolical display. It is more like the mating displays of Birds of Paradise, except synchronised and not solo performances. The mentality and insult to civility and humanity though reminds one of gorillas and baboons (two troops facing off at their territorial borders in the jungle). It’s an insult to the guys having to do it. The two governments sponsoring it ought to be thoroughly ashamed. See the whole shameful affair

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgWZ_trHdQQ

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWbj3wDR21Q

  25. bonobashi says:
    April 9th, 2009 12:36 am

    @D_a_n

    Absolutely delighted you understood so well. True, as a spectacle, it is entertaining, but my spirit squirms at good soldiers, even good policemen (at Wagah, those are policemen) being made to do this. However, this is a Rome of bread and circuses. ‘O tempora, o mores’.

    I note with some grimness the gratuitous reference to Col. Haathi. If my identity had not been such a closely-guarded secret, I might have suspected some clandestine correspondence with the old lady, who has herself stayed trim and has an entirely excessive amount to say to me and to everybody else about a certain amount of ballast that has settled in and refuses to move away, in spite of all effort. This exchange settles the issue: 20 kgs must go, and we must retire Col. Haathi (I am, after all, 59 in August).

    Having conceded that the masses must have their show, there is little to say, except for two little facts and a very proud thought:

    * I was ranting a bit unnecessarily about the Check-1-2, which is used in modified form on very long parades to synchronise the squad’s steps, just before the saluting dais; due to the speed at which sound carries, we found ourselves slightly out of step if each rank followed the beat of the band. This is still done at the Republic Day Parade in Delhi, with indifferent results. A necessary evil, I suppose.

    * You will be horrified to learn that Russian drill during inspection has come into the Indian services (through, I regret to say, the Army) from the 80s, from the days of Hindi-Russi bhai bhai, when some toad-eating idiot brought it in. I yearn for the day when it is thrown right out again.

    Regarding respect for one’s enemies, I would like to present some evidence to you in about a month’s time, evidence that has been lying around scattered, and that has always filled me with pride.

    On a personal note, when my father was healthy and my mother alive, the last major tour they did was of Rajasthan, where they stayed with the AOC-in-C, Air Marshal Cariappa. As you may remember, this gentleman is a reminder to both Indians and Pakistanis that good manners among opposing soldiers was not – I daresay is not – entirely obsolete.

    It would be wonderful to hear from a person with your heritage about the stories you mentioned. If permitted, I would like to share it with my small circle of ex-military friends. My batchmates have just started retiring; the seniormost, one year older than I, was a brigadier who took premature retirement. Younger chaps have died in action, one, a year my junior, due to the effects of the weather in Siachen. May lightning strike the bastard who thought of that misadventure.

    Regarding Hesky Baig, he was like a flickering flame on the field. I just rubbed out a play-by-play description of that match 47 years ago. Now I watch polo on YouTube; somewhat different.

    @Bloody Civilian

    I have been present from end to end, and nearly ran out onto the parade ground to stop them. Although it doesn’t please me, it is difficult to disagree that it is a crowd-pleasing spectacle; on the other hand, you and I have already discussed what we would like to see instead.

  26. D_a_n says:
    April 9th, 2009 1:15 am

    @ bloody civilian…

    I have infact seen the whole thing…twice actually…and am not a fan of the ‘show’ as I did write….

    If you’d have read my rather long winded post you’d have seen that I wrote:

    ‘wagah seems inescapably childish to me..and frankly I feel its degrading to the Jawans on parade

  27. bonobashi says:
    April 9th, 2009 2:20 am

    @D_a_n

    Absolutely delighted to be understood so well. I suppose as a spectacle, one must concede that it is a brave one. This is after all a Rome of bread and circuses: ‘O tempora, o mores’.

    I note grimly the references to Col. Hathi. If my identity had not been such a well-guarded secret, I might have suspected a correspondence with the old lady. Having herself managed to keep trim and able to get into her wedding clothes, she has had much to say, far too much, about a certain amount of ballast that has been inevitably acquired over the ages, and refuses to drop off in spite of strenuous efforts made. This exchange settles the matter: 20 kgs must go, and Col. Hathi retired off (I’m 59 in August after all).

    The men at Wagah are doing what they’ve been told to do. I am mad at the COs who thought it up and exposed their men to this. Even policemen (at Wagah, it’s policemen on both sides) deserve better.

    The check-1-2 stop is alive and well in India, in less belligerent form, and I have seen it used to synchronise step during a long march-past, just before the saluting dias. It has its purposes, but I wish they wouldn’t overdo it.

    I am dreadfully sorry to inform you that the Russian inspection drill has come into the Indian armed services. Some sycophant introduced it during the 80s, the years of Hindi-Russi bhai bhai, and I long for the day when it will be thrown out.

    About pleasanter things: I can describe to you the Centenary Gold Cup finals, which I saw Hesky Baig play, chukker by chukker from the third to the sixth; Calcutta Polo Club went from 4-6 to 9-8, playing Alec Harper at back, Hesky at 3, Prem Singh at 2 and somebody else at 1. That was against a terrifying line up: Hanut himself at 3, his sons Bijai at back and Hari at 2, and somebody else at 1. The cool, very snooty ladies of Calcutta, my mother among them, were standing up and screaming their lungs out the last two chukkers. It’s a miracle nobody died. The Army was not the bulldozer it later became; some of them were standing around watching, looking very, very thoughtful. I was 11 then, and got to taste champagne for the first time and thought I’d gone to heaven. Today I watch polo on YouTube; somehow rather different.

    I would be delighted to hear about the anecdotes you gathered. If permitted, I would like to share it with a small circle of retired military people, including the first few from school. I look forward eagerly to hearing from you.

    The seniormost, one year my senior, took premature retirement this year as a Brigadier. Another, a year my junior died two years back due to permanent damage to his lungs in Siachen; Bengalis aren’t really meant for those conditions. Some others became civilians; the Chief Minister of Nagaland and several of their ministers are Sainik School boys.

    I read out your mail to my father, who can’t see any more. Regarding the manners that prevailed in better times, he said to tell you that his last holiday, nearly twenty years ago, with my mother,then alive, was in Rajasthan, where they stayed with the AOC-in-C, Air Marshal Cariappa. As you will remember, his story as a PoW reminds us of the manners that prevailed as late as 65.

    @Bloody Civilian

    I have surrendered reluctantly to the idea that this is a spectacle and should be treated at that level. If some day I am given the opportunity, I’d like to take you to the Beating of the Retreat at Raisina Hill, to show you that a military spectacle can be dignified and solemn, even moving.

  28. Bloody Civilian says:
    April 9th, 2009 6:16 pm

    D_a_n

    My (highly) suspected dyslexia obvioulsy applies to both my writing and reading ability ;-)

    I’ll let you and Bonobashi enjoy what will never make much sense to my non-military mind :-)

  29. bonobashi says:
    April 10th, 2009 6:45 am

    @Bloody Civilian

    Ah, now I begin to understand!

    You pickled gherkin, I have a military mind! But I can’t pretend that family roots and affiliations and my own work for the forces doesn’t exist, or that their welfare and well-being doesn’t concern me. That would be letting down hosts of people who are relatives, friends or working acquaintances. And I have used some of my training and upbringing in managing software and IT firms with excellent results.

    Soldiers aren’t bad people; most military institutions aren’t bad places (some ultra-conservative cavalry regiments were). It’s always, always, always about leadership. Bad leadership can mess up any set of good soldiers, and subvert the best institutions.

    In case someone has read that last and is looking up Google Maps to feed the coordinates of Calcutta into things that go bang, I wish to clarify that I am speaking about the unfortunate events of 62, with particular reference to a set of generals listed as follows: Kaul, Monty Palit, Bogey Sen. I won’t speak further as the first two have left their own written records (brazen cheek!), but they illustrate the point. The other side is Prem Bhagat, Harbaksh and Jagjit Arora (that’s too Punjabi, so I’ll add Manekshaw and Sundarji to balance things a bit).

    This is by way of explanation, and I won’t intrude Indian factoids here again.

    Anyone who wishes to extend analogies does it on his or her own. I disclaim any further involvement.

    Apologies, Bloody Civilian, let’s go back to bloody civilian topics again. But in parting, a stint in the NCC or whatever equivalent there was in Pakistan would have done your dyslexia a lot of good ;-)>

  30. bonobashi says:
    April 10th, 2009 6:54 am

    Obviously that last post should have read:

    I DO NOT have a military mind.

    I am not sure why the two words in parentheses got left out. Apologies if I’ve alarmed you, Bloody Civilian. Unintended.

  31. June 1st, 2010 9:50 pm

    Thank you for sharing this article. So excellent. It make me feel that life is full of interesting, I must face life with smile. Jordan 2010

  32. October 16th, 2011 5:47 pm

    ha ha, nice one !
    good video!

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