It was a splendid show at the Officers Training Academy in Chennai on Saturday when 153 young Cadets got their Commissions as Officers, including 29 women cadets. Of those who graduated were 16 Gentlemen Cadets and 9 Women cadets from Friendly Foreign Countries; and nine out of these sixteen were from Afghanistan. Like the whole lot these nine from the Central Asian country came to the elite academy eleven months ago in the hope of going back to the Afghan National Army and serving out their time in defense of their motherland. And like their compatriots and fellow brethren the fate of these nine young brave hearts are inextricably mixed in the hopeless politics of their country, the region and the world.
At the time of writing and publishing the nine cadets will be waiting for their “verdict” at the Afghan Embassy in New Delhi and in the corridors of power in India. The only two things that the cadets will be sure of is: they are perhaps the last group of youngsters who are going to set foot in an Indian Military Academy until such time things clear up before Afghanistan is once again listed as a “Friendly Foreign Country” in this neck of woods; and that staying behind in India or leaving for home are two options laced with dangers and uncertainties.