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With an inch of salt

Uncle Sam doesn’t want you. But don’t let that weigh you down. Here it’s survival of the fattest.

india Updated: May 04, 2010 21:54 IST

Hyperbole seems to be the hallmark of Americans. Having waged a relentless war against the slightest hint of anything adipose, those of comfortable proportions are now being viewed as security threats by the US army top brass. Obesity, they say, is the single largest factor for potential military recruits being turned down. Their theory is that with a few extra kilos about you, your abilities to plunge into combat may be compromised. We agree that if you had to race up and down the Hindu Kush in pursuit of nimble al-Qaeda lads, this may weigh you down. But with electronic warfare being so advanced, we hardly think that an ample rear would come in the way of pushing a few buttons.

The Americans should learn from us that you can pound your beat with several extra pounds. The Gurgaon police, who have come under the scale for their inch-by-inch approach to security, are a case in point. They have been asked to tone down. But our question is why should they become shadows of their former selves? They are doing a good job of frightening the daylights out of law-abiding citizens with their frequent checks. Now tell us, if they weren’t on their toes with all the agility of a circus pachyderm, would they be able to stop your car, peer into your boot and write out that incriminating challan? Would they be able to discern the minutiae of the lease agreement people have on commercial properties and work out smart means to let you hang onto your premises and in the process collect enough for themselves to join a fitness club and spa? So the Americans must learn from us instead of being so fat between the ears.

We have been weighed in the balance on many occasions and hardly found wanting. So the US army should open its arms, albeit widely, to those whose chests may have slipped. No need to make such heavy weather out of it really.