Skip to content

A nation forgets?

July 26, 2009

449 brave soldiers killed…..Five pages of just names…..The horror of it!

And India doesn’t even remember!

Martyrs who might just be names to some of us, but a lifetime of grief and heartache for those they have left behind…


Why is it that retired generals have to protest on the streets to get whats their due?

Did you ever think you would see such a sight?

I didnt.

Do you have any idea…………can you even begin to realize what the word honour….the word  Izzat means to a man in uniform?

Of how utterly bereft of hope the ones who should have been ‘  happily’ retired  must have felt before they sat down to protest on the streets  demanding that which  this nation should have given to  them without their having to ask?

And have we even now given it? Given whats their due?

Did the sixth Pay Commission do justice to all that they did and even now do???

Why is is it that as a nation we can shed tears at a particular moment and yet be as cruel and as apathetic  as  human beings  can possibly be.

Why is it that we still don’t have a memorial for our soldiers?

NOTHING.

Oh! but wait! We DO have a sea link named after a former PM!

Yes, that’s enough I think. Really! Its all that matters.

We could have named it after a martyr of 26/11 of course but we chose not to.

You see we are quite screwed up that way.

Our priorities define who we are.

And what we are isn’t the most pretty sight.

Read the letter below and tell me if this is the act of a normal human being.

Does it take   rare  courage to write such a letter I wonder. Does God make some people more special than others?

A letter written by Captain Vijayant Thapar to his parents  before he went into battle. (his nickname was Robin)

coverofletter
letteronly
lastlettercover

[LETTER LINK]

There was another letter this one by a mother  addressed to Musharraf demanding that he apologise to her grand daughter after her son, whom she still refers to as 2 RR (Rajputana Rifles), had sacrificed his life for the country. Also a  little girl who has never seen her father. She was born after her father died fighting a war that this nation doesn’t even remember.

There are many stories …..some poignant , some that make you smile…

Did you know about little Ruksana and her connection with Vijayant Thapar?

Did you know that these were not men but young boys ? On the cusp of discovering all that this world had to offer them?

The jawans , the officers…bound together by a camaraderie that is beyond our wildest imagination…

These men could lay down their lives for a friend. And they did.

Yeh dil maange more .. words made immortal by a young boy of 24.

A nation watched….enchanted by  the sight of this grinning I-dont-give-a-damn soldier  who seemed to challenge death itself.

One could feel his euphoria. He looked invincible and we felt invincible too when we heard those words in the comfort of our homes.

I remember I was preparing hard for my unit tests when we heard the news. That man, that soldier, that Indian who had sat there in a bunker smiling and  saying words which were to become a slogan for generations to come  was no more.

One felt hard pressed to believe it.

We all seemed to know him.

India watched in disbelief. Had we not seen him on TV just a few days earlier?

Then how was it possible ?

But a nation was to realize that these brave hearts  for all their courage were mortals.

Mortals who could put  many to shame. Men of steel but men nevertheless.

Of how with a horrified look one stares at the TV screen even now when  his face is  flashed on it saying those words over and over again until they are seared into your brain.

Would he have said it any differently had he known?

I dont think so.

He would have said the very same words with even more josh if it was possible.

Sher Shah! even ‘they’ were forced to call him. And Sher Shah he was.

Kargil War Wikipedia

Then there were those bravehearts  who even in death, united a nation like never before.

No homage to the heroes of Kargil can be complete  without the examples of two martyrs from the northeast – Captain Keishing Clifford Nongrum of the 12 J&K Light Infantry and Captain Neikezhakuo Kenguruse of the 2 Rajputana Rifles.

Nongrum died on on July 1, 1999, while leading the charge on Point 4812.

Tales of his valour are now the stuff of legend in his native Meghalaya; Point 4812 has become a pilgrimage spot for many Khasis.

“And many more of his tribesmen are now signing up to wear stars and service stripes (local lingo for military service), as he used to exhort the youth in his native state to do when on leave,” said Peter Keishing, 62, his father.

Kenguruse’s story was even more inspiring. Belonging to a generation of Nagas that grew up hating or fighting the Indian army, few expected the wiry Neibu (his nickname) to don military colours.

“Neibu was aware of the churning back home when he was training hard to earn his stripes,” said Neiselie, 64, his father in Nagamese, a Hindi-Assamese hybrid that is very popular in Nagaland.

His native village Nerhema, 22 km north of Kohima, was burnt down twice during five decades of counter-insurgency operations.

But when he returned – in a coffin – a very different Nagaland welcomed him. The day his body arrived at Dimapur, thousands lined the road to Nerhema.

“Neibu did more than make us proud; he changed our perception of the Indian army,” said his father. And, arguably, triggered the mainstreaming – of sorts – of Naga society, inspiring, like Nongrum, an assembly line of youths to enlist for the army. [LINK]

kargil-hero10
Captain (Dr) Rajshree Gupta, Army Medical Corps (AMC), salutes the tricolour-draped coffin of her husband, Major Vivek Gupta of the 2nd Rajputana Rifles, who died fighting the enemies.

Tell me how to control my anguish and not feel murderous when I see, read and hear this below.

After listening to a third-rate political spat between Jayanthi Natarajan of the Congress and Rajiv Pratap Rudy of the BJP in which both tried to score cheap political points on Kargil, the General was compelled to say what the whole nation feels: ” It is a political debate which must be buried along with political parties…These nauseating, disgusting, shrill, vituperative debates have no meaning for the Indian Defence Services.“[LINK-India Retold]

One political party wants to celebrate the Kargil victory and ‘remember’ martyrs but ONLY to score a political point over its opponent.

The other asks…. Kargil? ? Which Kargil?

We fought a  war?

This party  prefers to celebrate ONLY the 1971 victory.

Tell me how to give up my murderous fantasy of killing each slimy politician of this country.

Do you think the slime that  are India’s politicians would have felt the least bit ashamed of themselves when they read  this below?

Asked if they are hurt by the UPA government’s decision not to celebrate Vijay Diwas, the Kargil anniversary, pat came Vimalacharya’s reply like an arrow: ‘‘We are apolitcal people. Sacrifice has been taught to us right from our childhood. Had my son and many others like him not died, Pakistanis would have captured half of India.’’

Read this article. (lines from which have been given below)

A country that refuses to respect its armed forces will eventually end up getting forces that will not respect the nations’ aspirations. A country makes a sacred contract with its soldiers that while he/she will lay down his/her life when called upon to do so, the nation will take good care of his/her and his/her family’s needs to the extent its resources would permit.

This contract underpins the very survival of a nation as when its territorial integrity and political independence are under threat, the nation looks upon the only instrument that can protect it — its armed forces.

This is a nation that will cry with Lata Mangeshkar when she sings Aye Mere Watan Ke Logon but will not make any effort to understand the real problems and concerns of its soldiers. It is a sign of the highly skewed priorities of the Indian media that the rising turmoil and dissatisfaction within the ranks of nations’ armed forces is being given only perfunctory coverage.

It is an issue of nation’s very survival yet the media seems busy with its devotion of superficialities. Every rave and rant of Bollywood actors is religiously covered, detailed dissection of seemingly never-ending cricket matches are conducted, exorbitant pay rises in the corporate sector make it to the headlines but the one issue that can make or break the future of this country is consigned to the margins.

We continue to pray at the altar of our false heroes while our real heroes continue to face neglect and scorn.


A few questions for all of you . Actually anyone who is reading this…will be reading this.

Are you a parent?

If so, have you told your children about the wars that your nation fought?

That its bravehearts fought?

No, it doesn’t have to be a dining table formal conversation. It didnt for us. But we knew.

Our parents made sure we knew. We did not see or read about the 71 war but our parents made sure we knew.

They didn’t live through the 47 war and they cant remember the 71 one. But THEIR parents made sure they knew.

So have you made sure your children know?

Are you a teacher?

Are your students aware of all that India has been through?

No, it doesn’t have to be a part of the syllabus for you to tell them. It should be but it isn’t. So have you told them?

Are you willing to support your child if he/she decides to be  part of the defence forces?

One last question.

Answer it honestly but I don’t think you will.

Yes, the cynic in me rears its ugly head.

Are you in favour of conscription?

No, not to combat the shortage of officers in the defence forces.

But to see if YOU are willing to walk the talk.

Your eyes are moist ..were moist then too when you saw the bodies of the martyrs being carried home.

Would you be willing to send your son/daughter to enlist knowing fully well that exactly  such a homecoming could take place? One where a loved one comes home draped in a tricolour sleeping the sleep of the innocent?

No is the primary sentiment is it?  After all who gives a damn about this profession. Can it be even called  a profession?

They are paid peanuts. Dismal living standards. The dangers to one’s life.

Nah! not worth it you say.

And if indeed this is so, then please don’t ask any more questions as to why our politicians..our decision makers don’t listen to the demands of a soldier..demands that he has been forced to make after a long graceful silence because he has realised that YOU WONT  fight the battle for him .

That YOU are NOT WILLING to.

Because there is nothing in it for you eh?

We all love martyrs. We put them on pedestals and want to worship them forever(though in this nation not even that)

But we all want the  martys to be from a neighbour’s home. Not ours.

And that is what this nation’s problem is. This is what defines us.

————————————————

Were your eyes moist when you  read all the words here?

I bet you even shed a few tears when the war was happening.

And what did you do since then? In the last ten years? Did you talk about it with a few friends? Tut tutted about how pathetic the condition of the soldiers is?

If you did, I am extremely grateful.

You see….at least you talked about them. You remembered them…oh!not all of them! Come one!how can you remember so many names.Poor you!

But I am grateful for whatever crumbs I get.

Did you read all the names of the martyrs given in the first link and in the last video?

Or did you get tired? Or did you gasp in horror?

Which reaction was it?

Tell me too so I can take a sliver of hope that this nation does care for its soldiers. If only in name.

Tears are cheap aren’t they?

Shed a few at the appropriate time and be done with it.

You all had questions during and after 26/11 didn’t you?

How was this possible? You shouted!

You gasped in horror at the tragedy of it all.You wondered how the enemy could strike right at the heart of our nation. You wanted nothing more than to murder a terrorist or two. You wanted to know why India was bleeding.

THIS was why it was possible.

What lessons will  a nation take from history when it prefers to forget it?

Sandeep Unnikrishnan is now only  a name  among many others in the collective memory of this nation.Nothing more.

We will forget him a few months down the line.

10 years later?

Are you kidding me?

Sandeep who?… will be the question.

Go India. Prosper like never before. Celebrate life each day. Sleep comfortably in yur homes.

But know this.

One day all of this will be taken away in a flash.

And that will be the day you will regret so much.

What is it they say?

About words left unsaid and deeds left undone?…..

Words are cheap in this country of ours. Promises are even cheaper. But the cheapest of all is the life of a soldier.

Oh! and yes! I too have fulfilled my duty as an Indian citizen. The words of tokenism have been written. Lets all go and sleep today and every day with the thought that we really and  truly are  Indians.

”Our God and soldiers we alike adore ev’n at the brink of danger; not before: After deliverance, both alike requited, our Gods forgotten and our soldiers slighted”- Francis Quarles

—————————————————————————————————————-

You read many books do you?

Fiction..non-fiction and what have you..

Then read this one too. (excerpts given in the link)

A Soldier’s Diary by Harinder Baweja

Add this as one among many that you have. It is not dramatic. It certainly is not a romanticized version of the war. It just tells it as it was.

150 Comments leave one →
  1. July 26, 2009 1:59 am

    Thnx for reminding us of the sacrifices they have made for our country ….

    That letter clearly shows how brave a soldier is and how dedicated he is towards his motherland even when he knows that he got to sacrifice his own life for the cause ….

    They fight till the end … just to make sure that we are safe ….

    They will never die from our hearts … they are immortals !!!!
    me- I hope your words come true Harsh and that they really become immortal. Which will happen only if this nation always remembers them .If their names are not forgotten in the dusty pages of history.

    We dont just need to remember the ones who are martyrs..but also the ones who are still living…they are our strength and our protection.

    IF for nothing else..then India should remember them for just these two reasons. Amen to your words.

  2. July 26, 2009 2:01 am

    I have always failed to understand this, when the news channels report that innocent citizens have been killed: Who is innocent? The couch potato who gets to listen to the illustrated news or the ones fighting for the nation?

    Destination Infinity
    me- All I can do is give a smile thats twisted with so many emotions DI.

    Innocent citizens have been killed.
    And what about the soldiers? They are not innocent?
    A war that they are fighting so that the ‘innocent’ citizens wont have to bloody their hands or lose their lives

    You have put my sentiments too in words here.

  3. July 26, 2009 2:32 am

    you know, like there is preschool, school and graduation as ‘must do’ in everyone’s life, some years of working in defence services should have been mandatory for each one of us too.

    I dont have words for how I feel about it. Its soul stirring. and then my harmony seeking mind goes one step further.. why war in the first place?

    i feel so small and helpless. I cant help but think of these heroes and their families back home. I know i at least have a slight idea for my dad is one of them. I met one of the commando of 26/11 operation in the navy hospital, colaba where my dad was also admitted then; they are something else. at the age of my younger brother, their passion and way of thinking makes me feel so selfish ourselves.

    I have always held hugest regards for these men in uniform. I can only pray and hope that our country and the ppl with power/authority sets the priorities right.

    btw, i chked wiki link for conscription only now. with whatever capabilities(less or more) i have, i think i am all for it.

    I am not a parent or a teacher or someone who can write so powerfully about it like you did. But I am proud to have members of my family in the forces.. And I want to thank you for writing about it. It sounds dramatic to us when we hear this ‘when u are sleeping in the safe confines of your homes, someone out there is ensuring that you are safe’ and that is sad and painful. I dont know Abhi what I am saying, I dont know what I can do but in my heart i agree with you totally on the subject.

    me- (((((((((hugs))))))))for this comment Tara. I can visualize you sitting and writing these words…I can understand the emotions you went through and even now go through..its visible in your words…

    yes why war in the first place…it is because the slime that are our politicians don’t have to fight the wars..for them its just a matter of ‘politics’ gone wrong…their sons, fathers, husbands don’t die…all they have to do is give the go ahead for attack…and send men and women into danger..

    you know, like there is preschool, school and graduation as ‘must do’ in everyone’s life, some years of working in defence services should have been mandatory for each one of us too.

    Amen to this thought Tara. May this come true soon.
    I really, really pray that it does.

    Proud to know you and through you a man who has served his time in the forces and given so much to this nation.
    Give my regards to Uncle.

    It sounds dramatic to us when we hear this ‘when u are sleeping in the safe confines of your homes, someone out there is ensuring that you are safe’ and that is sad and painful. I dont know Abhi what I am saying, I dont know what I can do but in my heart i agree with you totally on the subject.

    yes many people I have interacted with over the years think that I get dramatic..whereas what they think is drama is a brutal reality for all the soldiers.

    Conscription is the word that so many are wary of….I am so glad you support it..(but then I didnt expect anything less from the daughter of a soldier ) conscription is the only word which will make a difference in India’s callous attitude towards her soldiers.

    • July 27, 2009 12:36 pm

      i completely agree with whatever Tara has said.
      Joining the Defense should be mandatory once you are done with your college.
      me- Amen to the thought Mystery. I wish all Indians would think like this.

  4. July 26, 2009 2:33 am

    This was written with an acid-dipped nib and the message that you wish to convey shines through. Brilliant!
    me- I am glad it does Sagarone. And I say this with all modesty Because the anger that I felt while writing it and even now do (as do so many of us here) should be conveyed to all the Indians.
    anyone who is as angry should make sure that the anger spreads..that its contagious so that maybe just maybe it will have an effect.
    thank you.

  5. July 26, 2009 3:19 am

    am i first!!!!!!!!!

  6. July 26, 2009 3:40 am

    will back to read Indyeah🙂

  7. July 26, 2009 4:23 am

    The armed forces are people with great character and courage…………..
    I absolutely respect them……… I have a few frds in in the army and airforce….. their self confidence and thought process is very different from us……

    Yes, A nation should never forget its heroes………………….. loved this article indyeah……
    watched the videos as well…..
    I remember being in cochin which has a big naval base during kargil……….
    everyone was on full alert during that time……

    I just hope that they are paid more🙂

    me- Yes they are different..not because they were born that way..but because somewhere along the way they made that choice of joining the defence forces and came out as stronger individuals..as more upright human beings..more than us ordinary cirizens for sure….
    you have friends who have donned the uniform as you said so you would know all about it..

    I wish too OG. That they get what they truly deserve.

  8. July 26, 2009 8:40 am

    Sigh… so true.

    The anger, the helplessness are there, was felt as I read thru this and watched the videos.

    Everything gets Politicized. everything is used to get votes…
    It’s disgusting and its sad.

    me- politics..thats at the root of it all… politics that puts itself above anything and everything else… 😦

  9. July 26, 2009 8:55 am

    Indyeah, I don’t know what to say…I wonder what sacrifices MPs and IAS officers have made for the country? We civilians are a selfish lot and I just hope our armed forces personnel don’t become like us…

    me- YEs Bones.. as a civilian myself I would agree and say that yes we are the most selfish of the lot….we love to put the blame on politicians but refuse to look at our ugly face in the mirror..
    we are the ones who go and shed tears and clap and cheer when we see a movie called ‘Border’ but we are blind when it comes to the real life soldiers..

    we see them as invisible beings ..almost as our paid servants who are nothing better than guards..and that hurts like hell!
    its almost a physical ache…

  10. July 26, 2009 10:02 am

    Well said, Abhi! You have articulated so well what so many of us are thinking.
    me- thanks Manju. I wish and pray that someday we wont need to write or read such posts..
    but I dont think that day will come anytime soon…

  11. July 26, 2009 10:12 am

    Indyeah my eyes are moist ,it is very sad that we forgot about all these but the families who have gone through know the pain of losing the loved ones.

    I salute to all the soldiers who have laid their life so that we all live in peace and and i also salute to Captain (Dr) Rajshree Gupta, Army Medical Corps who knowing that the coffin she is saluting has her husband Major Vivek Gupta,I bow to her
    me- yes Saritha…it is a heartbreaking picture…I cannot ever imagine what it takes for wife to do that…my heart goes out to her..can only stare silently and wonder

    And kargil war has been a coverage issue for the all the news channels,ndtv said it is the first channel who aired kargil war live,sick people
    me- 😕
    yes…it makes me want to puke..
    What can one say here? its just so sick ..this competition in the middle of a war where lives were lost…

  12. July 26, 2009 10:45 am

    What can I say! I did have a drop or two in my eyes while I read this post. India is fast becoming a country ruled by tyrants and petty traders who trade blood for money ad cheap publicity! Kargil war will forever remain a thorn in the flesh for Indians like us who believe we were cheated first by our neighbours and next by our very own people (read lecherous ‘leaders’). No amount of gratitude, no amount of respect is enough to salute those men who fought with unparalleled bravery and valour. And yet, there are petty politicians fighting amongst themselves over trivial things, daring to forget what should never be forgotten!

    We are powerless! Isn’t it? We can only cry our hearts out!
    me- Yes Chiranjib.. we do feel helpless…we feel angry too..but we also have the power to change things..but only if we want to…

    and that is what the tragedy of India is..
    we love to blame politicians ..who no doubt are scum…but we ourselves are no better……we really are as pathetic as them in many ways..
    the rage is as much for politicians as for my fellow Indians..
    And yet, there are petty politicians fighting amongst themselves over trivial things, daring to forget what should never be forgotten!
    yes..they forget without any fears becasue we don’t remember…we dont remind them.. we are least bothered… our loved ones are not on the borders are they? so we sleep with a full belly and a mind that thinks of the next day’s entertainment😕

  13. July 26, 2009 10:52 am

    what no comments yet….?

    oh it must be moderation.. jeez for a minute i thought i was first… after 10 hours of Indy’ post… nope not possible…😀

    is it..?🙂
    me- comment moderation… necessary evil🙂 this first mania is cute to watch

  14. July 26, 2009 10:54 am

    A nation of ungrateful cowards. That is exactly what we are. We take too much for granted, and have no respect or thankfulness. Its not the politicians, they are scum alright, but we ourselves, who do absolutely nothing. Shameful indeed! Well written post!
    me- yes GM ungrateful cowards is how I would describe this nation too….of course the words are not for every Indian..but definitely it is for the majority of us..
    Its not the politicians, they are scum alright, but we ourselves, who do absolutely nothing.
    yes I would agree 100%.
    we refuse to look at our own self..we take offense when someone points out the realities to us.. we refuse to accept that We ARE sniveling cowards….harsh words but true..

  15. July 26, 2009 11:08 am

    oh Indy… this one really touches the heart..

    i feel that anyone who joins the army is special.. to the nation… to us…

    it is not just during the wars.. but daily.. it is the life they live.. we must feel… atleast once to understand.

    i remember the Kargil days.. but the soldiers.. sorry i don’t.. but how many times after that we have talked about it..? maybe every anniversary…?

    do we even remember the 26/11 soldiers.. sorry i don’t atleast not by names..

    but one thing i am sure.. i might not know anyone of those by names.. but i do have the respect for them.
    me- it is not just during the wars.. but daily.. it is the life they live.. we must feel… atleast once to understand.
    yes Oorja..this is what is important…not to remember them just during wars..in some sudden burst of ‘patriotism’ but also during other times..

    the part about remembering names is to make people realize that we don’t remember our soldiers.. we don’t even remember those who gave their lives for us…..

    I remember the names of the mumbai martyrs ..not because of any specific reason but because those three days and the days after the constant flashing of their names on the TV screen left a permanent mark…

    .the sentence about remembering names is not to be taken literally… it is more about how there are still people who gape at me with incomprehension and ask Sandeep Unnikrishnan? Who is that?

    What do I do at such times? .. I can only stare and wonder if this is some nightmare that I am living in..

    then there are people who also don’t remember names like Lt Kengurese,Amol KAlia, Anuj Nayyar, Ajay Ahuja, Saurabh Kalia, Vikram Batra…names that are but a few out of the many who died..and yet I have met people who dont remember them…

    When I said something about Vikram Batra to someone I know do you know what he said?
    kargil wala hai kya?
    arre ye wohi hai na jo bunker-shunker mein Barkha dutt ko interview de raha tha?
    the damn attitude makes me mad! he could have been talking about the neighbourhood shopkeeper for all one knew..that is the kind of attitude people have.. it makes me fume!

  16. July 26, 2009 11:17 am

    Abhilasha, these are easily the most powerful, most moving words ever written about Kargil and India’s brave sons whose blood has kept our tomorrow secure and comfortable.

    This is the India that India should have been: united, motivated, proud. Not only have our despicable politicians ensured that it has been kept divided, resigned and feeling second best, they have also brought dishonour upon themselves and the nation in turn by humiliating the soldier without whose sacrifices there would perhaps have been no India by now in its present boundaries, if at all.

    But there is hope yet, as long as there are Indians like you to carry the flame of the Unknown Soldier and to bravely take the baton from the martyrs who gave their today for us.

    These moving, motivating, questioning, haunting words of yours need to be read by every Indian and must be made part of school syllabus across India.

    me- thank you Sir.

    And for this moment..this post I wish too that it could be included in some syllabus..

    …ANy words that tell our children of all that India’s bravehearts did and still do..
    I wish really wish that we had this history as part of the syllabus in schools..

    the generation I teach is one that was very young during the war…and I feel like murdering their parents because their parents have shared zilch with them about it..

    are the parents also as apathetic I wonder?😕 .

  17. July 26, 2009 11:33 am

    You tickled every emotion that is necessary in these times. I am an optimist and i still believe the youth is charged up enough, to take up responsibilty. As you mention they were all young boys who laid down their lives when needed. Thanks for keeping it detailed.
    me- I want to borrow some of that optimism Aniruddha ..because when it comes to this topic all my optimism deserts me… I cant find any hope at all..
    all I see is apathy, neglect, scorn and worst of all a looking down upon the soldiers…

    I think I needed to write this post simply to read and know that there are Indians like you and so many others here who do care…I needed to read that..as did many soldiers…retired and serving..

  18. July 26, 2009 11:37 am

    I had goose-bumps as I read the letter..
    Am feeling guilty now for not having done enough..
    Thanks Abhilasha for this post .Can’t help but agree with most of your points. Indeed it is shameful the way ppl keep a tab on shahid-priaynka affair and don’t care abt what is happening with the true heroes.
    I remember donating some money at that time, but no amount of money can measure up to the sacrifices and gallantry shown by these brave sons of the soil.
    But yes, we have to figure out ways to keep supporting them in the best possible way..Donating money isn’t the only solution.
    me- you are welcome Prashant.
    I would have said ordinarily that dont feel guilty…but I wont..because out of the guilt will come some action..

    I feel guilty too so many times about so many things..guilt ensures things get done….and yet I know that someone who feels as strongly about it as you do is as it is doing his bit in whatever way possible..
    donating money helps too (this was for the PM’s fund during the war right?)..but most of all making the soldier and his/her problems an election issue will help…if we can make his demands our own and fight for him/her with our politicians that would be the best….

    .and most of all something that the soldier yearns for..yearns not because he wants it but because he deserves it..respect.. the one word that is missing from the vocabulary of a lot of Indians..

  19. July 26, 2009 11:38 am

    can you post the name of the book.. the fool that i am i cant find the name of book on that link
    me- sorry for the late reply here Aniruddha..though I added the name of the book on that day itself..
    The name of the book is A Soldier’s Diary
    Author- Harinder Baweja

    there is also anotehr book by the same author..this one is about 26/11 ..I havent read it so have no idea..but going by her previous books and her skills as a journalist par excellence I think it should be good too..

  20. July 26, 2009 12:47 pm

    Just back … I just read the stories of these 8 men in Hindustan Times today… the stories moved … and a tear rolled by… i havent read your post yet..

    We have not done anything for our country.. these are men!! Real men who laid their everything for their country… and their families are mistreated or delayed what is assured to them… just gives a sick feeling…
    me- have no words to write Dhiren…..sometimes the helplessness one feels is paralyzing..

  21. anindyac permalink
    July 26, 2009 1:31 pm

    Yes, my eyes were moist as I read this. Thank you for posting this. Thank you for the memories.

    My 12 year old daughter will read this. And, will feel proud of being an Indian citizen. We are what we are, inspite of our politicians.
    me- Thank YOU for the words about your daughter. Thank YOU and I cannot say this enough.
    Because it made me smile and hope to know that there will be a next generation child who will know about all of this..and she will feel proud
    thank you so much

  22. July 26, 2009 2:25 pm

    What do I say to this Indy? Have been seeing the videos and reading the post many times over… Have nothing to say to it.
    me- I dont knwo either..the feeling of helplessness and anger is too much..

  23. Pal permalink
    July 26, 2009 3:26 pm

    That was one awfully strong post, Indy. Yes, I did shed a few tears. I just posted a comment on Dmanji’s blog, where he has written a strong post on the Great Martyr called Kasab. We Indians are shameless people, really. We care only , and ONLY about ourselves. Its no wonder that we progress at such a slow pace. I am so ashamed, and so angry at myself, and at our clan!

    me- We Indians are shameless people, really. We care only , and ONLY about ourselves.
    I am ashamed too Pal..when Is see attitudes that make me puke..

    could you please share the link to Dmanji’s post?

  24. July 26, 2009 4:45 pm

    awesome post!!
    me-thanks Reema

    • July 29, 2009 12:53 am

      Heyyy long time no see at my blog? Everything ok?

  25. July 26, 2009 4:58 pm

    Humans are creatures (for all their advanced thinking etc) who, still end up fighting…but it is not the “leaders” the men of supposed arrogance and rhetoric who fight it, it is men , women who feel the heart beat of the country…People who invested( i refuse to use the word scarifies , because I think it is too small a world) their lives so that we all can sleep peacefully , should be understood..

    me- but it is not the “leaders” the men of supposed arrogance and rhetoric who fight it, it is men , women who feel the heart beat of the country.

    yes Vishesh..rightly said..these men and women have and had invested in this country..they invested so that we could live securely…so that their own families could live..so that their children could have a secure future….

    I am reading this book called a Glass palace by Ghosh , and a few of the lines in it have made me think about everything from a new angle.

    anyway,

    Isn’t there a way we humans can understand that we are not acting for ourselves? Who is this God who drives everything and everyone to insult the very essence of creation? Which artist is mad enough to blot his own ?

    How would you and me react in case of a war? What pleasure do the “leaders” get in making men fight each other – is this a perverse way to prove our strength? In some way we haven’t moved away from the suppression of women- we call our country mother , yet in her name we kill , where is her say? We send her children to kill , another mother’s child , over what ? A piece of land? Men? No but Ego ,because that is the only thing which we ever own.
    me- the ‘leaders’ send men to fight because men for them are just cannon fodder and nothing more! the B#######!!
    human beings are a disgusting species…yes….but politicians are slime..scum and just about every word I can think of..they are not human beings… peace?

    who better than a soldier to know about peace?
    Wouldn’t a soldier want peace the most?more than you or me or any other person..it is ONLY the soldier who yearns for peace…

    What prompts the human mind to lead itself into a frame , where in kicks and punches , in want of a “bubble reputation”? What prompts the men who do the actual killing , to stop their egos and work together to kill?

    Its questions after questions..I know I am moving away from the crux of the post , but then I cannot , I cannot believe that war is the way..Yes I too use my ego , I want to punch a person when he tries to insult me , but I have enough sense to control myself , but why then do people in power not realize this? Is the loss of one , the gain of another? Is this the success we seek?
    me- yes Vishesh tough questions..with answers that really cannot be defined…

    but the point is that we do live in a world of strife.. we do fight.. we do yearn for peace but we dont have peace…

    and the LEAST we can do in this world in our country atleast is to honour those who fight for us..

    words of peace sound very beautiful Vichu but the reality is stark…you want to know what peace is? of all that it means and could mean?
    go and ask a soldier.. ask all that he yearns for… a quiet night spent at home..to be able to see his children grow up ..to not miss momemnts of his child’s life…
    to somehow block those images and those sounds from his mind..to erase all the horror he has seen..


    The beauty of human intelligence created money or exchange , yet there are somethings which money can’t buy,which come along with what you buy…
    me- how do we teach empathy to these Indians Vichu? you and I are Indians too.. arent ether moments when one feels ashamed of oneself..one one’s country…
    this country doesn’t deserve these soldiers…

    /* Words are cheap in this country of ours. Promises are even cheaper. But the cheapest of all is the life of a soldier.*/

    Water water everywhere , but not a drop to drink?

    We are in a world , where text books talk about unity in diversity..the same text books talk about a Mussolini and about the religious fanatics…The books talk about Sufis , but not those who will to find the peace..Nor do they talk about the soldiers..why?
    me- irony na Vichu?
    We know and study where we went wrong in History..we know of the golden age of the guptas and

    the evil called Hitler and Mussolini..

    we sigh over buildings of a forgotten era but we cant build one that is dedicated to the heroes of today…

    we talk of peace..when we dont have it in today’s times.. yes we should talk about peace..it is important…

    but what about the wars this country fought?
    Instead we study about EVERY possible war in the world and Indian history EXCEPT those that should matter to us the most!

    Because they are groups of people…it is taken that they don’t matter – and in truth they really don’t..what are you and me? We talk of our leaders , we agree or disagree but as long as we in this country , we have no choice but to wage this war…as long as we are in this body , we have to follow its path..as long as we are humans we need to fight the way humans do..as long as we Earthlings we will be spinning around the sun..God knows for what…
    me- yes… true.. as long as we are here..living in India..living as a human being the least we can do is fulfill our duties..fulfill our obligations..

    It seems so nice to say we are “mere players” but then isn’t a good player capable of filling in when , someone goes missing? Isn’t a good player one who has seen all the roles? Is it that when we play our part we are so involved that we forget the very essence of the play?

    And the crowds are swayed again and again ,
    The orators sing and shout -in pain.
    Praises and curses crash like rain,
    All they want is a petty gain.

    Actors they are all.
    And maybe this ‘all’ in the end is meant to fall-
    Oh! a melancholic tragedy,
    Maybe this a humourous ,a parody,

    For some unseen Gods ,
    Those sadist , those cynical Lords,
    Who chain the men and tare them
    Even as they call themselves gentlemen.

    Oh! sire , we who are thee?
    We are gullible , you say we are free.
    Our freedom seems to have made us insane,
    Democracy in reality seems inane.

    Oh! why not kill the survivors too?
    Or why not kill our valor , with a blunt sword -through?
    Between a sky and Earth we reside,
    Your fiat whims we abide!

    We are nobles and clowns,
    Poets and warriors,
    We live in towns,
    Inside unseen barriers,

    We see things far away,
    We dream , we want and we pray.
    We do give and say we gave
    And petty things , we do save.

    Yet you do override and destroy,
    It must be fun to play with us toys.
    With unknown ways your try to burn us
    And enjoy seeing us , making such a big fuss!

    You do dare to throw a bit of glitter,
    Watch someone who does seem fitter.
    Yet with a thing called age,they witter
    And then buried they are by the next winter.

    They call thee a devil and a God,
    In our dreams and imagination you do trod ,
    In your name wars are fought,
    In hope we survive flood and drought.

    Whoever you are , you audience show your face,
    Let us find comfort , let us know who does gaze.
    In awe of ours skills , we do flatter,
    Even if you nod cross and say it can be better.

    And like a prop I lie dead,
    waiting for the cue , after they are wed.
    None I know, in my ignorance,
    I bare it like a good man in penance.

    Maybe I am better hero,
    Maybe I am fit to fight the gritty Leo.
    But maybe I am fit for the audience,
    For now I am filled with reverence.

    Soon I hope a new sun might dawn,
    Our despondence with that might be gone.
    What is right and wrong,
    What from all this will be born?

    A country , a home,
    Our spirits and heart , here do roam.
    We do wish we can be a revolution,
    A mark upon the never ending evolution.
    me- thanks for sharing this poem Vichu..
    the last few lines I wish would come true…

    will a sun rise? will all the despondency really be gone?
    I dont know Vichu.. I feel hopeless absolutely, utterly hopeless when it comes to this subject…

    • July 29, 2009 8:19 am

      true that we don’t read about the wars we waged or for that matter that which has to do with India..I think that is one of the flaws of our education system , but then I think even our education system is designed to create imbalances in the society..

      How can we teach empathy to Indians? Tough question..we have the tendency to hail a Mother Teresa but soon we will find her photos in shops and homes where people pray to her…no would care for what she has done..she would be quoted in speech and people will at the end add the line which I hate the most..”You are the future it is your responsibility ….” what were they doing? What are they doing right now?

      It would interesting to know what makes a politician behave in the way he does…Maybe a study into the mindset of politicians would solve our problems ?

      I too feel hopeless…but my hands refuse to end it in a negative way..the optimism I guess is innate and thats what keeps us going🙂 Within we do hope there is a better dawn🙂

  26. July 26, 2009 6:20 pm

    Again a well crafted post Indyeah…🙂

    I always feel indebted to those in the Armies… without them I don’t know how long I live or live freely…

    As a child we are patriotic towards the nation, aren’t we?? I aspired to join the army and there are so many.. but never wanted or to be precise aspired to become the ones I heard, but thats what I am now.. as the time wore on, all the words I have heard as a profession are Engineer and Doctor.. nothing else…

    me – As a child we are patriotic towards the nation, aren’t we?
    yes Kanagu children are more sensible and more clear in their priorities than many adults….what really hurts is when parents dont share anything ..any of India’s history with their children..
    they will ramble on and on about how Idnia was a sone ki chidiya in olden times…and the child will listen with an open mouth…

    but you know what most parents will never share and why?
    They will NEVER share about India’s three wars and the countless ones being fought every damn day…they will not share how a soldier sacrifices so much..
    they will not share how a soldier didn’t give up information even when he was tortured beyond belief…

    they will not share any of this becasue something in them is frightened.. frightened that after listening to these stories their child just might decide to join the forces…

    they forget that there ARE men and women ..parents all of them who have sent their children to fight battles with a smile…

    I can only give a perverse laugh and tell them go on sharing stories about sone ki chidiya and wait for the day when India will have noone left to defend her…

    Not many know the values of being a soldier thats because… we never went through it.. I am wholeheartedly supporting the conscription, and ready to take it anytime in my life.. but the problem here is, everything needs to be passed by a law… and that law is not equal to everyone.. our politicians will kill it just like that….
    me- yes Kanagu..there are so many Indians who will gladly enlist.. I am glad to know that you are one of them too.
    but like you said our slimy politicians will not let such a law be passed…

    Now coming to the remembering the soldiers part, if you look through the history only the powerful(King, Prime Minster, President) ones names are recording how brave/foolish/coward they were… when the French army won in 1800s, all the fingers pointed it to Napoleon. Is he the only reason??? there are many sacrifices that has been made to save the nation and also his(Napoleon’s) life…..

    In 1971, India won the war against Pakistan… everybody has said its under the leadership of Mrs.Indira Gandhi.. but what she has done… went out and fight?? just ordered to carry the attacks.. how many know the General names(Army, Airforce, Navy) of that time??? they are forgotten…. history has this habit…

    me- politicians are disgusting and so was Mrs GAndhi..irrespective of which party they belong to they all are scum.. (btw do read about how she too wanted Sam Manekshaw to attack immediately and how he put his foot down)

    The field Marshal was firm and she had to back off from her stupid and unreasonable demands..

    I request you to not narrow down this habit of forgetting the heroes only to India.. it happens everywhere.. humans are common… they are too selfish…
    me- yes they are selfish Kanagu..all human beings.. and all countries I am sure face this problem is some way or the other..of human apathy

    but I am very selfish in tis case KAnagu..
    I really dont give a damn about otehr countries..
    I dont..
    I only and only care about India.. and that will be the case for sometime it seems..
    after we are done putting our country in order THEN I will worry about others..

    I am happy now that… there is a page in this web world which bears their name… and it will last long till the end of human life on this Earth..
    me- put that way Kanagu yes I am glad too.never thought of it like that..but I am glad now

  27. July 26, 2009 6:21 pm

    where are you Indyeah??? seems like vanished after posting this😛😛😛
    me🙂 am back🙂

  28. July 26, 2009 6:28 pm

    Indyeah, this post is itself a tribute to the soldiers who gave their lives in the Kargil war. Last evening was spent listening to the feelings of the family members of the heroes. After hearing the scant support they got when confronted with life’s challenges which they were facing without their hubbies/fathers around was so touching that the voices that had raised the issue about “no memorial/no remembrance” seemed a far cry. The woefully inadequate pension a war martyr’s dependents got itself is a sorry tale. One parent talked about the lack of proper shoes to scale the heights that the young ones had to surmount over and above the enemy to fight. Really left me wondering whether sparing a thought was really enough or do we need some real action here?
    me- thank you sir.
    yes I too saw that programme and the lady’s anguish..a mother’s anguish ..one who lost her son during the kargil war ..it was heartbreaking..
    she raised questions..very relevant ones…..no proper shoes..soldiers fought in bone chiling mind numbing cold climate..the temp was minus 5o and below..

    the pension is peanuts sir..when the pay is Pathetic what does one say about the pension?
    the worst plight is that of the jawans and JCOs..be it any of the three forces…Airforce, Army or NAvy..everywhere its the same story

    the action? you are right..it wont come till we change our mindsets and attitudes…

    after all those protest marches all over the country and the candlelight protests after 26/11 what happened? nothing

    the temporary enthusiasm waned…
    this is our problem..

    and for all ‘Indians’ reading this..you know what?
    our soldiers..the very same whom we are shedding tears for ..they had NO proper shoes for that kind of weather.. how will that make you feel when you snuggle in your quilt this winter?

    will this guilt that I am trying on you work?
    will you even remember them till winters come? I dont think so…😕

  29. July 26, 2009 7:13 pm

    Thank you for writing this. As you rightly said, many of us may have stories to share about this event in our nation’s history. I do too. One day, when the time is right, I will tell you more…
    me- I understand.. because I have some too
    (((hugs)) take your time but do share…
    maybe the words will have some effect on someone somewhere..thats the only way I convince myself..

  30. July 26, 2009 7:30 pm

    touched.. such an impassioned writing.
    me-thanks Gauri…

  31. July 26, 2009 7:41 pm

    /* But we all want the martys to be from a neighbour’s home. Not ours.

    And that is what this nation’s problem is. This is what defines us.*/

    Why call them martyrs?

    Freedictonary says


    1. One who chooses to suffer death rather than renounce religious principles.
    2. One who makes great sacrifices or suffers much in order to further a belief, cause, or principle.

    I don’t think they die just to make sure that we continue…they give up their life, so that we who are alive can change the way the country is running , solve all the problems..stop war , which I am sure even they don’t want…
    me- yes Vishesh..the etymology is different..but today the word martyr is used in a different sense…

    I don’t think they die just to make sure that we continue…they give up their life, so that we who are alive can change the way the country is running , solve all the problems..stop war , which I am sure even they don’t want…
    oh yes! Vishesh! you are absolutely right about that! no one wants peace more than them..and they hope that while they are guarding us we can take care of the country’s internal; problems.. but we dont do we?
    we worsen conditions even more if thats possible..

    • July 29, 2009 8:23 am

      Somewhere we need to start…the place I think we should start at is our education system…if we believe our strength is our “culture” then we should do more to give children a better knowledge about the good and the bad in our “culture”…there is no use in making kids study for a marks and in the end when they turn adults make them work in an IT company or something…We need to make people think…understand , only then will that heart come…

  32. July 26, 2009 8:29 pm

    But we voted the same Govt back .. in the name of lesser evil .. and people see hope in the eyes of young prince .. same class refuses to see beyond that ‘hope’ …🙂

    we can argue on which one is more bad but we ought to punish the govt which refuses to accept what those guys achieved 10 years back ..

    btw very well written article .. but don’t you think that we are too busy hyping up gays to have any time to celebrate the victory ..’

    me- SP I kind of disagree..actually I dont know if its disagreement even…

    at this point of time..when it comes to THIS issue..I look at all of them as equally abhorrent creatures..all politicians be they of any party….

    I agree we should punish the government that refuses to commemorate the war fought ten years back…
    but then I also wonder ”punish’?
    how?

    about gays …dont you think thats an equally important issue? the media hypes it? yes sure..but thats not the fault of the people involved is it?
    isnt it rather reflective of who we are as a people?
    media channels show that which boosts their trps..
    if it is gays and their fight for rights..then they will show that…and I dont see anything wrong with it..

    if we as a society were that concerned about soldiers and their real issues and problems as opposed to watching VIPs visiting memorials and laying wreaths(all of which makes good viewing for the Indian suffering from momentary patriotism) then the TV channels would show that… but they dont becasue we are not interested.

    why should we have to choose in Idnia? between this issue or that?
    Why cant we fight all the battles equally?
    Why cant we make demands for soldiers to be honoured and given better pay AND also make demands for equal rights for gays?

    India has tons of problems.. and they all deserve equal importance…

  33. July 26, 2009 9:11 pm

    Like Rakesh Said once I read the post…. I dont know what to say….

    how we are as people is just reflected….

    what else is there to say….
    me- yes… this is what we are..ugly and selfish

  34. bindu permalink
    July 26, 2009 9:45 pm

    Touched Indi….

    unless somebody from our own home is in this list…we don tend to remember…sad but true…hain naa..

    anyways….good post..cheers
    me-yes Bindu..unless we have a personal stake in it we dont remember ..though there are many whose empathy is stirring..
    many Indians I have met who dont have a single member in the forces and yet their care , their concern touches one’s heart..they remember the martyrs as if they were their very own family members….they remember not just the ones who have sacrificed heir lives but also the soldiers who are living.

    but for every one such person there are hundred others who couldn’t care less…😕

  35. July 26, 2009 10:58 pm

    where are u indy??????????? you really really need to hop over to my blog😛
    me- I did hop pver🙂
    thanks for the laughs OG🙂
    seriously.. wasnt in the mood to read blogs coz of some tough days but yours made me laugh🙂

  36. ves21 permalink
    July 27, 2009 12:45 am

    In general many “important” nations tend to forget quite easily the sacrifices of their soldiers. Think of the exs ex Vietnam and it will be shortly ex Iraq (for the US, ex Afghanistan for the Soviet (now the US ?)….Did these guys get a real come back opportunity? Especially the really messed up ones including the maimed ones. The ex Iraqui soldiers who claim problems because of use of “experimental” weapons… As usual soldiers are “cannon” fodder. Previously in many parts of the world they were recruits (willing or unwilling) now they are , as in India, professional… so well they wanted a job they got what comes with it, would say someone. As usual they are sent out more or less competently and “tolerable” losses are accepted (guess not by the kid who lost his father..).
    The glorious ends are sometimes clear cut or else like in “Johnny got his gun”, great book…tough story.
    Difficult to comment on all this
    me- yes VEs you are absolutely right about all the facts..cannon fodder is exactly how governments specially ours treats its soldiers.

    so well they wanted a job they got what comes with it, would say someone
    I have met people who say this Ves.. as if saying this will absolve them of all blame… 😕

    what if the soldier were to turn around and ask..okay thats it ! I am done with this job..here you guard your own damn country..

    tolerable losses..good point VEs..that one word sums up the attitude of callous governments…
    the world is such an ugly place at times…
    have not read the book… will def read it…

    .

  37. July 27, 2009 6:51 am

    There are times when I can spam to my heart’s content at your space and then there are times like this when I have nothing to say. You have written so brilliantly and such a soul stirring piece that all I can do is to wipe my moist eyes and nod my head in agreement.

    I have lost a dear friend….an only son of parents’ friends ( I think I told you this before). Officer’s son wanted to be an officer just like his Dad when he had many choices outside. He died in the crash while fighting the obvious enemy. Every single day BSF and Army personnel lose their life at the border which doesn’t even come up on news because it is not sensational and it is their duty to guard the nation while our leaders feed on it.😦

    Won’t add much but I will just say one thing that I am proud of the life I had…I know you are too. Your brother chose the same field. Didn’t he? Proud of him too. He is my brother too.🙂 Glad that our Dads served the nation this way and we had a disciplined defence childhood.

    Thank you for this tribute. It was one of the best. Better than seeing our leaders’ fake salutes on all front pages of newspapers.

    You bring out the INDIAN in everyone.
    me- ((hugs)) I know..you told me about your friend who lost his life …

    Can we even begin to imagine the anguish of his parents?😦

    this nation doesn’t care…its politicians ..its decision makers definitely dont😦

    like you said so many jawans die each day and we dont hear even a mention in the news…

    Isnt a soldier’s life cheap?😕

    yes, am proud to have had the opportunity to be part of this environment.. despite all the lack of many ,many resources …I know I wouldnt change a thing…and I know you wouldn’t as well..🙂

    would love to live the same life all over again if it was possible…

    yes he is your bro too🙂
    proud of our dads for sure and evreyone who chooses to don the uniform🙂

  38. July 27, 2009 7:01 am

    Brilliant Post Indyeah! I thank you for it and appreciate the fact that you have not minced words or sentiment. It mirrors my emotions. Not only because I am Indian and with family in both the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force but also because the aforementioned war was fought in my BACKYARD!! I know what these brave men saved my people from and I am forever indebted to them. Not this one time but time and again they have given up their lives to make sure my family, my people live in the land of their ancestors.
    I had expressed my thanks to Vinod ji too for his similar article but I say what about the our collective responsibility? The apathy we have shown. Our ‘magarmachhi ansoo’ and our lack of foresight and lack of indepth knowledge…… Our patriotism is situational. It suits me to be a patriot on Sunday but I have no place for this emotion on a busy hectic work day. The people’s attitude….some critical issues are not understood and grouped as trivial enough to warrant no response.

    This time last year my people were reduced to a bunch of religious fanatics…as we asked for what was rightfully ours and waved Indian Flags. But the media, the country and the ‘secularists’ supported the majority in the state and the separatist elements who raised the war cries of “Ragda Ragda” as they stomped on the Indian flag and dragged it on the roads. The security personnel forced to watch in silence as the nation was fooled by the political upmanship game between political parties…the drama completely overshadowing an issue which had long term security importance.
    My people felt let down and still do just as my army does today.

    Shame on Us!!! And yes I totally support Conscription. Talk the talk and walk the walk!!
    me- Our patriotism is situational. It suits me to be a patriot on Sunday but I have no place for this emotion on a busy hectic work day. The people’s attitude….some critical issues are not understood and grouped as trivial enough to warrant no response.
    yes in these lines you have said it all..

    our patriotism is subject to changes…kind of like the advertisements one sees on tv and the disclaimer that comes along with it…😕

    as Kislay says in his post, our patriotism is reserved for cricket matches…or for clapping in movie halls screening war movies..or for shedding those tears on a few auspicious days ….
    our patriotism is for everyone BUT the soldier.
    The real life one who stands neglected in a corner..

    But the media, the country and the ‘secularists’ supported the majority in the state and the separatist elements who raised the war cries of “Ragda Ragda” as they stomped on the Indian flag and dragged it on the roads. The security personnel forced to watch in silence as the nation was fooled by the political upmanship game between political parties…the drama completely overshadowing an issue which had long term security importance.

    I abhor such secularists and the media that makes stupid sweeping statements without having ANY idea of the realities…

    glad to know you support conscription because that’s the only way that the soldier will have enough of a voice…
    when all Indians have a stake in it they will demand accountability from slimy leaders….

  39. July 27, 2009 9:48 am

    The armed forces have been systematically sidelined by the politicians and bureaucrats. We still have not learnt from history.

    Here’s a post I wrote almost a year ago. It was specific to the pay commission fiasco, but also talked of our behaviour towards the armed forces:

    http://quirkyindian.wordpress.com/2008/09/12/the-general-in-the-bureaucrats%e2%80%99-labyrinth/

    By the way, you have again displayed communal tendencies by writing about a BJP war as if it were a matter of national importance. It’s time you rose above such petty politics, Indyeah.

    Quirky Indian

    me- the netas and the babus are like leeches …sucking the country dry…

    and the primary interest of the babus seems to be ONLY and ONLY to sideline the defence forces….
    the way the earlier recommendations in the 6th Pay commission were an insult and nothing less to defence personnel is not known by many ordinary Indians(would they even care?)

    read your post yesterday…wanted to comment in detail ..will do so today..
    In complete agreement with EACH word on your post.

    about the BJP war.. yeah🙂 I am communal..now you can prove your secular credentials by talking about the Congress war😉
    darn simple isnt it?

    • July 29, 2009 8:28 am

      QI the reason why it is tough for us to rise above such petty matters , is because you see it everywhere….you can see it when people talk..the prejudices are almost palpable…there are times when I sound more communal than most of you😛 And btw not belonging to any of the communes has lead to us being as another commune , don’t you think?

    • July 29, 2009 10:58 am

      Whoa!!! Are you guys getting serious?

    • July 31, 2009 12:09 am

      “you have again displayed communal tendencies by writing about a BJP war as if it were a matter of national importance. It’s time you rose above such petty politics, Indyeah.”

      I agree with, QI.😆 Shame on you girl!
      me-😀😀

  40. July 27, 2009 10:12 am

    No words are enough, heart sinks after stories heard, read and remembered.
    Nice post! Will remain in memories for long long time!
    me-thanks Sunny.
    there are some stories that choke one up..
    leaving no room for words..
    here all the stories are such…

  41. shraddha permalink
    July 27, 2009 10:14 am

    thank you for this…

    i made my mom( retired army officer) read this…she has tears in her eyes
    me- ((hugs)) thanks for sharing..
    proud of your mom who donned the olive green.

  42. July 27, 2009 11:23 am

    U got me all teary-eyed Indyeah. I really don’t know what to say. I feel bad that I am doing nothing like what they are doing to the nation when they are fighting at the borders n being cut into pieces for us to live in peace😦
    I do remember all of them n will make sure my kids tomorrow will know all these martyrs starting from the time of Bhagat Singh n Azad till Maj. Unnikrishnan n will learn to respect the soldiers! Whether they become one .. only time will tell! I pray the Lord I will have the courage to let them do that!
    I hope the politicians learn to let their heart rule over their mind some day😦

    me- I do remember all of them n will make sure my kids tomorrow will know all these martyrs starting from the time of Bhagat Singh n Azad till Maj. Unnikrishnan n will learn to respect the soldiers! Whether they become one .. only time will tell! I pray the Lord I will have the courage to let them do that!
    Swaram these words are enough. for me.. to know that you think like this and will tell your kids about all of this is amazing to hear and makes me glad…
    our politicians might not change but we can.. with future parents like you I am hopeful…

  43. July 27, 2009 1:04 pm

    😦😦

    no words, Indy….
    brilliantly written….

    I respect people from the Armed forces, no matter where what who.
    And yes I know parents who, in spite of the respect, wont send their kids to the army for fear of losing them… just as u mentioned
    would I do the same when/if i become a parent? i do not know.. i’ve wanted to be a pilot at some point of time but it never happened…
    me- thanks Ashwathy.
    yes the fear is there in all of us..more so when the question is of our kids…
    but there are some who overcome it when the time comes…

    I dont know how to explain it..but there’s this kind of stoicism that is there in defence families..actually in parents of soldiers..

    the fear lurks..for sure… but they push it back and steel themselves for anything..

    one of my brother’s friends has been selected as a pilot in the air force and she is currently undergoing training. her father passed away some years back and she is the eldest of three daughters. i really respect her mother who valued her daughter’s achievement on getting through the interviews for it… and allowed her daughter to go for it. i do not know too many parents who wud do the same…

    me- hats off to the daughter and most of all her mom! this made me smile:) another tradition will begin..another defence family will know what its like to have your son/daughter/husband/wife/father /mother serve proudly in the forces..

  44. July 27, 2009 2:28 pm

    dont know what to say indyeah.. you have written about all the emotions one feels through..
    As you said we are ready to drop a tear or two for the brave people who lost their lives fighting for us, But never do we wish someone close to us join these force and do such a similar act for us..
    Its a shame that our politicians get paid so much immaterial of the fact that they help us or not but the families who lost their loved ones for the country have to struggle to get the money/honor due to them..
    Thanks for writing such a writeup to remind us of all the heroes who laid their lives for us. I m not sure as to what else i can say….
    me- Mystery even empathy is a step forward… this is why I am glad when I read the comments from so many here.. it makes me glad that so many share the anger and the anguish…
    can we take this beyond words and as Gopinath Sir says towards some action?
    I dont know..even words seem tough as not everyone has ‘time’ for this ‘issue’😕

    our politicians? the less said the better..their children should be made to serve in the forces…they should be sent for field postings..only then maybe ..just maybe they will know what its like …

  45. July 27, 2009 2:28 pm

    A very touching post, and also a fitting tribute to all those Indians who consider India bigger than their individual selves. The Indian defence forces are very professional, dedicated and apolitical and that is the reason that they can still continue to deliver in war and peace despite, and inspite, of the provocations of our fellow countrymen – be they politicians, bureaucrats or ordinary citizens – politicians for belittling even the greatest sacrifice of life with their petty political thought processes and comments, though they themselves will fight each other for getting Z+ class security for themselves, in places where there is no foreign enemy threat; bureaucrats for mainly futhering their self propogating selfish agenda; and ordinary citizens for having very short memories.

    me- Sir thank you for this comment..simply because some things need to be said I believe and said , so that many others read and are made to see what which they would rather avoid.

    they can still continue to deliver in war and peace despite, and inspite, of the provocations of our fellow countrymen – be they politicians, bureaucrats or ordinary citizens

    Yes this is the brutal truth that many Indians will have an objection to…

    the soldier stands alone…and he stands as you said despite these people…

    common Indian?
    they are a primarily selfish lot Sir. at least the majority of them

    it is the very small minority that understands what a soldier goes through that makes it all worthwhile to an extent..

    babus have had a hate relationship with the forces ..they are least bothered about the soldier.

    politicians are slime Sir and thats a generous word for, they are actually even worse..there is no word that exists for them

    I remember the anguish (can it be called anguish even?it was far far more.) on the faces of retired officers as well as serving ones and their families when Achuthanandan said those words….they didnt even criticize him..they just sat there stunned for sometime…and then quietly got up and went to their homes…

    Wars have generally been fought in the periphery of our country and thus never seems to enter the national mainstream agenda, except during the time when TV channels are beaming it into our drawing rooms – they too stop shortly after the war – it is a TRP requirement – war and its aftermath does not sell with ordinary humans who have no stake in the periphery of our nation, even though it is our land. Geography and history does not interest us as a people – we seem to have had too much of it, and we do not even seem to be proud of it.

    me- exactly SIr!
    when all the Indians have a stake in it (after conscription one hopes) then the very same apathetic Indians will make it an election issue if only for their selfish reasons..atleast then we will be sure that the soldier will not be sidelined…

    but the day the law for Conscription is passed will never come…not in my lifetime I think because the netas will ensure it doesn’t..
    Geography and history does not interest us as a people – we seem to have had too much of it, and we do not even seem to be proud of it.

    you have said it Sir. this is how we are as a nation.😕


    I have seen the defence forces from the inside, and am now viewing it from the outside – I only can say this that the defence forces of India are a shining example, or a microcosm of what India can be OR rather what it should be. Are we Indians up to following the lead of our defence forces – nation first always and everytime, irrespective of our diverse caste, creed, religion, language or any other subject on which our politicians tend to divide us.
    me- Yes Sir coming from you the words hold a special meaning. you have been on both sides …

    nation first always and everytime..what a beautiful motto Sir… this has stuck with me too ever since I first saw it..the way the soldier has a code of honour and the way he puts his own self last..

    does the ordinary Indian have it in him/her sir?
    I dont think so. At least not the majority of Indians.

    the way it looks sir..I dont think India will ever follow the lead of the defence forces..
    because if that happens there will be nothing left for politicians to do..
    on what basis will they ask for votes?
    no caste? no religion?no region?nothing?

    The politician will hate that and thus he/she will ensure that such a scenario never comes to pass…

    What the Congress and BJP are doing is just a manifestation of our national psyche – why else would some of our countrymen consider defence forces to be PAID SECURITY GUARDS. I have read this any number of times and my heart has bled to think that all that the defence forces do, and is so beautifully put down in the letter given in your post, is wasted – higher sentiments about our nation have no meaning to many of us.

    me- why else would some of our countrymen consider defence forces to be PAID SECURITY GUARDS.

    what do I say Sir?
    I have no words…

    This is what my father said once a long time back in a rare burst of anguish.. there are moments when one has no words…

    Sorry for this outburst – our national apathy to the defence forces has really got to me this time. Sorry again, Indyeah – your post touched very sensitive and relevant subjects and really brought out my pent-up feelings.
    me- thank you for the words Sir.
    I believe it is necessary for more and more people to read your words…to see the anguish that someone who has been a part of these wonderful organizations feels…

  46. July 27, 2009 4:17 pm

    First things first, only you can write such a post ! Informative and enganging. At first, I thought it was too long and kept it towards the end to read. But I admit, this has been one of the best write ups I have ever read on our soldiers. My moms dad and her two of her brothers served the Indian forces and I could relate to some of the points that you mentioned in the post. Infact, just a few days before the war, my uncle who was a Major then, was enjoying his vacation with us. He was called in suddenly and instead of being all scared and worried, his wife and daughter sent him very proudly to Kargil. They knew that there arent going to be any phone calls or mails, they knew that he might not return, yet they held their head high and that was a sight to see ! But its true, except for a few, none of them even remembers this !

    me-thanks Vimmuuu.
    its amazing to know that you have so many members from the defence forces in your family:)
    Yes, its tough for the family of a soldier .
    hats off to the courage of your uncle’s family:)

    After 26/11, the entire country woke up and then went back to their sleep the following month. I personally, with the help of a colleague and friend conducted a silent protest here in Chennai. It took us two weeks from the incident to come up with the idea of the protest and by the time we conducted it, it was a month. Many of them called us idiots for having it conducted after such a long gap;they remarked no one is going to be bothered about all this. Thats the tendency we all have.
    me- Vimmuuu I have the exact same sentiments.
    There were many protest marches in the country. I remmber asking many friends to come along.You know some gave the stupidest excuses I had ever heard while others were interested in knowing if th TV cameras would be there.
    Ofcourse there were a few who were sincere and who who took an off from office and came…but they were very few. in number.

    Anyone who wants to do somthing..even if its week or a a year after any ‘incident’ is not an idiot.
    Idiots are those who dont bother to move a finger in response to anything and discourage and demotivate others too.

    The worst part was when I approached the very same people who were in the team for a similar event a month later. They said “nothings happening to our country. Why should we even do something !!! “. This mentality should change. We react only at the situation and we do not do anything for it pre or post a disturbing incident.
    me- Yes, I agree.because this is exactly what I had to listen to.
    We are a nation of apathetic people content to watch the drama unfold as a spectator…until something happens to us personally.

    Check those links below on the event, particularly the second one, where one of my best friends /ex roomie who posed himself as anonymous made some comments on the event and the rationale behind it. It literally caused me my friendship with him for standing up to what I belived in (LOL, you could see another vimal there, dont get scared😀 !)-
    me- will read it today.
    There were some friends of mine too who broke my illusions about them.it was painful to see their real self.

    http://vlokam.wordpress.com/2008/12/18/it-is-never-too-late-to-react-part-1-the-invite/

    http://vlokam.wordpress.com/2008/12/22/it-is-never-too-late-to-react-response-to-a-comment/

    http://vlokam.wordpress.com/2008/12/25/it-is-never-too-late-to-react-part-2-the-silent-protest/

    Once again, beautiful post ! As Solilo said, you bring out the indian in us !!

    me-thank you!:)
    (Cant imagine, I have been nice all these while..so lets see..hmmmmmm…)
    me-nahiiinn!

    ….One last question.

    Answer it honestly…. — Do you have any idea how many questions you asked after that ?😉
    me- LOL!!
    you are a devil..Solilo has given you an apt name!😛

    • July 28, 2009 2:40 pm

      vimmu. i think when hillary clinton came this time one of the officials , ” we should be more proactive than reactive”. i read this on some newsspaper.

      developed countries are more proactive and organized than ’emerging markets’ ( that is the new name for india these days )

    • July 29, 2009 8:43 am

      Vimmuuu…see that is why there is no point in protesting like that..for people don’t understand…

      In my college right now , there is prof. who has the habit of calling the boys as ‘dogs’ etc sometimes and also he is damn sarcastic..now me and a few other guys decided the best way to get the attention is by not attending his class…but then the ‘others’ felt that there is a better way to deal with him..they started making noises and have started getting him damn tense..now if he were to leave , they would continue that in celebration….

      our method will not work unless people understand it ….but then there is too much of anger and frustration that the second they have a reason people will let it all out using that one reason…

  47. July 27, 2009 6:00 pm

    I just don’t get proper words to appreciate this beautiful, well researched post of yours, Indyeah. I feel like quoting each and every line, to appreciate.

    The parents are the first teachers of the children. I taught my children ‘vande mataram’ when they were small. They were standing and are standing up, whenever the national anthem is sung, in the TV or any other place. That is all.
    me-thanks Sandhya. I am glad Sandhya that your children know so much. I am sure you have shared many other things about India with them too. you are so right. PArents are the first teachers .Everything one is is because of one’s parents. WHat they teach stays with one for a lifetime. Parents are the ones who need to sort out their priorities first.

    My cousin was in the Air Force for 15 years.

    When I think about it, I feel, that I will not have the big heart to send my son to the army, like the mothers of the 449 soldiers, whose names are listed in the 5 pages.

    Thank you for this most motivating post, Indyeah.
    me- you too had a family member in the defence forces?:)
    glad to know that.

    You have been honest Sandhya. Not everyone is.
    I can understand the fear for one’s child. All of us dont have to join the defnce forces (though I reall wish we would have conscription)
    but in today’s times the least we can do is speak up and stand up for the Indian Soldier.
    Thats it.

  48. Happy Kitten permalink
    July 27, 2009 6:04 pm

    read your article yesterday and I am here reading it again…

    Let me be thankful once again for the profession that you have chosen.. if you have been able to move hearts like mine, hardened by age then I can imagine the inspiration that you instill on our youngsters.
    me- I say this with all modesty HK. That I am happy too. Now that I see more and more of the world around me I am thankful that I wont just be telling stories to my kids but to so many others whom I will interact with over the years.and its possible only because of this profession.

    yours is a hardened heart?:) I dont believe that:)

    We are indeed a selfish lot. How easily we forget those who are ready to lay down their lives for our nation.

    And.. how many of us will lay down our lives for strangers?

    Or how many of us can think beyond our own self love to fight for the nation?

    And once these brave souls have given up their life, how easily we forget their loved ones who continue to shed tears for them. Shame on us…

    The only way we can show gratitude to our soldiers is by ensuring that those who have a say in their lives are made accountable for their actions.
    me- Absolutely!!! You said it in one line. This is what this whole issue is all about.
    One doesnt have to join the forces. One doesnt have to remeber the names.
    Just make sure that you that is you, me and so many others hold our decison makers accountabe for their actions as far as the soldier is concerned.
    The soldiers are fighting our battle for us.
    the LEASt we could do is fight their battle for them . A battle that does not ask for our life unlike the one they are fighting. But one where we simnply have to raise our voices in favour of the soldier’s welfare..

    We cannot have selfish leaders sacrificing a soldier’s life for nothing. We cannot have leaders who make defense deals only to pocket the commission but not to protect those who are willing to lay down their lives. We cannot have leaders who make foreign deals with no regard or respect for the sane voices of those who continue to protect our nations. We should not support another war until we are sure that our leaders have exhausted all other options.
    me- yes.yes and yes to each point of yours HK. YEs
    until we have exhasted every otehr option.because our politicians are nothing short of being trigger happy.
    Would love to see how ready they are for a war if their children were involved.

    First they let the situation deteriorate to such an extent that nothing short of a war is the solution.
    The cowards!
    .

    Yes.. I am ready to send my son and he already wishes to do so.
    me- hats off to you! I knwo what it must have meant for you to have becoem accustomed to the idea of your son joining the defence forces.
    And may he achieve his dream of donning the uniform.

    But let me also pray that we as a nation will not continue to be callous and selfish

    me- yes. that is all we can do. Pray

    (My Father too has served in the Air Force and the good habits and discipline that he has is all from those short 9 years that he was there. )
    me- ah! and that is where the courage to send your son comes from as also his desire to join the forces.
    my regards to your father:)

    Glad to know this HK:)
    really glad.

  49. July 27, 2009 7:16 pm

    Indians focuses on caste, region, language, colour before India. Till a catastrophe strikes, or a cricket match happens, we are happy in our islands. The nebulous idea of India needs a vision that is sorely lacking even after 60 years of independence. Half-measures to please some, appease others will be peddled intermittently that fools us into believing of unity and progress. The bottomline is for all of us to see. Inequity and injustice – to the jawans, the army, the farmer or the middle – class Indian.

    Till then the powers that be and their sycophants have appropriated all and made themselves eternal.

    me-
    Kerala
    Uttar Pradesh
    Bihar
    Uttar Pradesh
    Jammu & Kashmir
    Uttar Pradesh
    Rajasthan
    Andra Pradesh
    Tamil Nadu
    Punjab
    Punjab
    Assam
    Kerala
    Maharashtra
    Delhi
    Delhi
    Himachal Pradesh
    Delhi
    Kerala
    Uttar Pradesh
    Haryana
    Karnataka
    Rajasthan
    West Bengal
    Karnataka
    Uttar Pradesh
    Nagaland
    Meghalaya
    Himachal Pradesh
    Delhi
    Maharashtra
    Rajasthan
    Rajasthan
    Punjab
    Jammu & Kashmir
    Rajasthan
    Haryana
    Orrisa
    Karnataka
    Madhya Pradesh

    This is the India that fought the kargil War.
    ANd these are just a few words that I picked up from the page here ..its just the first page and that too less than half of it..
    there is a complete story of India bound in those five pages……
    the India that JP Sir says could teach the ‘other India a thing or two about unity and honour and what love for one’s nation is…

    JP SIr has written..
    ”Are we Indians up to following the lead of our defence forces – nation first always and everytime, irrespective of our diverse caste, creed, religion, language or any other subject on which our politicians tend to divide us.”

    IS the other India willing to learn?

    Half-measures to please some, appease others will be peddled intermittently that fools us into believing of unity and progress. The bottomline is for all of us to see. Inequity and injustice – to the jawans, the army, the farmer or the middle – class Indian.

    I agree Astralwicks
    the policy of appeasement is what has led us to this point here… 😕
    The soldier and the farmer are the most neglected lot in India.

    Reminds one of Shastri ji’s Slogan doesnt it?

    if Only India Looks after those who make sure we have a meal on our tables and those who guard us..and the rest will take care of itself…

    I wouldnt agree with the middle class Indian observation though and I say this as a member of that middle class India myself.

    This is the same middle class that is so self centred that it refuses to involve itself in day to day affairs that affect India as a whole..
    it competes with the ‘upper class India’ and looks down upon the ‘lower class India”

    This middle class is India’s Boon and bane…

    it doesnt move an inch unless IT is directly affected.

    pick out any scenario..any incident in idnia’s recent history…
    and see why the middle class moved out of its comfort zone…you will be surprised..

    this middle class is not the middle classs of a few decades back..this one is different, more selfish , more self centred…

    (this reminds me of a draft of mine)

    Till then the powers that be and their sycophants have appropriated all and made themselves eternal
    😦😦

  50. July 27, 2009 9:35 pm

    Indyeah…the words are piercing…
    to empathise is something and walking in someones shoes is entirely different..
    me- yes N..thats so true..

  51. July 27, 2009 9:57 pm

    very poignant post Abhi ! Thank you for writing this and asking all those questions.

    I think its time we made it mandatory for every youth to serve two years in army.
    me-thanks Renu.
    Amen to that thought. I wish too and pray with all my heart that we do have compulsory military training for all young Indians.

    I met someone whose brother is in Army and he was telling us an incident…..once army people demanded some woollens for their soldiers positioned at a very high altitude. And like always politicians couldnt care less. so their incharge took the politician to that point without heavy wollens and asked him to remain there for even 2 hrs…only 15 minutes were enough to made him realise the need.
    me-😕
    yes… if all the politicians and babus had to face what an average soldier faces each day they would drop their patronising attitude in a second.
    but the tragedy is that they wont ever know because most of them couldnt be bothered to move themselves out of AC rooms and to the icy terrains and bloody mountain peaks …
    the incharge in this incident you have shared must have been one smart fellow
    .

    But I always wonder what are politicians?….not aliens but people from us only,elected by us only, so the blame lies with everyone, and the solution lies in changing our mindsets and morals .
    me- yes… I too am tired of this blame- it -on -the- politician syndrome..

    yes ..lets blame them by all means…
    but also lets look at our own selves in the mirror.

  52. chewmysambhar permalink
    July 27, 2009 10:30 pm

    First things first:-

    My respect for you has proliferated post this post Indy:)

    I do not know what to say. Words have been written, voices spoken but Politics has always been politics.

    And the common man has and will always be the loser.
    We shld probably fight for an amend in the constitution…Politicos will also go to war along with the soldiers. They will lead them. They frame wonderful policies to run the country.Perhaps its high time that they lead from front and frame strategies in the battle field. Wise solution, I think.
    me-thanks Archana.
    politicos will never go to war Archana.
    WIll they allow such a bill to be passed?

    This is why even though conscription has been debated many times in the national arena nothing has come out of it.

    The Indian politician gets scared as hell because he/she might be asked to enlist too.
    And even worse his children might be. *gasp!*
    the horror of it!😕

    the hypocrites!

    but if I could then yes the scenario you have written about is what I would wish for too.

    They frame wonderful policies to run the country.Perhaps its high time that they lead from front and frame strategies in the battle field. Wise solution, I think.
    the sadistic soul in me is happy at this thought.

  53. craftyshines permalink
    July 27, 2009 11:18 pm

    Irrelevant Comment!

    {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

    You know why!

    Indy! KRS! i love u! and i always will!🙂

    muahs!
    me- (((((hugs)))
    take care kid!:)
    god bless:)

  54. rakesh permalink
    July 27, 2009 11:39 pm

    Indy, just saw the news about the rains. Hope you are fine and enjoying the rains

    me- I am good:)
    Delhi is okay..the media hyped up a few things:)

  55. July 28, 2009 12:43 am

    good post
    thanks for youtube videos like them
    me- thanks
    glad you watched them..

  56. July 28, 2009 7:12 am

    Ohh Indyeah..I`m just so stunned! Did I ever mention that I was the RMO(regimental medical officer) for 2RR once? It was only temporarily as a stop gap before someone else could be posted, because they dont send ladies as RMOs to RR battalions. 2 RR was at Mendhar,Poonch in J&K those days.

    me- you were? I read this that day when you wrote it and was surprised … I remember reading about it on your blog..the one where you had posted pics? it must have been some experience na?
    No, no one remembers really. Because no one can relate to it. No one can relate to the sacrifices that these guys make. Its not only a matter of giving up one`s life. Its not only the matyrs who are the brave hearts. But all those who WILLINGLY put their lives at risk every moment of every day – just so the rest of you can sleep in peace. It is them who are the brave hearts.
    me- yes, absolutely Piper!
    the soldier is the one who is a braveheart. And who knows when the soldier whom one is looking at alive today may be called for battle tomorrow?

    I have had plenty of people tell me – “paise itne milte hain fauj mein. Ooper se do mahinon ka annual leave! What more can you ask for?”
    ???!!!!! WTF!!! Now you want to grudge us that bit too? What about the fact that I dunno whether I`ll survive to avail those two months of leave or not? What about the way I live at a post for months together, without proper telephone lines to inform my family that I`m alive..so far! What about all the hundreds of gun shot wounds- abdomen/chest/skull that I have managed everyday for 3 years, knowing that I might be the next one?? What about all of that? And I do it happily, until some fucking moron has the bloody cheek to point out how much I`m paid for that.
    me- let me add my WTF to that! and I really cannot think of any otehr word right now! I have had people questioning and wondering how ‘lucky’ faujis were to get so many ‘facilities’..canteen and this and that…how they have it ‘easy’!! makes me laugh!! .all I want to say to such morons is that yeah sure you can get the same ‘facilities’ …send your family member to join the forces or better yet join yourself ..and lets see how many facilities you count then..

    When Sam Maneckshaw passed away, did you know how the govt reacted? I did a post on it(A legend passes away)..
    me-😦😦 yes I rememeber..I wrote about it on another forum..
    will read yours too..
    this nation couldnt even give its bravest and most honoured soldier the respect he deserved..
    but that gentleman was above all this pettiness…

    We should be ashamed of ourselves. We really should. I remember a student here in the US telling me that if I feel so strongly about this, I shouldnt ever have left the army!
    Ohh but I did quit. I was not brave enough. I was not selfless enough. I was scared to die. I wanted to live and not just survive until death. I wanted to sleep in a bed and drink fresh water from a tap. I wanted all of it. I was not motivated enough to serve. Because I knew how much of a dedication this requires. Do you? Do any of you, I asked. Of course I was laughed off.
    But its a pity.
    me- (((hugs)) I can understand or atleast try to understand what you are saying..of all that you have written about here… ..and the dilemna you must have faced…as also the decision you took…..

    and no Piper…none of them know.. ..will they ever??.
    even I dont know..only those who have been there know ..just the way you do..the rest of us can just mouth platitudes or lament…

    I`m sorry I`ve taken up so much space. This whole issue really gets me mad. What`s more, it kills me…
    me- ((((((hugs)))))
    I can understand the angst Piper..
    it kills me too..and I dont know what to do or say..

    • August 4, 2009 12:48 am

      Piper we might not know but we suspect some.. is it not why no civillian easily joins army ?

      I so wish now.. that I had though! Can I still do it ?
      me- Winnie..if you are eligible..qualifications and age etc..then you can give it a try….. or there are always otehr ways to help..one of the biggest ways would be to discuss this more and to make people aware of this as an issue…the attitude change as a society would be almost the complete battle won!

  57. July 28, 2009 10:04 am

    Extremely touching post.I wonder if those in power do read such posts and articles to get a feel of the public feel?
    Most of the comments here have covered all the points.
    I have only this to say…..Our president is the supreme commander of the Armed forces.Did she address the nationon national TV?
    Did she make any statement for the Forces?
    Mush still maintains Kargil was his master stroke which brought India on negotiating table.
    I fear the day when young men will refuse to join the Armed forces for want of respect and recognition
    me-thank you Sir.
    Our President doesnt inspire any confidence at all.She looks like a stamphead at best.. and nowadays not even that…
    Musharraf is being fawned over In India..by some sections!
    If that is not an insult of the highest order to this nation’s soldier I dont know what is!!!

    the day is already here Sir.
    youg men refuse to join and senior officers are reluctant to go for higher courses..
    but this nation still doesnt realise the jeopardy.it is in

    • July 28, 2009 1:54 pm

      than the government will make it mandatory that all men will have to register in the armed forces once they turn 18 — it is mandatory in Turkey, even in the US has started this

  58. July 28, 2009 10:07 am

    so glad you wrote this post and brought out quite a few of my concerns in it as well… HT carried a long story on Kargil(almost 2 pages) last weekend.. and i read it all.. sections of Col. Thapar’s letter appeared there too…it is very disturbing to see how we treat ppl in our armed forced..we know for a fact our soldier were ill prepared for the war( we have heard they dint have shoes enuf number of times by now..).. in addition to be startegically in the wrong position and fighting in hostile weather and terrain….and yet we forgot about them so soon.. just like we will forget the heros of the mumbai terrorist attacks… public memory is short… and our govt. is never concerned about anything execept getting public mileage (or makign money or both) over such issues..
    me- we seem to be suffering from selective amnesia as a nation.. we cannot even honour our martyrs..the living are another story altogether.,.they dont get even a second of our time and thoughts…pushing an illprepared army towards war…our priorities suck!
    sending ou soldiers to fight in terrains which will make any ordinary human being baulk!
    and yet they go…
    why?
    that is the irony..They go for a nation that doesnt want to remember them.
    This nation would rather forget them..until they are ‘required’

  59. July 28, 2009 1:52 pm

    a practical question – are there any channels on tV which air the lives of these soldiers and the families left behind — ( i don’t have cable at home hence asked)
    me- as far asI am aware An..there are very few programmes on TV.
    forget very few there is only one programme lately and that is JAi JAwan .on NDTV ..it is where celebrities..usually Movie stars go to visit troops in some remote area…the lives of troops are shown in passing..and some stories of the soldiers are shared.. this is the only programme I can think of…
    (seems to be modelled on some old American programme)

    the psyche of the political people in the government is – they are paid to die – the tV channels think it is not even news worthy.
    WAR – a game that politicans play and they do not even realise that they send “LIVE” people into it.
    me-😕😕 yes.. that there are human beings on the other end doesnt enter their minds..

  60. July 28, 2009 1:57 pm

    do we know of any politicians son/daughter in the armed forces? – doesn’t that say it all?
    me- yes it does …😕

  61. July 28, 2009 3:58 pm

    My father in law is from army..I never realised or you say give a thought before marriage….But now i understand..its not army man sacrifice..its sacrifice of whole family…My MIL stayed alone with two small kids when FIL was working for army…She use to do job , take care of house and kids ..all alone…
    me- yes you are so right Rashmi…
    it is the entire family that goes through each up and down..all the moments of anxiety..the moments of sheer terror.
    it all takes a toll..
    your MIL is one courageous woman:)

    this is awesome post indy…misty eyes while reading ur post🙂
    me-thanks Rashmi..hows your lil girl?:)
    ((hugs))

  62. July 28, 2009 5:47 pm

    Abhilasha, thanks for putiing up this post.
    me- it just couldnt be otherwise Sir. The anger is just too much.

  63. July 28, 2009 6:39 pm

    Oh, wow, Indyeah…that was some post…it really makes you sit and think…and so much to read…really truly moving one!
    me- thanks Sindhu..
    glad it is making everyone think..

  64. July 28, 2009 9:03 pm

    Oh Indy,I really dont know what to say.Suffice would it be to say that the tears that I have in my eyes right now seem so meaningless now.You’ve silenced me and maybe many more like me with the harsh truth that you’ve put forth.

    Yes,Abhi,you’re so right.its so easy to blame our slimy politicians for their attitude or sympathize,or even cry our heart out when our soldiers lay down their lives for our country.But when the question arises about whether we are willing to send our brothers or sons to the same fields we ashame ourselves by standing back and staying quiet.

    Having said that I do owe each and every day of my life,each moment that I live my husband and daughter,the assurance that I get each time I know my parents are safe,to the soldiers who’ve sacrificed their lives for us and who continue to do so. And I’m hugely indebted to them.
    me- I am glad , really glad that it has made so many pause and think..to take out a moment from their day and really think….I wish Deeps that we had conscription as a law in this country.. I really wish…

    Thank you for this tribute,Abhi.Really thank you so much.I mean it.I do.

    ((((HUGS))))
    me- (((hugs)))) thank you for all your words Deeps..

  65. monikamanchanda permalink
    July 28, 2009 10:28 pm

    now how did i miss this post

    sorry dear😦

    kudos for writing this post i know what u mean
    me- thanks Monika..its okay…I am glad you read it..

  66. July 29, 2009 12:17 am

    My father is in Defence(in DRDO actually) and he is very sentimental about all this. He hates it when people disrespect the soldiers, specially the politicians. Some of this has seeped into me too. I think most of our politicians are illiterate villagers who should be thrown out of this planet because they cannot respect anything. Not their job. Not the life of others. They are just leeches sucking our blood.
    To be a soldier one needs to have a very brave heart. Its not easy to keep all your blood relationships behind your nation. Only a few have the courage to do it.

    me- the angst in your words is mine too Amit…your dad is in DRDO? I can understand his sentiments too then….the netas ? yes it is they who disrespect the soldier like no other would dream of doing..
    they who as you say are like leeches..sucking this nation dry
    yes they cannot respect anything…..

    only a few have the courage to put the country above everything….true..so very true..
    and yet one comes across statements …that say that a soldier just does his duty..yes he/she does..
    but would you be willing to do that duty? is what I want to ask everyone..

  67. craftyshines permalink
    July 29, 2009 12:36 am

    Why is is it that as a nation we can shed tears at a particular moment and yet be as cruel and as apathetic as human beings can possibly be.

    Indifference indy, seems to be one of our biggest failings, as individuals, as well as a collective nation…..we just don’t care…..
    Our priorities define who we are. And what we are isn’t the most pretty sight.

    This is just wonderful, how a thought that I roam with in my head is just put forth as siply by u here Indy! So simple!!! This always happens. Yes! I wud have taken a para to say it…u said it in a line. Prorities….define us! HUGS!
    me(((hugs)) yes our priorities define us,…always and verytime..and going by that definition this nation is doomed…

    That letter Indy….i got my eyes filled…. But am so so proud….and yet….
    U know, I think we shud each think twice befor calling our life “worthless” etc…coz ppl have laid their lives so we still keep ours….i mean, all through, we owe it to so many ppl we have never met, and will not know….
    me- so very true Crafty…we take so much for granted..dont we?

    But a nation was to realize that these brave hearts for all their courage were mortals. Mortals who could put many to shame. Men of steel but men nevertheless.
    I have nothing to say Indy…..i just wanna repeat what u say, coz I can’t say it any other way after reading it…..{{{{{{{{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}}}}}}
    me-((hugs)) thank you for the words Crafty..they made me smile because I know that you are thinking about this and feeling as deeply too..

    Tell me how to give up my murderous fantasy of killing each slimy politician of this country
    Don’t indy…why give up? In fact, I’ll join u…..let go finish off each one of them *crafty checks ammunition bag* enough coffeee we got Indy…lets go!
    me-🙂 I so wish Crafty..I wish that this was still the pre idependence kind of an era where revolutionaries roamed the streets getting rid of scum….now we have to tolerate these ‘men’ and women’ (blech!) in the name of democracy!

    We continue to pray at the altar of our false heroes while our real heroes continue to face neglect and scorn.
    I think I will write this in my diary Indy….its has meaning at various levels….this is brilliant.

    Ur questions Indy…..i wanan cry and hug u at the same time.
    I am quite far from becoming a mom, but I will not mind if my son / daughter chooses to serve the country. I will be proud. Low paid profession? This is not a profession….its a passion. No child of mine will grow up with a compulsion to join the rat race…he / she will be free (and hopefully I can provide for that freedom) to make own decisions and pursue passions. And if serving the country it is….i will be proud, trembly yes….i won’t lie…..but if my child or even my husband chooses this, it will be so!
    me- ((hugs)) proud of you of you follow your heart just like this Crafty:)
    Its hard you will see.. but its worth it. you will be a great mom🙂
    .

    No Indy, I did nothing about this. Not one bit….
    I am one who shed a few tears and then went back to my life….
    This post, thank sindy, genuinely. I include all my friends in my prayers daily….i must begin by thanking them and including their families too….the smallest little thing….
    me- a thought for the soldier..a prayer for so many..even that is a beautiful thought Crafty..the remembering..that is waht is most needed…

    I hope to be able to keep myself more aware ( I have u na indy, to tell me) and take constructive actions in whatever way possible….
    I will get that book Indy….
    I feel like a tiny speck of dust right now…..i hope to make some difference….
    in whatever way possible.
    me- (((hugs)) and I feel like I am loking at a lil kid with wide eyes who yearns to take in all the lessons she possibly can🙂
    you are a treasure:)

    As if there weren’t enough reasons to be proud of knowing u Indy…..here’s one more.

    I love you, and I will be ur eternal student / KRS at all times….coz no one has explained things like u did…u remember that parenthood post….it was bang on.

    Indy, u always get it just right. Hugs!
    me- and know that I too am proud..I told you in your latest post na?:)
    (((Hugs)) will be right here always:)
    you stay the same always:)

  68. July 29, 2009 1:22 pm

    I came across this article in Hindu, Indyeah. Is it relevant to this article?

    http://www.hindu.com/2009/07/27/stories/2009072755971200.htm

    This link came in a Tamil magazine:

    http://images.google.com/images?client=opera&rls=en&q=drass%20war%20memorial&sourceid=opera&oe=utf-8&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi
    me- yes both the links ara relevant Sandhya.Thanks for sharing them
    the images of the Drass memorial in the second link …
    .
    the memorial was built by the army.
    there is no national memorial ..built by this nation for its soldiers..
    the tribute that was paid to matryrs in the first one was organised by the army.too ..the one that was flashed on all news channels so proudly? covered live? (with commercial breaks ofcourse :?)

    it was a moment of grief, rememberance and coming to grips with the brutal reality of 10 years ago…
    The army organised it ..all the three forces were present..the family members interacted with the colleagues and the other soldiers who had served ..who ahd fought a war 10 years ago with their sons/husbands/fathers…
    it was an intensely private grief…and a proud moment too..
    ,..

    Yes, my cousin was in the Air Force and one cousin’s husband was in the army and is no more, now.
    me- more defence connections?:) I am gald to know🙂
    it always makes me smile when I come across anyone who ahs worn the uniform:)

    When you mentioned about Lal Bahadur Shastriji, I remembered his ‘Jai Jawan, Jai kisan’ slogan. I was a school going girl in those days. I remember fasting on Mondays because Shastriji asked us to skip a meal, so that some other poor person can be fed. I followed it for many years. Our school included in the prayer ‘India is my Country, all Indians are my brothers and sisters’….like this, 10 lines.
    me- All that you have described Sandhya is just how my mom too describes it:)
    The fasting on Mondays..how the eating joints would remain closed.. ..how people grew crops in their kitchen gardens..in pots ..everywhere they could..how rashtrapati Bhavan ‘s garden was turned into a field of crops..:)

    Thank you, Indyeah, for reminding me of those days. I talk about this to my children also. After reading your article, I feel as if we are incompetent.
    me- I am glad too Sandhya that you shared so much..
    we are all competent.. we just dont stand up for the soldier..
    maybe its time we did..
    this nation needs to stand up for its soldiers..

  69. July 29, 2009 10:23 pm

    This is such an heartfelt post dear and the line I liked the most here was “Words are cheap in this country of ours. Promises are even cheaper. But the cheapest of all is the life of a soldier.” I so so agree with you on this.

    Why should I go any further I should look at myself. I was a part of the protest march at Mumbai post 26/11 I posted some fiery posts on my blog but have I taken any initiative??? Lemme be honest! No! I haven’t!!

    Have nothing more to say!!!!
    me- I too dont know Smita..I mean even I am not that great a person who shoudl talk…d. what have I done I too should ask…yes the protest marches were organised and attended by me too..but as you said ,” what since then ”?
    but awareness they say is half the battle won..I wish even this anger that is palpable here on this space in the words of so many would spread in this entire nation..

  70. July 30, 2009 11:46 am

    Truly touching! you always feel so much for everyone! hats off to you for writing about this, and creating awareness for all of us too!🙂 A big big hug!
    me- thanks Fathy
    ((((Hugs)) back:)

  71. July 30, 2009 1:31 pm

    are you trying to imply that the soldier who lives away from his family at some forsaken post at the borders of the country braving the enemy’s bombs/bullets and the harsh nature is important than our babus?

    how dare you say that? our armed forces are to be used by our leaders to play politics and nothing else.
    me- no words to add to this..you said it..

    btw, hwz ur computer now? working?
    me- as of yesterday that is 5th august 2009 my comp has become active🙂

  72. July 30, 2009 5:22 pm

    This is about your comp. Try a disk cleanup. If that does not work take a backup and then format the disk.
    me- thanks a lot Shilpa:)
    this was so sweet of you:)
    it was a virus…had to install a new anti-virus software..

  73. July 30, 2009 6:30 pm

    Indy
    Seriously nothing I want(can) to write..but still I wrote these words..
    To me right now it looks as if I am the most selfish person who will write comment, apraise, so apathy and thats it like many others you pointed….and then forget…
    ……..I wish I can be a bit better person for my own sake…
    me- ((hugs)) nah! not selfish Vandana..but I do hope that all of us can feel guilty..that sounds harsh but I hope that the guilt will lead to some action..from all of us.

  74. July 31, 2009 11:15 am

    Indyeah…….what do I say…we have been busy with our granddaughter…so am off blogging …Joe insisted that I read your post while he is baby sitting…what a post Indyeah…bless you. I am shedding tears, almost sobbing…and I relive memories of friends lost during routine sorties, my husbands mishaps, ejection and all…I thought it was all behind me…but Today I realize it is all with me/within me.
    me- (((((hugs)))))))))
    I can only try to understand as I cannot even begin to imagine the life that you led…of uncertainties from one moment to the next…

    I have felt sad when I heard/hear statements…. India should go to war,thats how terrorism should be dealt with..And I always wonder how casually do they use the word War…not realizing that the defence forces live in war like situations everyday of their lives.
    me- yes that makes me wonder too Poonam.. how easy it is for so many to use the word war…would they use it as casually if they had a loved one in the forces? one wonders….

    The ones who are most vocal donot have any of their family in the defence.Like you say………
    “But we all want the martys to be from a neighbour’s home. Not ours.”
    me- The ones who are most vocal donot have any of their family in the defence. you said it…

    I as a parent wanted my son to join the defence, and my daughter to marry in the defence…Their destiny has lead them to their chosen path….With a husband who is Ex-Airforce, and a brother who is serving in the Army…I have learnt to live life..as I know it is short….
    me- so its has been in our family too Poonam…uptil now that is…

    you have so many defence connections:)
    a husband and a brother..
    yes..so true..one learns to live life…noone perhaps appreciates the value of a life as those who see it in peril everyday.
    .

    A nation can be callous, and selfish….Thankfully the Men In Uniform are not….
    A NATION CAN FORGET its heroes…..Thankfully the Heroes remember every living moment…..They are For The Nation.
    me- and that is the saving grace for this nation..the only thing that keeps it going..one hopes this nation realises it sooner rather than later…

    Thank you for this post Indyeah……No sacrifice is wasted I guess, because of many like you, who fortunately are in the right profession who shall impart the right values to the next Generation……Bless you, Once again.
    me- ((hugs)) thank you for sharing so very much..as with JP sir I know you too have felt each word and penned it down here…

    • August 4, 2009 12:54 am

      A NATION CAN FORGET its heroes…..Thankfully the Heroes remember every living moment…..They are For The Nation.

      And that for me shows the greatness of the nation.. A nation that inspires so much love must have done something right somewhere isn’t it ? May be I am picking up pieces or whatever,,, but this thought gives me hope
      me- your lines made me smile..And yes they give me hope too Winnie:)

  75. July 31, 2009 11:20 am

    This post touched to me that extent that I din’t have words to express myself Abhi. I started writing..but then I realized that no words will ab able to justify what I felt after reading this post.
    me- Amrit I am just so glad to read your words here..because they make me hope that this nation does have people ..Indians who remember .. who feel as strongly about this..

    You just evoked a strange feeling..strange I say..coz..everyone feels proud (or atleast everyone shows that they are proud) on our soldiers…but when you mentioned about how many parents would like to send their children to army…the unease would itself answer the question. Not many would be doing this Indy…and I am not saying that it is wrong or right!! But if you really look into this…there is always a preference in this field also…one would be happy to send his child if he/she is joining air force..isn’t so?
    me- yes it depends..and yes you are right Amit the unease as you have so honestly written about answers the question..😕 the preference is very much there Amrit..you are right about that..it perhaps is a notion that civilians have about the forces..they think that the army is more dangerous and risky as compared to the other two forces…but the truth is that all three forces have an euqal risk if we can call it that.. all three forces have men and women ready to give it their all..and all three forces are required to be in action during war..
    but yes I can understand what you mean when you say that the common man might prefer certain wings than the others..

    That letter really touched..I mean who can be so bold and unfettered..excpet our great Indian Soldiers. I salute them!

    Thanks for this wonderful post Abhi.
    me- thank you for the comment Amrit..
    the letter ? yes it truly is unique..the spirit of a soldier shines through in it..
    there are many such letters Amrit..
    one can only wonder about the men who wrote them…

  76. July 31, 2009 11:36 am

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!🙂

    May all your dreams and wishes come true!

    Hope you have a fantastic Year ahead!🙂🙂
    me- thanks cutie pie:)
    ((hugs)) I had a blast on my birthday:)
    it was fun!:)
    your wishes made me smile:)

  77. Mystery permalink
    July 31, 2009 11:58 am

    Hey Indyeah,
    just came from Solilo’s..
    Advance bday wishes to you
    me- thanks a lot Mystery🙂 ((hugs))

    Sols is a darling to have put that up:)

  78. July 31, 2009 12:07 pm

    A post that opens old wounds, that pokes one in the eyes and says, “look at the TRUTH. It ain’t pretty, but it is THERE.”

    We name sealinks after politicians and we have politicians spending crores on building statues of oneself. And we brush the memories of the real saviours under the red-carpet.

    Conscription is good, but first it should be made compulsory for aspiring MPs and MLAs.
    me- yes it definitely should be made compulsory..
    our esteemed netas need to lead from the front so that they realise what it means to be at war… every damn day..

    it makes one angry na Sucharita? to see the apathy?
    .

  79. July 31, 2009 1:47 pm

    By the way…did you hear the news of Gayatri Devi? You really liked this wonderful woman! May her soul rest in peace.😦
    me- yes😦 I did…

    an era ends..a uniquel one of royalty and beautiful princesses

  80. July 31, 2009 2:20 pm

    May ur Comp get well soon Indy!!

    Missing u **sniff** **wail**
    me- awww ((hugs)) I am back Swaram😀

  81. July 31, 2009 3:34 pm

    Strong words and you definitely know the way I feel too. You have written most all of what I have always felt, still do in fact.
    Yes, I am in favor of conscription because it will remove the total ignorance about the true life of a soldier among lay people as also give everyone an experience of a disciplined life style.
    I have seen parents refusing to let their children (who wanted to enlist) join the forces fearing for their life. Apart from the fact that you can lose your life in civilian life too if the tree near your house falls on your head, there is this other question I have: So you want somebody else’s child to play with his life to protect you and yours??
    me- and with the last lines you have said it all Shail..and so very clearly too..
    this is the question everyone should ask of themselves…

    So you want somebody else’s child to play with his life to protect you and yours??
    and yet they dont..
    cowardice?

    Yes, I am in favor of conscription because it will remove the total ignorance about the true life of a soldier among lay people as also give everyone an experience of a disciplined life style.
    yes good reasons….the ignorance will be dealt with for sure..maybe then we will have someone listening to and caring about the soldiers..

  82. July 31, 2009 6:19 pm

    I think anything I say now will not do justice to this post. Your writing brought me tears.
    me- ((hugs))

  83. July 31, 2009 10:00 pm

    I can understand the bitterness you feel. I am glad you wrote this post, the LEAST we can do is remember!
    me- yes..and yet even that seems like a tough ask..😦

    I resent the fact that babus and politicians are more powerful here and soldiers are forgotten too soon. I think every Indian should serve in the defence services compulsorily for a period… including our politicians’ family members.
    me- I so agree IHM.
    I know you feel strongly about this too.

    and also I am so glad to see you back int eh blogworld and gladder to see you here(((Hugs)))🙂

  84. August 1, 2009 10:30 am

    Great post and thanks for reminding. Your heart certainly bleeds for India.
    me- thanks Vikas..
    seeing you in the blogworld aftre a l0ng time

    hows everything?

    —-
    And belated Happy B’ day!😀
    me- thanks a lot:)

  85. Pal permalink
    August 1, 2009 11:57 am

    Hiyaaa Indy Girl,
    Just heading over from Sol’s post – here’s wishing u a wonderfully Happy Birthday and many many many more years of bubbling enthusiasm and happiness that is so characteristic of you🙂
    Hugs….
    me- awww Pal that is just the sweetest wish🙂
    ((hugs))thank you so very much:)

  86. August 1, 2009 3:06 pm

    A Salute to the martyrs. To the Defence Forces. To each soldier.

    And you, Indygurl.

    Indygurl… once again you move me to tears, as you did when you wrote of the riots in Delhi, in ’84.

    Only this time, the tears refuse to stop.

    Only you could deliver the message, this way, the way it actually makes one listen.
    Only you could pack the passion just as those men do, each day, each moment.
    No one else I know could have assayed as effectively.
    me- (((hugs)))
    your words lift one’s spirit Ushus..they do..and how!

    What you have articulated, simply, honestly and passionately is what a true Indian wants to. The other India, well, will hem and haw and avoid answering.
    me- yes..the other India..that is the root of all problems😦

    Ten years ago, a blustery, rainy day in June, the third week, if I remember correctly, when we were all up in arms, aghast at the incursions, and mourning for the martyrs, our school had visitors, in the Primary Block, a lady, calm composed, a gentleman, her brother, and two young children. We were informed that the young girl, then about eight years old was to be admitted to Class III. Quiet, unassuming, and absolutely collected, the young girl, Anjali Viswanathan joined her class, and went on to study later years here, having just completed her Std XII with the highest ever marks scored by any student here. She was the topper in Std X too. A charming young girl, outgoing, talented, responsible, and as naughty as any young teenager! Her brother now studies in Std IX, and her mother works in a Bank here, as an officer. They are Lt. Col. Viswanathan’s family. The Lt Col. Viswanathan who made the ultimate sacrifice on the Tololing Ridge, trying to bring his dead and wounded men down.

    Each time I have seen her, talked to her, and her brother, met her mother, I have felt the tremulousness of tears, mine actually, controlled, but there latent, just below the surface. The utter beauty of it all is that they continue to live, as he would have wished them to, without ever demanding that bit, even a bit of attention for being the family of a martyr.
    me- I am in tears too Ushus..
    I dont know what to say..there is a part of me that smiled on reading the first few lines..smiled with pride and a wonder that you have seen her grow up to be a girl who is confident..there is also a part of me that wonders ..can only do that infact ….at all that it takes ..to be that stoic..
    you felt their loss as your own.
    The utter beauty of it all is that they continue to live, as he would have wished them to, without ever demanding that bit, even a bit of attention for being the family of a martyr.
    and here I am lost for words Uhsus..
    for all my words I have none to write here for this..
    you have written about it..
    for so many here as also for me you have brought home a brutal truth, a pride thats palpable.. and a courage that I can only salute..of a family that lives in the true spirit worthy of a soldier’s family..

    Exemplary, no less, is the family of a soldier, don’t you think?
    me- oh! absolutely Ushus! and thank you for saying it for I was trying to say it but didnt for fear that it might be mistaken as arrogance or a false pride..
    but yes and yes to all your words Ushus..
    A soldier’s family..
    who better to know what it means….of all that goes through their minds..each day?of all that they face? the way they live all alone?

    These links were sent to me by a friend recently:

    http://www.kashmir-information.com/Heroes/vishva1.html
    ikashmir.net/kargilheroes/vishwanathan.html
    http://www.punemirror.in/index.aspx?page=article&sectid=62&contentid=2009072620090726002339406f66eba53&sectxslt=
    me- thanks for sharing the links Ushus… the list always horrfies me Ushus..the sheer number of names!
    I feel speechless

    All the questions you ask are in place. They need to be asked, and as Vinod Sharma Sir has said, this post should be included in the syllabus. I know I shall take a print out and read it in class. Definitely. If there is one thing I go on and on about it is the ways in which they must look upward and forward and in some small measure do something, anything… for their nation. I speak of NDA, of NA, of joining the forces for a short service commission. Esp those on the verge of going out of school, and little ones who might, God Knows, hold a thread to inspire himself or herself.
    me- ((hugs))
    I know that noone will do a better job of it than you..of making them realise of all that they can do for this country..
    as you wrote ….’of doing something’..’anything’ for their nation..
    yes Ushus trust you to say it just right..
    it doesnt have to be big..but it has to be selfless and for the good of one’s nation

    The younger one now speaks of joining the services, not just the tech branch for which he would qualify, but the army, where he could go to the front. Very charged up he is. I nod quietly. He knows he can if he wants to. I hope he does want to. I ignore comments that my colleagues offer, saying there is already one son in the services… let him stay with you. They mean well, I know, but I cannot help feel a bit of revulsion at that notion.
    me- Ushus I am proud of you:)
    have always been..for so many reasons but even more so for this one..
    you have a son in the forces and you look forward to the other one joining it too if he wants to..
    what more do I say?
    hats off to mothers like you!
    and I know this sentence itself will sound melodramatic to you as it does to my mom too🙂
    for, you both and so many others know no other way to live:)
    this is how it is..
    you dont see anything courageous in it..
    but I now know that it is..
    that it takes a lot to send a loved one to don the uniform..

    Conscription I know would do the nation good, the youth good, and perhaps bring the political community down to earth. I wish we could have a referendum on it. ….
    me- yes!and yes! Ushus..this nation needs conscription.. to awaken those who sleep so soundly..those who would rather close their eyes.. and turn away from reality and shirk their responsibilities…

    There is much more I wish I could write. But then again… you have so beautifully said it all, as usual🙂
    me- ((hugs)) thank you for sharing this UShus.
    I know this will move many as it moved me..and this story..this incident needed to be shared..

    will it make many pause and think?
    oh! I hope so!

    And Meg, my dear, a Happy Birthday🙂🙂🙂 And Happy Friendship Day too🙂 For each day of the year🙂 May you be blessed infinitely to touch more lives with your generous spirit, with your sterling principles, an inspire us to be the best we can of ourselves.

    Thank you Indygurl🙂
    me- (((((((((hugs)))))))))))your Indy girl and Meg is happy..and need I say overwhelmed with the gift of words you have given..
    they will be cherished forever:)
    adn I want to share them too:) with everyone I know:)
    and last ut never the least… love you🙂

  87. August 1, 2009 10:24 pm

    Indy, ur PC all ok nw ??
    me yep! as of 5th august it is😀

  88. August 2, 2009 9:18 am

    Wishing you a Very Happy Birthday! While many try to be the first to comment, your blog gives me an opportunity to post the 100th comment. (Hoping i didnt overshoot it. And yes, Happy Friendship day too!
    me- thank you so much Sir🙂
    100th?😀😀
    your card was recived on Fbook too:)
    Happy Belated Friendship Day to you too:)

  89. Mystery permalink
    August 2, 2009 1:25 pm

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY INDY..
    be it heart touching posts as this or funny and ahem.. lengthy comments you write you always strike a chord with the readers indi! i am happy to have met you over here.. Way to go girl.. you simply rock!
    and a happy friendship day to you🙂
    me- the ahem says a lot😀😛😛
    thank you so much Mystery🙂
    so absolutely sweet of you to wish twice:)
    thanks
    ((hugs))
    and yeah you will be subjected to more ‘short’ posts😉
    I am happy to have met you too:) also hows office?you seem to be busy tehse days:)
    when are you coming back to fulltime blogging?:)

  90. Happy Kitten permalink
    August 2, 2009 4:07 pm

    A very happy birthday to you Indyeah….

    May the Almighty shower upon you His choicest blessings…

    so u r a true Leo and a one with a big lion heart too🙂

    (have 2 at home.. the cub and it’s father!)
    me- thank you so much HK:)
    aww thank you! for the wishes and the words:)
    ah! two leos?😀
    and hows life with two of em in the house? definitely not boring I bet!😀

  91. August 2, 2009 4:58 pm

    Happy birthday😀😀😀😀
    me- thank you so much! Neha🙂
    ((Hugs)))

  92. August 2, 2009 6:04 pm

    Happy birthday abhi and happy friendship day

  93. August 2, 2009 6:07 pm

    Happy birthday and happy friendship day abhi

    My previous comment didn’t save hence writing again🙂
    me- thanks a lot Saritha:)
    ((hugs) Happy friendship Day to you too😀
    )

  94. August 2, 2009 9:48 pm

    Happy Birthday KRS!😀
    Happy Friendship’s DAY!!!!😀
    {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

    all happy occasions, and my darling Indy is missing….
    me- muah! HAppy friendship Day to you too:)
    thank you so very much for the birthday wishes KRS🙂
    I am simply speechless..read your post:)
    muah!😀
    you are a treasure!🙂

    first few days u went, i was waiting tapping fingers on table looking like this –🙄
    then i waited and became like this –😐
    slowly i turned into this –😦
    and now……WAIL!!!!!!!😥
    me- awww you are too cute for words Crafty😀😀
    ((((((Hugs)))))))))
    I am back? see?

    COME BACK OKIE????????
    me- Look look! *Indy points frantically to own self * I am here Crafty😀

  95. August 3, 2009 1:39 am

    Hey birthday girl where are you? Missing you here!
    me- aww that is sweet IHM🙂 I am back!😀😀

  96. August 3, 2009 12:02 pm

    happy budddddday, indy girl! found out thru Sol and Crafty.. hope u have a rocking year ahead!!😀
    me- thank you ! muah!😀
    ((hugs)) thank you so much!😀

  97. August 3, 2009 12:56 pm

    Hey..itys your birthday today!!!😦

    Wish you a very very Happy Birthday Abhi. Calls for a treat!

    And..wish you a very Happy Friendship Day as well.🙂
    me- thanks alot Amrit🙂
    HAppy Friendship Day to you as well:)
    yeah treat is due:)

  98. August 3, 2009 2:38 pm

    Wishng you many many happy returns of the day !!!
    me- thank you so much Renu🙂

  99. August 4, 2009 12:15 am

    *sigh* Whenever Kargil is mentioned.. it reminds me of my friend’s brother. I have met him only once.. but to see my friend go crazy in grief .. ah well lets just not go there.
    me-😦 ((hugs)) god bless

    I feel it should be mandatory for every one of us to serve 5 years atleast in any kind of armed forces as well as in social service. Esp for those who aspire to be politicians. When someone wants to alleviate problems.. the least they should do is to experience them first hand isnt it ?
    me- yes Winnie..well said..I so hope this becomes a reality oneday..

    You know sometimes English fails to express what we really wanna express.. the expression.. “mera khoon kholta hai” kind of expresses my feelings…

    But you know what kills me?

    Oh! and yes! I too have fulfilled my duty as an Indian citizen. The words of tokenism have been written. Lets all go and sleep today and every day with the thought that we really and truly are Indians.

    These lines of yours ! For I know no other way of acting.. This helplessness of wanting to do something and not knowing how!
    me- I dont know either Winnie..except that perhaps this is how we can do it..by talking about it..by keeping the memories alive..by making this an issue worth getting bothered about..one which forces our netas to listen to us…but frst that need a major change in our mindsets .. how will that happen? as a society?😦

    • August 9, 2009 3:38 pm

      I wish I knew the answers! Lets simply bother about our friends n family. Lets change ourselves and them.. then may be the society will take care about itself ?

  100. August 4, 2009 1:03 am

    *sigh* Time and again I come across this thought from Fountainhead.. The character dominique breaks this statue that she loves so much.. she says.. a common man would look at that statue and be impressed and so will be impressed by the trollop on the road… he would make no distinction between the two…

    Sometimes I don’t agree with her. How silly it is to destroy something beautiful for such a flimsy reason and such superiority complex.. who is she to decide what is to be appreciated and how much!!

    And yet at other times I agree with her.. like now.. how can I read any other post when I have felt so many gamut of emotions from this ? And am still feeling..
    me- you have made me speechless Winnie..
    that was some compliment !wow!
    I am just so very glad that so many including you feel the way you do..for, it is onlythat which gives me any hope at all..
    (((Hugs)))

  101. August 5, 2009 8:05 am

    Belated Brithday Wishes!
    me- thanks a lot Chrysalis🙂

  102. August 5, 2009 11:17 am

    I read Usha’s comment and feel heaviness in my heart. My brother was in the school and then college NCC. He wanted to join the army. His chest measurement was a drawback. My son was also in the NCC. I don’t hear about NCC nowadays. Children seem to just do their school book studying. My brother and son could have done some years in the army, at least for 2 or 3 years. The topic never came up at that time. Maybe it should have been made mandatory.
    me- NCC is still tehre in many schools Sandhya..though you are right ..many schools dont have it as an option nowadays.. ..I wish too Sandhya that joining the forces becoems mandatory..

    Thank you, Indyeah. You made us THINK about the soldiers and feel guilty for not doing anything for our country.
    me- glad that it made so many think Sandhya ..when I was writing it the anger that I felt made me want to make everyone feel guilty.. …the anger is still there but so is the satisfaction that so many care for the soldiers..

  103. August 5, 2009 11:43 am

    rush to Sol’s blog n read her latest post, indy!!
    me-😀😀 I read Mandy😀 you are a cutiepie to tell me that😀
    I got prior warning eh?😉

  104. August 6, 2009 7:31 am

    How come I cannot see all the comments here, Indygurl? Can see only the last three – those of Chrysalis, Sandhya and Mandira …

    Just wanted to share this with some others, and so I came a looking.
    me-muah!:)
    just mailed you Ushus:)

  105. August 7, 2009 11:02 am

    thankx a lot for this post..i agree Indian media needs to set their priorities right..how do they expect the next generation of those kargil fighters to join the forces..but you know they would and the media also knows which is why they think , that they don’t need a pat on the back..they don’t but we as a country need to remember them not for their or their families sake but for ourselves!!

    me- we need to remember them for ourselves..so true
    Rahul. …the soldier is expected to do his job selflessly which he /she does do..
    but it would be better for this nation if we didnt take them so much for granted😦 I dont know what else to say or wish for..
    we really suck as a nation when I think of some things…

  106. August 7, 2009 9:52 pm

    Indyeah, am really really late here.. Wanted to read this in peace , without any rush..

    India must be one of the few countries which does little or nothing for it’s armed forces. Be it commemorating them or even simply trying to ensure that they are able to lead a dignified life on retirement. We have always wondered about how in the UK, every soldier that dies in Iraq/Afghanistan is mentioned and govt takes measures to ensure that they did not die in vain. And even the pressure groups ensure that the public memory does not fade.

    In India, sadly, that just does not happen. My dad always says that we just do not value our Independence – because we, the public, did not really go through, too much trouble to get it. That is probably why, we have this attitude where we do not even know about the brave
    soldiers who sacrificed their lives, in such extreme conditions, for our tomorrow.
    While the public does not care, the leaders who should know better are too busy either grabbing credit or ignoring it totally. I saw those horrible debates on TV and was equally disgusted!

    Every country that we visited, some of the most decorated and celebrated places are memorials for the soldiers that sacrificed their lives for the country.. We on the other hand, prefer to totally forget..

    You are right, as parents, it is our responsibility to pass on this important part of our heritage to our children, just as our parents made it important for us to know and understand the importance of it.

    me-arre its okay Smitha…
    theres no early or late at a friend’s place:)
    what you have shared about UK or US depresses me even more.. that they atleast are better than us..and our disgusting attitude…

    though I think there too the condition of the soldiers is not that great either.. though yes they have their memorials and their governments atleast look after them to an extent.. I especially like the way some of the retired soldiers in UK are involved in framing policies for defence forces..

    as parents ..yes thats one way to do it right..I am so glad that you to feel strongly about this..
    you know your dad is right..
    that is how I feel too ..that we dont value what we never had to fight for..what we never lost a loved one for..😕

  107. August 8, 2009 3:22 am

    Haapy that someone has taken time to write this much needed tribute. well worth reading, thanks.🙂
    me- welcome here Scorpio genius:)

    thank you too:)

  108. R.D.B permalink
    August 9, 2009 4:08 am

    itz heartning to hear really of UPA’s decision.. can the politicians stoop any further..!!???!! sorry i hve been a little out of touch with news..:( but this is horrendouss..!!!!
    I feel, 2-3 yr.s of military life should be made compulsory without any reservations or exclusions and this includes the political clan siblings as well.. may b then we would be more sensitive towards our military and wouldn’t hesitate to give them their due respect,honour and love.
    We as a nation have such short memory that we forget evrything but to forget someone’s supreme sacrifice is…!!! shame on us. As Govmt.s decision is but a reflection of public mood after all itz a politics of vote…
    me- yes, RDB I so wish military training was compulsory too…for every Indian…infact as so many have voiced ..the politicians and their family members should be sent first for training…not that it will happen..but still one lives in hope..
    shame on us indeed! for the way we treat not just those who are living and protecting us each day but also those who have given their lives for us..

  109. R.D.B permalink
    August 9, 2009 4:12 am

    and yeah..
    well researched but smoothly presented with a very touchy undertone..
    loved this post immensely…
    me- thanks a lot RDB.

  110. August 9, 2009 2:07 pm

    Indyeah, Thanks for this touching post. Truly a tribute to the martyrs. The brave letter written by Vijayath thapar is heartbreaking. These are our real heroes who walked in to death with pride, honour and love for the country. Unfortunately the prime time in Indian media is occupied by 6 packed muscle packs whom we consider as heroes. Our soldiers deserve a better recognition from the government and people of this country.
    me- thank you Ajith.
    the letter is just overwhelming. I cannot even begin to imagine what it must have taken to write such a letter and even more what it just have taken for loved ones to read it.
    Unfortunately the prime time in Indian media is occupied by 6 packed muscle packs whom we consider as heroes. 😦 that is the brutal reality…an ugly , ugly one..

  111. August 9, 2009 4:53 pm

    Thank you! Very much for making me feel I am not in a non-sense organisation called indian armed forces.
    me- thank you for your words Sir.

  112. Nancy permalink
    August 13, 2009 2:12 pm

    U’ve written this so sensitively & yet with an acid nib….I really have no words to express my emotions except to say tht my eyes stung & I reread some parts of the post again.

    But like u said “Words are cheap in this country of ours. Promises are even cheaper.”

    So I’m not going to spout grand stuff from the comfort of my home abt the sacrifices which I’m not capable of making.
    But I’ll say just this much….my children will definitely know abt the war of Independence and the 71 war.

  113. August 14, 2009 11:58 am

    This made a lump appear in my throat which I am still not able to swallow. There is something about the soldiers which makes the hair on my hand stand straight. I wanted to marry someone from defense, my way of showing my support and respect to them. The job of soldier is the second most respectable, next to doctors.
    Here’s my salute to every soldier (even if he hasn’t been at the frontier), for having the courage to for just being there.

  114. August 28, 2009 1:02 pm

    Hi Indyeah,
    my first time here. I like your writing on social causes. Moved me thoroughly. Please check out my articles on the same topic.
    http://wiseruminations.blogspot.com/2009/07/kargil-and-india.html
    http://wiseruminations.blogspot.com/2009/06/voice-questions.html

    Thank you and i am following you now.

  115. September 9, 2009 12:40 am

    oh wow.. this is an awesome awesome post!!!

  116. October 20, 2009 7:12 pm

    Hi Indyeah,
    Reached this page by sheer accident and am glad for having come here. Was not in a mood to comment after reading and watching those videos but came back now to respect the research you have done. I liked this sentence the most-

    “Words are cheap in this country of ours. Promises are even cheaper. But the cheapest of all is the life of a soldier.”

    The pic of Captain (Dr) Rajshree Gupta, saluting the tricolour-draped coffin of her husband, Major Vivek Gupta is truly touching.

    Could not resist not writing about it myself🙂 … http://afrozensecond.wordpress.com/2009/10/20/patriotism-in-india/

    Cheers,
    Kalyan

  117. January 31, 2010 10:09 pm

    Hi,

    Read an interview of yours on blogadda(I think) where you had mentioned that you are an Army kid. Came over to read out of curiosity, ‘cos I am one too, and also married to an Air Force officer. THANK YOU so much for writing so eloquently about a subject so close to my heart.

    About conscription, YES. It could be the solution to the “chalta hai” attitude that a lot of us have.We might just stop hating each other on the basis of our states and maybe have a more responsible mainstream media where the likes of a certain obnoxious NDTV reporter will not be responsible for almost getting soldiers killed, while trying to boost her channel’s ratings.

    About the war memorial, while watching the R-day telecast this year, my husband had said the exact same thing,and I am ashamed to say that it hadn’t occurred to me earlier that Amar Jawan Jyoti burns at a non-Indian building.

    When 26/11 happened, I remember praying that we didn’t go to war because of it and that while there would be candlelight vigils in memory of the dead civillians, no one would spare a thought for the men in uniform, because after all they were just doing their job. I could go on, but you’ve said it far better than I ever could.
    me- welcome here Monishikha
    another defence connection..seems to be a week for them:)

    ah!the certain obnoxious NDTV reporter? tomes have been written on her and yet she persists in her own bubble
    my feelings regarding her are the same as yours..

    When 26/11 happened, I remember praying that we didn’t go to war because of it and that while there would be candlelight vigils in memory of the dead civillians, no one would spare a thought for the men in uniform, because after all they were just doing their job
    …yes….I too was praying hard that there wouldnt be a war despite all the war mongering going on.. ..
    thank you for your kind words.

  118. May 2, 2010 12:58 pm

    OUR SOILDERS OUR GREATEST PEOPLE.THEY LAID DOWN THEIR LIFE FOR THEIR COUNTRY. I SALUTE TO EVERY SOILDER FOR BEING SO RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS COUNTRY.I AM SO SMALL AND HELPLESS TO MY SOILDERS . GRAND SALUTE TO THOSE SOILDERS WHO DID NOT CAME BACK HOME. JAI HIND

  119. February 27, 2011 7:58 pm

    Before posting I open with two quotes abot the biggest threat to our nation:. The ones who kill the most sacred: the integrity of the mind.

    ” An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind.
    ~ Buddha

    “The most insidious influence on the young is not violence, drugs, tobacco, drink or sexual perversion, but our pursuit of the trivial and our tolerance of the third rate.”

    ~Eric Anderson , Headmaster, Eton.

    The day you all mention Sanjay Dutt’s role in blowing up my city on 12 March, 1993, I ‘ll move on further. I ddi see it.

    Did you?No. In fact people are his fans.

    All worldwied are appaled.

    What about Barka Dutt’s role in 26/11 and her infamous shot in Kargil War?

    No you did not.

    What abot after 26.11?

    Many NSG are blind, maimed and crippled.

    Did you all go beyond flying flags on the Web?

    No.

    Many middle-class Indians are effete and vacuous.

    They pick up fights on FB and Twitter and blogs.

    But they can’t think beyond.

    Quit having candelit vigils. I have done it since 1993 when I realized Mesh Bhatt, Shazban Aazmi, Teest Seetalvad, Arundhati Roy and others do nothing.

    Did you hearAmitbah Bachchan make a statement about 26/11?

    No.

    What about Sachin Tendulkar?

    No.

    See it. Hear it. Then speak to my friend Dr Mangeshikar about actually trapped in Taj on 26/11.

    Also study asymmetrical warfare.

    It is easy to cry but remember what Gen Douglas MacArthur said:

    a) “Whoever said the pen is mightier then the sword
    obviously never encountered automatic weapons.”
    ~ Douglas MacArthur

    B) “The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.”
    ~Douglas MacArthur

  120. July 2, 2013 3:54 pm

    I pray that the wisdom and power of the Maha Rathis will protect India. More importantly, I hope that Indians will be worthy of their attention.
    |
    Ashwatthaman

  121. Debanjan Roy permalink
    April 28, 2014 1:03 am

    “I feel grateful to offer respectful homage to the noble soul of Captain Vijayant Thapar….I have read the last letter of Captain Thapar more than 10 times and will again read it innumerable times in future.This wonderful letter always gives me hope and encouragement in times of despondency …This is because it makes us realize that if Captain Thapar could meet the end of his mortal life so bravely, then we can surely meet any of the lesser challenges of life. Hence, the above letter is a true piece of inspirational literature for generations to come…

    And I am proud to belong to a country that has produced such gallant heroes….Only because of such brave officers, we, the ordinary citizens of this country can breathe in peace…

    Sir, Rest in Peace

    …Jai Hind.”

Trackbacks

  1. A nation forgets? « Consider It Crashed
  2. It Happens only in India! « My Life My Take
  3. Patriotism in India « Its a magical world, Hobbes, old buddy
  4. Nomination list – 6 ! « My attempt to write
  5. My nomination list – I « Straight Drive
  6. AajPruned « Avant Garde Bloggies Awards
  7. Final Nominations in Avant Garde Bloggies Awards – 2009 « Visceral Observations
  8. The soldier stands alone « Consider It Crashed
  9. Words, for you and you… :) | A Quest on Overdrive … :)
  10. Enchanté | A Quest on Overdrive ... :)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: