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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Lest WE Forget

26th July is Martyr's Day. It marks 10 years since the Kargil War...a war that no nation other than India recognises! A war that threw up daily acts of such raw courage that had we been a nation where the brave are feted, we would have run out of accolades. A war that would have had disastrous results had the Indian Armed Forces not proved itself to be one of the best in the world. A war that happened because we treated Pakistan and the threat it poses lightly. A decade later, we saw ‘Operation Kasab and his gang’ and the havoc they created in the heart of India ’s financial capital.

The heroes of Kargil are long gone, their work done. Each of their stories reads like a drumroll of honour. Men who were little more than boys and who turned into legends! I have not forgotten Capt. Vikram Batra, Capt Anuj Nayyar, Lt Vijayant Thapar, Lt Saurabh Kalia, Maj Ajay Jasrotia, and the countless others …their tales of valour must be read out to our children. We cannot afford to forget those who protected us at such odds!

There is a war still being fought in Kashmir where a young 25 year old Major fights with fifteen bullets in him and takes down three fidayeen down with him. We read about these men and turn the page. It is time to stand up and acknowledge our debt to the Armed Forces, time to realize the danger India is in, time to take action.

I do not know how to mark 26th of July. I do not know how to make it special. I would take my son to Amar Jawan Jyoti in Delhi and tell him the stories of these brave men. I also weep, mostly from pride! I might donate blood. Pretty futile gestures but they make me feel a little lighter!

I write this mail in the hope that all of us mark Martyr’s Day in any way we can. A nation is only as great as its heroes!

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