July 26, 2009

Salute to the Heroes

Today is Vijay Diwas, the 10th anniversary of the Kargil War. Today we remember the brave soldiers who laid down their lives for the motherland. The official estimates say that 527 were martyrs, 1,363 soliders were wounded. We attained victory at the cost of losing our bravest soldiers and destruction of countless families. But these are the harsh realities of war, we accept it or not we have to live with the loss of these heroes for the rest of our life.
Kargil war was the first war that my generation witnessed. Wars of 1962, 1965 & 1971 were just stories we heard from our parents and read in our history books. The 1999 Kargil war was our reality. The television bought the war in our drawing rooms; for the first time India witness the atrocities of war and none of us liked what we saw. But that's the reality of war, we like it or not we have to live with it, live with the guilt that while our brave soldiers were fighting to keep us safe in our homes; we were just sitting and watching it all unfold on television.
For us, Kargil was a war fought on far away land in the mountains of the Himalayas. The reality of this war has never hit us hard. But for the soldiers who scale these mountains, it's a hard everyday reality. The families of the soldiers live the nightmare of losing their loved ones. But the brave soldiers fight all the odds; their family have sleepless nights, so that we all sleep well in the comfort of our homes.
Sometimes movies do show the reality of life; LOC Kargil showed how difficult the battle was; Lakshya portrayed the determination of a soldier; Dhoop showcased the life of a family after they loose their son in the battlefield. But we never seem to understand the grimnnace of the wars. Maybe because we are not losing part of ourselves in it. We are so used to the comforts of our air-conditioned homes that we tend to overlook what exists even outside it's realms, then how can we look at the mountains and see what the soldiers are going through?
And what about the government? Are they not responsible for providing the soldiers with the best of facilities? Shouldn't it be the top priority of a government to take care of it's soldiers? Do they just care for the people who actually go and cast votes for them? It pains my heart when I see images of army officers camping in Delhi to get equal pay as the officers of their ranks in civilian duty. It's a shame on the government and all of us that our soldiers have to struggle for what is rightful theirs.
Peace always comes at a price. The price we have paid for peace after the Kargil war is the lives of our brave soldiers. But was their sacrifice really worth it? I don't see any peace around; I don't see the families of the martyrs feeling proud of the country for which the heroes laid there lives; and the tensions on the border is no where close to an end. People hold the military men in high esteem; army forces are one of the highly respected around but still do not give them what they deserve. It's my sincere appeal to everyone that in our own small way lets do what we can for our brave soldiers. Lets fight this battle with them, so that next time there is no Kargil. Lets work together to build a better India, India where no brave soldiers are lost. Let there be peace on earth and let it start with me.

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