Apathy towards martyrs

THIS refers to “Spare a thought for soldiers” by Reeta Sharma (Saturday Extra, Dec 31) Pt Jawahar Lal Nehru considered the Army as an unnecessary liability on the country. After the death of Gandhiji, he said “we can always fall back on the methods by which we gained freedom”. This implied that we could win over the enemy by adopting non-violence and passive resistance. It was the Chinese aggression which proved fatal for Nehru. His successors learnt no lesson and made no effort to restore the lost glory and honour of the Army.

The British Government built the India Gate in Delhi to perpetuate the memory of the fallen soldiers of World War I and II and the names of these war heroes were engraved on the walls. However, it was only George Fernandes who, as Defence Minister, did something positive for the armed forces. Otherwise nobody is bothered about remembering Naib Sub Nand Singh, VC and MVC winner, and hundreds of war heroes like him. It is a pity that with the exception of a few, politicians and bureaucrats are busy lining their pockets.


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Reeta Sharma has paid encomiums to the heroism and great sacrifice of Naib Sub Nand Singh. She has also exhorted us, civilians, to have a soft corner for those who offered their all for the sake of the motherland. But we, being self-seeking and self-centred largely, soon forget our martyrs and relegate them to oblivion as the following lines tell: “Our God and soldier we like adore/ Just at the brink of ruin and not before/ The danger past, both are like requited/ God is forgotten and our soldier slighted.”

When the wife or parents of a martyr visit the administrative offices in connection with a claim, they suffer all kinds of harassment and humiliation at the hands of bureaucrats. I would request the public servants and my civilian brethren to accord proper respect to our defence personnel.


Prince among men

THIS refers to Radhika Nagrath’s “A prince among men” (Spectrum, Jan 8). The nation celebrates January 12, which also happens to be the birthday of Swami Vivekananda, as National Youth Day. Swami Vivekananda was the most rational and pragmatic philosopher of modern India. One wonders whether our youth today are conscious of the ideals and the aspirations cherished and practised by this great son of India.

Few people may be aware today that Swami Vivekananda emphasised the need to imbibe western science with traditional learning. The westerners, he believed, should be respected for their originality and innovative minds. It was after the Parliament of World Religions in Chicago in 1893 that the whole world appreciated the intellectual and spiritual quality of India and her people.

It is painful to note that the modern Indian youth are more materialistic in approach and boast of aping the West in social manners than realising Swami Vivekananda’s ideals. More than commercial growth, today we need to realise Swami Vivekananda’s ideal of a universal religion for communal harmony and national integrity.




This has reference to Khushwant Singh’s “Uma erupts again” (Saturday Extra, Dec 17). Uma Bharti is a pseudo-sanyasin. A sanyasin is a woman who has no love or attachment for mundane things. She leads a life of self-denial for religious purposes and renounces sin. Just by smearing one’s forehead with vermilion, wearing saffron clothes and leading an austere life, one cannot claim to be a sanyasin.

Uma hankers after power and pelf. She “erupted” against her party because she was denied the chief ministership of Madhya Pradesh. She is exploiting the word ‘sanyasin’ to pursue her personal goals and ambition. I agree with the writer’s views that she can only mislead the gullible and the illiterate masses in the name of religion. She looks down upon other religions like a fanatic. She has every right to plunge into politics like anyone else, but she should give up the tag of a ‘sanyasin’.

It is a commendable act on the BJP’s part to have shunted out Uma Bharti from the party. Rather than doing any good to the party, she has tarnished its image.


Brutal act

This has reference to “Was Bhagat Singh shot dead?” (Spectrum, Dec 11). The book extracts expose the brutal act of the British empire and the disrespect they showed to the law of the land.

Dalip Singh Allahabadi’s notes revealed the untold story of the martyrdom of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev, which remained a mystery for 75 years for the Indian people.

Though the authenticity of the facts reported cannot be confirmed as yet, there might be some truth in these as Allahabadi was a trusted servant of the British.

The book also reveals that the then rulers had no respect for the orders of the court but perpetrated an inhuman action as they were runnuing amuck to avenge J. P. Saunders’ killing in 1928.

Our national leaders at that time should have used their influence to compel the British to get a postmortem done and hand over the bodies to the martyrs’ relatives.n


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