Thursday, April 26, 2001, Chandigarh, India



We are taken for granted

One Chinese soldier was killed by Americans, that too by mistake, and China captured their 24 soldiers, held the plane and brought America to its knees and forced it to tender an apology. They did not bother that they would be deprived of the Olympics or the membership of the WTO.

On the other hand mosquito-like Bangladesh kills our Jawans brutally, and carry their bodies like pigs. Pakistanis come and kill our civilians and soldiers in Kashmir. Despite our winning the war in 1971, 54 of our officers and Jawans are still rotting in Pakistani jails. Four terrorists take our airliner from Nepal to Amritsar and then, after a 48-minute halt, to Kandahar and force our government to release their leaders. Our country is taken for granted.

The words of Iqbal are worth remembering: “If you do not wake up early and take care of your motherland, then perhaps you will not be mentioned even in history” (Tumhari dastaan tak bhi no hogi dastaanon mein).



Neuter reaction

The torture and killing of 16 Indian soldiers by Bangladesh is a barbaric act and when it comes from a nation which was built with the blood of Indian soldiers, it is something beyond pain. The torture and mutilation of the soldiers puts the Bangladeshis on a par with the Pakistanis and indicates the contempt of these nations for Indians. Our reaction is typical of a neuter nation which is willing to sacrifice its Jawans for the sake of friendship with criminal neighbours. When mutilated bodies of our Jawans were returned by Pakistan, the Telugu Desam Party was forcing the Centre to play down the incident in view of the Muslim votes in AP. Ours is a weak-kneed country which commands no respect even from micro countries like Bangladesh.

I had interacted with the higher level of Bangladesh officials in 1975, when I was part of the technical team that discussed the setting up of a nuclear reactor in Bangladesh. In fact, I personally discussed and handed over the drawings of a reactor to their team. At that time I had my personal doubts about this overly friendly act, but our politicians are the policy makers.

Over a period of 20 years, I had interacted with the lowest level workers from Bangladesh in the Gulf countries. After the Babri Masjid incident, there were widespread beating of Indian Hindu workers, and many of them landed in my medical establishment in the UAE. Bangladeshi workers were active participants in this act along with Pakistanis and Indian Muslims.

N. KRISHNA, Hyderabad



Unsoldier like

The appalling incident of the massacre of 16 BSF Jawans by the BDR, a paramilitary force of a friendly country, is unimaginable. Soldiers of civilised nations are known to be kind to each other after one party has laid down its arms. It was perhaps this impression that led to the surrender of the outnumbered BSF patrol. They must have presumed that they would be freed in course of time due to pressure from their Government. Had they know of their impending fate they would have reacted differently and fought it out. Now the Indian soldier cannot be sure of either Pakistani or Bangladeshi forces any more. The Government of India should now be prepared to condone, justifiably, any over-reaction by our security forces. The behaviour of Pakistani and Bangladeshi security men is unpredictable and unsoldier like and to act with restrain may prove a fatal error for our troops.


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