The student clashes in Ramjas College, New Delhi has once again started the debate on nationalism. Left student wings are known for their anti-India, anti-security forces and anti-establishment stands. The clashes took place over ABVP’s objection to JNU student Umar Khalid’s lecture in Ramjas College, the same Umar Khalid who is out on bail for shouting anti-India slogans in JNU. Many videos are in circulation in which AISA students are shown shouting Anti-India slogans along with a few leftist DU professors. Along with the videos what is in circulation is the picture of a 20-year-old DU student, Gurmehar Kaur with a placard in her hands emphasizing her freedom of speech.
To me, Gurmehar Kaur looks like any other teenager her age. She looks very assertive and vocal. A very good sign for a young woman! Don’t we all want our children to be able to speak their minds and have choices of their own? New age education gives importance to the imagination and out of box thinking. But out of box thinking doesn’t mean breaking India thinking. What makes Gurmehar special for me is that she belongs to my own fraternity- daughter of an army man. I being an army wife feel a bond with her. She lost her father at a very young age when he attained martyrdom by giving supreme sacrifice for the motherland. A big loss which can’t be compensated!
Many join army without knowing what is in store for them. But ordinary men become extraordinary when it inculcates unparalleled patriotism and nationalism in not only its men but their families too. And why not? They are very much a part of his extraordinary life, full of adventures, sacrifices, compromises, and struggles. When a jawan is struggling in minus 40 degree temperature of Siachen, his wife is struggling with a sick child or parents, children’s education or day to day problems. An army man is serving the nation because his family is sacrificing their family life for the nation.
Gurmehar may say that ‘Pakistan didn’t kill her father, the war did’ but I can’t say that ‘war’ was the culprit for our separation as when I got married, my husband was serving in Sri Lanka in IPKF. No Gurmehar, not war. It was the stupid policy of Rajiv Gandhi that was responsible for our separation and of many like us. It was not the war that claimed more than 1100 Indian Army men’s lives; it was the whims of the head of the state that caused so many casualties.
Gurmehar’s father sacrificed his life during Kargil conflict, a conflict which exposed the lies of Pakistan in front of the whole world. In the garb of militants, Pakistani army was fighting the Indian soldiers. When Kargil happened, my husband was posted in North East and was in Bhutan on official duty so was not sent to Kargil. But still, I could not escape the ordeal. I remember how the whole cantonment became deserted. One after another special train carrying men, vehicles, and equipment left the station. Suddenly there was no male left there except a few security guards. The families of fighting arms like infantry and artillery were already mourning. Officers’ wives wearing a brave face tried to keep the morale of jawans’ families up. Everyone dreaded watching the news as each news bulletin was full of names and number of casualties. Any military vehicle coming to residential areas at odd hours meant only one thing – the bad news. Saw friends losing their husbands. That summer was too long.
Wars take place because of difference in ideology. Kargil was not an ordinary war. Here one was the aggressor and other was simply defending herself. Gurmehar’s father didn’t enter Pakistan to threaten its security. Everyone knows how brutally Pakistan army treated even the dead bodies of our soldiers. It was an example of Pakistan’s hatred for India. The same hatred that Pakistan sponsored terrorists have displayed many times for Indian army. The attack on Kaluchak Cantonment was one of them. Some of those who died were 2 month or 2-3-year-olds. They would have been Gurmehar’s age today. Was Pakistan not the culprit? Who trains these terrorists and gives them shelter?
Today many journalists with anti-India agenda, left fiberals and many political parties like Congress, AAP and CPI are supporting Gurmehar, using her as a pawn. DU Professors like Mukul Mangalik with left ideology are seen instigating students in the videos. Perhaps Gurmehar doesn’t know that Prof Mukul Mangalik led a group of students, immediately after Kargil war and Kathmandu plane hijack, to Pakistan on a study tour. Why only Pakistan? Perception building that despite Kargil and plane hijack, Pakistan is a friendly country? The Same thing Gurmehar is doing, knowingly or unknowingly.
It pains me when Gurmehar writes this:
Don't call me a Martyrs daughter if that bothers you. I never claimed anything otherwise. You can call me Gurmehar.
— Gurmehar Kaur (@mehartweets) February 26, 2017
When a martyr gets a medal for his supreme sacrifice, it’s not a recognition of his sacrifice only. It’s a recognition of the loss of the whole family. All big and small family occasions, the festivals, birthdays and hundreds of other occasions when the parents miss their son, wife misses her husband and kids their father. Life is never same again.
Today while standing with anti-nationals, Gurmehar has already abandoned what all her father lived, stood and died for ie ‘the idea of India’. Her father fought for the sovereignty and integrity of India and she is supporting slogans for the freedom of Kashmir and Bastar. This is not freedom of speech. She may or may not like it, this is anti-nationalism.
My only advice to Gurmehar- your father has died once, don’t kill him again. By eulogizing your victimhood while siding with breaking India forces you are demeaning not only your father’s martyrdom but of thousands other martyrs.