WhatsApp was the medium through which I received the news
of the Pulwama terror attack that martyred more than 40 of our CRPF jawans.
Thank God for small mercies! I don’t think I would have been able to bear the
visuals had I seen the news suddenly come up on TV. It was a ghastly sight and
left a deep scar, much like the 2008 Mumbai attacks. The attack has brought up
many baffling, unanswered questions.
The most important being
why were 2,500 CRPF men travelling together? Weren’t they sitting ducks in a
conflict zone like Kashmir? This has to be an inside job and the government
must figure out how the intelligence failure occurred.
I must say I was happy
about the surgical strike at the Jaish e Mohammed camps at Balakot, but not the
war cry on TV news channels and social media platform thereafter. War is not
the solution. The hot-headed ones in our country forget that our war is not
against Pakistan, but that our war is against the scourge of terrorism.
Similarly, the war cheerleaders in Pakistan also need to understand that terror
has somehow become synonymous with Pakistan as far as it world image is
concerned. Why make it worse by rattling sabers?
People who are busy
warmongering seemed to have signed a death warrant of sorts. Wasn’t Wg Cdr
Abhinandan’s bloodied face enough to show what a war really meant? Captain
Nachiketa, Captain Saurabh Kalia and Fighter Pilot Ajay Ahuja’s stories too
haven’t been forgotten.
Having said that, I
quite like the BJP’s decisiveness and prompt and timely action in this matter.
And no, I don’t think important issues are being sidelined in the name of
fighting terrorism. Agar zinda hi
nahi rahenge, to baki issues ka kya karenge? — We need to be alive in the first place to talk about other
There might be lack of
quality jobs, but that doesn’t mean that there are no jobs. At least the
middle-class has quite a few options and people need to take their local
leaders to task also for job creation. These local leaders then need to meet
with their senior leaders to find solutions for real issues. The government
does need to take care of the lower-income group though. The government is endowed
with a Cabinet so that all sections/segments of society can function smoothly.
And the Cabinet should be put to proper use.
I voted for Narendra Modi in the 2014 Lok Sabha
elections. But this time around, I think I have matured and have developed a
deeper understanding of issues. I am going to keep a sharp eye on the
government and see whether it delivers on all fronts, only then will I decide
whether to vote for BJP or not. The individual candidate representing the area
I live in, his work/credentials, would also determine which way my vote goes.
Views from President’s Colours at Air Force Station, Hakimpet and 5 Base Repair Depot at AF Station, Sulur in Tamil Nadu on Monday.
Amid questions over the Balakot air strike, Indian Air Force (IAF) chief Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa on Monday said the fighter planes had hit the target given to them but he cannot give the number of casualties suffered as it is for the government to do so.
“IAF is not in a position to clarify the number of casualties. The government will clarify that. We don’t count human casualties, we count what targets we have hit or not. We hit our target,” he told reporters in New Delhi.
The Air Chief Marshal was responding when asked whether he could give the number of casualties suffered in the February 26 air raids by the IAF on a Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) camp in Balakot.
“The air force doesn’t calculate the casualty numbers, the government does that… We can’t count how many people died. It depends on how many people were there. That is why the Army is there,” Dhanoa said.
He went on to add, “The target has been clearly amplified by the Foreign Secretary (Vijay Gokhale) in his statement. If we plan to hit the target, we hit the target. Otherwise, why would he (Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan) have responded? If we dropped bombs in the jungles, why would he respond?”
The comments assume significance as there have been questions over the exact number of casualties suffered in the air strike.
India carried out the air strike 12 days after the Jaish terror attack in Pulwama in which 40 CRPF personnel lost their lives. JeM had claimed the responsibility of the attack.
Hours after the air raid, the Foreign Secretary had told the media that the IAF fighters hit the largest militant camp of JeM in Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan and “a large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders were eliminated” in it.
bhandara’ (a community feast) if he clears it. This time too, before going to Kashmir, he had said he would organise another bhandara on his next visit home. No one was expecting a funeral.
Amit nurtured the dream of joining the paramilitary forces since he was 18. He gave numerous exams and failed at them miserably. But he never gave up. My wife and I were frustrated. My wife wanted him to take up a different vocation. Each of his brothers had chosen a different vocation — electrician, photographer, accountant, teacher. Amit had four good options but he chose the uniform services above all. He was a brave soul fascinated with military discipline.
His mother died before she could see his son smartly dressed in his uniform. I cannot imagine how she would have reacted to the news of her son’s martyrdom. No parent should be subjected to this grief. But despite the deep vacuum Amit left in the family, I have no qualms in admitting that I am proud of my son and I will not hesitate to send my other four sons on the line of duty if it necessitates.
Amit had reported to work, a week before the fatal incident. Just a day before the attack, I spoke to him and he had assured that he will be back soon. He was 29 and we were on the verge of finalising his marriage.
I am thankful to the government for the help that has been extended to us. Last morning when I heard about the Air Force attack on Jaish camps deep inside Pakistan, I felt like crying. We feel my son’s martyrdom had shaken the government out of slumber. I can sleep as a man in peace.
Amit’s supreme sacrifice has inspired several youngsters from our village and other neighboring areas. People here are demanding that a recruitment camp should be organised in the village, and we promise that we will produce the best of jawans for the service of our country. I am old, but I too am ready to go to the border and sacrifice my life for my nation.
My son’s dream has taught so many others to dare to dream and fight for the nation.]]>