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Friday, March 27, 2009

Why no tears for the eight Army martyrs?

In one of the longest-running encounters with terrorists that ended after five days in Jammu & Kashmir's Kupwara, eight Indian armymen including Major Mohit Sharma were killed.

Surprisingly, it didn't get proper coverage and the martyrs haven't got tributes from the citizens, media or politicians. In fact, you try searching the names of the eight martyrs and you may not even get more than two of them on any website. [Forget about photographs at all]

Why there is such apathy? Even the section that wears patriotism on its sleeve, didn't bother to pay any tribute. Among the martyrs are Major Mohit Sharma, Shabir Ahmad Malik, Sanjay Singh, Anil Kumar, Rakesh Kumar and Nithar Singh.

Hundreds of army men including Rashtriya Rifles personnel were involved in the operation. Senior journalist Vinod Dua questioned, 'Is it that urban Indian elite just doesn't care about things that happen away from major cities?'.

One of the names in the list of martyrs was Mir Shabir Ahmad Malik, a young jawan trained as commando, who was just 19.

When his body was brought for burial, thousands took part in the janaza. It was rare to see such outpouring of emotions in Kashmir. Pro-Indian slogans filled the air.

'When the body was brought in Tricolour-wrapped coffin borne by fellow soldiers, his village turned out in strength to salute its son (Shabbir)', wrote The Telegraph. The body reached Ganderbal on the day he was to turn 20, on his birthday.

Are things changing in Kashmir?

Anil Kumar was hero of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack but died unsung

One of the martyrs, Lance Naik Anil Kumar, was among the NSG commandos who had stormed Nariman House that was occupied by the terrorists in November 2008 attack on Mumbai.

Kumar was then on deputation with NSG. After the operation, he had gone on leave to his native place in Himachal Pradesh and after a little while joined duty. He returned to his parent unit in Kupwara where he lost his life along with other army jawans.

Indian Express correspondent Majid Jehangir did write a moving piece titled 'He fought Lashkar in Mumbai, dies fighting them in Kupwara'.

[Photo: A woman relative of martyred Indian soldier tries to control her emotions. The last rites of Shabir]

Related post on this blog:
No medals and honours, No tears for 15 policemen killed by Naxalites

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Media in India is completely hijacked by non-indians. NDTV for example. Its stake holders are not Indians. I see lot of people admiring Burkha Dutt, Sekhar Gupta Karan Thapar etc. It is very easy to idolise these people because humans like brave people. Media means truth. Media represents the voice of people, who dont have good enough platform to raise their voice. But there is no bench mark for the Media in India. I wonder if there are any standards that need to be met by Media. They are free to cover the incidents their stake holders like. NDTV is creating a martyr out of Kasab, causing ire to a people of India and creating communal differences.

Amitabh said...

God Bless them. They are our heroes.

Z@ki-R said...

Sad...our educated middle class and elite media is impacted only if something happens to rich, pretty and english speaking populace. Intellectuals never speaks if somebody from army or police dies. Most of the youth is concerned about their right to celebrate valentine's day. Remember Nandigram, WB? The trouble started with a low level police officer on verge of his retirement day, being killed brutally with sharpened bambo and being dumped in nearby river....I m sure - none remember his name or as a matter of fact the incidence itself. No intellectual voice from the city-of-culture-and-intellectuals was raised....naxalites running havoc...our educated class is not bothered! ...in october '08, 80 people died in Assam blast...it was a news in national media for 2/3 days only......it took 26/11 to take a notice of evils of terrorism...god knows if at all we took any notice.

How do we know said...

yes, this is shameful. the Indian Army needs its due respect. otherwise, one day, there will be war, and where will the babus with their big fat packets hide then?

i am totally disgusted with the way the defence forces are treated in this country. no personal connection, but the sheer amount of apathy is disgusting.

rambling indian "hindu" said...

A good post again.Kudos!By & large the media in India seem to pick up only stories that they fancy,not they as the fourth estate need to chase.It's like they are churning the various news stories out to feed themselves!A sad state of affairs indeed.And don't you think that they really have this dumbed down idea of its following?Any wonder then, that the very same following is flocking to alternative sources.(Blogs being one.)Looking at our newspapers (or TV news stations), there are entire regions in the country& our neighbourhood that get no mention at all!It's scandalous.And even those that they cover, they do so with their own selective looking glass.There's a huge journalistic vacuum.We need to see the tehelka fervour in our dailies&TV stations across the country but it seems to be a dreamy notion.As for the eight Army martyrs,one hopes the govt.looks after their families well.My guess is the govt. won't, the army will,to some extent.Citizens laying down their lives for the country (or even working towards the betterment of the country) are constantly ignored while those hell bent in self aggrandisement are famishly courted.

indscribe said...

Anon: Hijacked! That will become a long discussion. However, the fact is that TRPs govern channels and it forces them to show things like movie stars' gossip, superstition, crime, ghosts and trivia. The problem is that public also want to see it only. DD has less adz but nobody wants to see it in metros. Even though its slightly pro-ruling party, it at least shows the real news.

Amitabh bhai: Ya, it's heart-rending to see young guys giving up their lives for the country. It's terrible when their families don't get recognition or support of society. I remember sometime back a young martyr's wife was mistreated at a public function.

Z@ki-R, HDWK, rambling Indian 'Hindu' thanks for your comments.

I was even more startled when I found that one of them was among the jawans who had fought in 26/11 Mumbai strike at Nariman House and his death also passed unnoticed.

Milind Kher said...

The media are responsible not only for relaying news, but also shape people's opinions.

Therefore, it devolves upon them to treat subjects like these with more seriousness and sensitivity.

t is good that you have brought this up. It will raise the consciousness of people.

Sujatha said...

absolutely shameful that these martyrs didn't get any recognition!.the problem is our irresponsible media.
but, thank you for highlighting this story.
my heartfelt condolences to their families and as i write this, yes, there is a lump in my throat,with gratitude for the brave soldiers who laid down their lives,so that we may live ours.

Anonymous said...

Now what ? Celebrations and Festival of 26/11 aniversary is near bye. Hijado ke Deshme sab kucch Enjoyable hai, even the rape on the mother is to be celebrated by Media.

Anonymous said...

Couldnt agree more with that, very attractive article