Remembering our Freedom Fighters, War Heroes and Soldiers

Posted: August 24, 2011 by Shishir Gupta in Corruption, India, Politics
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I wanted this topic to be titled as “Anna Hazare and his fight against corruption”, as that would have got more traffic and readership to my blog, but that is not my primary motive of this blog post. Here I would to make a point, where our generation is starting to forget our freedom fighters and other national heroes. Today, our generation hardly knows much about the freedom fighters leave aside remembering the war heroes who too gave away the ultimate sacrifice (their life) for the country. This is really disappointing and sad, and because of this I have thought of writing something about this. From nowhere this topic has come into my priority list, and maybe I would be able to send the message across to everyone.

The actual source behind this can be the recent revolutionary movement started by Anna Hazare to fight against the corruption in the country. It all started while during lunch time yesterday on the discussion on Anna’s step to go on fast unto death for the fight against corruption. In between all this I mentioned an instance of a similar step undertaken by Shaheed Bhagat Singh. To my astonishment my friend had no clue about it. And I am talking about a person who has profound knowledge, and does cite examples of Hitler, Churchill, and others every now and then. A person like him had no clue of Bhagat Singh left me in an astonishment, and even more disappointing was that he ended all of that topic in humor. That discussion left me in disarray. And after going home I had a discussion with my maid and her children and then I realized that since Bhagat Singh’s and his mates activities are hardly taught in school, people hardly know who he was and what he did for the country. And all the very little information they have is because of the recent movies that were made on him and his activities.

I also remember an interview given by Raj Kumar Hirani before his release of the film Lage Raho Munnabhai, where he said that “people who have not been to school even don’t know who Mahatma Gandhi (the father of our nation) is”. Also this raises a question that do people only know about these great figures if they had been to school and have studied them. This is a very surprising state but yes a very sad one.

Here I am just talking about two legends of Indian freedom fight, and few people know about them as they have studied about them in early life as well as there have been movie interpretations on them as well. But what about the others, who too sacrificed their lives for the country’s freedom. For example to name a few, Lala Lajpat Rai, Bipin Chandra Pal, Sukhdev, Rajguru, Chandrashekhar Azad, Sardar Vallabhai Patel, Udham Singh, Kartar Singh Sarabha, and others. Do people even know them?     

Also this is about the freedom fighters, what about our soldiers and war heroes. They stay at the borders to protect the country, they fight, they kill, they die for the country, do we remember them ever, or even do we know who they were. For example to name a few, Capt. Vikram Batra, Capt. Manoj Pandey, Capt. Anuj Nayaar, Maj. Sandeep Unnikrishnan, Capt. Gurbachan Singh Salaria, 2/Lt. Arun Kheteralpal, Havaldar Abdul Hamid, Subedar Joginder Singh, and many others. Do people even know them and know of their contribution towards the country. What disappoints me the most is the India media in this case, as stupid celebrity marriage news will make a top headline but a soldier’s sacrifice of his life for the country won’t be featured as well.  

All this disappoints me a lot, as our generation has also added to the woes. Today people our more interested globally, they want to know what is happing all around the globe and don’t know of what is the situation in their own country. They neglect past Indian history as for them it was mandatory to study only to pass the examinations. Today they know what an Obama speaks but have no clue what a Swami Nigamanand (another person who sacrificed his life for a noble cause) says.

I would want to state a serious comedy of error over here. “Since the movement undertaken by Anna Hazare is gaining popularity in the country, many fellow people have joined hands to support Anna in his movement.  People are taking out rallies in support of Anna, and for fight against corruption in almost every city. A similar rally was passing by my colony last weekend, with people chanting slogans everywhere. That is the time when I spotted a person who was in his mid-twenties I suppose and asked him what was all this about. He said that all this is in support Anna Hazare and his fight against corruption. Then I asked him if he knew what Anna’s demands were and what exactly Lokpal Bill is all about, and he was clueless”.

Now this is the state of the country, today’s youth has come onto the streets to fight for his rights and against corruption (which is very good), but does not know what exactly his demands to the government are, or how will his demands eventually help him. All he does is he sees people around entering into a movement and follows them blindly.
Why exactly I have written all this so far is because, I am not sure what is going to be the final verdict of this movement, though I do believe that what Anna is doing for the country no common man could (as he has somewhat managed to awake the country). And unfortunately if he dies in between all these events people will very soon forget him and his deeds. The next generation would not probably even know who Anna Hazare was and what his contribution towards the Indian society was.  I don’t trust the Indian media as well, as they might cover all this exclusively but only till an Indian cricket team win or a Sachin Tendulkar century, when those news will overshadow everything else and this movement will vanish from the media as well (something that happened to Swami Nigamanand). People like him, Mahatma Gandhi, Bhagat Singh should never be forgotten in the fashion Swami Nigamanand has been.

Here is a line said by Sardar Bhagat Singh, “It is easy to kill individuals but you cannot kill the ideas. Great empires have crumbled while the ideas survived.”

I hope the idea behind these great people survives within us and is also passed to our next generations or else would end up being with hardly any moral values, hardly any love for the country, and amidst tremendous corruption.

Also, I would like to ask everyone and hope that we all join in this fight against corruption, as this is also no less than a fight against terrorists, the government of India.

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