Dr A S Bhatia
It was a very fine morning of 1995, when I was blessed with a girl child in a private nursing home in Rehari Colony Jammu managed by Dr Yudhishterveer Gupta, a very prominent and renowned Gynaecologist today , and was a budding and one of the finest gynaecologist of that time also. I was very happy and full of excitement and after getting permission from the attending staff to meet my wife Harleen, then a second year MBBS student only!, in the recovery room. I saw her lying in the bed fully tired and exhausted but with a smile of heavenly satisfactions on her face. “We are having a girl Child.” “I am fortunate to have second Harleen, as my daughter in my life” was the simple reply I could give. And the very next moment she embraced me! Many people around me including some of my very close relations did not turn up to give congratulation (Mubarakbaad, Vadai) to us on the birth of a girl child. I was a very young boy of twenties then and could not realize the mindset of our society then, which I am able to analyze now. But my family was very happy on the arrival of a new one in our family. Thank GOD, both my parents were well educated.
How time has elapsed, from the 27th January 1995 to May 2021, when that little baby girl, whose arrival in this world was not even welcomed by many members of our society, became Captain Kaur of Indian Army! That little baby girl decided her own course, to serve the nation from the core of her heart. She decided to travel the road less travelled by the girls of her age. she decided to wear the big army boots , when the girls of her age would love to wear high heels, She decided to carry a rucksack on her back, when the young girls would love to carry a beautiful purse , She decided to wear the olive green uniform, when the girls of her age would love to wear Banarasi Sarees! She decided to wear a baire’e on her head when most of the girls of her age would go to a beauty parlour to get their hair smoothened and streaked! This is all because that little baby girl decided to travel a path less travelled by many others!
After my daughter refused all my dictates to serve in civil society and balantly said no to all my commands, I gave in and agreed to her to fulfill her dreams. She worked hard day and night and finally succeeded in making it to Indian Army and got commissioned as a Captain. This was recourse to life for me! I have spent entire life in the comforts of my home, always with my family, enjoying all festivals at home, having fun in summer and winter vacations with no restrictions to my personal life. Joining of my daughter in Indian army was a real eye opener for me, how these soldiers suffer at their personal level to serve our country.
Many of us are visiting hilly stations to enjoy the snowfall, and after spending few hours in snow we are rushing back hurriedly to our centrally heated rooms in luxurious hotels, few hours in snow are enough to make our condition miserable! On the contrary, just think of our young soldiers spending months together in minus twenty degree at Siachen Glaciers, carrying their guns to protect the sovereignty of our country! Many of us must not have forgotten the words of Vikram Batra, the tiger of Kargil, shouting,” Yeh Dil Maange More!” these word have fired up the imagination and Josh of an entire generation. That is the spirit of Indian Army!
I was watching a viral video on social media where a group of young Indian soldiers full of energy and patriotism were singing amidst the falling snow somewhere in higher peaks of Siachen glacier and shouting in pure punjabi , “Oae border ate hik taan kade baleya… ..vekh ..vekh verry saanu dare balya…. Hik vich rakya pahad jina jore.. Chuun ..Chuun verry nu mukaye jaane ha..oae.. Shera nu na Rajai di lod mitra.. lohri minus chaalis te manaye jaane haaa! ” (We, the brave soldiers are protecting our borders like a mountain and the enemy is scared of us. We are eliminating them one by one, we are the lions and don’t need the comforts and are celebrating the Lohri even at minus forty degree temperature). This is the Josh of Indian army. I was feeling thrilled. But on the contrary, In this world of media hype and to gain more and more TRP, many media houses are performing the duties of expert in war planning and tactics thus making a fun of themselves in the eyes of public. As I know a famous Indian filmy Dialogue , Yeh public hai..yeh sab janati hai..!” A war is being fought on the border and in our country in the present scenario another war is being fought in the air conditioned rooms enjoying all the pleasure of one of the best comforts of the world where these so called nationalistic journalists don’t even spare to critize the forces! I was astonished to go through the telecast of one of the famous TV anchors few months back, where she dared to blame the Indian Army for the conflict in the Galwaan Valley. Very strangely a lady who must not have even seen the border of Suchetgarh in Jammu was commenting on the strategic points of Galwaan Valley! What a part of Kapil Sharma Show! And there was another leader from a National political party who dared to call the then Army Chief Bipen Rawat “Ek sadak ka Gunda!” I wonder if any family member of these people has the courage to come forward and serve the armed forces!
It is not the soldier only, who is serving the Nation, his whole family is involved in this process. It is worth to reproduce the words of G l Batra, father of captain Vikraam Batra, during his visit to Kargil in 2002, “The journey would not have been complete without touching the soil where Vikraam laid down his life. It was an overwhelming gesture when the corps commander gifted us with two glasses filled with the soil of point 4875 and Tololing. For us it was nothing less than visiting a pilgrimage site.” A soldier sacrifices more than what is visible to us. Back to home as my daughter decided to serve the Indian Army, I could see the changes in her behavior within months of her joining the armed forces. Before becoming a part of the force, our family was everything for her. She was the first person to take initiative to celebrate all little occasions in the family and would make it compulsory for everyone to be physically present there! But after leaving her home for the country, the family has become secondary to the little girl, who could not leave her home even for a single day, now was celebrating the 88th birthday of her favourite grand papa through video conferencing only, and very surprisingly with no tears in her eyes, instead I could see the spark of a tigress in her eyes, that was the patriotism.
The little girl had taken the path less travelled by the young girls of her age and has the courage to leave all luxury of her life for the sake of uniform, and till such young generation is there, our country is safe. India has survived many onslaughts by the external invaders in the past and have become a power to reckon with. And it is because the patriotic feelings are in our blood, these are not forced into our lives by stringent laws as has been done in some countries like Israel, where according to the 1949 Israeli Security Service Law, conscription to military service is compulsory for all Israelis who turn 18 ! Indians don’t need a law to make them patriotic. It is our glorious past of great warriors like Jhaansi Ki Raani, Maharana Pratap, Shiva Ji Maratha, Saheed Bhagat singh and many more. A Country cannot die till its young generation is committed to protect its boundaries and sovereignty.
As dashmesh pita Shri Guru Gobind Singh ji Sahib said,
“In Putran Ke Sees Par Var Diye Sut Chaar,
Chhar Muye To Kya Hua , Jeevat Kayi Hazzar”
(“I have sacrificed my four sons, so what if my four sons are dead, when thousands are alive”)
A country with this type of ideology can never die
(The author is Professor and Head Department of Biochemistry, Government Medical College Jammu.)
Dr A S Bhatia