It was plain shock and disgust that I sat down to watch the events unfold at the Delhi University. Fights on the streets and college politics at its worst. However, the one lasting image in my mind was the student, Gurmehar Kaur, holding up a placard saying," Pakistan did not kill my father, war did."
Before getting into the real issue, let me once again reiterate, Pakistan is responsible for the death of our soldiers. It is their state policy and hence blaming war and not Pakistan is really not an argument that would impress me.
Gurmehar's father Captain Mandeep Singh made the supreme sacrifice battling terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir. There was an attack being planned on the Amarnath Yatra and he led his team against them. Singh's Battle Casualty Report shows that he was serving in the counter-insurgency operation Rakshak in Jammu and Kashmir. Commissioned in the 49 Army Air Defence Regiment in 1991, he was working with 4 Rashtriya Rifles. He made the supreme sacrifice while battling militants on August 6, 1999.
When these are the facts of the matter, why was the narrative changed? Why was Singh referred to as a Kargil martyr by his own daughter and the rest of the bandwagon?
Every soldier who dies in the line of defence guarding Hindustan, India, Bharat is a martyr, a son of the land and the one who has made the supreme sacrifice for the nation so that you and I sleep in peace. What was the need to add Kargil to the discourse? Was it for special effects? Does only being a Kargil martyr make a soldier great and the sacrifices made in other operations not counted?
A soldier is great whether he lays down his life or not. A soldier is great if he lays down his life in war, a counter-insurgency operation or even in an avalanche in Siachen.
Why was a brave soldier's name dragged?
Now coming to the next question, who is behind this change in narrative? Were facts twisted to change the narrative. Why was a brave soldier's name dragged into this muck and that too for an issue which involved a talk by Umar Khalid.
When Singh led his company to kill those terrorists who wanted to attack India, he would have known about the danger to his life. His thoughts would have been with the nation and his family. Today, his name is being dragged into an unwanted discourse and this is nothing but disrespect being shown to the supreme sacrifice made by India's son. Let those who have made an unwanted controversy out of this hang their heads in shame.