Monday, March 21, 2016

True savior of India: Indian soldier, who else?

There are many discussions on whether India will remain unite. Some of India’s neighbors are hell bent on breaking down India. Let them do their best but taking a look back at the true saviors, real heroes of India, no one can doubt how our enemies are fighting a losing war.

It was 1999 and India was at war with its neighbor. A fighter pilot on strike had to eject off his plane with a parachute after his plane was hit by an enemy missile. He was captured, made a prisoner and was subjected to severe physical and mental torture. The experience was difficult to describe in words and he felt that “death would have been a better solution”. Some efforts made him to return to his home land. He was Nachiketa, a Flight Lieutenant serving Indian Air Force. When asked what he would do now, he said he would take another fighter jet into enemy skies. That was his wit, but the injuries he suffered barred him from flying a fighter but he still serves Indian Air Force flying transport planes. After several years of this incident, he reaffirmed his opinion “I am a soldier and is expected to undergo torture but I never repent in life”. Thanks to him and his colleagues, India won that war.

It was 2010, Bishnu Prasad Shrestha, a 35 year old Gurkha soldier serving Indian army, had taken voluntary retirement and was returning to his home town in a train. That train had to face robbery attack by a gang of around 30 armed bandits. Apart from snatching valuable goods, those bandits attempted to rape an 18-year old girl in front of her helpless parents. That girl appealed to Bishnu “You are a soldier, please save a sister”. The soldier got on his feet, and in a fight that lasted 20 minutes, he killed three bandits with his khukuri (a curved knife), injured eight and the rest fled losing their courage to face this determined lone soldier. This real life hero said “Fighting the enemy in battle is my duty as a soldier; taking on the dacoits in the train was my duty as a human being”. Army brought him back to service with a promotion. Indian Railways issued him a free pass and what a genuine reason they had. He indeed deserves a better attention than he got to makeover the image of India.

The Siachen Glacier, located at the northern tip of Kashmir, is the highest and coldest battlefield in the world. Guarding this border at fierce cold temperatures has killed hundreds of soldiers so far. In this place during the last month, struck by an avalanche, Lance Naik Hanamanthappa was buried under 25 feet of snow in temperatures that hovered above minus 40 degrees Celsius, for six days before the help arrived. Many called it a miracle, but the soldier was on a mission to guard India. This soldier stands tall amidst the forces with a plan to destroy India. Had he been alive, he would have got back on his job by now leaving no one second guessing his commitment toward his mission.

Against all odds of survival, at the borders or the interior lands, alone or with a group, these brave soldiers risked their lives to keep threats away. They never left their guard or morale down even when death stared at them. They are the true saviors and real life heroes of India. There is no threat to India as long as they are at work.