Thursday, December 11, 2008

I was watching NDTV the other day that featured a report on the capture of the terrorist, Abdul Amir Qasab, the only one who was captured alive. The significance of that is yet to surface fully. India will no dubt benefit from his confessions to take the war on terror to its logical conclusion. The report featured the three brave police men who were behind the capture, one of whom, Tukaram Umbale, perished in his efforts. I was drawn to tears when I heard how he singlehandedly rushed out to confront the terrorist/s knowing only too well that the chances of escaping alive was an impossibility. And yet he did just that and "was shot five times in the stomach, but he held on to Qasab until others could reach him." We owe that man and his selflessness a great deal. I salute his courage.
I wanted to find out more about the incident and the man himself but the only thing I could "google" out was the same report text at the NDTV site. And I was left unsatisfied. The report hasn't done justice to the incident or to the bravery of the officer. While so much coverage was reserved for the higher officers who lost their lives, including Major Sandeep of the NSG, the lowly ranked cops have been hardly mentioned. And I feel that it is utterly unfair. People are shown paying homage to the senior officers but no one remembers the others. You cannot measure bravery by the rank of the martyr.
I also feel sad that these cops fought against the dreaded, highly trained terrorists with a lone rifle and lathis. Let not our security forces fight the terrorists with only bravery. Lets not take their courage for granted. Lets give them a chance to do their job with dedication and yet make sure they come back to their families at the end of the day. Its often the bravest of the brave that die and are decorated with gallantry awards. But the awards cannot replace the men.
Also to be remembered are the civilians who died in the attacks. Innocent lives snuffed out before time while they went about their lives not troubling anybody. The value of human life reduced to dust. Time, the faithful healer lets us cope with tragedies and yet dulls the pain to acceptance and finally helps forget them. We must not let that happen.
We must build a memorial so we never forget these attacks on our sovereignity, so the flame of anger and the determination to fight against the pestilence of terrorism burns eternally with a brightness that doesnt diminishes with the passage of time. Let the memorial remind us of all the brave officers and civilians who have lost their lives to terrorism all across the country. Let it remind us of every drop of blood that was shed to sully the sacred soil of our nation.

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