With due respect, Martyr Saurabh Kalia’s parents need to understand a Thing. And Martyr Saurabh Kalia’s parents are putting unjustified pressure on the Nation.
Captain Saurabh Singh Kalia (1976 – 1999) an officer of the Indian Army, died during the Kargil War while being held as a prisoner of war by the Pakistani security forces. He along with five other soldiers of his patrolling team was captured alive and kept in captivity where they were brutally tortured and their bodies mutilated.
Now 13 years after the martyrdom, the father of Kargil war hero moved to the Supreme Court seeking its direction to the government to raise his son’s case at the International Court of Justice at The Hague and pressurize Pakistan to apologize for the incident that went against all norms of the Geneva Convention.
NK Kalia has alleged that his son Captain Saurabh Kalia was captured as a prisoner of war but was killed in a gruesome manner in violation of the Geneva Convention. The petition filed through advocate Arvind Sharma has alleged that despite making several representations to the government no steps have been taken to raise the brutal killing of Kalia, who was with the 4 Jat Regiment (Infantry), at the ICJ.
With due respect, Martyr Saurabh Kalia’s parents need to understand a Thing:
Sir and Madam, your sorrow is unmatched. No parents can bear the pain of the demise of their child. And your agony and anguish, becomes even more, when your son was killed in such a gruesome manner. Although words can never sooth your sorrow; there are a certain things which needed to be understood here.
The Central Government, irrespective of which political party it belongs to, can only express its sorrow, distress and inability to perform anything. And the electronic media may say, the Government is Apathetic, but one can expect the same response, what Union External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid expressed. He expressed his distress.
There are certain things, which stop India from acting any further.
First factor is, India can’t get adequate response from Pakistan, on this matter. if it does so, then all the human rights violations taking place in Kashmir, will be exposed. It’s important to understand here that, India is holding on to Kashmir, as its integral part, under certain conditions. As per a resolution signed by India at UN in 1948, India has promised to have a plebiscite in Kashmir (to know Kashmir people’s opinion on which country to cede to), once there is peace in the valley. And for the reason, it may or may not be in India’s interest to have peace in Kashmir.
For the same reason, India doesn’t recognize Geneva Convention on War Crimes. If it recognizes it, then Pakistan, which treats, Kashmir as a disputed territory, will take human rights violations in Kashmir to Geneva Convention. India will not want that.
Electronic Media, may vouch for Martyr Saurabh Kalia’s parents, and blame the Government for getting a deaf ear; but practically speaking (if sentiments like Patriotism are set aside), Union External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid’s statement to the development, calling its a “sad development” and saying,
“Whatever is possible will be done frankly, but I don’t want to give you a commitment now of any nature… The matter is before the Supreme Court and if the court requires, an adequate answer will be given,”
realistically puts the situation the Government is in. And mind you, it’s not about Congress OR India afraid of Pakistan. Even BJP Government at Centre didn’t do any thing in this regard, during its stint upto 2004. It’s totally immaterial what BJP is saying now. If the party comes to power in 2014, and if the issue is still relevant then, take my word, there will be similar apathy.
What’s the Price of Martyrdom?
Actually, it’s priceless. That’s why countries have only Medals to honours martyrs. We too in India had the provision of only medals like Param Veer Chakra, Ashok Chakra etc for many years. The reason is simple: You can’t put a tag to martyrdom.
But, call it a sad development; but of late even our Army men are trying to put a tag to their sacrifice. And putting Governments on questions like compensation, allotments and punishments.
Any Government, tries to do its ultimate bit, to put the family of the martyr. Hence its respectfully provides — One time compensation, key allotments like petrol pumps, reservation in the jobs to the kin of the deceased, medical facilities, pensions with special allowances etc.
And mind you, the Government attempts everything to make the family comfortable, as per the designation of the martyr. It can do only that much. As martyrdom is priceless.
And this is evident, when one sees that the families of martyrs are able to maintain their lifestyle even after the money earner has gone.
But of late, kith and kin of the martyrs are putting the Governments ( in a way a soveriegn country) in dock. Late major Unnikrishnan’s parents, kept pressing the Government to execute Kasab (when rule of law was taking its time). Today, Saurabh Kalia’s father is pressing Government to recognize Geneva Convention.
This country has great respect for its army. But, like everything else, this respect should come naturally. That’s if martyrs (defense) keep reminding the people of how big their sacrifice is; then one is bound to say: Defense like any other profession, is primarily a career choice. And if country gives a Gun to a person to kill the enemy; there’s always a chance of one taking the bullet as well.
Ideally, in issues of martyrdom and wars; understanding your country’s government’s stand is also patriotism.