I am the grand daughter of an Azad Hind Fauj veteran, daughter of a 1971 war veteran and wife of a serving Army officer. Even though I don’t wear the uniform but all my life I have lived by the ethos of “Naam, Namak, Nishan”.
Naam i.e name of your country/your regiment/your paltan
Namak i.e loyalty to the salt that you it..desh ka namak as we say
Nishan i.e flag/standards/insignia.
Like me and my family there are many more who live by these three words and proudly so !!
In last few days I have seen a debate – a debate that has hijacked our freedom of expression of saying “I am proud of my naam,namak,nishan”. My unconditional,unadulterated loyalty to my nation, its flag, its namak has been termed “rabid/rogue/extreme/fascist” nationalism by those who support “terrorist sympathizers” in the name of freedom of expression. I am mocked for saying Vande Matram by those who feel shouting “Bharat tere tukade honge inshallah inshallah” is mere dissent & very intellectual thing to do.
In last couple of days prominent media personalities have left no stone unturned in defending those who have shamelessly, unapologetically insulted my naam, namak, nishan & it has angered me deeply.
But there is something that has angered me more.Yesterday while our Lutyen’s ‘dalals’ were busy scripting another defence strategy for Kanhaiyya & Umar Khalid, a young man made supreme sacrifice uoholding the finest traditions of the Indian Army in Pampore,J&K followed by another one by the evening- Captain Pawan Kumar & Capt Tushar Mahajan wrote new definitions of valor & “nation first”. This is how some prominent media shops ( yes they are just shops ,no fourth pillar of the democracy!!) reported about Capt Pawan Kumar.
See how clearly our masters of “changing the narrative” have used “JNU alumnus”. Even before they highlighted his JNU connection so prominently, I had a feeling that they would do so. They have become quiet predictable as far as using tragedies to spin their own agenda is concerned.
Shamelessly they have used a martyrdom as glorious as that of Capt Pawan Kumar to supplement their ongoing agenda of “image mangement of JNU” in the wake of recent events.By referring to his JNU link they want us to believe that Umar Khalid is in the same league as Capt Pawan Kumar because they both happen to be from JNU. Its a shrewd play with our pyche that see how can JNU which is the alma mater of the late Captain be accused of being a hub of anti- national activities. Exhibiting some really low level of journalism ( no surprise there by the way by now) they are using sacrifice of a brave soldier to cloud and manipulate our opinions about JNU & its intellectuals. This disgusts me to no end.
Since our bright media shops are so keenly calling Capt Pawan a JNU alumnus,let me put forward some facts that they have chosen not to put stress upon.
1) Capt Pawan Kumar & Capt Tushar Mahajan are alumni of the National Defence Academy and not JNU- hear that loud & clear. How conveniently they placed JNU in the headline and relegated NDA to a single line.
2) A cadet joins NDA at an age as young as 16-17 and stays there for three years. In these three years he never even sets foot in the JNU campus.
3) JNU is a mere stamp on their graduation degrees as a result of a tie up between MoD & JNU. They are educated, trained and groomed in the Academy. It is here that they learn the meaning of leadership & sacrifice & from young boys are turned into brave men for whom Nation is first and always. Its NDA that creates officers like Pawan Kumar & Tushar Mahajan, not JNU who by their sheer junoon for their country leave behind tales of valour that legends are made of..give their life for naam, namak, nishaan – three things that are mocked in the confines of JNU in the name of freedom of expression.
4)JNU,its so called intellectual discourse plays no role in NDA cadet’s life. I wonder if any of the past & present teaching stalwarts of JNU can boast that their sons are serving in the forces or are ex-NDAs. They can surely boast of running NGOs for Maoists. Infact the teachings of NDA are exact opposite of what Kanhaiyyas,Kavitas & Khalids learn at JNU.
5)The teaching fraternity & student fraternity that has huddled around Khalid & are demanding for charges to be dropped (as per latest media reports) stand no where near NDA instructors and cadets. Yes the latter can’t boast of Phd thesis, long jholas and tangled hair & unwashed beard but being literate doesnt mean being educated. These cadets & their instructors are educated enough to know their duties first & rights later. They know duty is a commitment and rights are a priviledge not to be misused.
5)A cadet at NDA becomes a commisioned officer by 21/22,a taxpaying citizen. He might get deployed at freezing heights of Siachen or inhospitable terrain of Arunachal. He might be asked to lead a section during riots or carry out combing operations in the valley. What he doesnt do is try to fake out as an intellectual, live on the tax payer’s money and then abuse this nation only.
So spin masters of Indian media you want to play Kanhaiyya’s poverty card or Umar Khalid’s religion card – be my guest but spare our soldiers & their sacrifices to add another dimension to your spin. No matter how much you shout that he was a JNU alumnus overlooking his real cradle of learning, the fact remains that young boys like Pawan & Tushar gave away their life defending the misplaced & misused notion of freedom of expression, defending the sovereignty of this country so that tomorrow another Umar Khalid can use it to glorify killers of these brave officers as martyrs,so that tomorrow another Umar Khalid can urge to break this nation in pieces.The difference ladies & gentlemen between these two sets of men is that the first is alumnus of NDA & second is alumnus of JNU.
For any ex- NDA its an insult if any place other than his Academy is referred as his alma mater. He lives by his nation, his Academy, his squadron..so please lets give due credit to the place that made Capt Pawan what he was instead of referring him as a JNU alumnus to make your incredible stories credible !!