They may torture my body, break my bones, even kill me. Then they will have my dead body, but not my obedience.
That is a quote by Mahatma Gandhi and when I think of Capt. Saurabh Kalia, I feel it could never stand truer for any man or woman I ever hear about. Yesterday, 9th of June, was the Martyrdom day of this young man of 22 who was tortured and murdered by Pakistan's army personnel and sent back to India as a reminder of the impassiveness of our government for this whole century.
As a Human Being, I feel sad and weak and question, every living second, the necessity of war.
As an Indian, I feel tremendously thankful when I think of him, as I would feel to any man or woman from the Army, the Navy or the Air Force.
As a person from his hometown, I am thrown back in time whenever I hear or see his name anywhere. I remember the crowd that had gathered around his dead body. I know a martyr is greater than a simple dead body but I was around 9 years of age and I just remember being irritated by the crowd, the women wailing and the men sad. I distinctly remember everyone crying; the whole town crying. What was impossible to understand then, makes my cry now and it has, again.
I just saw a picture of him, with his parents. The older people meet them around the town sometimes. They are greeted with utmost respect by everyone. I wonder what they must feel when they're attending weddings of other people's sons or when another war rages or when the Paki army kills those men at the Line of Control. They say Saurabh's was tortured, but was it just that. Popping eyes out, chopping limbs off, chopping off private parts, that is not torture. That is the worst form of Kick in the balls of Humanity. It is not even Human, in fact. When I see the Indian ministers entertaining the ministers of Pakistan, it dries my blood up. Frankly, I would be happier to see Malala at the next Independence day parade than finding anyone from their govt.
I have never seen a mutilated body, or in fact, any dead body. Imagining is hard but when one reads about the pains inflicted upon Capt. Kalia and his companions, your insides churn in pain. I was told then that his body was not even in one piece. I have read that their bodies were burned with cigarettes, ear-drums were pierced with hot rods, eyes were punctured before bring removed completely, most of the teeth and bones were broken, skulls were fractured, lips were cut off, noses chipped, limbs chopped off and so were the private organs of these soldiers, finally shooting them dead, as evident from the bullet wounds. One can only imagine, in fact cannot even imagine, what excruciating pain these men died in. And for what? Kashmir? Supremacy? We shall, probably, never be able to find out.
When an Indian diplomat is insulted in the USA, The Indian Govt. goes berserk and the woman is treated as royalty. But when a soldier, who tolerated every possible pain for the sake of this very govt. and this very country, no one asks for justice for him. That man was torn into pieces by known enemies of our country, enemies, who would nuke our nation before they brushed their teeth some morning, if they ever feel capable of getting away with it and absolutely no one bothered getting an explanation. Pakistan said they didn’t do it and the govt. agreed?!! There is nothing this absurd among the things I have even heard in the 24 years of my life. I have read that the essence of a Good Government is trust. Kathleen Sebelius said that. But, perhaps, what Dean Inge says is more appropriate when it comes to our times. He says, "A good government is the greatest of human blessings and no nation has ever enjoyed it."
Before I end this text, I would like to urge everyone who takes the pain to read this. I want to urge you all to not look for peace in war. There is no way, no form of war and no form of extremist fanaticism that will ever bring peace or justice because the very foundation of war is cruelty. Secondly, never miss the little parts while looking at the big picture. It is not okay to kill a few of your own people if you win in the long run. Thirdly, don't disappoint people, even if you do not know who they are, be empathetic towards them and you will find compassion for them.
I hope/know Capt. Kalia has found peace. He was our Hero. A hero that we probably did not deserve. I also hope all Martyrs, Indian or Pakistani, who sacrificed themselves for their country, find peace. But beyond all of that, I hope that people learn the importance of every life on this planet, Own, Enemy's or that of a bird flying overhead. I hope this stance of cruelty changes. People learn to co-exist on better terms. I hope there is the peace we dream of, the one that comes from peace.