By Sarvar Bali
15 Nov , 2016
I learnt about your demise from the ticker tape on one of the news channels, last evening. It was a big encounter and a very fierce one at that. A feeling of deep saddness enveloped me as I reflected on your youth which had been sacrificed in Gurez Sector, in the line of duty. What does your death mean?
Your name will not be read out in any obituary reference in Parliament, as is done in the UK for all soldiers who fall in combat in the line of duty.
By now your mortal body would be lying embalmed at the Base Hospital and will be flown out of Srinagar later in the day, on its final journey to the cremation ground in your native town or village.
You were too young to die, far too young! For whom and for what did you die then? This question haunted me last night and I will attempt to answer you.
You were probably from a village or a small town of India. You were perhaps the son of an army officer or JCO, or from an urban or rural civilian background. You could not be from one of the big cities where iron has entered the soul of our youth and where the only driving motivator is quest for money in the surreal environment of the corporate world.
Why did you join the army? Ofcourse to get a job. But then that is over simpliying the question. You were possibly motivated by the traditions in your family and clan, you were probably enthused by the sight of your elder brothers, uncles or other men from your community in uniform, you were perhaps enchanted by the cantonment life where you may have spent your growing years.