What is a nation? Is it a boundary? Is it a group of people? Is it a culture? Is it an economy?
I have often wondered what constitutes a nation we take so much pride in. What is it we identify with? Where do we belong?
If its’s a piece of land defined by a geographical boundary that binds diverse groups of people under one flag, one currency and one common goal, then why do we feel threatened by other nations? Because all the nations, despite being different, have one common goal – to establish their supremacy or to protect itself from other nations who want to destroy it in order to establish their supremacy. That’s why we have wars. Once a stronger nation infiltrates into our boundary, not only we lose our identity and collective pride, we also lose our freedom. Life isn’t to live under an alien’s rule. India has learnt it many times.
That’s why we have armies which protect the nation from enemies. In order to ensure complete protection to our life, property, rights and freedom, these soldiers lose their lives. Most often we are not even aware of the soldiers who keep dying to protect our freedom and pride. A lot of people argue that it’s their job and they are paid for it. This is not true. Great souls who sacrificed their lives for our freedom weren’t paid. Soldiers who die on daily basis fighting terrorists, enemies, insurgents, bomb-blasts aren’t paid to lose their lives.
If someone asks you to protect your neighbour’s freedom, with the risk of losing life, how much money will you demand? It’s a mind-boggling question. In the end, you may not agree to do this job despite all the wealth at your feet. Because life is priceless. Followed by family and then the comfort of our own house. Which is why, the sacrifice of a soldier is supreme. It’s a Godly act for he protects the freedom and liberty gifted to us by God.
What can we do in return?
I believe our first duty should be complete awareness of this sacrifice. While the common people offer prayers, money, flowers and condolences, it must be the moral duty of all the people with pen to write about such sacrifices. The biggest crime we, as an independent country, made that we didn’t write these stories on the wall of history. We became selective. My martyr versus your martyr. I am ashamed of it.
As a penance we should write books, novels, essays, articles, blogs, tweets, social media posts, film scripts and almost anything which can preserve these great tales of sacrifice in history. So that we never ever forget the people and the acts that ensured our identity, freedom and pride.
Because these stories last longer than the blood of these martyrs.
Pick up your pen and write. Each time someone dies for the country, for our life. Be #IAmBuddha