Friday, November 27, 2009

शत शत नमन है उस वीर को - Tribute to the Heros of 26-11

शत शत नमन है उस वीर को
जीवन जिसने अपना बलिदान किया
मातृभूमि के सम्मान में
सर्वस्व अपना त्याग दिया
निडर निर्भीक हो कर
शत्रु पर उसने वार किया
विजय की और अग्रसर हो
इसी सोच का आलाप किया
शत शत नमन है उस वीर को
मातृभूमि की रक्षा में
जिसने जीवन का परित्याग किया
अभिनन्दन है उस वीर को
रक्त से अपने विजय तिलक
जिसने मातृभूमि को अर्पित किया

Tribute to the Heroes - Recounting 26/11

I was away at a far away land when 26/11 happened and as soon as I heard the news, I was following the reports and the news continuously. It was on Phone, mails, chats and the news sites that I was on for almost 24 hrs till the last news of successful completion of the Rescue Operations Came in. However, the news of completing the rescues successfully and gunning down all the terrorists but one didn't actually make me Happy. I was sad, pretty sad at the destabilized system that we live in. There was a sort of Anger that developed and I guess it was the anger for the mis-communication and delays to deploy the troops. Anger against the Media that indirectly helped terrorists know what's happening outside and how the security forces are moving around to carry out the rescue operations.

Amidst all these follies, there were few unsung heroes. We know those who made it to the Media, the constable from RPF who chased the terrorists out of CST station, the ASI who threw his life at danger and lost it, but ensured that the lone terrorist captured could be captured live, Vijay Salaskar and Hemant Karkare, all these are the heroes whom the nation has saluted.

But we also need to salute the unsung heroes,

1. the Staff of Taj,
2. the Management Trainee which ensured that the entire group of guests attending a corporate seminar (that she was made responsible to organize from Hotel's Side) are rescued unhurt
3. the Taj Staff member who lost his life while ensuring that the bunch of guests he was trying to rescue moves unhurt. He did Succeed, but certainly at the cost of his life....
4. the General Manager of Taj who lost his entire family, but still ensured that the guests are rescued
5. the Staff of Oberoi

I mean there are numerous small sections of the 26/11 Saga where at each instance we will find a hero and out salutation has to be to all the Heros and not just those who's praise was sung by the media. From where I know the Tatas did more than they could for the families of the Victims of 26/11 and not just the guests and staff of Hotel Taj. I would say Hats off to the Tatas. They indeed are an institution in themselves, the institution showcasing the Social Responsibilities of the Corporate World.

I just wonder that there were a lot promises made as an aftermath of 26/11, but how many of them have been fulfilled? How close are we at safeguarding our country from such terrorists who are more of Amry waging a pseudo war on us?

For me the Real Salutation and real Tribute to the Heros of 26/11 would be to ensure that the Internal Security of Our Motherland is raised to the notch that any nation in the world should think twice before Sponsoring any such act in future.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Fwd: Is anyone more secular than the Indian Army ?

this is one of the BEST Mail Forwards
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, Nov 14, 2009 at 11:35 PM
Subject: Is anyone more secular than the Indian Army ?

Any one more secular than the army?

As a serving army officer, I never stop marvelling at the gullibility of our countrymen to be provoked with alacrity into virulence in the name of religion. I have never heard the word 'secular' during all my service -- and yet, the simple things that are done simply in the army make it appear like an island of sanity in a sea of hatred.

In the army, each officer identifies with the religion of his troops. In regiments where the soldiers are from more than one religion, the officers -- and indeed all jawans attend the weekly religious prayers of all the faiths. How many times have I trooped out of the battalion mandir and, having worn my shoes, entered the battalion church next door? A few years ago it all became simpler -- mandirs, masjids, gurudwars and churches began to share premises all over the army. It saved us the walk.

Perhaps it is so because the army genuinely believes in two central 'truths' -- oneness of god and victory in operations. Both are so sacred we cannot nitpick and question the basics.

In fact, sometimes the army mixes up the two! On a visit to the holy cave at Amarnath a few years ago I saw a plaque mounted on the side of the hill by a battalion that had once guarded the annual Yatra. It said, 'Best wishes from -....- battalion. Deployed for Operation Amarnath.

On another instance, I remember a commanding officer ordered the battalion maulaviji to conduct the proceedings of Janamashtmi prayers because the panditji had to proceed on leave on compassionate grounds. No eyebrows were raised. It was the most rousing and best-prepared sermon on Lord Krishna I have ever had the pleasure of listening to.

On the Line of Control, a company of Khemkhani Muslim soldiers replaced a Dogra battalion. Over the next few days, the post was shelled heavily by Pakistanis, and there were a few non-fatal casualties.

One day, the junior commissioned officer of the company, Subedar Sarwar Khan walked up to the company commander Major Sharma and said, "Sahib, ever since the Dogras left, the mandir has been shut. Why don't you open it once every evening and do aarti? Why are we displeasing the gods?"

Major Sharma shamefacedly confessed he did not know all the words of the aarti. Subedar Sarwar went away and that night, huddled over the radio set under a weak lantern light, painstakingly took down the words of the aarti from the post of another battalion!

How many of us know that along the entire border with Pakistan, our troops abstain from alcohol and non-vegetarian food on all Thursdays? The reason: It is called the Peer day -- essentially a day of religious significance for the Muslims.

In 1984, after Operation Bluestar there was anguish in the Sikh community over the desecration of the holiest of their shrines. Some of this anger and hurt was visible in the army too.

I remember the first Sikh festival days after the event -- the number of army personnel of every religious denomination that thronged the regimental gurudwara of the nearest Sikh battalion was the largest I had seen. I distinctly remember each officer and soldier who put his forehead to the ground to pay obeisance appeared to linger just a wee bit longer than usual. Was I imagining this? I do not think so. There was that empathy and caring implicit in the quality of the gesture that appeared to say, "You are hurt and we all understand."

We were deployed on the Line of Control those days. Soon after the news of disaffection among a small section of Sikh troops was broadcast on the BBC, Pakistani troops deployed opposite the Sikh battalion yelled across to express their 'solidarity' with the Sikhs.

The Sikh havildar shouted back that the Pakistanis had better not harbour any wrong notions. "If you dare move towards this post, we will mow you down."

Finally, a real -- and true -- gem....

Two boys of a Sikh regiment battalion were overheard discussing this a day before Christmas.

"Why are we having a holiday tomorrow?" asked Sepoy Singh.

"It is Christmas," replied the wiser Naik Singh.

"But what is Christmas?"

"Christmas," replied Naik Singh, with his eyes half shut in reverence and hands in a spontaneous prayer-clasp, "is the guruparb of the Christians."UNQUOTE

Saturday, November 14, 2009


सोचते हैं अक्सर
कि कुसूर क्या है हमारा
यूँ क्यों होता है दर्द दिल में
कहते हैं फलसफा ज़िन्दगी का
आज जब कहा उनसे
कि दिक्कते यूँ पेश आती हैं
कह दिया उन्होंने भी
वही शिकवा हमसे
रुसवा ईन हो गए वो
कि मोड़ लिया रुख हमसे
सोचा न एक पल को
की हम कहाँ जाएंगे
छोड़ हमें चले वो राह अपनी
ना जाने कब आएँगे
ज़िन्दगी तुझसे क्या कहें हम
कि सोचते हैं अक्सर यूँही
मिलेगा कभी कोई हमें
जो सुन सके दास्ताँ हमारी

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

युद्ध का उदगार

प्रखर प्रभद्ध ललाट पर रक्तिम तिलक की छाप है
युद्ध को अग्रसर वीर अश्व पर सवार है
हाथ में लिए वो खडग, कृपाण, कटार है
नेत्रों के उसकी मातृभूमि का सम्मान है

मस्तक पर उसके रणविजय का प्रताप है
कालसर्प सी लहराती उसकी तलवार है
कटार पर उसकी विजय की धार है
बाजुओं में लिए विजय का प्रमाण है

धरा ने किया जो आज ये रक्तपान है
वीर के रण धर्म में उसका रूप विशाल है
काली के श्रृंगार में उसका योगदान है
प्रखर प्रभद्ध ललाट पर रक्तिम तिलक की छाप है

रक्तबीज रक्तपान युद्ध का कोहराम है
संस्कृति के चक्र में इसका एक स्थान है
मानव के ह्रदय का ये एक उदगार है
उन्नति के पथ पर ये एक अर्धविराम है

प्रखर प्रभद्ध ललाट पर रक्तिम तिलक की छाप है
युद्ध को अग्रसर वीर अश्व पर सवार है

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

वर्षा ऋतू में जीवन का श्रृंगार हुआ

वर्षा ऋतू में क्या कहें
जीवन में हुई हलचल है
काली इन घटाओं को देख
तुम्हारी घनी लटों का आभास हुआ
यूँ बूंदे जब गिरी वृक्षों पर
तुम्हारे आलिंगन का आभास हुआ
नाचते मयूर को देख
ये ह्रदय भी पागल हुआ
वृक्षों से गिर जब धरती में सिमटी बूँदें
मेरे अंतर्मन में तेरे ही नाम कि पुकार हुई
पानी जब पहुँचा धरातल में
सींचा हर जड़ को उसने
बीज जो दबे थे धरती के गर्भ में
उनमें भी उन्माद हुआ
अंकुर फिर पनपा उनमें
तो धरती का श्रृंगार हुआ
देखो तो इन कोपलों से
एक नए जीवन का आधार हुआ
क्या कहूँ मैं तुमसे प्रिये
कि वर्षा ऋतू में जीवन का श्रृंगार हुआ

Sunday, November 8, 2009

'Force One', upgraded police to guard Mumbai soon

Just read the article Article - 'Force One', upgraded police to guard Mumbai soon on NDTV website. Article discuses about the formation of Quick Response Team (QRT), Force One and other measures taken to ensure Strengthening the Security Cover around Mumbai.

However, I am a little skeptical about the overall efforts being pursued on an ongoing basis. We had seen formation of similar Tourist Security Squad or something few years back, which was more related to be the Patrol to ensure security at various tourist spots and beaches. However that proved to be a fizz and the Commando force which had been created with much fan fare is hardly to be seen around except for chasing late night party goers on the beach.

The steps taken post 26/11 are indeed commendable, but what I think is - The work done would be well complimented only if they continue to work on this on an ongoing basis. The training to the Force One and QRT needs to be ongoing and the weapons be up-to-date to ensure that they do work when needed and do not get jammed like the old ones.

Also, if Fishermen have been involved to provide information, it indeed would call for tracking their numbers to ensure that they are not misused for other activities. Trust is good, but added vigilance steps are must.