Monday, 15 December 2014


Another soldier martyred another father, son and husband lost to terrorism, while the rest of the country goes about its daily routine and sleeps, blissfully unaware of what soldiers have to go through each day to keep this country in a secure and peaceful state.

It has been reported that it was unusual for the second-in-command of an infantry battalion to lead a Quick Reaction Team (QRT) responding to a militant attack but Lt Col Sankalp Kumar rushed first to the spot when first reports of the terrorist strike came early on Friday. For those who knew him well say that he was known for his "never back down" attitude.

Fighting militants is of course not something anyone actually prays for but the army has been trained and is being trained to do it each day. We as outsiders or as the defence personnel call us “civilians” can’t even begin to fathom the rigours of their daily routine; a process which ensures that they are always fit and ready to fight a battle with whoever they are asked to.

With their own personal life and battles at the home front left behind, they are there ever-present, ever-ready to fight a war they have had no hand in starting, with people they have no personal grudges against; with dangerous arms and ammunition which they teach their children to always stay away from and doing what every religion, every God teaches every human…. “Taking a life is a sin”.

The rigours of our own civilian lives are in no way easy and many of us have very tough and demanding lives but it is time we acknowledge the contribution of our soldiers in making it possible for us to live in a country which provides us with all we need and go about our daily chores of work, family, social life, without giving a thought to what is happening at our borders or trouble spots right within our towns and cities!

So, yes, all of us cannot pick up arms or fight the terrorists with guns and bombs but I believe we can fight a battle much closer to our homes and lives. We can contribute by doing our own two bit by making this country a better place to live in, by ensuring good governance, helping in the fight against corruption, helping to eradicate poverty, following traffic rules, making the education system better, be better citizens and much, much more.

Only then and only then will the sacrifice of our soldiers be acknowledged and respected. If they are looking after the security of the nation from outside forces we can look after the country from the inside making it a better place to live in for every one of us and make sure the sacrifices made by our soldiers do not go unacknowledged with the same "never back down" attitude that Lt Col Sankalp Kumar proudly possessed. 

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