Wake up call!

Before I comment on the politician’s ‘sojourn’ to the remote Khairar Sher Nagar village of Lance Naik Hemraj Singh in Mathura, let me make a suggestion hoping that someone from the Indian Army or the Central and the State Government is listening.

Can we take up villages that have given a bulk of jawans to the Indian Army on a priority basis for development? At least the soldiers, while guarding the country’s frontiers, would be mentally free from the pressure of their family’s health and education issues.

Khairar Sher Nagar is not the only village where a temporary road had to be laid to transport the beheaded body of the martyr and days later for the comfortable travel of the politicians who made a beeline to earn some brownie points. Had either of the three previous governments decided to adopt this village that has traditionally sent jawans to the Indian Army under the Deen Dayal Upadhaya Village program (BJP), Ambedkar Gram (BSP) and Lohia Gram (SP), there would have been no need for the locals to cremate the martyr in torch light. Fact is most of these villages lack basic facilities.

It won’t be hard for the government to find villages in India that have proudly sent soldiers to the Indian Army. It’s a question of prioritizing them.

Coming to the politicians’ belated visit to the village, perhaps the hunger strike by Hemraj’s mother and wife since January 9 compelled them to visit their hut and save their lives. But there are disturbing questions. Why the local MP Jayant Choudhary (RLD), Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav or his government’s representative, the Army Chief were not present at the cremation? Why the BJP leaders did not take the lead in giving shoulder to martyr’s body, which arrived from Delhi, which is just a few hours away. One must credit Madhya Pradesh chief minister Hemraj Singh for showing more compassion and respect to the martyr who was killed along with Hemraj.

It’s unfortunate that the political class as well as the administration fail to understand the trauma of the family members who get a mutilated body of their son, husband and father. They need strength and that mere statements can’t give. They need support that financial compensation can’t provide.

It’s high time they wake up from their slumber because India has.

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