Date: 13 Nov 2009


To the Indian media: Sent: Fri, 13 November, 2009 3:22:09 PM Subject: Paying Homage to Our Guardians Gentlemen, We must be the most callous and insensitive group of people in the world who do not find it worth while to pay homage to our soldiers who have laid down their lives so that you can write with full freedom. Paying homage apart, you dont mind ridiculing the soldier eg., when one of you printed a photograph of the Army bagpipers playing the dirge at the Kargil Memorial on 10 Jul 09 the caption given underneath was ,"Blowing Their Trumpet". I think it is a terrible example of insensitivity to the numerous soldiers who had taken part in Kargil Operations and paid with their lives and many, their limbs. My request to make amends to the paper went unanswered. If you all have access to the European and American papers online, you would have noticed that every country which took part in World War I commemorated Armistice Day on 11 Nov with due ceremony and the highest in the land took a prominent part in it. But in India 16 Dec ( Victory in East Pakistan) and 10 Jul (Victory in Kargil) are contentious dates, with every petty politician and mandarin of MEA giving his own version as to why these days need not be celebrated. Are we really concerned with the security of our country. I doubt it. We seem to be content with out sourcing this task to the armed forces who are getting their due compensation! Is that the only link citizens should have with the people who permit them to carry out their daily professions, permit them to sleep peacefully, be able to talk freely and grow food as they wish? I have never seen any concern being shown at the rising number of deaths amongst our security forces, similar to the one shown by the Europeans, Americans, Japanese, Australians and even the Chinese. I give you an example of the Indian attitude. I was posted in Paris as the Military Attache(MA) in 1975-78. Every year on Armistice Day there was a parade at the Arch Of Triumph which was attended by thousands of Frenchmen, all ambassadors, MAs, Cabinet Ministers, and the President. Similarly another ceremony was held at the Notre Dame Cathedral which was attended by Ambassadors & MAs of all Common Wealth countries, their Ministers of Veteran Affairs and the French PM. It was a thanks giving mass for the one million Common Wealth soldiers who had laid down their lives for the safety of France during WW I. There is a plaque on the Cathedral's altar which mentions the names of six countries, including India, who took part in this effort. But do you know who was the person conspicuous by his absence at both the ceremonies? The Indian Ambassador! Shouldnt you, who are assured the right to freedom of speech due to the sacrifices of the soldiers, do something about it? Lt Gen SK Bahri (Retd) 000000000