Homage to the Martyrs

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 People from various districts of Western Uttar Pradesh at the function organised to pay
respect to the martyrs in Meerut

Hindu Jagran Manch felicitates the family members of around 70 martyrs at Gymkhana Grounds in Meerut on January 12, 2020  

 Ajay Mittal from Meerut

Meerut: The Hindu Jagran Manch created history in Gymkhana Grounds on January 12. About 70 families of armed forces jawans who laid down their lives for the country were felicitated by about 15,000 people under the leadership of General V.K. Singh, the Union Minister and former Chief of the Indian Army, and Shri Pawan Sinha, the famous astrologer and public speaker. The family members lit an Amar Jawan Jyoti on the stage amid chants of Vande Matram and Bharat Mata ki Jai by thousands looking up with reverence and devotion.
These Sainik families came from five districts of Meerut, Shamli, Saharanpur, Baghpat and Muzaffarnagar. Many of the martyrs had won gallantry awards by their deeds of valour. But, as they themselves said, the honour bestowed by the public, was more satisfying.
General V.K. Singh touched the feet of ‘Veer Naaris’ as they are called in army parlance. These are war widows, and mother-sisters of the sacrificing jawans and officers. They were also given a number of mementos, medallions and shawls. Every time the name of a martyr was announced from the stage, the entire gathering rent the air with patriotic slogans.
Later, they were all taken to lunch with the General and Shri Pawan Sinha. This venue was about half-a-kilometre from Gymkhana. An army band and a police and PAC band accompanied them playing select tunes of classical patriotic music. Petals of fresh flowers were strewn on them during the entire procession.
In his speech, the former Chief of the Indian Army said that from historical times, the Indian army men have been deemed the best for their courage, fighting spirit, and discipline. India is the nation where we believe in the immortality of the soul. Indians, that's why, don't fear death. This fearlessness goes a long way in modelling their behaviour during times of war. This is the reason why the Greeks, the English, the Arabs, the Turks and the Afghans all invaders since times immemorial were all praise for the Indian soldiers. Annals of history are full of the gallant events pertaining to their strength, determination and love of country. The youngest, as well as the oldest of the martyrs in the world come from our country. This tradition has been kept alive even by the present generation. He said he remembered his days when he happened to lead such an unmatched army.
Shri Pawan Sinha said there were 68 terrorist organisations active in Bharat, all being sponsored by Pakistan. The war-like actions taken by them jeopardize our security and unity and suck the very lifeblood of our motherland. The Popular Front of India and the National Democratic Front are currently in news in Meerut and Shamli districts. They have replaced SIMI and other such organisations working for Pak. There are 53 groups operating in the North-East to the detriment of national unity. In Punjab, 72 per cent youth are in the grip of drugs. Pakistan is hell-bent on ruining the state by making the Punjabi youth addict of intoxicants. He lamented that there were urban Naxals working as intellectual mentors of the enemies of the nation. Bhagwa, the symbol of our national pride is being slandered by those who have no understanding of Bharat, its history, ethos and culture. Unfortunately, their rank is swollen by big names in national politics. He consoled the bereaved families of the forces that the education, health and marriage of their children will be taken care of by the citizens of Meerut.
Premwati of village Kalindi near Saradhana lost his son Neeraj Som in Srinagar in March 2014. She is proud of his martyrdom. Neeraj had been serving in the CRPF for close to six years. His widow, Soniya, now lives in Rampur. Grandchildren Pinku and Pari visit the village during school vacations. The entire village respects her family. She says although the vacuum created by the demise of Neeraj cannot be filled, it gives her immense satisfaction that Hindu Jagran Manch and like-minded organisations continue to arrange programmes like this one to pay their homage.
Udaiveer Singh laid down his life in Dantewada in an ambush by the Naxals on April 5, 2010. Before his sacrifice, he killed many of his assailants. His widow Asmeet Kaur said that her elder child Gurmeet Singh, studying in class 12, aspired to join the army. Mother Kamlesh and father Dharmveer Singh were also there in the programme. Udaiveer was their only son. They pressed for a statue of their martyred son to be erected in the village Parikshitgarh Badhla to inspire the new generation.
Major Manoj Talwar, recipient of Mahaveer Chakra during the Kargil War, hailed from Meerut city. He sacrificed his life on 13 June 1999. His younger brother Navneet and cousin sister Oshita had a grievance with the municipal authorities of Meerut. The bust of Manoj, that decorated the Commissionary crossing, was shifted during the widening of the road there. But it still remained left in a corner after the work was over. The Municipal Commissioner remained unmoved even after many complaints. Navneet said he hoped that the needful will be done soon. The sacred soil ‘Balidaani Maati’, brought from 70 households of martyred jawans, will be housed in a museum at Meerut.