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Proud State

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The blood of the martyrs has brought glory, once again, to Uttarakhand, Dehradun and, may one say it, St Joseph’s Academy, two of whose alumni have been among those that have laid down their lives for the nation in the past three days. As the cremation was held of Major Chitresh Bisht on Monday, it was time to remember that the claims of Devbhoomi being Virbhoomi were not just empty rhetoric, but a proud reality. The sons and daughters of Uttarakhand serve the nation in many ways, but have distinguished themselves, particularly, in uniform. The above mentioned St Joseph’s Academy has provided hundreds of officers, including Chiefs of the Armed Forces. There are many other schools in the rest of Uttarakhand that have also done so. It may have something to do with the presence of the IMA in Doon; the challenge that the mountains pose as the backdrop of life in the state; and even as other opportunities have blossomed over the years and have been grabbed by the talented youth, the attraction of the Armed Forces has not diminished. There is more than one case of youngsters leaving lucrative private sector jobs to join the forces.
This is a tradition to nurture and be proud of. It is sad that the public expression of angst against a couple of trouble-making Kashmiri students in Doon was publicised by sections of the media as an attack upon the entire community. That was a betrayal of Dehradun’s cosmopolitan and genuinely secular culture. Unlike many, if Uttarakhandis wish to display their patriotism, they do so through valour in the field of battle. Families and communities that sacrifice their sons and daughters in the defence of the country have a genuine understanding of nationalism. They can see through the duplicitous arguments of the coward and conniver, which seek to demean the patriotic spirit.
The best way to support the Armed Forces that fight on various battlefronts is to be the kind of Indian who is deserving of their service – to quote a Facebook forward. Those who perform their duties with similar dedication and sense of service, in any field, truly extend the necessary support to the soldiers. Those who do not, let them down just as the traitors and the cowards do. As people mourn the deaths of the martyrs, let them with a renewed sense of pride resolve to be better citizens as a tribute to those that have sacrificed their today for our tomorrow.