By Dr Anjali Nauriyal
Air Marshal Gandharva Sen (Retd) is no more. Today, a Prayer Meeting in his memory was held at the Rajpur Gurudwara and I missed him dearly. His wife died many years ago. The two were very special individuals. Their presence added to the value and quality of Doon as a city of warmth and affection.
I particularly recall their patriotic fervour.
They took immense pride in being Indians. I had met them on one of those Republic Day functions. They were somehow compelled to think about the direction that India was taking. They felt it was time for reflection and a re-dedication to the idea of India in its totality. “It is time to strengthen relationships between a cross section of Indians and strike a balance that can act as a binding force,” he had commented.
And it was this bond that they provided to each person who came into contact with them.
The two lived a retired life and tried to be useful to society in whatever way they could. They loved their country and tried hard to work on relationships as this is where they felt that the country was going wrong. They were of the opinion that we were handed down a social fabric in very good condition. But, unfortunately, over the years this fabric came to be shredded and frayed because we had become generations of materialistic people.
The two, therefore, in keeping with their belief, endeavoured to build support systems in life for those who needed them.
This provided them the strength to arrive at internal balance. “Relationships should not be allowed to rot. We as elders have to help them attain this,” he emphasised that day when India was foremost on his mind. Uncle Sen and Aunty Sen we will love you always!!!
Air Marshal Gandharva Sen (Retd) and his wife, Uma Sen, believed that India’s strength lies in its culture and unity. “Ïts such a beautiful and complete country,” averred the Air Marshal. “It is said we have extreme poverty, but who hasn’t got extreme poverty. I am so proud to be an Indian. I am so lucky to spend every moment of my life in this wonderful country. The country has never put me to shame. No other country can match my country. No other country is better. Today if we have a problem between the Maharastrians and the non-Maharastrians, or between the Hindus and the non-Hindis, Sikhs, etc., they are hundred percent creations of politicians. I say remove the politicians and leave us alone and we will merge most comfortably. Look at Dehradun, itself. Here, we can speak any language but we still can understand each other so well and live in harmony. This is the very strength that lies at our core. India is an amazing country. Look at the way we have absorbed all kinds of scams, setbacks, attacks, etc. If in certain cases we do not seem to act, it is not because we are chicken-hearted but have great capacity to bear shocks. This is the greatness of India. In comparison, look at the US. It has still not been able to come out of the shock of the Vietnam War. Ïf we want we can destroy any enemy. Look at our military might. Today we can proudly say we have everything under the Sun. We have the ability to absorb total meltdown. Look at the way we will handle recession. We may be appearing to stagger for a while but we will be back on our feet within a year. You mark my words.”