The Forgotten Heroes...

Quite a few of my readers will have visited Juhu Beach and Chowpati in Mumbai. It is a lovely location, and it is a fun beach. You can relax with your family or friends - or indeed just take a nice calm stroll on the beach all by your lonesome. Everyone will recall the beach, the chowpati and the stall - even the 5-star hotels that ring the beach. But how many of you can recall the police station that is built on the edge of the beach? And how many of those who recall the police station, recall seeing 2 statues of policemen in front of the said police station? And further, how many of you who can recall the statues have actually taken the trouble to read what is written on them, and who were these policemen? 

How long does it take to read a small 4-line placard, and pay your respects to the dead policeman who has sacrificed his life so that you can enjoy yours? It took me less than 2 minutes of my life to do so. Just 2 minutes. And what I saw on the beach made me wonder at how much we take for granted, and how little we care. Our long list of heroes from the Indian Police and the Indian Army, Air Force and Indian Navy lies forgotten - even by the very people for whom they gave their lives. 

To me, personally, it was a shocking sight : revellers, families, friend groups - all of the milling around, enjoying, and yet... and yet not a single person has the inclination to take just 2 worthless minutes from his or her life and read about the men who gave their all! It doesnt cost us anything - but it shows our careless chalta hai attitude, and total disdain for our forgotten heroes. It doesnt cost us much; it takes only 2 minutes - or less. And yet... 

I wanted to snap a photograph, but desisted from doing so, as I was frankly too disgusted for words. This is a sight I have seen everywhere - and not just with regard to statues. We Indians habitually forget our dead heroes and move on far too fast; it is as if nothing happened. During the event itself, everyone is glued and pays accolades; the moment it becomes history - the heroes who laid their lives lie forgotten. 

Please remember: these people laid their precious lives for your safety. They left behind grieving families, sad memories, and a life that was full - for you people. Taking 2 minutes from your lives will not hurt you: but it will certainly send a powerful signal to our protectors that we care. 2 Minutes; that is all it takes. It is the least that you can do... aur toh kuchh kar nahi sakte; kam se kam poorna shraddhaa se unhe yaad toh kar liyaa karo, yaar...

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