Have we forgotten to pay tribute to a real hero?

This is a forward from former Metblogs author Usha and I think it’s worth a read. In these times, with the media pre-occupied with Munna Bhai and Indian Idol, have we forgotten to pay tribute to a real hero?

It seems to be from someone who personally knew Colonel Vasanth, though it goes un-named. Here is how it goes.



I have a small request. Please read through this patiently and pass it on to as many people you can for a safer and better world. As I pen my thoughts, I am suddenly aware of the peace around me allowing to this priceless freedom. Everything in life has a price, and sometimes someone else picks up the tab. July 31st 2007 left us personally shattered with the loss of a brave man.

He made the ultimate sacrifice with his life in keeping India’s peace in Kashmir. Had this tragedy not knocked at our doors personally, I would have been swept up in the dynamic growth of India, the capitalism, the euphoria, the flux without being aware of the forces that allow India to be thus.

We are at the crossroads today, and the youth is constantly bombarded with fictitious role models and undeserving heroes. While the media and country is furiously debating the fairness of one Munna Bhai, a real life hero’s bold actions in defending our very freedom and pursuit of happiness is taken with a chalta-hai attitude. The media has power in their hands to shape the future India. The youth needs more than fictitious heroes. The media is cheating the youth by providing scant coverage to the valorous heroes who go beyond the call of duty.Who will defend India tomorrow if we do not inspire, provide role models, and respect the brave?

You can tell a person by looking into their eyes. A combination of steely resolve and compassion was what I saw in Colonel Vasanth’s eyes when he first came into our lives. A brilliant strategist, team leader, and selfless individual was he when he lived. He died the same way, subduing the militants in hostile terrain after protecting a comrade and fighting till the last breath. He could have been an armchair commander, but to keep his troop morale he was with them in the front line. He had several victories to his credit, and for the final one he gave his life.

Indian Idols, Bollywood heroes, celebrity reality shows abound today.We show support to them by way of email, telephone votes, SMSes. Our orange, white and green pride cuts through borders, countries. We feel we have done our duty as an Indian if we vote and email for their support. I feel guilty that I have paid attention to that as well. But that is what the media tells us, and if this had not personally knocked at my door, I would not have known about several other heroes such as Lance Naik Ganapat and Ramanna. Are we taking our defenders for granted?

“What would you like to be when you grow up? ” If you ask this question to an Indian child, I wonder what they would they say in a few years. If India has to be a superpower someday it will also have to be safe. Will India be a safe place to invest if threatened by dangerous outside forces with no one left to defend her? Will our future generation depend on sincerity or their celebrity status in living their lives and discharging their duties? Questions swirl, and I feel we are at the crossroads today.

When I visited a leading newspaper in Hyderabad asking the editor to cover the story of Colonel Vasanth and the other brave men in his troop, the jaded man throws the Bangalore edition in my face and shows me a small mention of this hero under the “newsworthy Munna.” He felt it was enough as Col.Vasanth was a Bangalore man. Despite my insistence that Vasanth died for India, the jaded individual did not get fired up. He told me I could write up something and if it were newsworthy he would get it in. My heartfelt pen did not prove to be so. I was appalled at the scant coverage of the brave deeds of the Indian Army.

The media has the responsibility in shaping India, will it be Opportunity India or an Opportunistic India? India is truly not poised but teetering on this. A chalta-hai attitude is permeating leaving everyone to aggrandize themselves without investing in the country’s mental, spiritual health.

Colonel Vasanth leaves behind a life of promise. He had so much to live for. My heart goes out to his aged parents, courageous wife, and two lovely children.

As my sage mother put it, everything is going up in price in India, except the lives of people. We all owe Colonel Vasanth and other defenders of India a debt. Please pass this on to others to help make a difference to our youth. Why blame them if they have no inkling of a true leader and a gentleman officer? Please follow the link as well.

Thank you for your time and hope you can make a small difference to build a better world.


Read more:
Deccan Herald
Times Now
New Indian Express

14 Comments so far

  1. Eye For India (unregistered) on August 7th, 2007 @ 6:19 pm

    Thank you for posting this. No one could have said this or put this point across better. :)

  2. Sujatha Ravi (unregistered) on August 7th, 2007 @ 10:46 pm

    This point of view was penned by Indu Srinarayan. She witnessed first-hand the effects Col.Vasanth’s bereavement on his immediate family and the brave ways they are coping with his loss. She was also spurred on by the media’s apathy our nation’s defenders face and the sympathy the undeserving characters receive. She thought of this human chain to inspire the youth about real heroes via email because of this very reason.

  3. ban (unregistered) on August 8th, 2007 @ 12:09 am

    good job done, media should be more responsible in highlighting the sacrifices of our brave men for the sake of our country rather than the munna bhai’s, haneef’s & ahmed brothers features

  4. Shaleen Thapa (unregistered) on August 8th, 2007 @ 12:13 am

    Real thanks for posting it… a v v good indeed..

  5. opposing view (unregistered) on August 8th, 2007 @ 2:21 am

    As much as I admire the choices that those who join the armed forces make I can’t help but wonder if the aura that goes along with it could do with a little deflating. It is honourable but so are doctors and teachers. They do put their lives on the line but so do policemen and firemen.

    At the end of the day, it’s a job, even a calling to some but no more. Deification is a dangerous thing. And they are well cared for. That they are not once they leave is a failing of the Government. But the Government fails us on so many levels that it isn’t surprising.

    This uprising of “Bharat Mata ki Jai” and such nationalistic fervour at times like these can be worrisome.

    I can’t see many of you agreeing with me but it is a point that needed to be made.

  6. veena (unregistered) on August 8th, 2007 @ 9:16 am

    Heroes can be anywhere, from any profession. That being said, perhaps the good doctor who is deified here wants to be a honorary citizen elsewhere. The celebrity who is so concerned with his family needs to get back to his airconditioned comfort. We could just ignore the ones who fight for us rain or shine, and burrow back in bed. After all who wants to be accused of being a nationalist?

  7. ROFL (unregistered) on August 8th, 2007 @ 6:30 pm

    Opposing View: Why dont u lose ur life in a belief that in doing so u r safegaurding the life of some unknown fellow country-man and then post ur opposing view!

  8. Niri (unregistered) on August 8th, 2007 @ 7:16 pm

    Even a terror suspect Haneef gets a plush offer of a government job by CM Kumaraswamy and the patriot or his family does not get even a word of compassion from the State government or the CM. Such a shame. Better to be a terrorsit than a Patriot.

  9. Kishor Cariappa (unregistered) on August 8th, 2007 @ 7:18 pm

    Sadly, for media, Colonel Vasanth’s story doesn’t sell. Life is like that!

    How many of us remember our Kargil heroes?

  10. vox populi (unregistered) on August 8th, 2007 @ 7:35 pm

    Great posting! If the media makes bad choices, we the people should exercise our power. The author of this article made a great decision to forward it to so many, and the poster on this board carried on the torch. Now the people should act. We definitely need more brave men like Colonel Vasanth.

  11. IntelliBriefs (unregistered) on August 13th, 2007 @ 9:01 am

    We have posted interview of Ms.Vasant on top —http://intellibriefs.blogspot.com/

    Meantime , please forward Telephone number
    & address of the family

  12. IntelliBriefs (unregistered) on August 13th, 2007 @ 9:01 am

    We have posted interview of Ms.Vasant on top —http://intellibriefs.blogspot.com/

    Meantime , please forward Telephone number
    & address of the family

  13. angshuman (unregistered) on August 13th, 2007 @ 6:49 pm

    hah! our CM and media are more concerned about finding Dr Haneef a job than spend a few mins in memory of Col Vasanth!

  14. silkboard (unregistered) on August 15th, 2007 @ 9:24 am

    BTW, news today: Late Col Vasanth has been awarded the nations highest peacetime gallantry medal, the Ashoka Chakra

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