While preparing a report on Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam as part of a project, I stumbled upon a few news items on Baljit Singh. He was a police officer, killed in action on July 27, 2015, in the gun battle with terrorists in the Gurdaspur district. His father, a policeman himself, was killed by militants during the height of militancy in Punjab 1984.
So many people lose their lives in the process of fighting for our safety and peaceful existence, yet, we don’t really bother much. I wondered why my teacher didn’t ask me to prepare a report on Baljit Singh, killed on the same day Mr. Kalam died. Not just my teacher, the entire country was too busy mourning the death of a beloved President, leaving men like Baljit to be forgotten even before their exploits could be acknowledged!
Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam deserved all the respect and attention, but Baljit deserved much more. His whole family has had a history of fighting terrorists, of sacrificing lives for the sake of India. First, it was Baljit’s grand uncle, then Baljit’s father, and now Baljit himself. Baljit and his family have made us proud, but we have knowingly let their memories fade away without recognizing their contributions.
Baljit is a Bhagat Singh for all practical purposes, and there are many more like him, silently going about their duty of keeping India safe from attacks. People were so busy updating their online status, creating memos, tweeting, writing news around Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam that we ignored the legends who die fighting for the country.
Although I couldn’t ask my teacher to shift everyone’s assignment to Baljit Singh from Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, but I did prepare a report on Baljit Singh and his sacrifice for our country that I soon intend to share.