In his recent address of “Mann Ki Baat”. Prime Minister Modi announced a campaign ‘Men Mati Mera Desh, through which the Martyred Bravehearts would be honoured and remembered throughout the country. In the backdrop of the resounding presence of the ‘Amrit Mohatsav’ and the forthcoming August 15th, PM announced the initiation of a significant nationwide endeavour titled ‘Meri Mati Mera Desh1, in which various events and activities would be meticulously a ranged throughout the expanse of India, serving as a testament to the indomitable spirit and unwavering dedication exhibited by those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to the nation. To accomplish this goal, “Special inscriptions will be installed in lakhs of village panchayats across the country in memory of these personalities.”
The endeavour would also shed light on the sacrifice of Muslim soldiers martyred in action against the enemy. Honouring Muslim soldiers like others would be a slap in the face of those who denounce their patriotism, nationalism, and sacrifice for the honour of their motherland. There are extremist elements who deliberately disregard the sacrifices of Muslim soldiers while inflicting psychological damage on those Muslim youths who aspire to serve in the armed forces. Muslims are underrepresented in the Indian Army. It is imperative that the martyrdom of Muslim Brave-hearts be honoured like other soldiers, and made a symbol of national pride so that divisive forces that are inflicting harm while questioning the nationalism of Indian Muslims are confronted and disempowered. Soldiers like Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz, a 22-year-o d Indian Army officer hailing from the Kashmir region, draw attention. He was on a temporary leave to attend a family wedding in the Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir when he fell victim to a heinous act. Reports suggest that he was forcibly taken from a relative’s residence and mercilessly executed at close proximity by a group of six militants affiliated with Pakistan-sponsored terrorist organisations, namely Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hizbul Mujahideen. Subsequently, his lifeless body was callously discarded on the main public road in Shopian. Likewise, as per available data. 31 Muslim police personnel have been martyred in the past alone while fighting for the integrity, honour, and security of India.
There are many other unsung Muslim soldiers who have laid down their lives fighting along the borders of India, whose martyrdom must be honoured so that the new generations feel pride in the sacrifice of their loved ones. At the same time, when they are honoured and remembered, it will make the next generation ready to serve in uniform. This initiative is praiseworthy: memorials in vil ages and towns will help in withering away the cloud of division and reflect an equal contribution in the making of modern unified India.