It has been over a week since 44 CRPF Jawans were martyred in the Pulwama attack carried out by the Pakistan based terror outfit ‘Jaish-e-Muhammad’ in Awantipora of Jammu & Kashmir on February 14th. The macabre memories of the day still funnel into the heart of every Indian. ‘The Logical Indian’ visited the ancestral house of a fallen CRPF personnel ‘Ratan Thakur’ from the 45 battalion in the ‘Ekchari village’ of Kahalgaon near Bhagalpur district in Bihar. The grieving father of the soldier, Ram Niranjan Thakur, who lost his wife in 2013, has very bravely held the family together in this trying time of crisis. He took us through the narrow alleys to his house that is wrecked with desolation at the moment. This is where the deceased soldier Ratan Thakur spent most part of his childhood.
In conversation with Martyr Ratan Thakur’s father
“”I raised my two sons as little saplings that I had planted in a tiny pot and now only one is left”, said aggrieved father of the soldier. His entire family has converged together in their little house in Kahalgaon. The Logical Indian followed Niranjan Thakur through a narrow alley inside his house. He continued, “My all four children are like flowers. I have kept myself upstanding for them all my life. I had only desired to have a content life with all my children.” In this hour of adversity, Niranjan Thakur has displayed exemplary courage. He points towards his grandson ‘Krishna’, son of deceased Ratan Thakur and said, “dil se baat nahi nikalti, kaha nahi jata, saadhe teen saal ka pota hai, aur ek bahu ke pet me pal raha hai (It’s difficult to state what goes on in the heart, it’s difficult to say, my grandson is only three and a half years old and the other one is still in the mother’s womb)”.
Aggrieved father goes on, “Ratan had said that he would come back for Holi. He wanted to marry his younger sister to a good man.” He broke down inconsolably and continued, “His dream remained unfulfilled”. Niranjan Thakur’s grief might have devastated him but his spirits are far from discouraged. He swears to teach warfare to his grandson. “My younger grandson will be born and I will name him Ramataar. Main apne bacche ko dhanush baan sikhaunga (I will teach my kid bow and arrow).
It is indeed a Herculean task to bear the death of one’s own son. Niranjan Thakur is determined to protect his grandchildren as long as he is alive. He said, “Hum sankalp lete hai ki jab tak hum zinda hai, in baccho ko kuch nahi hone denge (I will never let anything touch my grandchildren as long as I am alive)”. His three and a half year old grandson, Krishna wants to become a ‘fauji (a soldier)’. Thakur went on to say that nobody taught Krishna to say that he wants to become a soldier. It is his pledge to be one.
Martyr Ratan Thakur’s wife
We are led by Niranjan Thakur to meet the grieving wife of the deceased soldier. Six months down with her pregnancy, Raj Nandani who was till now beaming with joy, hopes and dreams of her future, sits fixated at the wall in a dimly lit room. She last spoke to her husband minutes before the blast. Ratan had told her that he would call upon reaching Srinagar. After the cruel, unsparing play of the destiny, her whole life has come to an abrupt halt. Right beside the bed, on her storage trunk stands a tall glass of cold milk that she has not touched. Raj Nandani did not eat for the first two days after the news that wrecked her whole life, arrived. She barely eats now. Her despondency has emptied her of any word. She speaks nothing. Her silence is deafening.
Education, the best bet
Even in the face of adversity, Niranjan Thakur struggled sometimes as a fruit vendor, sometimes as a juice seller to be able to educate all his children. He left his village to live in a rented house in Bhagalpur for better education of his children. He says, “I have a younger son Milan Kumar and two daughters. My elder daughter joined Bihar police in 2018. I have educated my children to be better citizens of this country.” The teary eyed father continued, “My elder daughter and younger son has studied Economics (hons), my younger daughter is in her second year Psychology (Hons). Not just my daughters but my daughter in law has also taken her Psychology (Hons), 2nd year exam. Ratan himself was Political Science (Hons).” Niranjan Thakur puts up a brave face and affirms that no matter what he will still continue to struggle and educate his grandson and make him a reputed Police Officer. “One day, just like you read about Ratan in the newspaper, you will read about Krishna. He will serve the country as well”, killed soldier’s father said.
Help and cooperation offered by people of Bhagalpur
In this hour of grief, the city stands with the family of the deceased. Many organizations have come forward to help the family cope up both emotionally and financially. The Dairy cooperative of Bhagalpur, Suddha Vimul Dairy has contributed Rs 12,000 to the family. Mount Assisi School, Bhagalpur has taken up the responsibility to educate the killed soldier’s son, Krishna till his 12th standard. Besides, many individuals of the city have taken solo initiative and contributed in the best way possible.
The logical Indian Take
The Logical Indian community extends its complete solidarity and condolences to the family of Ratan Thakur and all the other soldiers who sacrificed their own lives in the name of our country. This Nation despite all their ideological differences should be united against terrorism. The spirit of Ratan Thakur is extraordinary. The importance of education for him sets him apart from those who have shamed the spirit of Nationalism by vandalizing establishments of innocent Kashmiris. We salute our brave hearts.