Sumanti Sen is an English Literature graduate who believes "there's just one kind of folks. Folks.".
Soon after the Pulwama terror attack claimed the lives of 40 CRPF jawans, scores of Indian citizens took to social media to wage war. Revenge and vengeance got the better of people who did not even directly suffer the impact of the attack. An eye for an eye is the only option, they seemed to believe.
But people who have come under the direct impact of war know what the cost of war is. The only difference that war is capable of creating involves death of innocent people, destruction, tears, dismay and grief. While families are destroyed, warmongers sit in front of their computer screens to ask the country to engage in war.
The Logical Indian spoke to Diksha Dwivedi, who had watched war closely when she was only eight years old. The deadly 1999 Kargil War claimed the life of her father Major CB Dwivedi. She, her sister and her mother went to Srinagar to spend a vacation with her father when Major Dwivedi got orders to go to Kargil. That was the last time she ever saw him.
“My father was a very friendly man but I was too young when he was around to become best friends with him like my sister was. In fact, I used to fight with him because he would give more attention to my sister because of her studies. I remember him as the funniest, most chivalrous and caring man I have come across in my life. The smallest incident to prove that is that during his leave when he was back home, he would cook random veggies for us and also prepare ice lollies sometimes in the evening after our playtime. I do know for certain that if he were still around, we would be sharing a drink on most weekends talking about life and our ambitions because I think I got this streak from him,” Diksha, who is now known for her book ‘Letters from Kargil’, said in conversation with The Logical Indian.
After what happened in the Kargil War, Diksha has become more empathetic. Coming face to face with a tragedy like this, Diksha might as well have wanted revenge, but she chose not to. At a time when the common man thinks war can solve the problem, she, being the daughter of a martyr, does not seem to think similarly.
“I always say that two wrongs do not make a right. Despite everything that the other side did before the Kargil War in 1999, our Army still made sure that they followed their rules and ethics while they were at war with a country that had completely betrayed us. But that is the point to note – that is why we won. Because we took a call to be what we are, who we are, no matter how cheated we felt. Hence, an attack for an attack is not always the best answer,” she said.
War and peace have forever been topics of debate. The country, especially at this point of time, is divided into people who have taken to social media to ask people to #SayNoToWar and others who are desperate for war. Similarly, in Diksha’s life, there is no dearth of people whose opinions differ from hers. When asked how she deals with these people, she said, “I try to understand why they feel the way they do and I always ask them this question rather offensively I think — would you pick up the weapon and go to the battlefield immediately? They mostly reply saying “but then what should we do? Sit back and watch?”
No, do not watch. Find a better solution where someone else’s life is not at risk because you just think that is the best solution since that’s the easiest and most convenient way to live. Empathise. Keep yourselves in a soldier’s shoes and think. Would you feel the same way if you were a soldier? If your answer is ‘yes’, and you are being honest, do not let your life go to waste and join a profession through which you can make actual difference in the country. And try to find a less destructive solution for this problem at hand.”
For the last few days, the Internet has been consumed by just one name — Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. Abhinandan has made our country proud and has made us believe that every soldier should follow his footsteps. His composure at the face of danger has made him a hero for soldiers and common people alike.
“Wing Commander Abhinandan is the best representation of the whole of the Indian armed forces. Just looking at him made me feel at home because I know my father would have done exactly the same. That is what our soldiers are trained for. They will not have it any other way. I hope every child in this country will grow up listening to his heroic story and feel proud of our armed forces for generations to come because there is no better way to thank them than to keep them and their stories alive in our hearts. I am so incredibly proud of him that the first chance I get, I will fly down to meet him and his family to salute them personally,” Diksha said.
Diksha only strengthens the belief that a logical, rational approach is what will bring peace and justice to this world. Just because in India, a mother has lost her son, a wife her husband and a daughter her father, it does not mean that making people in the other country suffer the same way will solve the problem.
“Being a responsible citizen is simple but we make it sound so difficult. Our armed forces are dealing with terrorism, so I do not think a common man needs to deal with terrorism personally but all I ask of our citizens is that be a citizen worth fighting for. There is a soldier willing to take a bullet for you without knowing you, and the least you can do is keep your country clean, green, crime-free, so when he comes back home, he goes back motivated to protect his motherland that is filled with beautiful people who need to live their long lives,” Diksha had to say to all Indian citizens.
Diksha makes us believe that it important to be rational, to have empathy, and most importantly, to step into our soldiers’ shoes and value their work, instead of believing that war is the right way to answer back. The Logical Indian appreciates Diksha Dwivedi for her strength and values.
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