25 September, 2020

Combat Ready

Lakshmi Sahgal, career doctor and soldier, is taking up the fight again

Jitender Gupta
Combat Ready
It may be the Left's idea of cocking a snook at the system, but the underdogs are still trying to make a point nonetheless. So when almost the entire political class, including allies, got together to file the presidential nomination papers for Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam in Delhi last week, the Left parties as a symbolic defiance put up Indian National Army (INA) veteran Lakshmi Sahgal as their candidate. Sahgal picked up the gauntlet, just as she had in July 1943, when on Subhash Chandra Bose's call she had closed her medical clinic at a day's notice in Singapore and set up the INA's Rani Jhansi regiment.

In a sense, both efforts appeared to be up against overwhelming odds. While Gandhi's political movement may have subsumed everything, including the INA's heroic efforts, Sahgal's response to the call from her party to 'fight' a one-sided battle against Kalam is no less courageous. Introducing her candidature, CPI(M) general secretary Harkishen Singh Surjeet said that though her battle with Kalam would be 'unequal', at least "we'll teach a lesson to not just the NDA but all...


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