28 February, 2021

Gurmehar, My Daughter

Is the idea of India a nose-ring that will fall off when a feverish girl or boy sneezes?

Gurmehar, My Daughter
outlookindia.com
2017-03-04T11:31:51+05:30

The Kargil war happened about 18 years ago. When young Captain Mandeep Singh died, evicting Pakistani intruders, his daughter was just two years old, a little older than mine. Gurmehar Kaur grew up without a dad, probably grieving for him, longing for him and imagining him in various life situations. She must have come to terms with a missing father by forgiving the men who snatched his life, prematurely. That could be one reason why she doesn’t want to personify the Pakistani military establishment as an enemy or a killer.

Like the young captain, I was also there at Kargil. I was a young reporter covering the war, down below, near the Dras Brigade Headquarters. Shrapnel from a Pakistani artillery shell hit me, almost fatally. I too had a toddler at home when I was lying unconscious, not capable of thinking whether I would live or die.

Had I died of that shrapnel wound, my daughter too could have grown up to be a pacifist and I would not have turned in my grave because the near-death experience did not make me a war-monger or a Muslim-hater. After all, to be a...

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