We were in Hind Motor, when India helped Bangla Desh to become a separate nation out from Pakistan born out of malicious ambitions of the politicians. Those were exciting days. We heard the Indian general asking for the surrender of the Pakistani army and saw the great surrender.
After the Bangla Desh Independence war, Sam Bahadur (images) became an icon. Sam once had refused to let Indira Gandhi into the operations room for the debriefing, as she had not taken the oath to secrecy. It was Pandit Nehru era. Sam had some more skirmishes with Indira Gandhi. But those were the days, when the political leaders were much more magnanimous unlike the present breed.
I was expecting that the morning newspapers would carry the news of the end of a glorious life of a son of India on its front pages with all the stories as special honour to the departed soul. However, the media perhaps look for the news that is hotter that makes more readers, such as all useless details on Arushi murder. Sam got some space only inside pages. But the more horrendous was the news that only an MOS represented the government of India. Even the chiefs of services didn’t join the funeral. Why is there so much of coverage for the politicians by the media? Why are the country’s politicians so mean in giving respect to a person of other fields who has been a national hero? Dr. Man Mohan Singh could have set a precedent by attending the funeral of the first Field Marshal of the independent India, as it can hardly be expected from the present president. However, the former president also couldn’t make it and neither the leader of the opposition.
I expect the government to name some of the institutes of the defence forces such as National Defence Academy after Sam Bahadur. But will it? Perhaps, one day the country would find again the name of some Gandhi-Nehru as prefix.
How can one expect some magnanimous steps from the politicians in hurry to get the vote banks on their sides at all cost even to the great institutions such as IITs?
I am waiting to see if the national weeklies such as India Today, Outlook, or Week or the monthlies come out with some special issue on Sam Bahadur. Even if they don’t Sam Bahadur (pictures) would remain unique and outstanding for generations to come.