Just before the sun set on a particularly hard Tuesday evening for the people of Devpura in Ghazipur, Uttar Pradesh, the mortal remains of Harinder Yadav were consigned to flames.
Yadav was all of 26 and a valiant soldier from 6 Bihar. He attained martyrdom along with 17 of his brothers in arms in the terrorist attack on the army brigade in Uri.
Hundreds from nearby villages gathered for his funeral, which was also attended by the local political leaders.
Vijay Kumar Mishra, Ghazipur’s MLA from the ruling Samajwadi Party, was present as a representative of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. Local leaders offered wreaths as soldiers from the accompanying Gorkha regiment paid their tributes.
What was particularly heartbreaking was the sight of Harinder’s father. The old man was inconsolable while his son’s dead body arrived wrapped in the tricolour. Yet the frail bones gathered enough strength to let out the cry of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ before the coffin in which the martyr slept.
Harinder’s death is particularly painful for the family for he was the only one with a government job.
He leaves behind a family which includes his wife, two sons aged 4 and 2, five brothers and his aged parents. His brothers either work as labourers in faraway places or are unemployed. The family owns six bighas agricultural land.
His younger brother Nagendra said that Harinder had called the family a day before the attack telling them that he will be moving to higher terrains and won’t be available for a few days.
Little did Narendra know that the next call he’ll receive will bear the news of his brother’s death. His family will now have to live with the fond memories of his stay during the vacations, the last of which was in June. As for the villagers, they sing praises of Harinder’s bravery. They remember very well how the brave soldier risked his life to save two children from a burning house when he had arrived on vacation.
They recall how affable he was with everyone and they tell their own children to draw inspiration from the martyr’s life.
The state government will pay Rs.20 lakh to Harinder’s family. But monetary compensation cannot supplant the death of a loved one.
Harinder’s sons, Rohit and Raj, are too young to even understand everything.
All they saw was their father lying still as hundreds around him pay tributes. But they’ll remember the ceremonial gun salute, the uniformed officers saluting their mother and grandfather, and the hundreds of wet eyes at their father’s funeral. Whether or not they fully understand, they’ll remember the anti-Pakistan chants raised all the way from their home to the funeral ground.
People chanted anti-Pakistan slogans as Harinder Yadav was cremated.SUNO
But whether their mother will let them join Indian Army is something no one knows. Those at Harinder’s funeral demanded military action against Pakistan – a demand that is coming from almost every family of martyrs. Yet the government has decided not to go for it. Via SUNO