The recent terror event in Mumbai left not only India shocked.. For Indians like me it was 3 days of sheer frustration and helplessness. I mean all I could do was sit glued to the TV in my living room and watch as people fell to bullets or got gutted in the fires. And as the world watched there emerged from this tragedy, Heroes. Martyrs who gave up their lives to keep the rest of us safe.. True while these men who made the ultimate sacrifice deserved every bit of appreciation, my mind wandered to the little pieces of news that had caught my eye during the round the clock telecasts. In my opinion very important news but that never seemed to make the highlight. Stories of the other kind of heroes, the ones who lived but had nobody to tell their stories.
Why do we sensationalize the martyrs while ignoring the living Heroes who deserve so much more than they've been given credit for.
Take for example the case of the senior police inspector who set a trap and caught the now infamous Ajmal Amir Kasab. This deadly criminal Kasab has by far been the most usefull link to the investigartors. He's been confessing very crucial information exposing the roots of the LeT (Lashkar e Toiba- the Millitant organization responsible for the attacks). Well now according to me whoever managed to catch this heavily armed terrorist alive, with nothing but a poor quality bullet proof vests and a near antique service rifle as ammunition, deserves the highest accolade there is to give. Put this man or men in the media spotlight, if only to show to the world at large - The brave WILL be rewarded. But that din't really seem to happen. The man was forgotten after a brief article in the news and the papers.
Antoher case that caught my eye was that of the South African commandos. They were a group of commandos who were on holiday. They rose to the occasion and were solely responsible for saving the lives of nearly 150 people at the Taj Mahal Hotel. These men went beyond the call of duty and did what few in their place would have done. Dont these brave men deserve more than a tiny article in the corner of the newspaper and a couple of minutes of TV coverage?
Then there was the case of a railway announcer. He risked his life announcing on the microphone at the railways station about the activities of the terrorists and guiding the passengers away from the carnage. He almost paid with his life when he narrowly missed a bullet directed towards him.
These are just few which caught my eye. There were many many more, stories of brave hotel staff, and of course the commandos who finally outdid the terrorists. Where are the rewards for these people? Where is the aprreciation they deserve that will encourage more people to be brave the next time a crisis presents itself?
I think its important that we honour the memories of our martyrs, but I think its a little more important to pay a bigger tribute to our unsung heroes.