Telegraph Called Pathankot Martyr ‘Stupid’
- Gayathri Mathivanan
- January 10, 2016, 2:52 AM
An NSG Lt. Colonel Niranjan Kumar was killed during the combing operation in Pathankot. And the nation paid its last respects to the slain soldier, as he was a martyr. But, NOT FOR EVERYONE, it seems.
A discourteous editorial by The Telegraph called the martyr a ‘stupid’, and said that his ‘bravado’ ‘stupidity’ not only cost him his life but also caused injuries to others.
In a column titled, ‘Martyr’s rites’ about late Niranjan Kumar, The Telegraph asked a very sensitive question: ‘Does Niranjan deserve to be honoured?’
Here’s what the article says, ‘Niranjan was the head of the bomb squad, but during the combing operation to clear the area of explosives, he was not wearing a blast-shield uniform. He fell victim to a simple booby trap planted by the terrorists. Niranjan also chose not to use specialized equipment like remote-controlled robots to move a dead body. Owing to this act of bravado, or stupidity, he lost his own life and had five of the soldiers with him seriously injured. Yet the last rites of Niranjan were performed with full State honours, with thousands paying their respects to him. No one is asking the question: does he deserve to be honoured?’
The article got worse and even more insensitive with every line. They wrote: ‘The fact that a lieutenant colonel went into an operation without following the required safeguards shows that discipline and routine are not being followed. As a result, a life was lost and serious injuries took place. The army is, or should be, one of the institutions commanding the highest respect in the country. But the behaviour of its officers - their persistent pursuit of their own interests, their lapses in discipline, and even of integrity among some of them - is reducing the army to an object of ridicule. This can only spell danger for the nation. An officer like Niranjan should be taken to task even after his death, so that an example is set for others not to break discipline and risk lives.’
Read full article here: http://www.telegraphindia.com/1160107/jsp/opinion/story_62467.jsp#.Vo8y-MB97oA
The editorial opened a floodgate of emotional tweets with people calling the article to be ‘insensitive’ and ‘atrocious’.
An Army veteran decided to write a response to the editorial, pointing out that Lt Col Niranjan Kumar’s death was ‘battle-casualty’, and he deserved the honour he was bestowed after death.