Martyrs Day


As the wholen nation pays its tribute to the martyrs, it is also important to gain an insight into the lives of the families of martyred soldiers and assess the various issues.  


Oh! How grand is death too

For the ones martyred

What pain they must have gone through,

when those vicious bullets rained.

Courage like this is showcased only by a few

Sacrificing all for the homeland. 


Every year, on the dark day of assassination of Mahatma Gandhi i.e. January 30, India observes the Martyr’s Day to pay her honest reverence to her brave freedom fighters and martyred soldiers. At exactly 11 o’clock, every citizen is supposed to observe a 2 – minute silence in remembrance of these heroes. This gesture appears very small in front of their great service. 

When a soldier is martyred, he is honored with medals and people mourn his death for a few days; but the real brunt is faced by his family. The permanent absence leads to social, economic and psychological problems for the family. Hundreds of children are forced to grow up without a father and many wives are left with the memories of the love they had, penned in numerous letters. The social and economic aspect can be solved through vigorous support and care and various educational and financial facilities. ‘Vasantharatna Foundation for Arts’ is a NGO that works to empower the families of martyred Jawaans.  But the psychological emptiness is often too deep to mend. 

Still the families of martyrs catapult themselves out of the abyss of grief and find pride in the sacrifice of their loved ones. In an interview to ‘Rediff.com’, the family of Captain Saurabh Kalia who was ‘captured, tortured and barbarically killed in the Kargil War, explains how they have coped with his death and are still fighting against the heinous war crime he had to go through.  

But the concern that arises is – How long will we keep losing these young souls? Will the fear in the heart of a soldier’s parents ever come to an end? We call ourselves ‘advanced’ and ‘civilized’, yet the decade began with the fear of outbreak of World War 3. It is without any doubt that our martyred soldiers deserve the highest honor and admiration but none should be made to take the bullet because of the pettiness of some politicians or the failures of our diplomats. 

Mahatma Gandhi quoted, “Peace will not come out of a clash of arms but out of justice lived and done by unarmed nations in the face of odds.” It is time that we rise above our perceived divisions and selflessly strive to build a better world for everyone.



Image Caption – Children pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on Martyr’s Day in Patna 

Image Credit – Ranjeet Kumar for the Hindu 


Oh! How grand is death too

For the ones martyred

As towards the heights of glory we go,

Their selfless service will forever be remembered. 

Our respectful adieu 

As they leave to be cradled in the loving arms of motherland. 
Featured Image Credit – Press Trust India

Featured Image Caption – Daughter of Colonel MN Rai pays her last respects at his cremation

Ipshika Ghosh 

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Gandhi continues to be regarded as one of the greatest visions in texts, facts and figures of history to all but few, Godse and Godse’s Children, here on Martyrs Day we trace back the underlying significance of it.

Is death often quoted for remembering the dead or the murderer is an equal participant in the remembrance? The Modern Indian Politics lends its current stature to many significant instances that shaped parliaments, identities and political heroes and villains of Indian discourse. I strongly believe and advocate that the entire political stigma since 1947 is therefore based on the three Gandhi(s) (Mahatma, Indira and Rajiv) and their assassination(s), which if not wholly has substantially formulated the most of it.

Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination is one of the most important markers of history, documented in numerous forms and writings. Perhaps, no non-literary Indian after Vishnu’s Dashaavtaara has contributed for the inspiration of Indian literature as much as Mahatma Gandhi; his murder escalated writers to preserve his teachings and ideas in whatever available form and the news of this murder spread like a plague, where Nathuram Godse became the point of rage.

On 30th of January 1948, Godse plotted for Gandhi’s life at Birla House with Narayan Apte and 6 others holding the latter guilty for appeasing the minorities especially the Muslims. In his justification of the act, Why I Killed Gandhi, Godse is seen as a devout of Gandhi who respected his thoughts on untouchability and Swaraj, but it was the overshadowing of Savarkar’s influence that clouded his ideology.

By the end of his defence on 5th May 1949 at Punjab High Court, Peterhoff, Simia, Godse wrote, “To my mind, there could be only one reason for Gandhiji and his followers to give their consent to the creation of Pakistan and it is that these people were accustomed to make a show of hesitation and resistance in the beginning and ultimately to surrender to the Muslim demands.”

This whole expression captivates the premise of Godse’s utterance of defence akin to what Brutus did in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, but a closer look at this does remind us of the similar fallacies on Brutus’ part as we might find in Godse; an undetectable but crucial assumption that Gandhi’s claims and testimonies regarding this issue needs to be dismissed as hypocritical, idiosyncratic or nonsensical- describing them as meticulous lies or ideas with no reality.
Asghar Wajahat’s ‘Godse @ Gandhi Dot Com’ reiterates an important question how crucial are Gandhi and Godse to each other and if survived what grandeur or downsize would have poured on their parts if the play’s conversation between Gandhi and Godse did actually give a chance to the political players in reality.

Where millions offer their condolences to the Father of the Nation on 30th of January, many celebrate Godse as a martyr and reject Gandhi as the Father of the India we know, they believe him to be Father of Pakistan, describing his assassination as vadh of a demon. In a meeting in Bombay in 1993, ‘Gandhi was even called a traitor’ by Nathuram’s younger brother, who was an RSS Kaaryakarta, although the RSS sides itself from accepting Godse as a Sangh Karyakarta opposed to Godse(s) claim.
The Gandhian vision seems incomplete without addressing the questions of many like Godse that Gandhi himself provides in his study, Godse’s entire identity and those of his followers are based as an antithesis of the Gandhian philosophy.

Image Credits: Youngisthan
Faizan Salik
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Martyrs’ Day is celebrated on 30th January to pay homage to the valiant freedom fighters who fought for our country’s independence.

Martyrs’ Day, also known as Shaheed Diwas is a day to commemorate the dead soldiers’ valour and bravery who
fought against the British colonial rule. Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated on 30th January in the year 1948 before
the sunset during the evening prayers. Since then, this day is celebrated as the Martyrs’ Day to pay tribute to
Mahatma Gandhi.

A ceremony is undertaken by the leaders of the nation, The President, Prime Minister, Vice-President along with the armed forces. The citizens of the country pay their tribute by remembering and acknowledging the soldiers with a two-minute silence at 11 a.m. All of us as school students have memories of dedicating this silence to those martyred souls. Artists across the country showcase their respect through their art. It is also a day to honour the sacrifices and
unknown battles of the armed forces and their families.

The University of Delhi (DU) had its own role to play in the freedom movement. Ramjas College disguised and housed Chandra Shekhar Azad, helping him evade the British. A number of radical revolutionaries graduated from St. Stephen’s College. Leaders like Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Sarojini Naidu, and Subhash Chandra Bose motivated the youth in Hindu College. DU contributed effectively as a unit and foundation in the Indian opportunity battle. Amid the Civil Disobedience Movement, they set up the national banner on the flagstaff in grounds. Indeed, even the
school structures filled in as concealing spots for radicals and facilitated vital

But the onus of freedom does not lie on the heads of popularised soldiers and fighters only, it lies on every citizen who rebelled in his/her own way. The onus is on that mother who single-handedly raised a son only to
see him martyred, those parents who infused nationalistic ideals and values in their children, that businessman
who put his nation above his profit and protection, and those unsung and unrecorded heroes whose names
failed to go down in history.

Napolean Bonaparte has rightly said, “It is the cause, not the death that makes the martyr.” The nation’s current and futuristic progress stands on the foundation of the dead freedom fighters. These martyrs sacrificed their lives to ensure that the future generation is no longer chained in the clutches of slavery.

Feature Image Credits: JestPic

Prachi Mehra
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Anoushka Sharma
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