We are all celebrating the return of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman who had been captured by Pakistan after his plane was shot down. This time the airman and his family were lucky as Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan decided to release the airman as a goodwill gesture.
But I could not help but remember how many more young and middle aged man have lot their lives in such conflicts.
Close to my heart was the case of my nephew Satish Bhardwaj whose plane was also shot down in 1965 war in Chamb Jaurian sector and he was declared missing.
He never came back and his family kept on hoping someday he may be found somewhere among the prisoners of war in some Pakistani jail. The loss of youngman a favourite son of my sister-in-law led to her sad demise after some time.
The young pilot, a colleague of Kellor brothers, famous flyers in 1965 who shot down Pakistani planes in dog fight won hearts of all. A six footer danced, painted and loved music. I was just wondering if the present conflict escalated into a full fledged war how many such young men will never come back while fighting in snow clad mountains or deserts.
The nation does cheer heroes while war is on but they are soon forgotten after the war is over. In our own country the fight for one rank one pension continues. One hope that efforts are on to descalate the present conflict will succeed.
The T.V anchors who every day encourage war mongering need to be sent to forward lines so that they could experience what it means when a bullet suddenly hits you out of the blue and a life is lost.
More so the political leaders who play war games sometime for political advantages need to know that in war the victims are young men in their prime and not the leaders safely encouraging them from behind the lines. Pakistan is fighting for Kashmir, but in this battle Kashmiris only have been killed in hundreds and not Pakistanis.
The process of lives being lost has been going on since independence. Let us hope India and Pakistan will find a way out as nations of Europe have done after fighting for centuries.
BRIJ BHARDWAJ IS A VETERAN JOURNALIST AND COMMENTATOR