Today is 23rd March, when India remembers the 3 young martyrs who laid their lives for the cause of their nation. When these young revolutionaries gave away their lives without a second thought, they believed that their sacrifice would inspire more young men to happily give everything for the cause of freedom. They believed that the youth would make use of the opportunities that come with independence to shape us as the nation they dreamt of. Unfortunately, not many people followed the path they laid down.
Well, this article is dedicated to the bravehearts who did follow their path to give freedom a greater meaning for their people.
Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan and his brave men took charge to save the innocents trapped in the Taj Mahal palace during the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. In accomplishing this brave act, Major Unnikrishnan, in the finest traditions of the Indian Army, attained martyrdom.
“Do not come up, I will handle them”, were his last words to his men as he was struck down by bullets while he continued firing back on the enemies of the state. His bravery was honoured with the Ashok Chakra, India's highest peace time gallantry award. He did his duty. His life was for his nation, for his army, for his men. His face is now an ageless, shining beacon- an inspiration for many.
Captain Vikram Batra was given the task of recapturing Point 5140 during insurgency in Kargil in the year 1999. He and his men ascended the steep rock-cliff from the rear, in spite of raining bullets emanating from the enemy machine guns. After reaching the top, he hurled two grenades at the machine gun post and single-handedly killed three enemy soldiers. His cry was 'yeh dil mange more', which became a famous slogan depicting the brave new Indian youth.
Capt. Batra didn't stop after one victory. Even with war injuries and high fever, he still led his men to victory with the recapture of Point 4750 and Point 4875. He died while rescuing an injured officer during an enemy counterattack against Point 4875. There was a reason why the terrorists in Kargil shivered, and it was not just the icy cold of the great Himalayas. It was because of the Himalayas our Indian soldiers carried in their guts. The embodiment of this very courage was Capt. Vikram Batra. Captain Vikram Batra was awarded the Param Vir Chakra.
Colonel N J Nair was stationed in Nagaland to suppress local insurgent groups. On 20th December 1993, he and his men were ambushed by about 100 armed insurgents. The enemies killed many of his men on the spot. Despite being gravely injured, like a true maratha, he ordered a fellow jawan to mount upon his shoulders and throw grenades at the enemy. He organised his troops in an assault line and charged. He led the counterattack from the front.
Amazed by such recklessness, the enemy broke and fled. Once the smoke cleared, Col. Nair was found dead. He was awarded the Ashok Chakra, posthumously, for displaying exceptional courage, far beyond the call of duty. For a country riddled with petty differences, he was a maratha who died in Nagaland. He died in his own soil, for his own soil.
These men couldn't build spider webs nor were they born in a distant planet with superpowers. They couldn't run faster than a speeding bullet or clear tall buildings in a single leap. But these men were definitely not ordinary men. They were not the men we meet everyday. They were the true sons of the motherland. Unfortunately, not many of us know of these awe-inspiring stories.
Well, to ensure that these lost tales of bravery are never forgotten, Indian War Comics has released a series of comic books based on the heroics of these great men. Their aim is to create a modern mythology and folk-lore around these post independence military heroes of the nation. These comics will turn out to be tremendously inspiring for our kids. They are the best gifts we can present our children with. They would not only be inspired by the stories of the real life heroes, they would further gain a strong sense of patriotism and national pride.
Indian War Comics have already released titles depicting the life, bravery and martyrdom of Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, Col. N. J Nair and Capt. Vikram Batra. Their next release will be on the life of Capt. Bana Singh.
I have read these books and found them to be beautifully crafted. The animation is stunning, and the characters realistic. They make a great read for young minds and adults alike.
In this digital age, to ensure the iPad generation is not left behind, JiniLabs has released these comics on an e-book reader app - JiniBooks. JiniBooks is a platform to showcase these stories on Smartphones and Tablets and is currently available on iPad. This digital strategy will help these stories reach a wider audience and fulfill this noble aim to revive the values of patriotism, duty and honour that drove these brave men to lay down their lives for the nation we so dearly call ours. iPad users can download the app here.
Amit Rana, one of the creator of the app- JiniBooks and co-founder of JiniLabs says:
"The Indian War Comics series is a very noble initiative. These are the stories that need to be told, re-told to every Indian and human being who will be inspired by reading them. Keeping the memories of these heroes alive is the least we can do to respect their supreme sacrifice. This is our objective in launching them on JiniBooks - to reach where the traditional media can't reach."
Thank you Indian War Comics and JiniBooks! I wish your initiative becomes a major success. A set of your books goes to my young nephew. I have already started to dream of a day when the young ignited minds of the nation discuss Major Sandeep and Capt. Batra in their play fields!