We have all had our heroes and have placed them on a pedestal, worshiped them and fantasized about being like them. For many in the society, these have been the mega stars in the movies, entertainment, and sports arena, especially cricket. They have occupied an unimaginable position in print, electronic and social media and no day has passed in our lives without eulogizing them.
I have always pondered over whether they are our real heroes or not and without much trepidation, I have realized that they are not. Of course, many of them are talented and brilliant in their field and I certainly would not want to belittle their contributions in any way. But it is a job for them; they are rewarded in an extremely handsome fashion for the time spent in front of the cameras or on the field. They charge in millions to endorse a product they never may use but we clamor to lap up these products because of their endorsements. Having said this, I have the greatest respect for our stars that have made the country proud like our recent Olympic medalists.
Ladies and gentleman but to me these are not our heroes, the real heroes for me are the paratroopers, the commandoes and, the men and women of our armed services who risk their lives day in and day out to keep our lives safe.
My thoughts have been with the commandoes who recently went into hostile enemy territory in the middle of a dark, moonless night in one of the most daring operations, very well knowing that they may be killed, maimed, captured, and tortured but without batting an eyelid, they destroyed the enemy positions and restored the glory of the Indian flag.
They did not do this for money or self-aggrandization, they did it for the country, for their patriotic beliefs and for you and me. Not once did they think of what the country has or will do for them but were focused only on what they could do for the country. I am sure not even once did they think of doing this for the meager salary (compared to the stars in the entertainment and cricket industry get) they get and neither did they have expectations of any rewards for this heroic gutsy act of valor.
Ladies and gentlemen these are my heroes, The Real Heroes of the Nation and should be yours too.
These are the people we should emulate, eulogize and be ever grateful to. These are the people who should be hogging all the space in print, television and social media because they do it for the country without any expectation of financial or other rewards.
I salute the men and women of our gallant armed forces who have laid down their lives to save ours, with great pride as an Indian.
God Bless Our Country
Dr. H Sudarshan Ballal, MD, FRCP (London)Chairman – Manipal Hospitals
Manipal Hospitals, 98, HAL Airport Road, Bangalore-560017
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are of the writer and not of the hospital.