Claude Arpi on Md Afzal Vs Major Somnath Singh

The soldier who won India’s first Param Vir Chakra

Lately many pleas have been made that Mohammed Afzal Guru’s execution should be stayed because his death ‘could fuel separatism in Jammu & Kashmir.’

The state chief minister himself has been an ardent advocate for clemency for the terrorist who attacked the Indian Parliament in December 2001 (and nearly provoked a war between India and Pakistan).

The ‘secular’ protagonists claim that his execution will make a martyr of Afzal. I will not enter into these fallacious arguments, but the time has perhaps come to remember a true martyr: Major Somnath Sharma who on November 3, 1947 saved Srinagar airport (and Kashmir) at the supreme cost of his life.

Had he not sacrificed his life, Afzal’s defenders would not today make front page news in the Indian press, for the simple reason that they would be Pakistani citizens living under a military dictatorship.

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Filed under History, India, Indian Military, Indian Politics, Indian States, Liberal Extremists, Media, National Security

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