Why Celebrating Maqbool Sherwani Is Important For Kashmir And For The Nation

by WebDesk
0 comment 63 views

Faizal Aziz

Delhi has many eponymous roads. Many of them are named after distinguished individuals of contemporary times. There is Madhavrao Scindia Marg and also Rajesh Pilot Marg – both roads named after former Union Ministers. Then there are roads named after eminent individuals who lived around the time we gained independence, or in the years thereafter. A very popular stretch is the Aruna Asaf Ali Marg. She was the first Mayor of Delhi. Ansari Road is named after an Indian politician. There is even a Mustafa Kemal Ataturk Marg, named after the Founder of The Republic Of Turkey.

Perhaps if the Central government had recognized and acknowledged in time the contribution of Maqbool Sherwani, we would have a Maqbool Sherwani Marg in New Delhi? And this is something that cannot be blamed on Kashmir’s dynastic political parties. Our politicians – whether dynastic or otherwise – were happy mollycoddling the separatists and the terrorists.

The Powerful Figure Of Maqbool Sherwani

The Centre woke up to the powerful figure of Maqbool Sherwani too late. Yes, we know the wise saying. Better late than never. Now the UT Administration and the Army – both celebrate the martyrdom of Maqbool Sherwani with fervour. But imagine what would have been the impact across Kashmir if a major road in Delhi was named the Maqbool Sherwani Marg. Imagine what would have been the impact on the successive generations in Kashmir if some airport, some habour, some protected sanctuary, some national park – these vital points of pride for the nation were named after Maqbool Sherwani, the son of the soil.

Imagine what would have been the impact across Kashmir if a major road in Delhi was named the Maqbool Sherwani Marg. Imagine what would have been the impact on the successive generations in Kashmir if some airport, some habour, some protected sanctuary, some national park – these vital points of pride for the nation were named after Maqbool Sherwani, the son of the soil

In the last couple of years, the UT Administration and also the military establishment have begun commemorating the martyrdom of this lion of Kashmir. In 2021, Chinar Corps celebrated the 75th year of Shalteng victory with fervour. Hundreds of Kashmiris participated in the celebrations.

The Army re-enacted the battle of November 7, 1947 fought with the Pakistani tribal raiders. The battle was re-enacted in order to pay tribute to this distinguished hero who laid down his life to protect the nation.

The Battle Of Shalteng

Fighting valiantly during this battle, the soldiers of the Army succeeded in making the tribal raiders of Pakistan flee from Kashmir. Before the Army could intervene, these tribal raiders had indulged in unspeakable loot and killing across the Uri and Baramulla sectors, and the northern flank of Srinagar. Hundreds of Kashmiris were brutally killed. Women were violated in large numbers. The Army effectively established its victory in the Battle of Shalteng, ably supported by the local population. Old timers would speak of the slogan shouted during those weeks. Hamlawar khabardar, hum Kashmiri hein tayar.

This was the time when Maqbool Sherwani of Kashmir immortalized himself in the annals of the victories of the Indian Army. Historians have recorded that the Pakhtoon tribesmen from Pakistan asked Sherwani the way to Srinagar airport. He misguided them and led them on the wrong road. This gave valuable time to the Indian Army’s Sikh Regiment troops to mobilize for the attack on the tribesman and win the battle. Sherwani was later brutally killed by the tribesmen in revenge.

Sherwani’s martyrdom is important because he is the hero that our successive generations should have idolized – within Kashmir and across India.

Why Heroes Are Important

Every society must have its heroes. In fact, in the modern times, heroes are considered to be big business in popular culture. The Journal of the History of Ideas (JHI) says that heroes are exceptional men and women whom people seek to emulate. Heroes inspire and move us beyond the familiar rhythm of our daily lives.

JHI records in a paper: Heroes embody “the hopes, aspirations, values and longings” of a society. Hero worship impacts how people think, feel and relate to one another. It impacts how people act. “Our heroes affect our sense of belonging, who we feel connected and responsible to, who we are apathetic towards and who we feel the need to protect. In this way legendary figures have influenced and continue to shape the course of history,” notes JHI.

It is highly tragic that for decades, we were taught a highly doctored version of history. We were taught a selective, subjective and distorted perspective on history that suited Pakistan and its stooges in Kashmir.

History has recorded that the most inspiring heroes are those who are sons of the soil. Our children need role models who they can identify with. Heroes impact the way a society responds, and excitement is inspired by those ‘of our own kind’.

We Were Taught A Distorted Version Of History

It is highly tragic that for decades, we were taught a highly doctored version of history. We were taught a selective, subjective and distorted perspective on history that suited Pakistan and its stooges in Kashmir.

It is important for our children to know who Maqbool Sherwani is. It is important for our young to remember the slogan that our grandfathers, grandmothers and their parents shouted loud as they marched across the villages and towns of Kashmir: Hamlawar khabardar, hum Kashmiri hein tayar.

Maqbool Sherwani was a young nationalist and a National Conference member. Knowing about Maqbool Sherwani is equally important for Indians across the mainland. We were misled and misguided by Pakistan. For decades, we were exploited by Pakistan in the name of religion. From among us had arisen heroes who knew the right path. From among us had arisen heroes who had suffered unspeakable torture and laid down their lives in the service of the nation.

Soldiers are not just those who fight on the border. Soldiers are also those who fight for the pride and integrity of the nation even as they continue to live as ordinary civilians. Maqbool Sherwani must inspire us. He must inspire our children. And he also must inspire our countrymen.

I am happy to observe that the bravery and martyrdom of this brave lion of Kashmir is now being given the pride of place that it deserves. Our loving remembrance of him and our resolve to be inspired by him is a fitting tribute to this valiant hero.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment

@2022 – Heavenmail.in |  All Right Reserved.