It is true that in our nation, free voice and a free ideology can cost you your life. Over everything, it can cost you an identity you have built for years. A label can change your perspective about life and the people who accompany you. I didn’t know the power of social media and its influence until I read an about an inspiration which should lie in every Indian student, the patriotism which Gurmehar Kaur carries in her heart, and above all, in her upbringing.
She is known to be a free speech warrior, but as I read her book, Small Acts of Freedom I realised what made her who she is and I couldn’t be prouder. Hence, as I completed the book, I learnt a few things and those things need to be shared and embedded in our mind until another martyr is born.
1. When a soldier is at war, it’s not just him but an entire family which continues to fight a battle:
Her father is a martyr, but her family is no less than a warrior too, because every time they let him go, they knew that one call could change everything for them, and it did. 6th August, 1999 changed everything for them, but they couldn’t be prouder.
2. War ends when you kill the enemy, but peace can only come by when you kill the enmity:
To harbour an ideology of secularism, harmony and peace, that’s what Gurmehar has been taught all her life, that’s what made her who she is, a woman with a free voice, a voice which is heard and for the better.
3. Even when you lose the thing you love the most, that doesn’t mean you give up on life because life never gave up on you:
the many life teachings which should grow with us as we grow in life. It won’t always be in our favour, in fact, it never is, but that doesn’t mean that we give in, we grow weak, at least not those who’ve been strong for too long, let the furnace be your mould for being stronger and braver.
4. For an officer, peace is when every man under his command is back to bed, just like the rest of the nation, among their loved ones where there is no danger to kill their temporary happiness:
An officer on duty cannot sit back at home when there is chaos at the border. He can’t sleep if there’s devastation happening all around, the one he’s supposed to stop. A true officer will never step back from duty when the entire nation needs him.
5. Every woman in an army household is an officer, who just doesn’t have a uniform:
As I read about the womon of the family, the ever so strong mother of Gulgul and Bani, I couldn’t help but stay in awe of the woman who raised two strong women. She taught them an ideology that can change the nation and the impact of war in a child’s mind. It’s never about who goes by, it’s about who stays and let no one change its place. Gurmehar grew up with a father, the one she had in her mother, and the memories which she never let go of.
This book made me realise how judgements can change lives, judgements which are made without knowing the story of the person, judgements which make life-altering situations. Gurmehar Kaur has been brave and she always will be because that’s what she has inherited. She’s a daughter of a martyr, but over that, she’s a daughter of a warrior mother.