The saga that has unfolded in Bharat over the anti-national protests at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on 9 & 10 Feb, last night reduced a veteran soldier Maj Gen GD Bakshi to tears during a live TV news show. The show was witnessing a debate over the measure announced by Human Resources Development (HRD) ministry that the 46 central universities would each install a 200 feet high flag in order to instill a sense of nationalism among students.
As some panelists were arguing against this decision which they termed ‘forced patriotism’ or an act of ‘extreme nationalism’, Maj Gen GD Bakshi broke down in tears. At this point the Union HRD minister Smriti Irani made an impromptu telephone call to the show to express her solidarity with Gen. Bakshi & the armed forces. Below is the video snippet of what she said, and a transcript of the same –
“I am calling tonight not as a minister but as a citizen, who sees tears in the eyes of men like Maj Gen G D Bakshi. This is a message only for him. There are political battles, explanations, speeches and debates which will ensue in the forthcoming session of the parliament. But as an Indian citizen, I want to tell men like Maj Gen Bakshi that it is a tragedy of our nation today that I see tears in the eyes of a brave soldier like you. Let me say this, and, I believe, that every Indian watching this show tonight would say. Men like you have bled for our country. Men like you have never asked anything in return. And tonight as you weep on Newshour, I will say only this. As an Indian citizen, we are grateful for your sacrifices, we are grateful for your services. And under that flag every day, knowingly or unknowingly, know this that we shall be grateful for ever.”