Vinod Sharma

No War Memorial. Still. 'Ye Dil Mange More' - 1 - Poem by Vinod Sharma

'Ye dil maangey more! ' he exulted,
After he had pounced upon and killed
The enemy raining shells and bullets
Down the cliff in cold Kargil.

For Sher Shah Vikram Batra,
No opposition was tough, no gradient steep;
Soaring on wings of patriotism,
The brave young man won peak after peak.

Then, like tigers before him and after,
For the flag in which they draped his body,
He rose to a peak higher then Everest
Throating his battle-cry: 'Jai Mata Di.'

Again the nation rose as one,
To salute and honour India's sons;
For our tomorrow, they'd given their all,
No sacrifice big, their Himalayan call.

But in Delhi beneath Imperial domes,
Our leaders remain so ever unmoved,
So what, some argue, if a Vikram dies;
It is what he had willingly signed up to do.

The British had shown a big man's heart,
For Indians who died in the first great war,
An imposing memorial, each name in stone,
They built when they did their big blue dome.

Their King got a small canopy alone
In the shadow of the martyrs' gate of stone;
Our leaders rest in vast memorials,
No thought for their own orphaned soldiers.

Not six inches given in six decades,
For the brave who fought and perished for us;
For them there's a tiny flame that cowers
In the bowels of 'India Gate' that towers.

They rage unheard, they cry in vain,
Our martyrs dishonoured with plain disdain,
But nothing can shame our leaders vain;
Having never ever lost their kith or kin, they remain,
Untouched by both pride and pain.

Poet's Notes about The Poem

'Ye Dil Mangey More' - This heart wants more - was a commercial ad for Pepsi, which was given a new, goose-bump-giving meaning by Shaheed Capt Vikram Batra who won India's highest gallantry award, Param Vir Chakra. Google for more details.

'Sher Shah' - A tiger-like King

'Jai Mata Di' - Victory to the Mother Goddess(Durga)


One more Kargil Vijay Diwas has passed us by. Another day to briefly remember India's forgotten soldiers and push them out of sight again. As they have been for the last 65 years. Hard to believe, but the bitter truth is that Independent India has yet not found an inch of land to honour those who have made the supreme sacrifice for their motherland, with a National War Memorial in Delhi.

What is being passed off as a memorial for them is actually a British War Memorial, now called India Gate, to honour every single Indian soldier - regimental no. and name engraved in stone - who died fighting for the Empire mainly during the First World War. All we have done for those who laid down their lives for us, is put a rifle upside down, helmet on top, under the arch of this massive Raj memorial, and light a small flame there. This is humiliation.

For years the military has been trying to convince babus and netas to allot land so that our martyrs too can be honoured and remembered in a dignified manner. Files have moved up and down, but the hearts and minds of the new rulers of India remain frozen.

On the day that commemorates the valour and sacrifice of India's young sons in Kargil, I express my angst in verse. (Two poems)

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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 6, 2012

Poem Edited: Tuesday, August 7, 2012

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