War celebrations are making headlines today, on the 17th anniversary of India’s victory over Pakistan in the Kargil war. But the post-war experience must not be limited to celebrations alone. We must also consider the real plight of the soldiers who fought the war.

 

Jahangir Khawas of Haveri fought in the Kargil war and returned home without any major injuries.

 

But today he is in such a bad position that he says, “It would have been good if I had died in the war, at least I would have been a martyr and not live like this.”

 

Every year Kargil war heroes are hailed and programmes held, but Khawas, who is one of the actual heroes, is forced to make a living as a security guard for a BSNL tower, appointed by a private agency.

 

Khawas has a large family. He is responsible for his aged father, his wife and four children. And he is the only breadwinner of the household.

 

Khawas was promised five acres of land by the government when he returned from the war. He was hailed, felicitated and as usual, after some time, forgotten. The government forgot about its promises too.

 

The district administration had identified 11.36 acres of land at Negalooru in Haveri for ex-servicemen. From the past 16 years, Khavas has been requesting the government to provide him with five acres in the land identified by the district administration.

 

But he has never received an answer to his requests.

 

After all the promises proved to be fake, the government is now claiming that the identified land comes under the Forest Department.

 

But according to public records, out of 11.36 acres of land, only 8.36 acres come under the Forest Department. So, Khawas is requesting the administration to at least provide him with the remaining three acres.

 

But year after year, his plea has fallen on deaf ears.

 

Happy Kargil Vijay Diwas!