Burden of Guilt !!

55 years ago, it was the beginning of 1965, Indo-Pakistan war. The history of two countries of Indian subcontinent is intertwined with one another. As if both were tied with an umbilical cord to each other. Despite being economically poor, both have squandered much of their resources on the mindless wars which have further steeped the population of both the countries in poverty. Both the countries are born of mistrust of each other.

Yet on the level of common man, people from both countries yearn to meet each other. It is the politicians on both the sides who have failed them badly. To hide their inefficiency and corruption, they have taken the shelter under the wars in which every bad deed is masked behind the smoke screen and again it is the common people who bear the brunt.

An instance of humane feelings of people towards each other has come to light in the form of repentance email written by a retired Pakistani pilot to the daughter of a Indian pilot whose civilian plane was shot down and had resulted in the death of the pilot and 7 others including the then chief minister of Gujarat, Balwant Rai Mehta during the beginning of India Pakistan war in September of 1965. The Pakistani pilot was Hussain who was in his early twenties at that time.

In this email, written in 2011, the pilot Qais Hussain, has condoled the unjustified death of daughter’s father. He said in his mail that he was burdened with the guilt and repentance for the last 45 years and found courage and decided that he shall write to the daughter of the Indian engineer and clear his conscience.

After shooting the plane, Hussain was rather on a high as he was a raw recruit. But when he listened to the news on All India Radio in the evening and came to know that it was a civilian plane and 8 innocent people has been killed, he was filled with remorse. After the completion of his service, he joined a US company and made good fortune and was living comfortably. But somewhere in his heart the incident shall well up again and again and tormented him.

The pilot of Indian plane was Jehangir M Engineer, who belonged to the family of distinguished people. All his brothers were very brave and joined defense services of India and won many laurels for the bravery. When he was gone, there was a vacuum in the family. He was a very dotting father and thorough family man.

The daughter’s name is Farida Singh and she was married to an pilot. She was about fifty at the time of receiving the email and with courage and valor has overcome the difficult days and problems which the family has to face in the wake of her father’s death. But now all is settled and she being the daughter of such a brave person has taken the gesture of the pilot from Pakistan positively and said that it is the mindless war which is to blame for the sad incidents and a soldier has to obey the commands without any questions

Ranjit Singh

I am working as a scientist in the India's premium E&P oil company. Besides the commitment to my job, I read lot of literature especially good fiction, history and science. I belong to Chandigarh and did my Masters in Chemistry from Panjab University Chandigarh specializing in physical chemistry. I am fond of surfing the internet for good articles, social networking and giving vent to writing for which I have aptly chosen the blog in Wordpress. Thanks

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