Updated: May 27, 2018 3:30:26 pm
Written by Major Gen Ashok K Mehta
India’s greatest wartime hero was laid to rest unsung at the ripe old age of 97 on May 24. It marked the end of an era. There was no ceremonial send-off, no ritual last rites at the crematorium, no last post, no rise, and only one wreath was laid. The omissions were not made good at the prayer ceremony on May 25. India’s true military icon, Lt Gen Zorawar Chand Bakshi, unarguably India’s greatest soldier, did not die. He simply faded away. He deserved a farewell befitting the Bakshis of all times. Without naming them, lesser soldiers were made much of, because they were politically connected. Zoru was not. He was a true professional and was completely apolitical.
For a government that trumpets its devotion to the men in uniform, and that too on its fourth anniversary, Zoru, as he was endearingly called, got a shabby send-off. No minister, not even a junior one, and no one from the military came for the prayer meeting or his cremation. Not even a tweet of condolence from the Prime Minister.
Could India’s military history have been written without Zoru Bakshi’s…