Sacrifice of Neerja Vs. Freedom Fighters – Really?

As shocking as the title of this post sounds, a thread running this comparison is even worse. For those of you, who are not familiar with the name Neerja, here is a little sneak peek. In 1986, when a flight was hijacked, the purser of the flight, Neerja, sacrificed her own life in an attempt to save the passengers. A Bollywood movie, Neerja, is based on her life story. Soon after this movie was released, a flood of posts appeared on FB to salute her for her bravery. There was one post, however, that caught my attention. This post was bizarre and made me wonder so many things. A person was not happy with all the attention that she was getting and decided to sing his own tune. In the middle of all the well-deserved admiration of this wonderful lady, he decided to bring in the freedom fighters of India. He said that although he admires Neerja’s sacrifice, it was nothing compared to the sacrifices that our freedom fighters exhibited. He went on to justify his comments; however, I was both appalled and confused by reading his comment. When comparing two scenarios, a basic rule is to find the common circumstances. In the case of Neerja and our freedom fighters, the common scenario is that people were trapped under somebody else’s claws. In both the cases, these humans treasured the lives of others more than their own. Then, how is the sacrifice of one person more or less than the other? Doesn’t comment like this show a lack of common sense?

Of course, I adore the sacrifice made by the freedom fighters of our country, in fact, I cherish the freedom fighters of all the countries who were enslaved once. Without the uproar of these magnificent soldiers, we would still be breathing as per the norms set by some strangers. They kept banging on their closed doors until our rulers had to flee. Freedom fighters gave up all they had to provide an independent future to their country –a future that they could not live to see. Their selfless devotion to the country is beyond one’s imagination. Look at the independent people of today, who are willing to throw the sweat, blood, and tears of these martyrs for a bundle of money, luxuries, and fame. They fought for their country, and today, we are fighting for OUR caste and religion. I am sure they must be proud of us, why wouldn’t they? When they fought, they did not fight for the freedom of any particular religion, but when we got the freedom, we decided that we know better; we decided that people of only our religion should breathe freely and others should go to hell. Some free people we are!

Anyway, now consider the sacrifice of Neerja. There were many passengers and flight attendants, but she decided to stand tall against terrorists to offer protection to the innocents. She was no soldier, yet she decided to be one. She could have been a part of the crowd, but she chose to stand out of it. When our country was breathing under the brutality of our rulers, our brave freedom fighters joined their forces and brought us independence. They used all their resources for this task. On the similar lines, Neerja used her only resource at hand, her life, while dealing with those cruel terrorists. For that, I believe, she deserves everybody’s admiration and not any critical comments.

His comment made me wonder, in a world, where we run and whine for our own welfare, isn’t it divine if anyone sacrifices anything for the welfare of another human being? Instead of appreciating somebody’s sacrifice, we decide to demean their effort by comparing it to the legends. Is this act mere lack of common sense or it signifies an attack of the green-eyed monster? Can jealousy make us overlook the crown of thrones that the sacrificing people wear for a greater good?

P.S. This post is in response to the daily post prompt: Sacrifice

6 Comments Add yours

  1. kalison0515 says:

    Thank you for introducing me to this hero. I get your point that the critical commenter was comparing apples to oranges. I recently read an article about all the things a flight crew are trained to do that no one knows about. Basically, they serve the passengers in more than juice, tea, and coffee. They are first responders — meaning, that they are equipped and trained to deal with any crisis on the plane and while in flight. That is very different from militants and activists for a social or political cause. Neerja’s role was as a protector, even if it meant that it put her own life in jeopardy. You are so right…there was no need to compare Neerja to freedom fighters. Neerja’s story stands apart.

  2. I don’t even know where to begin ranting here. I remember a friend posted on facebook something similar about dec 16 gangrape issue, felt like killing him. What has the world come down to? Has empathy lost its meaning over all?

    A very hard hitting and apt post.

  3. The post was a good read. The sacrifices of the freedom fighters and that of Neerja are from different times and against different perpetrators. There cannot be any comparisons between both the sacrifices. Sacrifices are what they are and deserve respect without the thought of even what is big or what is small. You have brought out the points really well 🙂

  4. Well said, Ankita. What’s with people trying to compare? This sounds like Sri Sri Ravishankar reportedly saying that Malala hadn’t done anything to deserve the Nobel Peace Prize.

  5. Parul Thakur says:

    Great post, Ankita and I am with you. A sacrifice is a sacrifice. Absolutely cannot compare the two. It’s not about timing or cause or effort. It’s about doing something that was not expected out of us. It’s about putting others first. To those who made this comparison, God bless them and I am glad I did not see any article like this one.

  6. nabanita says:

    You just echoed my thoughts here..Sometimes we just have to compare things which we shouldn’t…just shouldn’t

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