Somehow, It stinks
The UPA government’s deserves praise for culling the list of Aahok Chakra awardees. While all those who died defending us must be honored and their family taken care, Ashok Chakra–peace time equivalent of Paramvir Chakra–is awarded for ”“most conspicuous bravery or some daring or pre-eminent valour or self-sacrifice” other than in the face of the enemy.” While thousands have died defending India’s borders, only a minuscule few have been awarded Paramvir Chakra. (Fair warning: The Indian Army’s ”tribute” to those who won India’s highest gallantry award is unlikely to be good to your blood pressure.)
From what is available in public domain, it is clear that ASI Tukaram Ombale went beyond the call of duty and richly deserves his award. However, the same is not necessarily true for Mr Karkare. In any case, it is not clear if Mr Karake’s role in the encounter which led to his unfortunate death was anyway greater than Mr Ashok Kamte, Mr Vijay Salaskar or the four constables who died with him–all of whom have been awarded lesser awards. Indeed, if a NDTV report is to be believed, it is Mr Kamte who injured and incapacitated Kasab–the arrested terrorist. Prima facie, the government’s decision to elevate Mr Karakre to a higher pedestal is surprising.
This is not to dishonor Mr Karakre’s sacrifice and services to the nation. However, it is equally important not to dishonor those who died with him merely because it may not be politically expedient to recognize their sacrifice to the same extent.