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Brigadier Mohammad Usman- A symbol of India’s “inclusive secularism”

“And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden except by [legal] right.
This has He instructed you that you may use reason. “
(6:151)


More often than not, misunderstood religion Islam has always been at the epicenter of any debate around the world. It might come as a surprise to many if not all, that Islam in fact fosters and believe that humanity is born from a single male and female and believes in a uniform structure of oneness. Every Muslim in its essence must value human life (irrespective of religion) and is obligated to give his life for any righteous deed. A true Muslim never differentiate between people based on faith and is always loyal to his motherland.

One such long forgotten name is the name of Brigadier Muhammad Usman who lived and fought valiantly and gained the title of Nowshera ka Sher. Known for his valor and awarded Maha Vir Chakra, he was the highest ranking army officer martyred in the Indo-Pak war of 1947, among countless others who gave their life without a second thought for this Nation. The man who rejected the position of Pakistan army chief so that he could contribute his share of blood and fight side by side with India against the enemy. He again proved that when it comes to motherland, an Indian Muslim would always sacrifice his life its sovereignty and integrity.

Quran says:
“There shall be no compulsion in the religion. The right course has become clear from the wrong.” (2:256)

Those advocating that Indian Muslims must support Pakistan as it is an Islamic State must understand the above verse from Quran which was materialized on ground by Brigadier Usman who chose to stay in India and defend his country rather than going to Pakistan, a country which was exclusively build on the grounds of religion. As Quran has specifically said that faith can be practiced anywhere without any pressure. Those questioning the loyalty of Muslims must always remember the sacrifices of Brigadier Usman. Not only this, numerous military historians have

conceded during the past six decades that India was so overwhelmed and indebted by his unforgettable sacrifice that Prime Minister Nehru along with his Cabinet members attended the funeral of this exemplar who bled and laid down his life on the battlefield.

However, one cannot deny the presence of extreme elements in our society who twist and manipulate the essence of their religious books in order to gain power and might over others. Therefore, it is pertinent that in such unprecedented times when the world is ridden with hatred and injustice, one must not forget the sacrifices made, including Muslims, who have equally contributed and died for the cause. It is our duty to remember the dead with dignity and responsibility to respect and honour the living. The grave of Usman near the Jamia Millia Islamia campus in New Delhi will always remind us ofthat.



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