Tue, 20 Aug, 2019

Let's Not Misinterpret the Term Martyr

By Dipesh Poudel

Picture By: DWIT News

On Bhadra 4 2072 (21 August 2015), an important piece of news attracted everyone's attention. It was news about the death of mafia don Kumar Ghainte (Real name: Kumar Shrestha). According to the police, he was severely injured in a violent police encounter and was taken to Teaching Hospital Maharajgunj, where Pratap Narayan Shah, the head of emergency department of the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, confirmed his death.

After hearing the news, people came up with various commentaries. Some said that it was a good thing, and others said that police should punish the criminals who hurt Ghainte, not kill them. Some leaders of political parties, especially the Nepali Congress, said that it was murder of their active worker. Well, the comments of political parties are not new. Every time a don is killed in a police encounter, leaders of one or the other political parties come up with comments about how their active worker has been murdered. This was digestible because politics is a dirty game and political leaders need someone to do their dirty work. Something not digestible followed the comments made by the political leaders. Saying that police had killed one of their cadres, Nepali Congress' members of Parliament Jagadish Narsingh KC, Bhimsen Das Pradhan and Kausar Shah demanded that Kumar Ghainte should be declared martyr.

A martyr is someone who dies because of his/her belief. A martyr is someone who gives up his/her life with a smile on his or her face for the greater good. It is not acceptable for the leaders of the nation to ask that someone who lived to make other's life hard should be declared a martyr. It is an insult to those brave souls who gave up their life for greater good. It might be wrong that the police killed a man, but this does not qualify the murdered to be a martyr.

I would humbly request the leaders to please check the dictionary, maybe they have forgotten or misunderstood the meaning of the word 'martyr.' Please do not make the tag of martyr so cheap and disrespectful that we would feel shame in referring to the brave souls who gave up their life for our country as such.