Why doesn’t the Indian Army use the word martyr for its fallen braves: The Defence Ministry clarified in Parliament that the Indian Armed Forces do not use the word martyr for personnel who sacrifice their lines in the line of duty.
The reason why the term martyr is not used is that it has religious connotations. It has been used in history to refer to the sacrifice made by people for their religious beliefs, particularly Christianity. The word shaheed also has religious connotations and is liked to the concept of Shahdat in Islam.
For almost a decade now, the government has maintained that the word ‘martyr’ does not have any official recognition.
The word ‘martyr’ is not used in reference to any of the casualties in the Indian Armed Forces as well as for Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) and Assam Rifles personnel also.
The words ‘martyr’ and ‘shaheed’ are not defined anywhere by the Government of India.
What is the objection to the word ‘martyr’?
The word ‘martyr’ has religious connotations and has been used in history to refer to the sacrifices made by people for their religious beliefs, particularly in Christianity.
The word ‘shaheed’, which is used as a Hindustani alternative to the word ‘martyr’, also has religious connotations and is linked to the concept of Shahadat in Islam.
Since the armed forces of India are not associated with any one religion and do not lay down their lives for religious principles, the use of such words for their sacrifice has been found wrong in several quarters, including the top brass of the Army.