Rajasthan's Dhanuri village has the highest number of Muslim soldiers. Here every second household has someone who has served in the Indian Army.
The Quint spoke to the residents of Dhanuri village about what it means to be Muslim and serving the army at the same time.
"“This is Dhanuri village. Around 250 soldiers have retired and around 15 have been martyred. Three are wounded, three are prisoners of war. This village is famously known as the ‘village of soldiers’.”" - Resident, Dhanuri village "“It’s not so that if you are Muslim then you can’t be patriotic. In many instances, you’ll hear that ‘all terrorists are Muslims’. Similarly, not all Hindus serve the nation. We are also from India, even we want to serve the nation.”" - Resident, Dhanuri village
Following the footsteps of their fathers and grandfathers, the youngsters of Dhanuri village are getting ready to enlist in the army. However, the residents of the village also complain of mismanagement of memorial building by the government.
Residents of Dhanuri want the old school to be turned into a memorial for their soldiers.
"“I want to show you the school where every soldier studied. But today it is in a shambles.The government isn’t paying heed to it. We have so many memories associated with it.”" - Resident, Dhanuri village "“You will find a memorial in every village you visit but our village doesn’t have one. No memorial has been built till date. One can easily be built as a memoir.”" - Resident, Dhanuri village
The locals are also disappointed with the government as they are not getting the pension that the government had promised under OROP.
"“We don’t get any benefits. What are the central and state governments giving us? They keep making job reservations. I want to ask how many former soldiers have you employed? It’s all just show. Vacancies for 100 former soldiers have been allotted, but only 10 of them get jobs. These are political tricks. It’s all for show.”" - Resident, Dhanuri village "“Our kids easily get a scholarship, but that’s all. We were assured land but we haven’t received that yet. The Rajasthan government hasn’t addressed our issues yet.”" - Resident, Dhanuri village
Although there are problems that the locals of Dhanuri are facing, there is a strong sentiment of patriotism that the locals share with each other.
"“People talk about Hindu-Muslim, but that’s not the case in the army. We live together, fight together. We have no such sentiments. But the country has been poisoned. This is a rumour and a way to mislead people.”" - Resident, Dhanuri village . Read more on Rajasthan Elections 2018 by The Quint.RSS & BJP’s Nehru-Netaji ‘Cosplay’: Irony Dies a Thousand DeathsMeet Angela Ponce, Miss Universe’s First-Ever Transgender Aspirant . Read more on Rajasthan Elections 2018 by The Quint.