Saturday, 17 January 2015

A Tribute to brave hearts soldiers of Indian Army. Their sacrifice is unforgettable, unmatched and must be...


UNITED NATIONS: UN Chief Ban Ki-moon honoured over a million Indian soldiers who fought in the World War I at a commemorative event here and released a photo book authored by the Ambassador to the Permanent Mission of India to the UN featuring war memorials from across the world.

"India, then part of the British Empire, provided more than one million men. More than 60,000 died in action, along with so many others from Africa, Asia and Europe. All too often, the histories ignore this enormous sacrifice," UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in his remarks at the event yesterday.

Ban along with President of the UN General Assembly Ambassador John Ashe released the 113-page book 'Indian War Memorials of the First World War' that contains a brief overview of the many battlefields where Indian soldiers made the ultimate sacrifice.
The book provides details of the various war memorials across India, Europe, West Asia and Africa that honour individual Indian soldiers who gave their lives in defending international peace and security during the great war.

Ambassador to the Permanent Mission of India to the UN Asoke Mukerji said the event coincides with the 100th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi's letter of August 14, 1914 to the British Government, in which he had said that India's voluntary participation in the war effort was "an earnest of our desire to share the responsibilities of membership of this great Empire, if we would share its privileges."

Mukerji said a 100 years later, the same sentiment prevails among the vast majority of the membership of the UN, who have been willingly sharing the responsibilities of the world body "in the hope that they would be allowed to share in its privileges as well."
1.  The army did not choose the battleground at the Golden Temple.  The insurgents did.  Blaming the Indian army would be like blaming male firefighters for entering a Catholic nunnery on fire.  The Indian Army responded to a situation created by others.  

2.  There are about 1.2 million people in the Indian Army (according to wikipedia) and in any group of that many people, there are going to be some people that will break the law - any law.  Even Rape.  This is a function of numbers.  Not a reflection on the Indian Army or any other organization.

3.  The Indian Army is an all volunteer force.  They have made a choice to risk their life to protect the people who have the choice to respect them or as you choose, to not respect them.  They defend your right to be disrespectful.  
Ban said the world's current conflicts may be "pale in comparison" to the two world wars but the "tragedy is just as profound."
"Yesterday's terrible lessons remain to be learned fully," he said lamenting that humankind appears not to have had enough of "such bloodshed" even after witnessing the sufferings of the Auschwitz and Hiroshima.
"The world must never forget the roll-call of carnage of the First World War. Let us also remember that although the so-called 'Great War' was fought in Europe, soldiers came from all over the world," Ban said.
The UN Chief quoted a letter by a Garhwali soldier in early 1915 in which he had written that the bullets and cannon balls come down like snow and the number of soldiers who have been killed in battle "cannot be counted".

Ban welcomed the release of the photo book on the war memorials, saying memorials are "points of pilgrimage" and a "fitting tributes to valour and sacrifice."
"I hope the images in the pages of this publication will prompt further reflection not only on the wars of the past, but on the multiple crises we face today," Ban said.
Praising his junior Captain Vikram Batra for his bravery in the battlefront in Drass sector where he laid down his life, Colonel Gurpreet Singh, Commanding Officer of 13 Jammu and Kashmir rifles said his unit won many awards.

"Our unit 13 JAK rifles achieved the title of brave among the bravest as it won two PVCs in Kargil battle", Col Singh, who was then Major and was directly looking after the battlefront in Drass, said.
Captain Batra and Lance Naik Sanjay Kumar had won PVCs for their gallantry and both belonged to 13 JAK rifles. As many as 533 jawans and army officers laid down their lives and 86 of them got PVCs, MVCs and VCs for the Kargil war.
While four soldiers, Captain Batra and Captain Pandey were awarded PVCs (posthumously) respectively, two PVCs were awarded to Lance Naik Joginder Yadav of grenadier and Sanjay Kumar of 13 JAK rifles.
The two-day 'Operation Vijay' celebrations from Saturday will mark the victory of Indian forces over their Pakistani army regulars ten years ago. All re-captured heights would be lit up during the celebrations.

The Indian Army

The Indian Army is rather under-respected by the people of India, and I am saying this from every account of experience I have had, inside and outside of this institution. 'Desecrating' the golden temple in 1984 was not a decision that the Army made. Operation Blue Star that you are referring to was followed under the command of Indira Gandhi. Yet it is the same Indian Army that fights in Siachen, the highest battleground in the world, where more soldiers die from the climate than the enemy's bullet. There are people with blemishes in every institution, and the Army is one of them; but do know that they form only a minority. Those who bring about such blemishes are tried and thrown out, faster than you think. And no they do not need to be respected. Contrary to the popular opinion fed to us by the media, the Army does not enjoy killing people in Kashmir, and neither they order soldiers to rape women. The news of what our soldiers face fighting in what are probably the most inhuman geographical regions in the world will never reach you. The news of how a Gorkha Rifles jawan traveling on a train on leave fought with a gang of dacoits and avoided rape of the women copassengers will never reach you.

If you had known how the Indian Army works, how our soldiers are trained, their utmost dedication to the call of duty, you would never ask this question. Please do not let media stories of a small minority leave such impressions about this highly respectable institution. Its a pity that I have to write and defend the people who are willing to be thrown to any corner in the world, away from civilization and peace for nothing but a sense of duty, something that a person outside the Indian Army will never understand.
This is where things go wrong. You hear about misuse of AFSPA by the Indian Army upon the people of Kashmir or certain cases of rape but I will tell you what you don't hear about the Indian Army.

We all know that our Army defends the borders and, whenever called in, helps in counter-insurgency operations and also provides aid to the victims of calamities.

 However, in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), the Indian Army has extended its mandate to rebuild the lives of people devastated by terrorism. Operation Sadbhavana (meaning Goodwill), launched in 1998, is an unique attempt to apply the healing touch to win the hearts and minds (WHAM) of people by promoting development activities focuses on their basic needs.Such attempts have provided the healing touch during conflict and won over the alienated sections of people in the conflict zones.
The Army brought schools, walking tracks/roads, small bridges and doctors in areas where the state government could not reach in the difficult years of the insurgency.
All has been done in keeping with its objective:
 “to win the hearts of the people to overcome the circumstances whereby the armed forces should not only aim to win the war, but to avoid it altogether”.
The work done:

Rebuilding of burnt schools and renovating many more has been at the root of the Army’s effort in helping to restore the education system in the State. So far 60 schools have been constructed and 534 others renovated. Besides this, the Army is running 45 ‘Army Goodwill Schools’ that impart quality education to about 6800 students and provide employment to 346 teachers. Two ‘Mega Army Goodwill Public Schools’ are under construction, one at Pahalgam in Kashmir valley and the other at the border town of Rajouri in Jammu division. These schools will be equipped with modern infrastructure and facilities.
In addition, 81 children from militancy affected areas of the state are studying at Army Public School at Beas in Punjab. 26 other similarly placed students are studying in Convent Schools at Allahabad.
 Moreover, students from remote areas are taken on educational tours to various parts of the country to familiarize them with the development activities and the cultural diversity of the country.
Women Empowerment
Terrorism in the State has rendered many a women, destitute. For their empowerment, 42 Women Empowerment Centres/Vocational Training Centres have been established by the Army. Computer training, knitting and weaving are some of the skills which are taught at these centres.

Health Care
Another important area to have suffered damage is healthcare infrastructure The Army has made a determined effort at improving healthcare system. 
49 Primary Health Centres have been established in remote and inaccessible areas. And to bring medical care at the doorsteps of the people, 1558 medical camps have been organized so far in conjunction with civil administration and medicines worth over Rupees Four Crore have been distributed. These include veterinary camps for healthcare of their cattle. To further augment this effort, the Army has set up mobile medical teams which go to remote areas to provide health care. The Army has also provided scores of artificial limbs to those who have lost a limb in terrorist activities like firing, mine blasts, grenade attacks etc.

Community Development
Information and awareness is key to development. The Army has established 324 Community Development Centres in the State, equipped with television and direct to home dish-antennas, telephones, library and indoor games. Moreover, adult literacy, electrification, water supply schemes and restoration of infrastructure are the other measures taken up for community development.
Development of Infrastructure

The army has not only constructed a large number of bridges and roads but also set up water supply schemes and electrified a number of remote villages.
Micro Hydel Projects (MHP)

Jammu & Kashmir has energy shortage. The energy needs aggravate in winter when demand increases considerably over supply. Many remote and inaccessible villages have yet to be electrified. The Army has taken up the task of providing electricity to remote villages which are inaccessible to civil administration. This is being done by harnessing the hydel resources in these areas. As many as 1000 Micro Hydel Projects (MHP) are being constructed to meet the electricity demand of these remote villages. So far, 283 MHPs have been completed. Besides providing electricity for lighting purposes, it will also help in running small business like flour mills etc. thus, generating employment.


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