The Indian Army is symbolic of the country’s pride and strength, and the contributions of its officers and soldiers and their bravery inspire every Indian, be it a grown up citizen or a child. As a little boy, I used to instinctively salute every uniformed person and so does my grandson.
To watch a parade, on Republic Day or Army Day, is a matter of inspiration, and if you are actually there, at a venue, then a matter of pride and privilege. Our Army, Navy and Air Force personnel do so much for the country, operating from difficult border terrains to guard us, and God forbid, if there is a calamity, then they are there to help us, be it the snowy mountains, the riverine terrains or the stormy waters of the Indian Ocean.
On this Army Day, the new Chief of the Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat, reassured the nation of the Army’s commitment to all the good and brave and difficult things that we expect from our Army. Most of all, to maintain the secular fabric of the country and its integrity, from the Himalayan borders to the oceanic coasts. India wants peace, and a message in this regard had also been conveyed to Pakistan during a periodic telechat between the Directors General of Military Operations but he rightly cautioned, “Let’s wait and watch.”
Pakistan is internationally known as the fountain of terrorism, and for doing everything wrong, denying it and putting the blame on others. Its record with its neighbours, India and Afghanistan, has been terrible due to its hunger for snatching Kashmir from India and creating a strategic depth in Afghanistan by installing stooges in Kabul. It is the Pakistani army, and its sabotage agency ISI, which unnecessarily keep creating troubles here and there. In fact, the loss of East Pakistan and its conversion into an independent Bangladesh was exactly due to its misadventures.
General Rawat was right in assuring that while a hand of peace had been extended, the Army would not hesitate to apply power to ensure India’s interests in peace and stability.
In the Chief’s annual Press Conference, and on the Army Day, he also addressed the pending issues of equipment modernisation and welfare of the Army Officers, Men and Women and their Families. On the top of the list are the assault rifles for the Infantry personnel and their protection gear, from vest to helmets, and then of course, everything from tanks to artillery, long range precision missiles, air defence systems and aerial assets. The technological revolution around the world in military systems wasn’t going unnoticed in India. We hope so.
One notable thing he mentioned was that personnel of the Indian Army are its heart and soul. If somebody had a grievance, he or she could address him directly and confidentially through a mechanism he had set up immediately after taking over.
General Rawat was appointed as the Army Chief by the Government superseding two senior officers. He has made a gracious effort, reached out to them and sought their cooperation.
We wish the Chief, all Army Personnel and their Families Happy Times, Peace and Stability.
Gulshan Rai Luthra