Tales of fierce battles, humors anecdotes mark concluding day of Military ParleyChandigarh, 29 November
Stories of hair-raising battles, and humorous anecdotes from on and off the battle grounds, marked the second day of the Military Parley, as preparations for the Inaugural Military Literature Festival continued to pick up momentum.
The Government Museum and Art Gallery Auditorium here was abuzz with exciting tales by war veterans as the Parley came to a close, paving the way for several other interesting events in the run-up to the Festival, being organized jointly by the Punjab Government and Chandigarh Administration, and slated to be held from December 7 to 9.
Lieutenant General J.L. Malhotra's inaugural speech left the audience mesmerized as he narrated the fearless tales of Sikh soldiers in Nagaland and Poonch. His descriptive portrayal of the soldiers’ brush with artillery firing and their courageous retaliation despite being wounded saw the audience virtually hanging out from their chairs.
The Vir Chakra and Vashisht Sewa Medal (VSM) recipient Colonel Gurmukh Singh lauded the role of Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and his government for holding the Military Literature Festival and reiterated that such functions should be made an annual event. He shared his personal experiences and revealed the importance of discipline and hard work during his postings across India.
Speaking on the role of communication skills in the Indian Army, Colonel R.D. Singh said that an army officer lacking in confidence and in-depth knowledge fails to imbibe the fighting spirit in the soldiers. He gave many tips to the children from YPS School, Mohali, on polishing the communication skills. The children were among the enraptured audience at the event.
Colonel Singh thrilled the children with questions on general aptitude and gave chocolates to those who gave the right answers. To a query on how to become a good speaker, he said, "You can speak well if your tongue can deliver the message of your heart."
Touching an important aspect of the Indian Army --Bridging The Gap, Colonel Avnish Sharma cited common perceptions about the Indian ‘Fauji’ in the eyes of the civilians, in contrast with the reality. A true soldier is known for his 'short appearance and quick disappearance’, he said, apprising the audience about several unknown facts about Indian soldiers by narrating incidents of humour even in life-threatening situations. He also spoke about transparency, fighting against corruption, behavior of Pakistani soldiers in war and peace, and filling gaps between the the civil society and army personnel.
Captain Amarjeet Kumar threw light upon his experiences in the 1971 war and the role played by the Mukti Bahini as well as the conflict sparked by the armed liberation struggle taking place in East Pakistan. He also spoke extensively about the Sikh soldiers’ bravery during this war and how the recipients of the highest gallantry awards fought for the nation without caring for their lives.
The need and role of innovation in the Indian Army was highlighted by Major General Surjit Singh, who made the audience aware of many innovative and economical techniques, swiftly adopted by the Indian Army. He took the audience through a slideshow about how a ropeway helped in transporting material as heavy as 150 kg between Gangtok and North Sikkim after the bridge was washed away in an avalanche.
Among other military veterans who spoke on the various topics included Flt Lt. G S Jawanda, Colonel JDS Jind, Brigadier Harwant Singh, Colonel Krishan Yadav, Major General HC Sachdev, Captain Renu Aggarwal, Major General B.S. Grewal, Brigadier I.S. Jakhal, and Lt. Gen. P.N. Hoon.
Concluding the ceremony, Senior Advisor to Punjab Chief Minister, Lieutenant General T.S. Shergill thanked the organizers and Captain Amarinder Singh. He said that the success of the Military Parley bodes well for the success of the upcoming Military Literature Festival.
Divulging that nearly 1200 children would get the chance to interact with the recipients of the Param Vir Chakra during the Festival, he said this would be an experience of a lifetime for the kids. He further disclosed that modalities were being worked out to conduct the Military Parley in the form of a book in future.