Mehak Gupta Grover
The strong, the lion-hearted,
courageous and bold.
Such is the Indian army,
The soldier’s life is like no one else’s. They need to be constantly on their toes, ready to fight criminals and if required, give up their lives at any moment. It is not just any other job. They protect our country’s borders 16000 feet above sea level at a temperature of -50 degrees at the Siachen Glacier and sometimes battling an average temperature of 50 degrees in the blistering heat of Rajasthan. Can we say it’s just like another corporate job?
They don’t work for themselves but for their country and its citizens. Our soldiers aren’t just fighting the enemies, but also fight natural disasters. It is not easy to be so selfless and this is what makes these ordinary men extraordinary.
In words of 22nd Chief of the Army staff of Indian Army- ” We fight to win and win with a knockout, because there are no runner-up in war”.
Such is a soldier’s life, strong-hearted, dont get afraid of losing their life, smile even while leaving their family behind. Are they made of iron? I am thunderstruck, not only to see the vigour of a soldier but also that of his ‘wife’. Sometimes, I wonder, are these people made up of a different soil? Look at us- we cry badly only to find a little scratch on our finger and look at them. We all feel so proud to be a part of such a country which have such self-sufficing people. They are the men of steel, standing tall in the harshest of conditions. They all are heroes, each and everyone of them. I would love to remember some of the brave-hearts.
Captain Bikram Batra- hero of Kargil. He led one of the toughest war operations in Kashmir and in the most difficult missions, he was killed saving his fellow soldier.
Hemant karkare- Anti-Terrorist squad head. He was one of the most swift officers to take action, never giving hoots about his own security. He was a brilliant leader who took painstaking efforts to eradicate terrorism in the country.
Major General Ian Cardozo- he has been known for his immense courage in 1971 war with Pakistan. With his sheer determination and will power, he became the first disabled officer in Indian Army to command an infantry battalion and a brigade.
Mohan Chand Sharma- an encounter specialist. He killed an unbelievable number of thirty-five terrorists and responsible for another eighty. He is most famous for valiantly leading the team during the Batla encounter in 2008.
Brigadier Mohammad Usman- this man of steel joined Indian army in 1934. During Indo-Pakistan war of 1947, he repulsed a fierce attack on Naushera and Jhangar, two strategic locations in Jammu and Kashmir, and was named by his fellow men as ‘the lion of Nowshera’. He was awarded the Mahavir Chakra posthumously for his great courage and leadership.
Punita Arora- the first Indian woman to hold the rank of Lieutenant General in the Indian Armed Forces and first female Vice Admiral in the Indian Navy. She has received fifteen medals for her exceptional leadership and service to the nation.
Padmavati Bandopadhyay- first woman Air Marshal of the Indian Air Force. She is the first woman to become a fellow to the Aerospace Medical Society. She is the first Indian woman to conduct an experiment on extreme cold acclimatization in the North Pole. She received Vishisht Seva Medal for her exceptional service during the 1971 Indo-Pak conflict. Divya Ajith Kumar- first woman in Indian Army to receive the coveted ‘sword of honour’. At 25, she led the all women contingent of 154 officers during 2015 Republic Day parade.
This list is endless. This is not just the list but the sacrifice of all the sodiers. Each and every soldier is the pride of the nation. Remembering a few on this special day, made us feel proud as well as more responsible towards our country.
We can never do enough for our soldiers and their sacrifice. But, let us admire their dedication and spirit and promise ourselves that we will not let anybody play with their lives. We owe them so much. Let’s make our voices one.
More encouragement to our soldiers for making our country safe and smiling. Happy 72nd Independence Day.
Mehak Gupta Grover