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Saturday, August 25, 2018

saluting Mukut Bihari Meena ~ and the nameless Indian Jawans !!

Pictures are great like the one below ~ it is picturesque mountainview  of Dras,  situated about 60 km away from Kargil, on the road to Srinagar.
Pic credit :

Popularly known as ‘The Gateway to Ladakh’, Dras is the coldest inhabited place in India and the second coldest inhabited place in the world (Siberia being the first). The mountain village of Dras first came into the limelight in the year 1999, when Pakistan Army incursions led to the Kargil War with India. It is a great sight or perhaps a good visit as a tourist, certainly not the best place to live .. .. especially for those jawans who brave the cold, unfriendly weather conditions and .. .. and being single and alone with none in vicinity for many kilo meters, waiting for provisions to be air-dropped once a while – research says that it could drive tough men mad !!  - and at such heights stands our ARMY JAWANS protecting us – allowing us the freedom of expression in social media ..

~ and from there they get redeployed in civil areas when natural calamities or other disturbances occur – they don’t have a name – they don’t try to claim credit for what they do – yet they meticulously perform the task bringing in normalcy – then politicians take over clammering for mikes to claim that they have done things for the common man !!!

The Indian Army has time and again lived up to its tradition of valour, heroism, sacrifice and fortitude. It stands vigil along the border, watchful, prepared for any sacrifice so that the people of the country may live in peace and with honour. The Indian Army is that and much more. Spirit of Selfless Sacrifice     The tradition is never to question, but to do or die for the three "Ns"; Naam, i.e. name-honour- of the unit/Army/Nation, 'Namak'(salt) i.e. loyalty to the Nation, and 'Nishan', i.e. the insignia  or flag of his unit/regiment/Army/Nation which the soldiers hold afloat willingly.

From adequate road infrastructure for movement of troops and supplies to new types of tunnel defences and a high technology surveillance apparatus, India has moved on from the Kargil war 19 years ago, even though intelligence inputs suggest that not much has changed on the Pakistani side of the Line of Control (LoC), writes Economic Times.  While basic facilities like regular water supply and electricity remain a problem, troops have access to more comfortable lodging and an adequate stocking of ration and medical equipment during winters so that even posts located at altitudes ranging from 12,000 feet to over 18,000 feet are not vacated in the winter season, which lasts for about six to seven months. Made-in-India thermal insoles, snow goggles, ice axes, boots, mountaineering equipment, and sleeping bags are to be provided to soliders stationed in Siachen and Doklam. India, spends Rs 800 crore annually to import extreme Cold Weather Clothing System (ECWCS) and mountaineering kits, has okayed a project to manufacture specialised clothing, sleeping kits, and equipment for armymen deployed in the world's highest and most dangerous battlefield - Siachen. The government has decided to produce the military equipment indigenously to boost the Make-in-India initiative.

The Neelam River originates from Krishansar Lake in the vicinity of Sonamarg and runs northwards to Badoab village where it meets a tributary from the Dras side and runs westwards along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. It is  is 245 kilometers long, covers 50 kilometers in Jammu and Kashmir and the remaining 195 kilometers in Kashmir now occupied by Pakistan.

It was a poignant scene at the village of paratrooper Mukut Bihari Meena who died fighting the militants in Kupwara, when his five-month-old daughter sat on his coffin and lay on it when his body arrived. The scene left everyone teary eyed and the Jhalawar district collector penned down an emotional letter to the girl.

Jhalawar district is one of the 33 districts of Rajasthan state,  bounded  by Kota, Baran, Guna, Rajgarh & Shajapur districts. The district is part of Kota division. The former ruling family of Jhalawar belonged to the Jhala family of Rajputs. At Kota Madhu Singh, a Jhala Rajput became a favorite with the Maharaja, and received from him an important post, which became hereditary. On the death of one of the Kota rajas (1771), the state was left to the charge of Jhala Zalim Singh, a descendant of Madhu Singh. Under his administration, which lasted over forty-five years, the Kota territory was respected by all parties. In 1838 AD, British intervention and internal politics resulted with the decision to dismember the Kota state, and to create the new principality of Jhalawar.

When last rites of army commando Mukut Bihari Meena, who was martyred in the forests of Kupwada during an encounter, was carried with full state honours at his native place, Ladaniya village in the Jhalawar district of Rajasthan – there was the picture, a very sad one of his 5 month old daughter on the coffin ! turning  everyone emotional, leaving onlookers    teary-eyed as villagers, representatives of the Armed Forces and the Rajasthan government paid homage to the brave soldier.  The Dist Collector too was present. Mr Jitendra soni, the Collector of Jalawar Dist penned down an emotional letter to the infant.. Addressing the letter to Meena’s Aaru, Soni highlighted how people were emotional seeing the innocent child laying on the tricolour covered coffin.

“You sat on the coffin and lied on that without crying. Moments before, you had seen the face of your father. It was very emotional,” read a line from his letter written in Hindi. “I and all the Army officers were watching you doing this and I know every one of us was thinking in our own respective ways but your innocence and your father were at the centre of our thoughts,” the letter read. “Not only this area, but the blessings of every responsible and sensible citizen of the entire country with you. Grow well and make your father’s glorious martyrdom your pride,” Soni added.

Remember – let us say this to ourselves, every morning, irrespective of whichever party rules the Nation – it is the supreme valour, courage and sacrifice of those Jawans which allow us the liberty of enjoying life, living peacefully – and for this we are indebted to Indian Army, those nameless Jawans – let us always respect, love and regard them in every speech and action.

A top Army officer had an interesting point to make while speaking about the reported alienation of Kashmiri youth. If everybody is alienated in Kashmir, then why do such a huge number youth join the Indian Army, Lieutenant General Satish Duo asked. He was speaking on the sidelines of a passing out parade at the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry Regimental Training Centre at Rangreth.  The details given out by the officer comes as a relief as the Union Home Ministry had recently said that nearly 82 youth from Kashmir had joined terror groups this year. The numbers joining army is more than double-fold .. .. ..

Jai Hind, Jai Jawan

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
25th Aug 2018.

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