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Why A Soldier Walks into Hail of Bullets?
In the chain of motivational lectures at IIT Kanpur for the First Year Students, our guestspeaker was, Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi AVSM, Deputy Chief Indian Army, an alumnus of Sainik School, Rewa. He has the honour of commanding the Rising Star Corps.
Col Ashok Mor, the Officer In charge NCC at IIT Kanpur welcomed the guest speaker. Our student Siddartha Govil, introduced the guest speaker. Gen has been an Instructor at IMA, Military Advisor to Govt of Seychelles, attended NDC in USA. He has M Phil in Defence and Management Studies, has two Masters in Strategic Studies including one from US Army War College.
Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi, in his address to the students said “The month of June is very significant in the history of the Indian Army in 1987 23rd June - Bana Post in Siachen was created. In 1999 in the same month Kargil war and Operation Vijay and last year in the same month, the Galwan valley conflict took place.
Quoting the Indian moves / instance he said, in Kesari film, 21 Sikh defended Saragarhi Fort against the Afghan tribals and immortalized in the end. In Border–Sunny Deol as Maj Chandpuri took on a Pak attack and held the fort for full night till the time the Air support come in the morning (Battle of Asal Uttar). The instance of Rezang La 1962 – 13 Kumaon, Maj Somnath Sharma, Complete company did not give up their position, and their corpses were found with the guns in their hand.
Why Capt Vikram Batra’s PVC two quotes became so famous. Ye Dill Mange More and communication to his mother – Maa, Ya to mai tirange ko lehra kar aaunga ya lipatkar”. Naam - Namak - Nishan – was and is a common theme.
Op. Pawan in Sri Lanka against LTTE a Sikh Radio operator protected a Christian company commander against a rocket launcher and his dying wish was "please ensure that my sister gets married". Upon return, the sister of the soldier got married to a soldier of Sikh light infantry Regiment,, and complete arrangements were done by the regiment itself.
Why is it that bravery occurred with disregard to all safety of life?
It is because of the degree of familiarity, life-long trust, unquestionable and undoubted bravery in increasing order. Stouffer - WW2 "A soldier is primarily sustained by his fellows and secondly by his weapon”.
Every successful story will always have a buddy system or a Team.
Walt Disney - Rob Disney
In the Indian Army too, you area buddy to someone and someone is to you. It’s the team work that counts from the day one. In Army, the Units religion is the officer’s religion, when I joined the unit as young officer, my buddy asked me “Sahab Kul Devi Ki Photo Ha Aap Ke paas”. I did not know what to say. He said that everyone has faith in the Devi. He presented me a photo of Kul Devi the faith of the unit. The photo has become a part of my Bhakti Dhaam / temple along with Gita from then on.
In all war memorials, you will see the quote “When you go back tell them that we gave our today for your tomorrow". Compared to NATO soldiers an Indian soldier does not suffer from PTSD. What is the difference?
It starts at the foundational training ethos. It’s a transformation of a boy into a soldier. The unit identity and team spirit take over. Something is also related to Group dynamism - punishment for all irrespective of who did the mistake.It creates a Sense of belongingness and commitment to all.An instructor succeeds when he is able to induce Group dynamism or a one for all, all for one.
Kargil war is a testimony to the fact of the dynamic leadership of young officers.In extreme temperatures of -30C to - 50C where everything freezes a quote can be seen "When everything freezes courage moves". Regimentation in the Indian Army - Regimental ethos to keep everyone bound. Gives collective motivation. Emotional synergy and security in a most stressful environment.
Galwan Crisis, Col. Santosh Babu from 16 Bihar Regiment is an example for complete India. Col. Babu was from Telangana his troops were from Bihar and Jharkhand and their War Cry-Jai Bajrang Bali is the war cry. The act by them after the after the War Cry is in front of all, the Chinese ran halter-skelter.
Five to Six generations have served in the same unit or one of the three forces Defence Forces in the country.Today all the three service Chiefs today are second to third generation from the Defiance forces.They carry the family and Forces traditions in them and this is what bonds us together from one generation to another.
How do you as IIT students come into play or derive from it? I have compiled it into 7T's for you all:
From the Defence Secretary Dr Ajay in MoD to the IIT Kanpur alumni outfits in DRDO team and other walks of life have done a lot for the Defence forces. The technology today can prevent wars, can result in reduction of civil and military casualty and by exploiting AI to keep war away in the times to come. In the endi quoted from the Mission Mangal – “Mere Scientist Ban'ne Ka Koi MatlabNahi Hai ... Agar Mera Science Mere Desh ke kaam Na Aaye”. The same goes for you all being the top brains of India.
Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi thanked for the opportunity to address the students and IITK fraternity. Dr. Siddhartha Panda proposed vote of thanks to the speaker.