1962 martyrs to be honoured during Sarhad ko Swaranjali programme

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  1. AVERAGE INDIAN

    AVERAGE INDIAN EXORCIST Senior Member

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    Itanagar, Nov.22 (ANI): At least 100 veterans and families of martyrs of the 1962 Chinese aggression, from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Bihar, West Bengal and Assam (North Lakhimpur, Tezpur and Guwahati) have confirmed their participation in Sarhad ko Swaranjali programme, according to organizing committee chairman Kipa Babu.

    Special focus would however be on Leela Devi (96), mother of martyr Jaswant Sing Rawat, his relatives, and Lt. Gen. (Rtd) V M Patil, a captain posted in Tawang sector then.

    Moreover, the families of Tagam Taki from Beging village in East Siang District, who served as SSB constable and died on March 30, 2002 during an attack on Raghunath Mandir Temple in Jammu, Kirti Chakra awardee Lance Naik Tape Yajo from Aalo and Jawan Pate Tasuk from Kurung Kumey (both died in action along the J-K border) would be honoured on the occasion
    .
    This would not only turn a new page in Indian history, but project the patriotic people of Arunachal Pradesh, who serve as sentinels of the eastern most frontier of India, in the right perspective, said Chief Minister Nabam Tuki, who cancelled his prior engagements to be part of the event along with Governor Nirbhay Sharma.

    If records are any indication, India fought three wars - in 1962 with China (that claimed 3, 079 men - 1,383 killed and 1,696 missing), in 1971 with Pakistan (2000 martyrs) and in 1999 with Pakistan at Kargil (530 martyrs). The India Army might have felicitated the martyrs and survivors, but never before has such a platform been created involving civil society (entire NE region) to pay respect to the martyrs of 1962 war that suffered the highest loss of army personnel.

    Though the 1962 war took place 51 years ago, regrettably the Indian government officially recognised the martyrs and survivors after 50 years on October 20, 2012 when Defence Minister A K Antony, who along with Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju, Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh and three service chiefs paid homage to the 1962 war heroes and laid wreaths at Amar Jawan Jyoti at New Delhi.

    Asked why it took 50 years for New Delhi to honour the soldiers and martyrs of 1962 war, Antony said: "Nothing changed. This is the 50th year and we thought this is the time the whole nation must pay our homage to the officers and jawans who had lost lives to protect our border."

    Asked about criticism that the military leadership was not involved in 1962 and the lessons learnt from it, Antony had said, "The major lesson is that we have to strengthen our armed forces to protect our borders. That we are doing and now we are in a position to involve armed forces, intelligence agencies and all those involved in the protection of national security. That process is much stronger."

    But, even after a year after Antony's tall claim, hardly anything has improved along the Sino-India border as was witnessed while proceeding to Bumla pass in Tawang district on October 20 last.

    The vehicles were finding it difficult to move even at zero km speed at few patches without any sign of road while it was learnt at Bumla that the Chinese soldiers travel in Land Cruisers at 60 km per hour speed on the other side.

    What an irony! Is it the cost of democracy the defence personnel have been paying while guarding the frontier which records 10 to 15 feet snowfall during the winter and temperature goes below upto -23oC?

    That is the conclusive reason that tomorrow's event would be a land mark one for the country where civilians would salute the martyrs while boosting the morals of the jawans protecting the border.

    'Ay mere vatan ke logon, the monumental song of Lata Mangeshkar and 'Kata juwanor mrutyu hol' (grieving over the death of soldiers in 1962) by Bhupen Hazarika would rend the air while Mukesh Khanna of Shaktiman fame through his stereophonic voice would try to create the feeling of what could possibly have been the last words of martyr Jaswant.

    Meanwhile, councillors of Itanagar Municipal Council (IMC) led by chief councillor Aruni Higio have declared Leela Devi as IMC guest. By Pradeep Kumar (ANI)

    1962 martyrs to be honoured during Sarhad ko Swaranjali programme
     
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