New Era for Indian Defence Forces – IAF gets two more women fighter pilots

Picture Courtesy: Defencelover.in

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Flying officer Pratibha and Shivangi SIngh

On 16th December, the Indian Air Force got two more women fighter pilots. 105 Flight Cadets commissioned as Flying Officers during the combined graduation parade of pilots and ground duty officers held at Air Force academy in Dundigal in Telangana.

Flying Officer Pratibha and Shivangi Singh were amongst the 15 women who joined elite cadre of IAF officers. Shivangi hails from Varanasi, whereas Pratibha belongs to Rajgarh district of Rajasthan.

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Three women fighter pilots commissioned last year into the IAF.

There are total of five women fighter pilots in the IAF. Last year in December three women pilots- Flying Officer Bhawna Kanth, Avani Chaturvedi and Mohana Singh – were inducted into the IAF . They are likely to be commissioned into the fighter wing by December 31. Soon  they can fly the Su-30 MKI aircraft.

Picture Courtesy: Oneindia.com

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Sub Lieutenant Shubhangi Swaroop

This year the Indian Navy also got its first women pilot –  Sub Lieutenant Shubhangi Swaroop.

 

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Meet The Param Vir Chakra awardees of 1971 war

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Lt. Gen. Niazi signing the document of surrender before Lt. Gen JS Aurora

 

Exactly 46 years back on the same day The Indian Army made 93,000 Pakistani Army soldiers surrender. The war went on for two weeks i.e. from 3rd December 1971 to the fall of Dacca on 16th December 1971. Pakistan Army commander Lt. Gen. Niazi signed the documents of surrender in public in Dacca on this day, which led to the creation of Bangladesh. Lt. Gen. JS Aurora took the surrender.

As per government data 1769 army personnel sacrificed their lives in the war. 11 Air Force and 204 Navy personnel achieved martyrdom in the war.

Three Param Vir Chakras were given during this war

 

  • 2nd Lt Arun Khetarpal:

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21-yr old officer hailed from Pune. 2nd Lt. Joined 17 Poona horse regiment. He made supreme sacrifice in the Battle of Basantar on the eastern front. Inspite being hit Khetarpal refused to vaccat his tank. His last words to his commander on the radio sets were, “No Sir, I will not abandon my tank. My Main gun is still working and I will get these bastards.” Hi was awarded Param Vir Chakra posthumously for his gallantary.

 

  • Major Hoshiar Singh:

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Major Hoshiar Singh belonged to 3 granediers. His battalion was given task to establish brigade head across the river Basantar in Shankargarh district between December 15-December 17. River was well fortified by Pak army with mines on both sides. He was commanding the ‘C’ company. He was ordered to capture Pakistani post in Jarpal. Pakistani’s launched counter attack. He went from trench to trench motivating his men inspite of seriously injured. His courage and leadership repulsed the counter attack inflicting heavy causalities on Pak Army. For his bravery he was awarded Param Vir Chakra. He retired as Brigadier from the army.

 

  • Lance Naik Albert Ekka:

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He achieved martyrdom on 3rd December in the Battle of Hilli on the eastern front. For his bravery during the battle he was posthumously awarded Param Vir Chakra.

  • Flying Officer NirmalJeet Singh Sekhon:

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During the Indo-Pak war of 1971 he was serving No. 18 Squadron, ‘The Flying Bullets’ of The Indian Air Force’. Flying Officer Sekhon was flying Folland Gnat fighter stationed at Srinagar. He was awarded Param Vir Chakra posthumously for single-handedly defending Srinagar Air base against Pakistan Air Force air raid.

INS Kalvari commissioned into the Indian Navy

Picture Courtesy: Reddit.com

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has commissioned indigenously built scorpene class submarine INS Kalvari into Indian Navy in Mumbai today. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba and Vice Admiral Girish Luthra, Flag Officer Commanding of the Western Naval Command, were also present at the event.

 

10 PoinTs to know about INS Kalvari:

  • INS Kalvari is built by Mazagon Dock limited (MDL) and designed by French naval defence and energy company DCNS. As stated by PM Modi, it is the best example of ‘Make in India’ Campaign.

 

  • It is built under Project 75 of Indian Navy with the transfer of technology from DCNS.

 

  • It shares its name with India’s first Submarine ‘INS Kalvari’ inducted into India Navy on 8th December 1967.

 

  • INS Kalvari is first of the six scorpene-class submarine which are to be inducted into the Indian Navy. Second submarine of this series INS Khanderi will soon be part of the navy.

 

  • It is named after the tiger shark, a deadly deep sea predator of Indian Ocean. The deadly features of INS Kalvari include superior stealth and ability to launch crippling attacks with precision-guided weapons.

 

  • The submarine has 360 battery cells, each weighing 750 kg, to power the extremely silent Permanently Magnetised Propulsion Motor.

 

  • The submarine is equipped with Exocet anti-ship missiles and heavy-weight torpedoes. The attacks can be carried out with torpedoes both while submerged or on the surface. It can carry upto 18 torpedoes

 

  • The total length of Kalvari is 67.5 metres and a height of 12.3 metres and can travel upto 1,020 KMs underwater and can dive to depth upto 300 metres.

 

  • INS Kalvari is a diesel-electric attack submarine.

 

  • The construction of the submarine began on December 14, 2006.

 

 

 

 

Story of grit and determination

Lt. Barnana Yadagiri

 

Picture Courtesy: Sumit Sharma

 

Some people are disheartened by difficulties, while some face them boldly and achieve their goals. When one is determined, no obstacle can stop them from achieving their dreams.

I happened to come across one such determined soul when I went to IMA for covering the Passing out Parade of Autumn term this December for my blog. I met a newly commissioned officer, Lt. Baranana Yadagiri. He belongs to the Hyderabad and his father, Gurnnaya Yadagiri, used to be a daily wager.

During his interaction with the media, Lt. Yadagiri said, “I have faced a lot of difficulties right from my childhood. My father used to work in a small cement factory. I have a younger brother too and it was difficult for my father to feed us with his meagre earning of around Rs 100 per day.”

However, Lt. Yadagiri background didn’t stop him form pursuing his dreams. He worked hard and got 93.34% in matriculation, which helped him to get scholarship for further studies. He studied engineering from International Institute of Information and Technology (IIIT), Hyderabad in Mechanical stream. After completing his engineering, he got job offers from the US, but he didn’t give in to the distractions and kept moving ahead to achieve his goal.

“I got lot of opportunities. I got offers to go to the USA and that from IITs and IIMs, but I wanted to join army that’s why I didn’t go there.”

Lt. Yadagiri not only become an officer but also received silver medal for standing first in the order of merit in technical entry.

Lt. Yadagiri’s parents were overwhelmed by looking at their son in the army uniform. Their hard work has paid off. After donning the uniform, feeling of satisfaction could clearly be seen on Lieutenant’s face. He was calm and composed with fire and hunger in his heart.

Now his next aim is to enhance his skills and knowledge so that he can prove himself worthy of his uniform, making his parents, instructors and army proud of himself.

Lt. Yadagiri addressing the media:

INDO-SINO STANDOFF IN SIKKIM, STRATEGIC MOVE BY DRAGON TO GAIN MILITARY ADVANTAGE

Picture Courtesy: http://www.idwr.com

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China has always followed the policy of expansion. This is the reason why it is called the ‘Dragon’. The standoff between Indian Army and People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is one fine example of the Chinese policy of expansion. After reiterating its claims on Tawang and Arunachal Pradesh, China now wants to capture the strategic area of Doklam plateau.

Doklam plateau lies in Bhutan, however, China claims that this area falls under its territory. Based on these claims, Chinese forces didn’t hesitate to build roads in this area earlier this year in June. On the request of the Bhutanese King, Indian Army intervened and stopped PLA from building a road in the area.

Importance of Doklam:

Picture Courtesy: http://www.youtube.com

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Doklam is a strategic location which lets one easily target the chicken’s neck (narrow peace of land connecting main Indian Land to North east India). Holding a strategic position in Doklam plateau gives China a strategic edge and helps keeping an eye on surrounding area. In the case of a military conflict it can disconnect the India’s northeast region from the Mainland.

China has also staked claims on parts of Sikkim.China has issued an official warning to India to back off from the Doklam plateau by reminding India of the 1962 war.

Recently, Chinese forces performed a live military drill in Tibet and according to some media reports, China has started stocking up weapons in Tibet, which can be used against India if a war breaks between the two neighbouring countries. It might give a military advantage to Chinese forces.

As per the experts, this could be China’s tactics to try and put pressure on India in order to fulfil its dream project – ‘China Pakistan Economic Corridor’ and to divert India’s attention from Pakistan.

IMA – The Institution where Boys are Groomed into Warriors – Spring Term POP 2017

Picture Courtesy: Sumit Sharma

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IMA: Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, POP June 2017

IMA : Indian Military Academy is the prestigious institution which is known for producing brave and gallant officers.

Till now IMA has produced over fifty nine thousand officers, who have made our nation proud.

For the third time I got the opportunity to cover the Passing Out Parade (POP).  It was special this time, because chief of Army Staff Gen. Bipin Rawat was the reviewing officer.

Picture Courtesy: Indian Military Academy

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General Bipin Rawat addressing young officers during POP, June 2017

 

Passing out Parade of IMA takes place twice in a year: Spring term and Autumn Term.

490 GCs of 140 Regular Course, 123 Technical Graduate Course and 25 UES Course, including 67 Foreign Gentlemen Cadets from Ten friendly foreign countries passed out from the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun on 10 June 2017. Gen Bipin Rawat, UYSM, AVSM, YSM, SM, VSM, ADC, Chief of Army Staff reviewed the parade. The GCs displayed tremendous enthusiasm, vigour and zeal, putting up an excellent show, marching to Military tunes of `Col Bogey’ and `Sare Jahan Se Achha’ with pride and élan.

Picture Courtesy: Indian Military Academy

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Gen.  Bipin Rawat reviewing the Parade

General Rawat is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Kadakwasla. He was commissioned into India army in December 1978. Gen. Rawat during the span of over span of 38 years of service has been awarded for gallantry and distinguished service with UYSM, AVSM, YSM, SM, VSM, ADC; COAS Commendation of two occasions and the Army Commander’s Commendation.

During his address he congratulated young officers on successful completion of their training. Gen. Rawat also congratulated Instructors and support staff for grooming Gentlemen Cadets into the finest officers. Gen .Rawat also motivated young officers to perform their duties with utmost bravery and honesty.

The Reviewing Officer presented the following awards:-

Picture Courtesy: Sumit Sharma

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COAS Gen. Bipin Rawat Presenting awards to the winners
  • The coveted award of the Sword of Honour and Gold medal(for the GC standing First in the Overall Order of Merit )was presented to Academy Cadet Adjutant Avinash Chhetry .

Picture Courtesy: Sumit Sharma

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Winner of Sword of Honour: Lt. Avinash Chhetry

 

  • Silver Medal for the Gentleman Cadet standing Second in the Order of Merit was presented to Battallion under officer Vikas Sangwan.

 

  • Bronze Medal for the Gentleman Cadet standing Third in the Order of Merit was presented to Junior Under officer Rohit Joshi.

 

  • Silver Medal for the Gentleman Cadet standing First in the Order of Merit from Technical Graduate Course was presented to Junior Under officer Akshay Singh Bisht.

 

  • Silver Medal for the Gentleman Cadet standing First in the Order of Merit from Foreign GCs was presented to Seargant Wilfred Cyprian Lyakurwa.
  • Chief of Army Staff Banner was awarded to Singarh Company for standing Overall First amongst 16 companies for the Spring Term 2017.

Picture Courtesy: Indian Military Academy

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Chief of Army Staff Banner was awarded to Singarh Company

 

After the Piping ceremony Young Cadets took oath to safeguard the country till the peril of their life. It was moment of pride for the parents. There were few third generation young army officers who carried forward the legacy of their fathers and grandfathers.

Picture Courtesy: Sumit Sharma

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Young Officers celebrating after oath taking ceremony

Picture Courtesy: Sumit Sharma

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Young Officers celebrating after oath taking ceremony

 

During his media briefing General Rawat said the that the misinformation spread by social media in the valley is responsible for growing terrorism in the valley. He further added that the army is required to maintain peace in the valley.

Picture Courtesy: Sumit Sharma

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Gen. Bipin Rawat addressing media

Answering the question wether women can be a part of combat forces, he said that Army is looking forward to involve women in combat need, as there is a need of an hour. It will help in counter insurgency operations as in many cases terrorists use women as their shield.

The Army Chief shows optimism in resolving Indo-China borer dispute through a proper mechanism.

Gen. Rawat also warned Pakistan, he said that India will give befitting reply to Pak’s nefarious activities across the LoC.

 

 

‘IMA Ball Night – 2017, Spring Term’ – The night of Joy and Merriment

Picture Courtesy: Sumit Sharma

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Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun

India Military Academy (IMA) is the most prestigious institute of India, where boys are groomed and trained to be an officers of The Indian Army. Gentlemen Cadets undergo a rigorous training in the academy.

At the end of the training Ball Party is organised. Gentlemen Cadets are allowed to invite their ball partners for this ball night. The future officers always have a gala time during this ball night before the military service beckons. This event is also termed as ‘Break-Up Party’ for the third termers. Display of officer like qualities e.g. Courtesy, Chivalry, Gentlemanly were at peak during this event. These qualities are imbibed in gentlemen cadets during the entire course of training in IMA, which makes them a ‘True Gentlemen’.

Picture Courtesy: Indian Military Academy

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Winners of IMA Ball-2017 (Spring Term) with Commandant IMA, Lt Gen SK Upadhya, SM, VSM

The glittering and most awaited social event for the Spring Term 2017, the ‘IMA Ball’, was held on 27 May 2017 at the Indian Military Academy.

The evening of joy, merriment and nostalgia commenced with the Commandant IMA, Lt Gen SK Upadhya, SM, VSM, who set the ball rolling.  The Gentleman Cadets in evening military attire and the ladies in their dazzling best graced the gala event.

Picture Courtesy: Indian Military Academy

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Mr IMA: GC Naman Bhatt

Picture Courtesy: Indian Military Academy

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Miss IMA: Miss Saumya

The highlight of the evening was the selection of Mr IMA and Miss IMA, in which the Gentleman Cadets and their lady guests participated whole-heartedly with great zeal and enthusiasm. Miss Saumya was adjudged as Miss IMA and Gentleman Cadet Naman Bhatt was declared as Mr IMA. The proud winners won exquisite gift hampers.

IMA – THE DREAM THAT NEVER LETS YOU SLEEP – AUTUMN TERM POP 2016

 

CREDO OF INDIAN MILITARY ACADEMY:

The Safety, Honor and Welfare of your Country come First – Always and Every time.

The Honor, Welfare and Comfort of the Men You Command come Next.

Your Own Ease, Comfort and Safety come Last – Always and Every Time.’

(Picture Courtesy : Sumit Sharma)

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Chetwode Building, Indian Military Academy, Dehradun

 

The credo of IMA serves as the motto of every officer of the Indian Army.

Till date IMA has given over fifty seven thousand officers to the Indian Army.

Officers commissioned from this prestigious institute has lived up to the reputation of the IMA. Alumni of the IMA has displayed the leadership and military skills in every conflict in which Indian army has been engaged.

The first batch of IMA consists of 40 gentlemen cadets, started their training from 1st October 1932, whereas officially IMA was inaugurated on 10th December 1932.

Each year young cadets undergo rigorous training of one and half years. This training transforms them from a boy to the Officers of the Indian Army.

Passing out Parade of IMA takes place twice in a year: Spring term and Autumn Term.

(Picture Courtesy : Sumit Sharma)

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GCs ready for the Parade, IMA

The Passing out Parade of 139 regular and 122 technical course took place 10th December 2016, where 401 Gentlemen cadets commissioned into the Army. Fifty three foreign cadets also completed their training and joined as officers in their respective armies.

(Picture Courtesy : Sumit Sharma)

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Reviewing Officer Lt.Gen. NPS Hira, AVSM, SM reviewing the parade

Lt. Gen. Narinder Pal Singh Hira, AVSM, SM, was the reviewing officer of the Parade. The General Officer has a rich experience of conventional operations both in Western and eastern Theaters’ and also of Counter-Insurgency, both in Jammu and Kashmir and in North-East. In his address Lt. Gen . Hira congratulated Gentlemen Cadets (GC) for successfully completing the traing at IMA. He also appreciated the hardwork put in by the instructors of the academy for making the GCs tough mentally and physically. Lt. Gen keeping in focus the changing warfare practices in modern time, highlighted the the way GC are trained so that they can adapt themselves to this modern warfare. He also praised the Indian Army for showing valour in all the conflicts fought till now. Lt. Gen said that armies of bravery few countries can match the capabilities of the Indian Army.

(Picture Courtesy : Indian Military Academy)

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Reviewing officer presnting ‘Sword of Honour’ To Gc Pratyush Mohanty

 

The coveted ‘Sword of Honour’ was given to Academy Cadet Adjutant Pratyush Kumar MohantyBatallion Under Officer Malla Rama Gopal Naidu won the gold Medal for standing first in the overall merit list, whereas Silver Medal for standing second in the merit list was given to Batallion Under officer Suyash Gupta. Bronze Medal was given to Academy Cadet Pratyush Kumar MohantySilver Medal for the Gentleman Cadet standing First in the Order of Merit from Technical Graduate Course was presented to Junior Under Officer Deepak SinghSilver Medal for the Foreign Gentleman Cadet standing First in the Order of Merit  amongst the Foreign Gentlemen Cadets was presented to GC George Prince Karki of Nepal

The Chief of Army Staff Banner was presented to Alamein Company for standing overall First amongst the 16 companies for the Autumn Term 2016.

(Picture Courtesy : Sumit Sharma)

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GC’s marching during the POP

This time around also Uttar Pradesh topped the list with 77 GC’s from the state commissioned into the army, followed by Haryana with 46 GC’s. 11 GC’s from Jammu and Kashmir also commissioned into the army. In the spring term this year 565 GC’s were commissioned into the army, where this number drops down to 401 only.

(Picture Courtesy : Sumit Sharma)

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Silver Medalist amongst the foreign cadets: GC George Prince Karki from Nepal

After the Piping ceremony Young Cadets took oath to safeguard the country till the peril of their life. It was moment of pride for the parents. There were few third generation young army officers who carried forward the legacy of their fathers and grandfathers.

(Picture Courtesy : Sumit Sharma)

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Young officers celebrating after taking the oath

Interacting with media Sword of honour winner, Pratyush Mohanty expressed his happiness on winning this honour.

According to GC Deepak Singh, Silver medalist of 122 technical course, The way of looking towards things has completely changed, earlier in civilian life we complain about things, but in army it is not about complaints, it is all about accomplishing the task given to you.

(Picture Courtesy : Sumit Sharma)

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‘Sword of Honour’ winner Lt. Pratyush Mohanty addressing the media

(Picture Courtesy : Sumit Sharma)

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Silver Medalist in technical entry: Lt. Deepak Singh sharing his experience of  his training in IMA

Talking to the media Lt. Gen. NPS Hira said that demonetization had helped to curtail the terror activities as the financial support system of the terrorists was hampered a great deal from this move.

The POP ceremony is the event which marks the transformation of a civilian into an army officer. The officers commissioned from IMA always carry forward the legacy of alumni of the academy and one promise these young officers make to them that they will also make their country and/ parents proud.

Countdown Begins – Evening of Joy rocked the IMA ‘#IMA Ball -Autumn Term’

 

(Picture Courtesy : Indian Military Academy)

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Winners of ‘IMA Ball’ with Commandant of IMA, Lt. Gen. SK Saini, YSM, VSM

After rigorous and hard training of one and half years, third termer cadets get the opportunity to have a glimpse of the lighter side of Army officer’s Life at ‘IMA Ball’. Cadets are allowed to invite their Ball partner for this ball night. “IMA Ball’ is held at the end of every term. This event make cadets realize that they are now ready to step into the world as an officers of Indian Army.

 

This time IMA Ball  took place on 26th November for the Autumn term, two weeks before the Passing out Parade, which is going to be held on 10th December  2016. This event is also termed as ‘Break-Up Party’ for the third termers. Display of officer like qualities e.g. Courtesy, Chivalry, Gentlemanly were at peak during this event. These qualities are imbibed in gentlemen cadets during the entire course of training in IMA, which makes them a ‘True Gentlemen’.

(Picture Courtesy : Indian Military Academy)

Commandant of IMA, LT. Gen. SK Saini, YSM, VSM set the ball rolling and the evening of joy began with energetic Gentlemen Cadets (GC’s) displaying their talent on the dance floor. Highlight of the event was the selection of Mr. and Miss IMA. Miss Kismat was adjudged as Miss IMA and GC Vipin Semwal  was declared as Mr. IMA. Gift hampers were given to the winners.

With this, count down to the Passing out Parade has begun, the day when these GC’s will be commissioned into the Indian Army as officers.

Time to know our ‘Real STARS’

Picture Courtesy: http://www.udayavani.com

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Kargil war memorial

On a clear, cloudless night we see millions of stars. People believe that the men who die in a battlefield for the cause of protecting the country transform into stars after achieving martyrdom. Whether it is a reality or a myth we don’t know, but one thing we are certain that these brave hearts who laid their lives for their country definitely become stars for their countrymen. These are the special stars, which shine brighter than the stars in the sky.

Picture Courtesy: http://www.indiatvnews.com

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Param Vir Chakra citation for Capt. Vikram Batra (Posthumously)

Picture Courtesy: http://www.ndtv.com

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Capt. Batra During Kargil war

Shaheed Capt. Vikram Batra, Shaheed Lt. Manoj Pandey, and many other officers and soldiers who laid down their life to safeguard our borders are such stars. It was during the summer of 1999, Place of action was Kargil. Indian army had a daunting task of recapturing the bunkers from the infiltrators. and our army was on the back foot as the enemy was huge in numbers and  at the advantageous positions i.e. at the top of the mountains, but our soldiers were not short of bravery.

Picture Courtesy: http://www.fullyindia.com

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Lt. Manoj Pandey, PVC (Posthumously)

Picture Courtesy: http://www.mensxp.com

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Lt. Pandey during NDA training

Capt. Batra laid down his life while saving life of his subordinate, whereas Lt. Pandey sacrificed his life while clearing the bunker area in Batalik Sector for the promise which he made to his commanding officer Col. Lalit Rai. Both of these officers posthumously got Param Vir Chakra, India’s highest gallantry award of war time.

How many of us remember these real stars? We remember birthdays, marriage anniversaries and several other minute details of our favorite celebrities, because of the glamour attached to them. Most of us remember the number of runs Sachin scored in his international career, or the number of movies Shahrukh Khan has done in his career till now, but do we remember the count of our soldiers who martyred in Kargil war? I guess none of us or may be few of us exactly know this answer.

As per official data India lost 537 soldiers during this war and 1363 wounded.

Government should also play active role in making youth know about these brave heroes. Stories of their bravery should be included in the text books, so that coming generations should know the sacrifice which these warriors made for keeping the sovereignty of this country intact.

The cloud of glamour overshadows the deeds of the brave soldiers. But one thing we should never forget that clouds cannot prevent stars from shining.