From the burning deserts of Rajasthan, to the icy heights of Siachen, from battling wars, to nation building, from scaling mountains, to Olympic drawing, from enduring struggle, to supreme sacrifice, with an indomitable will, our soldiers lay down their lives, for Honour, for INDIA.
The Indian Army is the pride of our nation. The Indian soldier has had an illustrious march through history. From the battlefields of the first World War where 1.3 million soldiers marched for valour, to the second World War where 2.5 million Indian soldiers fought shoulder to shoulder with the allied forces to uphold the ideals of Freedom, Liberty and Democracy. The Memorial at Kohimo (Nagaland) is a salute to their sacrifice.
“When you go home, tell them of us and say, For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today”.
As our great nation took the first step towards freedom in 1947, it was the Indian Army with its secular credentials that stood its bulwark to protect human values, a quality that retains to this day. With sheer grit and determination, they dismantled tanks and physically pushed them up the 11,500 feet high Zojila pass. This audaciousness, perseverance and flawless execution by the Indian Soldier altered the course of India’s destiny.
Then came 1962, when the enemy attacked in hordes, taking the nation by surprise. The ill-equipped Indian Soldier stood his ground, willing to lay down his life even in the face of over-whelming odds.
In 1965, the Indian Army yet again proved its mettle. Be it the dramatic capture of the Haji Pir pass or the unprecedented feet of capturing and incapacitating a hundred enemy tanks in the Battle of Asal Uttar. In one of the greatest milestones achieved in military operation anywhere in the world, the Indian Army oversaw the birth of a new nation in 1971, Bangladesh.
1984 saw the Indian Army conduct a singular operational world military history. Strategically, one of the most important victories of the nation when India established complete control of the imposing and magnificent Sal Toro Ridge overlooking the Siachen glacier, now the highest battlefield in the world.
The Indian Army was tested once again in 1999. The victim belligerent incursions on iced capped peaks, by tackling vertical cliff faces in Kargil, the Indian Soldier yet again proved its mettle and won the hearts of the nation.
The Indian Army not only safeguards the borders of our Nation, but also the foundation of our Democracy. The scourge of terrorism and insurgency has brought war to the doorstep to innocent civilians. Be it in the battle fatigue of the ‘Rashtriya Rifles’ or the black dungarees of the ‘Special Action Group’ which formed the backbone of the NSG, the nation turns to the Army EVERY TIME.
The formidable reputation of our soldiers goes far beyond our shores. Dawning the role of Ambassadors of the Indian state, they have endeavored ceaselessly to achieve peace and stability in war ravaged nations, making them one of the most soight after peacekeepers across the world.
Training friendly armies and extending support and humanitarian aid, our soldiers are the public face of Indian Diplomacy. Participating in joint-exercises with friendly nations, they also showcase our ethos and capabilities across the world. It is this lethal MAN-MACHINE combination that stands between any adversary and the Indian society.
The wrath of Mother Nature comes without warning and can be far more devastating that war itself. In such catastrophe, the nation turns to the ever dependable Army, the fastest responders in any crisis. Not withstanding personal hardship, the Indian soldier has always responded with valour where it was combating floods in Uttarakhand and Kashmir, earthquakes in Bhuj, trunamis and cyclones on the south-east coast and provided shelter and relief to catastrophe struck citizens of this country.
This devotion to duty comes at a cost. The Indian Soldier has been ever willing to pay the price whenever called upon. Stories of valor and sacrifice of the many uniformed are today foretold.
Men Apart, Every Soldier is a Hero ::
From Major Somnath Sharma to 2nd Lieutenant Arun Khetrapal, from CQMH Abdul Hamid to Lansnaiak Albert Decker, these men willingly sacrificed their lives in the name of our Nation. Such stories of selfless sacrifices of our soldiers, not only in war but also in peace keep surfacing and make the institution of the Indian Army the most respected force in India.
Like Capt. Majinder Singh Bhinder who saved 150 lives in the Uphaar tragedy and Bishnu Shrestha who single handedly saved the honor of a young lady from 40 armed bandits on a train. For every hero, there are countless others who have spilled their blood. Some survived & many others did not.
Words can hardly convey the gratitude that these martyrs inspire for their sacrifice is our Freedom.
In the words of T B Macaulay, “How can man die better than facing fearful odds, for the ashes of his fathers, and the temples of his Gods?”
The Indian soldier not only fights the nations wars but has a larger role in the march towards greatness. Building critical infrastructure like roads, bridges and airstrips in virtually inaccessible and extremely varied terrains, to constructing bridges in Delhi during the Common Wealth Games, the Indian Army is there at the nations call.
Hard at work, the gritty Indian Soldier holds his soldierly skills throughout the year. Maintaining his equipment and keeping his powder dry. He is always there for other security forces, be it training the Central Armed Police Forces to combat terror or assisting the local police when things get out of hand. From restoring essential services like communication and power, to ride railways to oil-wells, from medical research to cyber war, from trauma care to conservation of ecology to heritage, the Army responds to the carrion call of the Nation in every walk of life.
Once A Soldier, Always A Soldier ::
Our veterans too contribute to society. Once they hang up their spurs they join every walk of civilian life, bringing with them the qualities of discipline, honesty, integrity and loyalty. The Army also imparts these values in the younger generation through the NCC and investing in the nations future.
In the sports arena too, the Indian Soldier has kept the national flag flying high and the impressive tally of medals tell its own tale. Be it Dhyan Chand at Hockey, Captain CK Naidu in Cricket or the flying Sikh – Milkha Singh in athletics, the Army has always contributed its share of outstanding sportsmen to the nation.
To War and Peace, within our borders and without, these men and women stand shoulder-to-shoulder inspiring the citizens of our nation, irrespective of cast, creed or colour. Every soldier epitomizes the motto of “All for One and One for All”.
From the dense and humid jungles of Arunachal Pradesh, to the barren expanse of the Rann of Kutch, from the beaches of Port Blair, to the high altitude desert of Ladakh, the Indian Army is every ready, be it war or as the ever-dependable instrument of state supporting national endeavors and sustaining National Pride. The Indian Soldier stand steadfast and strong knowing that the aspirations of 1.2 billion Indians rests on his shoulders.
He Soldiers on, unrelenting in his pursuit of ‘Excellence’. The Nation Expects, The Army Delivers.
In heat and cold, in pleasure and pain, strike and steadfast you will find the Indian Soldier living by his code, willing to pay even by his life for the dignity of our nation and the idea of INDIA.
The ethos and spirit of the Indian Soldier makes the Indian Army the “Pride of our Nation”.