Veteran remembers unsung war heroes

Veteran remembers unsung war heroes

When he said, “probably none of the soldiers who were relishing the simple meal at the camp before the war began, had even the slightest idea that it would be their last meal in this lifetime,” the audience could not stop but sympathise for those bravos who lost their life in the battle field. And when he said, “they (soldiers) gave their yesterdays, for our today,” it was the time for the audience to salute the unsung war heroes who sacrificed their every bit for the sake of this nation.

The occasion was the commemoration ceremony of Vijay Divas, the day India defeated Pakistan in the third Indo-Pak war on December 16, 1971 which led to the liberation of East Pakistan, thus forming a new nation - Bangladesh. The programme was organised for the second year by Dakshina Kannada District Ex-servicemen’s Association at War Memorial in Kadri Hills. The programme which began with paying floral tribute to the martyrs, was followed by a stage function, where Brigadier (retd) I N Rai unfolded his Bangaldesh Liberation War memories.

Rai said that he never spoke about the war memories in public so far here in Mangalore because he felt that Mangaloreans are least aware and interested about Indian Army. Recalling some of the bad experiences, he said he has faced some strange questions when he was a colonel like, “when will you become the captain?” and “do soldiers booze before the fight?”. Brigadier Rai who posted in the Sikh Light Infantry said that the war memory is so afresh in his mind and he can not forget the moments when his mates were brutally killed, the blood shed, the piercing noise, the bullets and the darkness.

Explaining the incident, he said, “It appears like a black ‘n’ white movie now.”

Nitte University Chancellor Dr Vinay Hegde asked to introspect before blaming the young generation for not joining the military.

“Only if the government ensures that the families of the military men are well supported in case the men in service meet with untoward incidents, then youth might turn up to Army. The interest of the Army men and their family should be protected,” he said.

Air Marshal (retd) Ramesh Karnik, Home Guards Commandant Nidarsh Hegde, Lion District Governor M B Sadashiv, Western Institute President Stephen Mendes and others were present.  

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