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Indian Army

Tales of fierce battles, humors anecdotes mark concluding day of Military Parley

November 29, 2017 10:16 PM
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CHANDIGARH: Stories of hair-raising battles, and humorous anecdotes from on and off the battle grounds, marked the second day of the Military Parley, as preparations for the Inaugural Military Literature Festival continued to pick up momentum.

The Government Museum and Art Gallery Auditorium here was abuzz with exciting tales by war veterans as the Parley came to a close, paving the way for several other interesting events in the run-up to the Festival, being organized jointly by the Punjab Government and Chandigarh Administration, and slated to be held from December 7 to 9.

Lieutenant General J.L. Malhotra's inaugural speech left the audience mesmerized as he narrated the fearless tales of Sikh soldiers in Nagaland and Poonch. His descriptive portrayal of the soldiers’ brush with artillery firing and their courageous retaliation despite being wounded saw the audience virtually hanging out from their chairs.

The Vir Chakra and Vashisht Sewa Medal (VSM) recipient Colonel Gurmukh Singh lauded the role of Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and his government for holding the Military Literature Festival and reiterated that such functions should be made an annual event. He shared his personal experiences and revealed the importance of discipline and hard work during his postings across India.

Speaking on the role of communication skills in the Indian Army, Colonel R.D. Singh said that an army officer lacking in confidence and in-depth knowledge fails to imbibe the fighting spirit in the soldiers. He gave many tips to the children from YPS School, Mohali, on polishing the communication skills. The children were among the enraptured audience at the event.

Colonel Singh thrilled the children with questions on general aptitude and gave chocolates to those who gave the right answers. To a query on how to become a good speaker, he said, "You can speak well if your tongue can deliver the message of your heart."

Touching an important aspect of the Indian Army --Bridging The Gap, Colonel Avnish Sharma cited common perceptions about the Indian ‘Fauji’ in the eyes of the civilians, in contrast with the reality. A true soldier is known for his 'short appearance and quick disappearance’, he said, apprising the audience about several unknown facts about Indian soldiers by narrating incidents of humour even in life-threatening situations. He also spoke about transparency, fighting against corruption, behavior of Pakistani soldiers in war and peace, and filling gaps between the the civil society and army personnel.

Captain Amarjeet Kumar threw light upon his experiences in the 1971 war and the role played by the Mukti Bahini as well as the conflict sparked by the armed liberation struggle taking place in East Pakistan. He also spoke extensively about the Sikh soldiers’ bravery during this war and how the recipients of the highest gallantry awards fought for the nation without caring for their lives.

The need and role of innovation in the Indian Army was highlighted by Major General Surjit Singh, who made the audience aware of many innovative and economical techniques, swiftly adopted by the Indian Army. He took the audience through a slideshow about how a ropeway helped in transporting material as heavy as 150 kg between Gangtok and North Sikkim after the bridge was washed away in an avalanche.

Among other military veterans who spoke on the various topics included Flt Lt. G S Jawanda, Colonel JDS Jind, Brigadier Harwant Singh, Colonel Krishan Yadav, Major General HC Sachdev, Captain Renu Aggarwal, Major General B.S. Grewal, Brigadier I.S. Jakhal, and Lt. Gen. P.N. Hoon.

Concluding the ceremony, Senior Advisor to Punjab Chief Minister, Lieutenant General T.S. Shergill thanked the organizers and Captain Amarinder Singh. He said that the success of the Military Parley bodes well for the success of the upcoming Military Literature Festival.

Divulging that nearly 1200 children would get the chance to interact with the recipients of the Param Vir Chakra during the Festival, he said this would be an experience of a lifetime for the kids. He further disclosed that modalities were being worked out to conduct the Military Parley in the form of a book in future.

Punjabi NRIs

Punjab Speaker Rana K.P Singh honours NRI Surinder Nijjar

Rana KP Singh honours NRI Surinder Nijjer. Pawan Dewan is also seen in picture
December 02, 2017 09:51 PM
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CHANDIGARH:  Even after living in foreign land for years , NRI Surinder Singh Nijjar never lagged behind in helping humanity in his country India , such a great soul N.R.I Nijjar has been honoured by Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker Rana K.P .  A small function in its regard was organised where P.P.C.C General Secretary Pawan Dewan was specially present.

 On this occasion Speaker Rana. K.P said , Nijjar has always kept Social Service at front foot.  He keep on lending is hand in services like Medical Camps , Education , Food supply in states like Punjab , Himanchal Pradeep , Haryana , Maharashtra , U.P , Delhi .

Further he said many Indians forget their nation after settling in foreign lands , but few people like Nijjar even after settling abroad never forget their nation and keep on devoting something for its betterment.

Further Nijjar , thanking Speaker Rana. K.P said , this is his duty to serve his own nation and humanity . He said if your money cannot help any needy then it’s just a waste.
 Satbir Singh , Tajinder Singh , Malkit Singh, Satnam Singh , Gurdeep Singh Ahluwalia were also present .

War Veterans

Punjab CM joins British, Canadian envoys to pay homage to India soldiers

Swati Walia
Capt Amarinder Singh with envoys of US and Canada ar rememberance Day
November 16, 2017 04:10 PM
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CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday joined British Deputy High Commissioner in Chandigarh Andrew Ayre and Canadian Consular General Chandigarh Christopher Gibbins at a Remembrance Day event to pay homage to the soldiers who lost their lives in the line of duty.

Remembrance Day is a memorial day observed in the Commonwealth of Nations member states since the end of World War I to remember the members of their armed forces who had lost their lives in the war.

Addressing a small gathering at an event here to mark the 100 years of the Remembrance Day, Captain Amarinder recalled the contribution of Indian soldiers who fought for the Allied Powers during the first World War and said their role would forever remain etched in world history.

The Chief Minister went down memory lane to recall the battlefield of Yepres and other places where Indian soldiers had been laid to rest. India raised 1440037 volunteers and sent seven Exeditionary Forces to various theatres, he further pointed out, adding that the courage and valour of the Indian soldiers who fought battles that did not even belong to them can never be forgotten.

Speaking on the occasion, Gibbins said Canada, which was observing the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, had lost 4000 of its men in the war, in which the Indian armed forces also played an important role.

The British Deputy High Commissioner Chandigarh also lauded the role of the Indian armed forces in both the world wars, alongside British, Canadian and other allied forces. Their role in securing British independence should never be forgotten, he said, expressing happiness that the Punjab Chief Minister and students from Mai Bhago Armed Forces Preparatory Institute were present to mark the occasion.

He recalled that during WWI, over one million Indian troops served overseas, of whom 74000 died and another 67000 were wounded. He lauded the role of Indian soldiers in various battles and said that to ensure that their contribution was not forgotten, the Department for Communities and Local Government was working on a new community engagement programme. “The bravery and sacrifice of Indian soldiers was all the more notable as the conflicts in which they participated were not their wars, but ours,” he added.

Personality

Octogenarian Sikh scholar Sarup Singh Alag honoured

Sarup Singh Alag
November 09, 2017 09:12 PM
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PHAGWARA: The octogenarian Sikh scholar and writer Dr Sarup Singh Alag, the author of 105 books on Sikhism, was today honoured by UK-based NRIs and others for his outstanding contribution to the spread of book culture for serving mankind through the medium of ‘shabad’(words).
 
UK-based NRI couple Charanjit Singh and Gurmej Kaur feted Alag and his wife Jasbir Kaur with ‘siropa’(robe of honour) and shawls.
 
Dr Alag,who is Chairman of Alag Shabad Yug International Charitable Trust,Ludhiana, also distributed free the copies of the third edition of a book ‘Dhan Nanak Teri Wadi Kamayi’.
 
The book was sponsored by the NRI couple.
 
Alag told newsmen on this occasion that during the last over 50 years, he had distributed about fifty lakh copies free of cost of  105 books authored by him .
 
He claimed that his magnum opus ‘Harimandar Darshan’, whose 207 editions had come out so far and 2.5 lakh copies had been distributed free, was recorded in Limca Book of Records.

War Veterans

Capt Amarinder Singh hosts veteran soldiers to commemorate their forefathers contribution to the great war

Capt Amarinder Singh with war veterans
November 04, 2017 07:05 PM
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CHANDIGARH: Memories flowed and a bygone era was nostalgically revived as around two dozen retired Indian and foreign Army officials came together to enjoy the hospitality of Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh here on Friday evening to commemorate the Great War of 1914-1919.

This was the first time these officials, descendants of soldiers who had served in World War I as part of the Jalandhar Brigade, constituted by 2 Sikhs (earlier 15 Royal Ludhiana Sikhs) and 47 Sikhs (now 5 Sikhs), joined in venerating the historical event. It was an emotional reunion as the veterans shared reminiscences of the times spent together in peace and war.

Welcoming them at his residence, the Chief Minister said he felt privileged and honoured to host them for dinner, and to share with them some special moments and memories.

Captain Amarinder, an ex-Army man and a keen military historian, recalled the sacrifices of their ancestors – the soldiers of the Jalandhar Brigade, who were the first set of troops to be inducted by the British Army as a Brigade.

Many of the Jalandhar Brigade soldiers froze to death as they battled Europe’s worst winter to fight the Great War for the Allied Forces without sufficient warm clothes to protect them from the harsh weather, the Chief Minister observed, adding that the valour and courage of those soldiers, who did not leave their posts despite the extreme conditions, continues to inspire army personnel till this date.

Lamenting that the Indian Army’s contribution to the Great War had been largely ignored, the Chief Minister pointed out that 74000 Indian soldiers gave their lives and another 67000 were injured during the war to uphold the honour of their regiments and their country. Many of the injured also later succumbed, taking the toll even higher.

Speaking on behalf of the Jalandhar Brigade Association, its president, Maj Gen Peter Ronald Davies said that, without repeating history, he only wanted to say that the story which was created during World War I is a continuing one. While the veterans look back on why they have this common story, they, at the same time, also look forward to continuing the story they share with India, he said, joining the gathering in remembering the gallant soldiers who came out to fight the Great War.

The bonds created back then continue to be strong even now, said Davies, adding that the officers and soldiers back home are told about this precious piece of history, lest they forget. He thanked the Chief Minister for taking the unique initiative and enabling them to come together on the soil of Punjab, whose people are known the world over for their grit and bravery.

Others in the visiting group included Thomas Ian Macdonald Waugh, Richard John Holt, Sutton-Smith Charles Noel Hugh, William Moreton Jeremy Moss, Charles Robert Smethurst, John Richard Cottan White, Ronald McCrum, Timothy George Plumtre, Iain Edward Cameron Smith, Nigel Hugh Mackay and Douglas Robert. For some of them it was their first visit to India, with which their forefathers had a strong connect.

Besides the Deputy British High Commissioner (Chandigarh) Andrew Ayre, as well as Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal with wife and CM’s Senior Advisor Lt Gen TS Shergill, the august guest list included Lt Gen MS Bhullar, Lt Gen JL Malhotra, Lt Gen Sujlana, Lt Gen Dwar, Major Gen CS Panag, Brig IS Ghakhal, Col KS Grang, Col TPS Gill, Col GS Brar, Col AS Dhillon, Col Anil Bali, Col Sukhinder, Col KK Verma, Col SS Sidhu, Mrs. Maj AS Sekhon, Maj AS Bhinder and Maj Buchar. Many of the officials were accompanied by their spouses.

Bollywood

Madhuri Dixit visits Taj Mahal with family

Madhuri Dixit with family at Taj Mahal
October 21, 2017 05:35 PM
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AGRA: Madhuri Dixit-Nene visited Taj Mahal with her family. The actress says her "love affair with India goes on".
Madhuri took to Twitter on Saturday to share a photograph in which the couple along with their two sons Arin and Rayaan, and other members of the family can be seen posing in front of the 17th century marble mausoleum.
The actress, who earlier this week celebrated her 18th marriage anniversary with husband Shriram Nene, also shared a throwback image of her husband and his sister in front of Taj Mahal.
"Loved this shot of Ram and his sister. Now flash forward. The love affair with India goes on. Jai Hind," Madhuri wrote in the caption.
Madhuri got married to Shriram Nene, who is a doctor by profession, on October 17 in 1999.
Books

Book on Kalam's inspirational words released

October 16, 2017 02:49 PM
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New Delhi, Oct.16- An illustrative book containing inspiring words of Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was released online on Sunday by Indian women cricket team captain Mithali Raj on the 86th birth anniversary of the former President.

Titled "Dreamnation: Uniting a Country with Handwritten Dreams", the book includes a collection of 200-plus handcrafted and handwritten postcards from across India and takes readers through the dreams, hopes, and aspirations of a nation as envisioned by Dr Kalam.

Co-authored by Saji Mathew and Jubie John and published by Bloomsbury in collaboration with NGO LetterFarms, the book was released on social media site Twitter.

"The book brings together dreams of people from very diverse backgrounds -- cutting across age, caste, religion and cultures -- and including dreams by children from challenging background as well as fellow citizens from the transgender community," Jubie John, who is also co-founder of LetterFarms, said in a statement.

"The book aims to unite a country of immense diversity through (handwritten) dreams, enabling to create a new-gen dreamers, goal-chasers and achievers," LetterFarms founder Saji Mathew said.

History

Taj Mahal a blot on Indian culture: BJP MLA

October 16, 2017 12:18 PM
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Noida, Oct 16- BJP leader Sangeet Som has triggered controversy by saying the Taj Mahal is a "blot" on Indian culture and misquoted history by saying that Shah Jahan, builder of the 17th century marble mausoleum, had jailed his father and wanted to wipe out Hindus from the country.

The remarks by the Sardhana MLA in Meerut came after the Uttar Pradesh government removed the Taj Mahal from the list of attractions in its tourism booklet.

"Many people were disappointed that the Taj Mahal was removed from the UP tourism booklet. What history are we talking about? Whose history?

"The creator of the Taj Mahal (Shah Jahan) imprisoned his father. He wanted to wipe out all Hindus from India. If these people are part of our history, then it is very unfortunate.

"I guarantee you that we will change this history," Som was shown saying in an undated viral video, apparently addressing a public gathering.

TV reports said the BJP leader was addressing a gathering in Meerut.

Som wrongly quoted history saying Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan had jailed his father. It was Shah Jahan's son Aurangzeb who had dethroned and jailed his father inside the Agra Fort.

The Taj, one of the Seven Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage site, was built by Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal.

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