Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Kargil Divas at Thiruvanantha puram.

[Attachment(s) from madhuraj prasad included below]
The photographs received with this email can be seen on the following weblogs –

Dear veterans,
Kargil Divas was celebrated in Trivandrum in a most befitting manner by IESM. There were several functions by different organizations. NCC, TA BN, Military Garrison, EXSM league and others had separate functions on the day. However maximum press coverage we were able to garner. Most prominent newspapers gave curtain raisers on 25th and 26th morning. Asianet channels in their global news Channel in Malayalam had a special panel discussion on 25th night news hour from 2100 hrs.

Panel Discussion.
Sr journalist Mr. Harshan was the moderator and other panelists were Lt Gen Thomas Mathew, PVSM(Retd) ,Mr Manoj Das Sr journalist and war correspondent who had covered the Kargil war, and Col RG Nair, State Convener IESM. The first question asked was about the sacrifices made by troops during Kargil War and the improvements made since then. Col RG highlighted the supreme sacrifices made by troops and the highest officer to man casualties in the war probably a world record (43 officer&JCOs and 475 killed. 126 Officers & JCOs and1085 ORs wounded.). The General stated that border management has improved, 6th pay commission has given sizeable improvements and accommodation problems have been solved. Mr Manoj Das did not agree with him and pointed out the short comings in weapon procurement and the unfinished recommendations of the Kargil Committee. Col RG only partially agreed with him and asked if all is well why the Army is having a shortage of 13000 officers? He pointed out the even students of sainik schools and RIMC are not opting for a career in the forces. Further the failures in procurement whether it is for the Army or IAF or for Navy is for all to see and an open matter. He also high lighted the fact that Govt has adopted an antagonistic stand against veterans by filing a review petition in Supreme court when they lost the case against refund of illegally retained sums of money out of IVth Pay Commission awards and the resultant loss of status of Armed Forces. He also drew a parellel with the quotes of Mr. Obama on 10 Jul 2010 "America will always be here for our veterans, just as they have been there for us. We won't let them down. We take care of our own. And as long as I am Commander- in- Chief , that is what we are going to keep doing" .The discussion lasted for about 15 minutes. One more step towards our aim of sensitizing the public about our cause has been achieved.

Homage to Martyrs.
In the evening at the Ist WW memorial in the city an august gathering paid homage. The Chief Guest was Sri K.P.S Menon, former foreign Secretary and the guests of honour were Lt Gen SK Pillai, PVSM and Sri T.P Sreenivasan former Ambassador to UN and presently member of National Security Advisory Board, and Sri S, Balachandran, CMD State Bank of Travancore. The function started with a Sarva Dharma prayer for the martyrs followed by last post. Wreaths were placed by veterans from all the districts of the state.Floral tributes were made by veterans, ladies and many civilians who had gathered. Notices about our cause was distributed to the public. As dusk fell candles were lit by those present.We got wide press coverage the on 27th. The local TV channels also telecast the event. Few photos of the event are attached along with this.

with best wishes Col RPG

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