On 29th September, 2018, in view of Surgical Strike Day, TAPMI organised a seminar on ‘Sacrifices made by the Armed Forces in Protecting the Borders’ by Lieutenant Colonel Sudhindra. Lieutenant Colonel Sudhindra has served in the Indian Army for 22 years. He has been awarded the Chief of Army’s Commendation certificate twice in his tenure as an army officer. He currently serves as a faculty at TAPMI. He provided an overview of what Indian Army does with special reference to a soldier’s duties and problems. He recounted several incidents from his tenure in the Indian Army about a soldier’s sacrifices – his own family and life, without any expectations in return.
In his early years in the Army, when Lt. Col. Sudhindra was a Company Commander in the Siachen regiment, a Jawan received a letter from his family about his land being encroached by his neighbours! Lt. Col. Sudhindra said that the soldier did not give it a second thought to stay back, as his platoon was shifting to the glacier for its duty. In late 1990s, when the Indian Army was not well equipped, along with its enemies it fought climate too. A newly married Captain, who was a close associate of Lt. Col. Sudhindra, and eight of his soldiers braved the untimely snow in the summer of March, during a regular patrol along the Line of Control in Jammu. They lost their lives because of snow slides. Lt. Col said that this is how he got introduced to the spirit of the Army.
Lt. Col narrated a few more instances to demonstrate the bravado of the soldiers. Lt. Col and his troupes were stationed in Anupgarh Rajasthan in 2001 December. Many of his platoon were on leave. After the Parliament attack in December, when Operation Parakram was in full swing, his platoon returned to report to duty even before the Army called them back. The troupes stayed there in the brutal conditions for two winters and a summer in tents. A young soldier in his platoon, who was on his deathbed after succumbing to a fire accident, asked Lt. Col if he would survive to serve India. Lt. Col took pride in saying that such is the dedication of our valiant soldiers.
Lt. Col said that a soldier is not concerned about the political interests. He is trained to follow the orders of his commanding officer and he does that with extreme loyalty. He never asks what the country has done to him in return. So, Lt. Col is despondent about how the ongoing debate about anti-nationalism evades the trust a soldier has in his fellow countrymen’s patriotism. A soldier is let down when he sees people misbehaving in public places. He questions if the corrupt, dishonest and unethical citizens deserve his sacrifices. Lt. Col. Sudhindra concluded by urging the audience to be worthy of the expectations they have from the Army that has never let them down.