Former US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates while addressing the West Point Military Academy class of 2008 said
“…I feel personally responsible for each and every one of you, as if you were my own sons and daughters. And so my only prayer is that you serve with honour and return home safely”
With a strong Naval presence, New Delhi seeks to protect its commercial interests, including joint exploration of potential oil and gas reserves with Vietnam in the South China Sea. The place of “all sorts of territorial dispute” between China and several Southeast Asian nations, as well as with Japan.
The United States of America sees India as its ally whose stronger naval presence in the region, raises concerns in Beijing, who thinks that India’s Naval build-up as part of systematic effort to curtail Chinese spread. India’s latest progress in building indigenous aircraft carriers and nuclear-powered submarines will further raise hackles in China prompting it to speed up its own naval modernization efforts.
Big statements ! Isnt it ! Sounds good on paper and on television. Does not make much of difference to our busy life schedules.
While the Indian Navy strives to become a blue-water navy, intending to project power beyond the IOR and into the heart of South China seas. There were men, on the night of 13/14 Aug 2013, preparing to execute orders which enables us to celebrate Independence Day on 15th of August every year.
Independence, Freedom, Sovereignty needs to be guarded. And to safeguard It ….. It takes actions, action on ground, actions which demand facing threatening situations, action which requires extra ordinary courage and heroics.
We don’t know the actual cost of our freedom, since somebody else is already paying the price.
“Not many amongst us realize the magnitude of the catastrophe on the surviving wife and children of those extra ordinary Men. The funeral, condolence messages and visits by some close friends and relatives goes by. Then everyone moves on. The Martyr, his wife and his children though not entirely forgotten are remembered on occasions especially by fellow soldiers and their families. The rest of India perhaps doesn’t even know that such a disaster had struck a soldier and his family.”
Lest we have forgotten, there were 18 such men all set to barricade Karachi/Beijing (No on knows what was the mission) gave the supreme sacrifice on the night of 14 Aug 2013.
Take a moment to remember those brave hearts
Lieutenant Commander Nikhilesh Pal,
Lieutenant Commander Alok Kumar
Lieutenant Commander R Venkitaraj.
Petty Officer Sanjeev Kumar,
Petty Officer KC Upadhya,
Petty Officer Timothy Sinha,
Leading Seamen Kewal Singh
Leading Seamen Seetaram Badapalli
Seamen Sunil Kumar
Seamen Dasari Prasad,
Seamen Liju Lawrence,
Seamen Rajesh Tootika,
Seamen Amit K Singh,
Seamen Atul Sharma,
Seamen Vikas E Naruttam Deuri,
Seamen Malay Haldar,
Seamen Vishnu V
Following lines written by a Naval Officer on behalf of 2 year old daughter of One of the Martyr was published in Veerangana 2014 and it touched hearts of many.
The sound of a blast, shook my heart
And lit up the calm midnight sea
Without a warning, that burning boat
Took you, my Daddy, away from me
I would’ve done all I could to save you
I wish I was a little stronger
At one month of age, my fingers still curled
I wish you had stayed a little longer
Your friends come by & take me in their arms
And say you have a soul that can never die
I smile at each one of them and reply
I know and so, I will not cry
Rest in Peace they say? Well, I won’t let you
For there is a lot of me that you have to see
Every turn, every crawl, every step I take
Right there beside me you’ll have to be
You won’t miss a moment you didn’t intend to
My first day at school, my first bruised knee
I know I’ll cry and why not? I’m a girl
Yet you are the first person I will look up to see
A Submariner, a Fighter, a Patriot
Thank You Daddy, we are a proud family
Knowing your ashes blended with the metal of your boat
You are a legend in the eyes of Mommy and me
I will imagine you proudly wrapped in the tri-colour
As every gun salute shakes me up a little
All your friends will step up to give you a final salute
But your flame will keep burning in this monsoon drizzle
I will bid you a smiling and joyous Good bye
But when I’m alone I know I’ll shed a silent tear
I will close my eyes& hope against hope
That when I open my eyes, you will be here…
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