new Delhi39 minutes agoAuthor: Le. General (Rita.) Satish Dua
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- In the army, religion is used to bring people of one religion or region together or to seek inspiration from a god.
- Army battalions may be based on religion, but the army is secular, they attach soldiers to Bharat Mata.
The country has a festive season these days. Many Hindus observe fast in Navratri. Although I do not keep the fast, but when I was posted with the soldiers of my regiment, whether it was Navratri or Ramadan, I used to keep both fast and fast. For me or any army officer, what is more important than his religion is his duty as a soldier, his responsibility, solidarity with his soldiers. I am from the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry Regiment. My regiment has soldiers of every religion. And we all live together, take training, laugh, play and happily embrace death. This model itself is amazing and exemplary.
The Indian Army is the world’s exceptional army, whose combat infantry is structured around religion and religious beliefs, but the army itself is a shining example of secularism and religious-communal unity. In the army, religion is used to bring people of one religion or region together or to seek inspiration from a god. The soldier sees her by connecting with Mother India. And the Indian soldier agrees to sacrifice everything for the country.
Our regiments combine soldiers with different battle cry slogans and different religions to achieve a purpose. Battle cry of regiment may be good, Aayo Gorkhali, Badri Vishal ki Jai or Bharat Mata ki Jai. All these relate the valor and sacrifice of soldiers to Bharat Mata. This is the reason that instead of fighting in the name of religion and localities, the army is such a structure that unites different religions and regions.
My Jackalai Regiment consists of 50% Muslims from Jammu and Kashmir, 40% Dogra, 10% Sikhs and some Buddhists from Ladakh as well. These soldiers are sons of the soil. They get a chance to protect their own home area by fighting off-line or terrorism in the inner areas.
It is beautiful to know that every unit of our regiment has an MMG. MMG here does not mean a medium machine gun, but a temple, mosque and gurudwara under one roof. Every Sunday there are community prayers, in which all soldiers go beyond their religion to MMG.
There is one prayer after another of all religions. Pandit, maulvi and Granthi offer prayers. During festivals, everyone celebrates together. On Diwali, Muslim soldiers themselves stand and get duty so that the Hindu soldiers can be discharged for Diwali. Hindus and Sikhs do the same on Eid or Ramadan.
There is a very beautiful incident, when I used to be the Colonel of the Jacklai Regiment, which is the highest position in the regiment. We had a battalion stationed at LOC. Gurpurab was about to arrive and Granthi was not posted in that battalion. Due to operational difficulties it was not possible to send Granthi there. Therefore the Maulvi present there carried out Sikh prayers and traditions in the battalion. This is the tradition of the Indian Army and our regiment. May this be of India also.
It is not just about prayer or festival. It has landed in life. We eat, live, fight, and at the same time, we lose our lives fighting the enemy. Halal and jerk chicken are cooked separately in the army kitchen of the company, so that everyone’s religious beliefs can be taken care of.
There is an incident of an operation of the Jeklai battalion on the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir that sentry rifleman Joginder Singh noticed some suspicious movements at a forward post there. He alerted the company commander Major Vijayanta, who sent his soldiers to stop the terrorists trying to infiltrate.
The intruders were allowed to come close, being constantly monitored. When the terrorists came to our arms range, our soldiers started firing. The terrorists took cover behind the tree and started firing, throwing hand grenades.
Rifleman Rajpal Sharma received a bullet in the arm while blocking his escape route. Major Vijayanta risked his life and crawled between the shootings and proceeded. Two terrorists were killed in the midst of a long firing. The operation had now turned into a face-to-face battle. The remaining two terrorists started running down the path to escape from there. They were firing grenades while firing continuously.
Meanwhile, the grenade splinter hit Rifleman Vijay’s neck and terrible bleeding started. Lance Naik Badar Hussain ran regardless and brought Vijay out safely amid the shootout. And also killed the remaining two terrorists. Major Vijayanta got the Kirti Chakra, Lance Naik Badar Hussain the Shaurya Chakra for this operation.
But no one in the army noticed that the operation was successful due to the readiness of Joginder Singh, who is Sikh. It is not even thought that Vijayanta or Vijay or Badar Hussain are from different religion. On the battlefield, there is no distinction between officer and jawan. All are soldiers, soldiers of a motherland, children of a god. Such operations are common in Jammu and Kashmir. In which all religions Hindu, Sikh, Muslim fight together.
Conversely, in the country for which they fight, there is no consideration for religion. Here, votes are also based on religion. Temples, mosques and gurudwaras carry forward the spirit of Kashmiriyat in Jammu and Kashmir. The way of living that the whole country can learn from the Indian Army.
Everywhere in the Indian Army there are all-religion sites, where people of all religions pray together. And with all these feelings, a patriotic soldier is ready, who has risen above any religion. Remember that military battalions are based on religion and province, but the army is still secular.