Army Day is celebrated on 15 January every year in India in recognition of Field Marshal K M Cariappa’s taking over as the first commander-in-chief of Indian Army from General Sir Francis Butcher, the last British commander-in-chief of India on 15 January 1949.
It is time to salute our army personnel
S Vishnu Sharmaa, INN/Chennai, @svs037
They are a ray of hope for many. Have no fear, for I stay on guard on our nation’s borders so that no threat can loom large over it, is what they say. These points stand true for Indian Army. As Indian Army Day will be celebrated on January 15, it is time for us to salute those soldiers who defend the nation braving all odds.
Tourists were returning from Nathu La pass and Tsomgo Lake and they could not move forward as the area came under snow. It was then these stranded tourists had a ray of hope, thanks to Indian Army. More than 2500 tourists stranded in snow in Sikkim were rescued by Indian Army.
That was not the only issue where Indian Army lent a helping hand. Their work in flood ravaged Kerala won all the praises. The accolades for the army would never end for their good deeds are no less. The moments will be really special on 15 January. Lieutenant Bhavana Kasturi is said to be lead the contingent on the Army Day parade. This is for the first time in the history of Indian Army, when a woman officer will lead the contingent of Army Service Corps (ASC) which will have 144 male personnel on the Army Day.
Army Day is celebrated on 15 January every year in India in recognition of Field Marshal K M Cariappa’s taking over as the first commander-in-chief of Indian Army from General Sir Francis Butcher, the last British commander-in-chief of India on 15 January 1949. The day is celebrated in form of parades, military shows across the nation, it is also a time to salute the valiant soldiers who sacrificed their lives to protect the country and its citizens.
The moment is apt to reflect on the achievements of Indian Army. Operation Rahat undertaken to rescue victims of floods in north India in 2013 is considered to be the biggest civilian rescue operations in the world. Indian Army is said to be one of those in world that has expertise to fight battles on high altitude. It controls Siachen said to be highest battle place in the world.
Kargil war, second and third Indo-Pak war, liberation of Goa where our army left an ever-rememberable impression. Needless to say, their mettle was proved even in the past. It was in the World War I that saw a participation 1.3 million Indian soldiers, heroic deeds of our soldiers won a pat. It was from Sir Claude Auchinleck, former commander-in-chief of Indian Army himself.
‘If they hadn’t had Indian Army, Britain couldn’t have come through the wars.’ Indian soldiers won 11 Victorian Crosses and that is more than enough to speak about the glorious deeds of our soldiers. Speaking about glory also reminds the need to look into challenges our army faces.
A strong army is that which sources its needs from within its own country. While the Def Expo 2018 laid enough stress on inland manufacturing of our defence needs, this can still take time to pick up pace. Manufacturing within our country could be the fastest and cost-effective way to sourcing. Till this gains complete momentum, it looks like procuring from abroad will be an option.
India is said to have been the largest importer of arms in the last five years. According to reports, India formed about 13 percent of global arms import during 2012-16. China could make commendable progress in sourcing its requirements from within itself, India is yet to make strides here.
Lack of funds is another challenge that seems to be bothering our forces. This is said to be coming in the way of our army’s modernisation attempts. Indian Army is said to have planned to modernise its infantry with a procurement of light machine guns, battle carbines, assault rifles with a cost of over Rs 35,000 crore. Shortage of funds is said to be having an impact on this.
On a broader platform, the three forces are said to have demanded a capital outlay of Rs 1.60 lakh crore in 2018-19 budget, and only Rs 83,434 crore was given. Fund availability seems to be a bothering issue for Air Force and Navy too. On the strategic front, challenge to us is from the combined hostility of China and Pakistan.
Unlike in the past where these two nations had to be dealt seperately, now perhaps it is time our army is prepared to handle both the hostile forces jointly as China and Pakistan are going for enhanced coordination for both consider India as a common hurdle for their progress.
‘Road at the end of the tunnel is always bright,’ is the saying and how quickly we see brightness depends on how fast we move towards it. Capacity building measures, modernization have to be quickened if our army is to become more powerful.