To commemorate the heroes of the 1965 war and to shed light on its political and diplomatic consequences, defence analyst Nitin Gokhale was in the city Tuesday. He presided over an interactive session organised by the Indian Army in collaboration with the Communication for Education and Development (Comfed). On the occasion, a CD titled ‘Thank You Heroes’, consisting stories of forgotten war veterans of 1965, photographs and audio recordings, was launched.
The CD is based on Gokhale’s book ‘1965, Turning the Tide : How India Won The War’, which was commissioned by the Army’s official think tank Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS), New Delhi. The book was planned by the Government of India, as well as Indian Military, to mark the golden jubilee of the war, and was inaugurated by Vice-President M Hamid Ansari and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in Delhi on September 3. Having previously written four books on various defence issues like Siachen, Sri Lanka Civil War, Gokhale said, “I studied the war, and spoke with Army officials and war veterans. One thing that I realised was the way our ‘experts’ analysed this war was not entirely true. Based on statistics if we compare the damage both countries incurred, India looks the winner.”
On the occasion, R J Simran Kohli, founder and director of the Academy of Radio Management (ARM), who is also related to the project, said, “Our perception of victory has to change. Does killing many soldiers mean victory? Is destroying enemy’s military assets victory? Once that is clear, we will begin seeing the 1965 war in new light. Only a few books and a few films have been made on this war. Compared to 1971 and Kargil, much remains to be unearthed. We hope this book and CD can shed some light.”
Soldiers from various battalions of the Indian Army also marked their presence. Gokhale said under the 2-month long campaign, more than 2,000 CDs had been distributed in Jammu and Chandigarh. It will be launched in Delhi on September 11.