The annual Military Literature Festival (MLF) in Chandigarh will kick off on December 18 with an opening address by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. This year, due to Covid restrictions, the festival will be held virtually.
As per the schedule of events for the three day festival, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, Governor VPS Badnore, GOC in-C Western Command Lt Gen RP Singh and chairman of the MLF organising committee Lt Gen TS Shergill will speak during the inauguration ceremony.
The panel discussions, which will take place on the opening day include one on ‘Sabre rattling in Ladakh: Will it lead to a larger conflict?’. It will be moderated by former Northern Army Commander Lt Gen DS Hooda (retd) while the panelists include former Northern and Central Army Commander, Lt Gen HS Panag (retd), GOC-in-C Army Training Command (ARTRAC), Lt Gen Raj Shukla, Air Vice Marshal Manmohan Bahadur (retd) and two serving brigade commanders of the Army — Brig Naveen Mahajan and Brig Gaurav Mishra.
Another discussion on opening day revolves around the Taliban and the deep states in India, Pakistan and media. The panelists include former IFS officer KC Singh, journalist Tavleen Singh, Indian Institute of Advanced Study director Makarand Paranjape, political scientist (US) Christine Fair and former IPS officer V Balachandran.
A session on ‘Strategic shift in the pivot of geography’ will be moderated by Maj Gen BKL Sharma (retd) while former IFS officers Kanwal Sibal, Shyam Saran and Manbir Singh, Lt Gen PM Bali (retd), and Pulitzer winner journalist Steve Coll will take part in it.
On December 19, a book discussion on the 1967 Sino-India face off in Sikkim is slated to take place along with a discussion on Quad and the new naval alliance developing and the role of Bollywood in nation building. Self reliance towards defence preparedness will also be debated the same day with former Western Army Commander, Lt Gen SS Mehta (retd), BJP leader Baijayant Panda and Dr Vivek Lall as panelists.
The final day on December 20 will see a discussion on Khalistan, pluralism in the armed forces and military leadership of the present day. Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, former Army Chief Gen VP Malik (retd), BJP MP Rakesh Sinha, TMC MP Mahua Moitra, former Navy Chief Admiral Arun Prakash, Capt Amarinder Singh, Congress MPs Manish Tiwari and Deepender Hooda will be some of the participants of these seminars.
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