A panel discussion on the theme “Kargil War: Lessons Learnt” was organised by the department of Defence and National Security Studies at the ICSSR Seminar Hall on Wednesday, in collaboration with the Gyan Setu Think Tank and NCC Army Wing, Panjab University.
The Chief Guest at the event was Capt Abhimanyu Singh Sindhu, Minister of Finance, Haryana and the Guest of Honour was Lt Gen P M Bali, Chief of Staff (Western Command), Chandimandir. The event was presided over by Vice-Chancellor Professor Raj Kumar and recorded the participation of Vishal Batra and Lt Gen K J Singh (retd) as panellists.
Dr Jaskaran Singh Waraich, chairperson of the department, delivered the welcome address and said that PU was commemorating the 20th anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas by holding various activities. Apart from the panel discussion, the university will also hold a tree plantation drive on Thursday, in which 527 saplings will be planted, each dedicated to the 527 Kargil war martyrs. Moreover, on Friday, Uri movie will be screened for the students in University Auditorium and a park on the university campus will be named as ‘Kargil Samriti Udhyan’ as a tribute to the warriors, Waraich said.
Lt Gen K J Singh highlighted the improvements in India’s security preparedness, through induction of various modern arms, such as unmanned aerial vehicles, artillery guns, attack helicopters, creation of cyber and space agency as well as the special forces division. He also spoke about the pending military reforms, such as the setting up of the National Defence University, suggesting that it should be set up at the earliest possible time and suggested that the required infrastructure for the establishment should be rented, while the permanent campus was being constructed.
Vishal Batra, the identical twin brother of Captain Vikram Batra, said, “It was the 1988 serial Paramvir Chakra which ignited the passion for the armed forces in me and Vikram.” He urged people to visit the borders to get to know more about Indian soldiers.
“I am an army aspirant. To join the armed forces is a common aim of most of the NCC cadets. The wars fought by the Indian army are a source of motivation to us. All the Param Vir Chakra awardees are my idols. Their stories help me keep my self-confidence high. Many of the NCC cadets will make it to the ranks of officers in future and our name will also be in the place of officers like Vikram Batra,” said an NCC cadet, Yogesh Kumar, who was present at the event. “My brother was an army aspirant. Although he could not clear it, he motivated me to walk on this path. If I make it to the army, I will be the first from my family,” Kumar added.
Magnolia, a female NCC cadet, said, “Celebrations like these remind us of our brave heroes. It is inspiring to know the life stories of the martyrs. Being a female NCC cadet, gets you a lot of respect socially. We do everything that the boys do, be it physical exercise or anything else. There is no discrimination at all.”