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A Secular Army !!

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Frenz 4 Ever A Secular Army !!

Post by Guest on Tue Nov 24, 2009 12:48 am

In all the controversy and disputes over language and faith,
the Indian Army stands in stark contrast as a beacon of what
unity and secularism is all about ....

A slap in the face of all who question interfaith and
religious harmony and a reminder as to what
Secularism truly is



Here's the article sent by Colonel Rastogi Colonel Rastogi
, who received it From: Rk Nagpal


Any one more secular than the army?

As a serving army officer, I never stop marvelling at the gullibility of our countrymen
to be provoked with alacrity into virulence in the name of religion.

I have never heard the word 'secular' during all my service -- and yet,
the simple things that are done simply in the army make it appear like an island of
sanity in a sea of hatred.

In the army, each officer identifies with the religion of his troops. In regiments
where the soldiers are from more than one religion, the officers -- and indeed all jawans
attend the weekly religious prayers of all the faiths.

How many times have I trooped out of the battalion mandir and, having worn my shoes,
entered the battalion church next door? A few years ago it all became simpler
-- mandirs, masjids, gurudwars and churches began to share premises all over the army.
It saved us the walk.

Perhaps it is so because the army genuinely believes in two central 'truths'
-- oneness of god and victory in operations.
Both are so sacred we cannot nitpick and question the basics.

In fact, sometimes the army mixes up the two! On a visit to the holy cave at Amarnath
a few years ago I saw a plaque mounted on the side of the hill by a battalion
that had once guarded the annual Yatra.

It said, 'Best wishes from -....- battalion. Deployed for Operation Amarnath.

On another instance, I remember a commanding officer ordered the battalion maulaviji
to conduct the proceedings of Janamashtmi prayers because the panditji had to
proceed on leave on compassionate grounds. No eyebrows were raised.
It was the most rousing and best-prepared sermon on Lord Krishna I have ever had
the pleasure of listening to.

On the Line of Control, a company of Khemkhani Muslim soldiers replaced a Dogra
battalion. Over the next few days, the post was shelled heavily by Pakistanis,
and there were a few non-fatal casualties.

One day, the junior commissioned officer of the company, Subedar Sarwar Khan
walked up to the company commander Major Sharma and said,
"Sahib, ever since the Dogras left, the mandir has been shut. Why don't you
open it once every evening and do aarti? Why are we displeasing the gods?"

Major Sharma shamefacedly confessed he did not know all the words of the aarti.
Subedar Sarwar went away and that night, huddled over the radio set under a
weak lantern light, painstakingly took down the words of the aarti
from the post of another battalion!

How many of us know that along the entire border with Pakistan, our troops abstain
from alcohol and non-vegetarian food on all Thursdays?

The reason: It is called the Peer day --
essentially a day of religious significance for the Muslims.

In 1984, after Operation Bluestar there was anguish in the Sikh community
over the desecration of the holiest of their shrines.
Some of this anger and hurt was visible in the army too.

I remember the first Sikh festival days after the event -- the number of army personnel
of every religious denomination that thronged the regimental gurudwara of the nearest
Sikh battalion was the largest I had seen. I distinctly remember each officer and soldier
who put his forehead to the ground to pay obeisance appeared to linger just a wee bit
longer than usual. Was I imagining this? I do not think so.

There was that empathy and caring implicit in the quality of the gesture
that appeared to say, "You are hurt and we all understand."

We were deployed on the Line of Control those days. Soon after the news of
disaffection among a small section of Sikh troops was broadcast on the BBC,
Pakistani troops deployed opposite the Sikh battalion yelled across
to express their 'solidarity' with the Sikhs.

The Sikh havildar shouted back that the Pakistanis had better not harbour any wrong
notions. "If you dare move towards this post, we will mow you down."

Finally, a real -- and true -- gem....
Two boys of a Sikh regiment battalion were overheard discussing this
a day before Christmas.

"Why are we having a holiday tomorrow?" asked Sepoy Singh.
"It is Christmas," replied the wiser Naik Singh.

"But what is Christmas?"
"Christmas," replied Naik Singh, with his eyes half shut in reverence
and hands in a spontaneous prayer-clasp, "is the guruparb of the Christians."


God bless our Jawans

Colonel Rastogiji
Its priceless!!! !!!!!!!!! !!!!!
You are indeed a blessing to all the groups you belong to


Sent as Email by Rahul
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Frenz 4 Ever Re: A Secular Army !!

Post by Daisy on Wed Nov 25, 2009 5:05 pm

+K for the wonderfull sharing Baba... Thums up


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Frenz 4 Ever Re: A Secular Army !!

Post by Guest on Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:33 pm

thanx daiz.... Thums up

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Frenz 4 Ever Re: A Secular Army !!

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