Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati was a seer, a saint, a philosopher and a man of action who made decisions. Indeed it is a rare combination. He was a believer in the theory and practice of Karma and Karmaphal. The deep rooted belief in the Vedic concept of Karma transformrd the philosopher into a doer, a sanyasi into a religious and social reformer to his finger tips. He never hesitated into becoming an activist for the cause of the common man. He made decisions and faithfully implemented them for the good of Mankind. The Rishivar had the courage of conviction and stood by the Vedic principles, come rain come shine. A man of principles and yet open to suggestions made by the known and the unknown.Above all Dayanand Saraswati had the unique moral courage to reverse his decisions when the cause of common man suffered. When the situation demanded that a change be made for the common cause, he did not hesitate to abandon his favourite projects. Indeed it was a rare phenomenon then and it is a rare phenomenon now. Some leaders and pseudo-godmen continue to push forward their pilot projects even if these are detrimental to the interests of common man. Rishi Dayanand was made of sterner stuff and could, actually he did, reverse some decisions in the interest of society at large.IRREVERSIBLE DECISIONSYoung Moolshankar, as the Rishi was known in his adolescent years, made a decisive decision against worshipping idols when he found rats scrambling over the Shiva lingam on the night of Mahashivratri to find a feed from offerings made by devotees. The teenager walked out of that small temple by the river Demi and in due course of time made up his mind never to return to idolatrous faith. It was indeed irreversible and no power on earth could shake his belief in the Vedic concept of Nirakar Parmatma. In pursuance of his new found belief that was diametrically opposite of his parental faith, he decided to find the real Guru. Never mind forsaking comports of his house, a decision was made to go in search of the real Shiva, that is God Almighty. When pressed by parents to tie the knot and enter Grahasth Ashram , he left the parental home for good at the age of 22. Never mind roaming in the wilderness and being cheated by tricksters who posed as godmen but the great Quest must go on - that was his line of thinking He never regretted his decision.Later in life, he made the common man happier by freeing him from the clutches of false gods and equally false godmen. No inducement, what to say of threats, not even the proposal of Maharana of Mewar to make him the Mahant of the Eklinga temple could sway him from his chosen Vedic path. As a firebrand sanyasi,later in life, what he gave to the society in the form of religious and social reforms, no man on earth had ever given before.. It was indeed an irreversible decision that Dayanand made when he found himself transformed into a sanyasi straight from a brahmachari. The great QUEST was eventually fruitful in Mathura at the feet of Guru Virjanand. The decisive decision had paid dividends. When the Maharishi’s reputation as a great seer and sanyasi was well established, he was given both threats and inducements to forsake the real Vedic path but his decisive decision to stand by the TRUTH was unshakable. No wonder when the Ten Commandments of the Arya Samaj were codified in 1877 in Lahore in the presence of the Rishi an extra-ordinary emphasis was laid on Truth and it found a mention in as many as five commandments. Swami Dayanand’s decision to promote Truth and nothing but Truth was not only decisive but also Irreversible.By being decisive, the greatest contribution that Dayanand Saraswati made was to make the Vedas available to one and all, through his Hindi commentary or Ved Bhashya. In his bold and irreversible decision to make the Vedic Dharm all encompassing, he opened the floodgates of Vedic knowledge for the high and low, the rich and poor.Both in theory and practice he opened the portals of the Arya Samaj to followers of other faiths who expressed a wish to convert to the Vedic Dharm. The Swami himself converted a Muslim in Dehra Dun and another in Lucknow to the Vedic fold. VEDAS FOR ALL- WITHOUT ANY DISTINCTION OF CASTE,CREED,REGION OR RELIGION- - AH! It was an EL DORADO right at our door. Mankind shall ever remain indebted to Dayanand – the seer,sanyasi, philosopher and reformer; all rolled into one. He could do so because of his decisiveness.Reformation and Modernization went hand in hand in the campaigns of Dayanand Saraswati. To his utter dismay he found that the Dharmacharyas and purohits who were ordained to lead common men and women on the path of righteousness were themselves playing the role of predators. They had forsaken the noble role of protectors. Consequently, the Hindu society was an easy prey to misguided missionaries of foreign faiths. The Swami once again took a vow to found an organisation to hlp the innocents and illiterates find the path of ancestral faith to attain salvation. The decision was irreversible and the newly founded organisation, the Arya Samaj, found many adherents. The intellectuals and commoners were equally attracted to the Arya Samaj. The Maharishi paid special attention to orphans and destitutes and himself opened an Anathalaya at Ferozepur in the Punjab to protect the hapless from maulvis and missionaries. The said orphanage is a flourishing institution today.Modernization was the key to forsaking archaic religious and social practices. Of course, it did not mean denigrating everything that was our valuable inheritance. The Swami gave the clarion call " BACK TO THE VEDAS’ The import of the call was – let the divine revelation, the Vedas, chart the path of righteousness. Let us accept the tenets of the Ved samhita and forsake everything that may fall in the category of being anti-Vedic. It was just the litmus test that the decadent society needed. It was a decisive step taken by Dayanand Saraswati – never to be reversed. Pushing forward on the path of modernization the Rishivar bought a printing press and located it in Prayagraj to print,publish and disseminate Vedic literature for the reading of men and women in large numbers. A great modern decision, an irreversible one, and the printing press exists even now at Ajmer. It is the celebrated Vaidik Yantralaya. Taking a leaf out of the Rishi’s life, the Arya Samaj should modernize its methods of Ved prachar. With a view to attracting the children, adolescents and youth, the Aryas should take recourse to making and exhibiting cartoon and animation films on the stalwarts. The new generation will sit glued to these films and seeds thus sown will germinate.REVERSIBLE DECISIONSWith a view to highlighting the courage of conviction and the moral courage that Dayanand Saraswati possessed, let us list some instances where he made decisions in good faith but reversed them later to promote common man’s interests. Sometimes he did so because outcome of his decisions had become counter-productive. In some cases the new institutions were far from the goal and were deviating from the laid down path.Sanskrit language always fascinated the Maharishi. He wanted the common man to learn Sanskrit and fathom the depth of both the Dharm and the literature. One could delve deep into the Aarsh granths of the Rishis ONLY IF ONE HAD THE KNOWLEDGE OF SANSKRIT language. The Swami , therefore, chose to open Sanskrit Pathshalas. He did so with aplomb. He collected funds for them. He employed learned teachers and gave subsidies to students to enroll. However, on a close rexamination he found that the teachers stuck to old ways of teaching, were superstitious and kept the great grammarian of yore, Panini at bay. With ponga panthi pundits around, the very aim of opening Sanskrit pathshalas was defeated. Swami Dayanand Saraswati took a hard decision and reversed his earlier decision of opening many Sanskrit Pathshalas. He closed the existing Sanskrit pathshalas too as both money and effort were going down the drain He had the courage of conviction to bring down curtains on an episode that failed to achieve the aim.Swami Dayanand Saraswati once again gave a proof of his moral courage when he severed the relationship between the Arya Samaj and the Theosophical Society. When the reputation of scholarship and all embracing reforms of the Sanyasi crossed the Indian shores and travelled far and wide, some opportunists too wanted to ride the bandwagon of the Arya samaj for selfish gains. Two foreigners, Colonel H.S.OLCOTT and Madam Blavatsky wished to make hay while the sun was shining. They wrote letters from the United States of America eulogizing the Vedic learning and social reforms of Pundit Dayanand Saraswati Swami (as they put it) AND EXPRESSED A WISH THAT THE Theosophical SOCIETY become a part of the ARYA SAMAJ. They promised to promote the principles of Arya Samaj abroad across the seven seas where they were well entrenched and in return the Arya Samaj could give them a helping hand in getting established in India. Of course, they pledged that there would be nothing in their charter that would go against the grain of the Vedic principles as enunciated by the Rishivar. Everything looked ship shape and the Rishivar gave the green light to this arrangement. The much married lady of Russian origin, much divorced too, and her male companion, an ex-army officer, were welcomed with open arms by the Aryas wherever they went . The honeymoon was,however, over soon. These foreign Theosophists used the Aryas as crutches to move forward and jettisoned the Vedic principles at the drop of a hat. Madam Blavatsky even expressed her faith in the existence of ghosts and spirits and showed films to that effect in Shimla- thus forsaking belief in the Nirakar Parmeshwar and principles so dear to the Arya Samaj. This was blasphemy. The news travelled far and wide.A long correspondence ensued between Swami Dayanand and Colonel Olcott. There was much bickering by the foreigners that led the Aryas to nowhere. Ultimately Swami Dayanand decided to reverse his earlier decision of bringing the two organisations together. He made this announcement in the annual function of the Arya Samaj, Bombay in 1882. The chapter of foreign collaboration was closed for good.The Maharishi reposed faith in the goodness of all human beings. He wished the good work of propagation of the Vedas to be carried on after his demise. So he wrote a Will in Meerutt establishing the Paropkarini Sabha. The aim was good. However, much to his chagrin he found that some names of such people who were not free from blemish, had been included as trustees. Among them was Munshi Indramani round whose defence in legal battles the Aryas had rallied but he let them down. The legal case against Muslims was eventually won but Munshi Indramani embezzled money donated by Aryas to fight legal cases. The Maharishi had no option but to ex-communicate him from the Arya samaj and drop his name from the list of trustees of the Paropkarini Sabha. Moreover, some members of the Paropkarini sabha could best be described as sleeping partners who showed no sign of waking up. Yhe Maharishi could not allow the Paropkarini Sabha lie dormant in his lifetime as things could go from bad to worse after his demise.Maharishi Swami Dayanand Saraswati thus wrote a new WILL and Last Testament at Maharana’s Udaipur in 1883 forming a new Paropkarini Sabha. Thus the earlier decision taken at Meerutt was reversed at Udaipur for the greatest good of the greatest number. The Sabha is presently located at Ajmer and has been working as per the Sweekar Patra of 1883. But for the moral courage of the Rishivar, it would not have been possible.EMULATING MAHARISHIWell, we have gone through some of the anecdotes from the life and deed of Maharishi Swami Dayanand Saraswati where we learnt how he made decisive decisions and if and when the situation so required he had the moral courage to reverse his own decisions for the greater good of the greater number. So far so good. Where do we go from here. Indeed it is the common man who should benefit by learning lessons from the life of the Rishivar. The pages of history are turned over and over again to learn lessons. It is the Aryas who have to benefit most and inculcate the decision making trait in their character. It is the moral courage that they must imbibe and it will see them through thick and thin. The life of the founder of the Arya Samaj is a beacon light for those mariners who are stranded in the dark on uncharted seas and it helps them navigate to a port of safety, peace and tranquility. May Param Pita Parmatma help us, common men and women, to maintain this connectivity with our beacon light, Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati, so that we banish the Evil and imbibe the Noble following the Ved mantra – DURITANI PARASUVA …BHADRAM AASUVA.
By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM


A trip to Tankara, Gujarat, India came my way. I was invited to train the Vedic missionaries in the Art of Public Speaking. I accepted the invitation post haste. Tankara is the birth place of Swami Dayanand Saraswati, founder of the Arya Samaj. The small village, now, a township, is situated on a small meandering river named Demi. On its banks is a small temple of Lord Shiva. It was in this temple that a teenager experienced the Turning Point of his life and it eventually transformed him into a Renaissance Rishi. The event known as Bodh Parva or Night of Enlightenment brought about a religious revolution and changed the social fabric of the Indian society.
Long years ago I had traveled through the highest plateau of the world – Tibet. In the western Tibet I stood face to face with the black granite mountain jutting out from the yellowish background of sandstone hillocks. This Mount Kailash is the mythical abode of Lord Shiva and his divine consort Parvati. Unfortunately I did not see any movement or presence of Lord Shiva or Goddess Parvati on the Kailash Parvat. Possibly, they do not live there because SHIVA is the Vedic name of the Almighty and is in no way related to any individual god. Of course, many fellow travelers went ecstatic, as they said: ``we saw the Almighty – Shiva.’’ Indeed, theirs was a make believe world. Some psychologists call a phenomenon like this, hallucination of sorts. Fortunately for me, I did not suffer from a state of mind like that of the fellow travelers. I made up my mind in Tibet to go to Tankara and see for myself what the teenager Moolshankar had seen in the19th century India. Tibet to Tankara was a long haul. Nevertheless, I made it. I wanted to know how the adolescent Moolshankar was transformed into Swami Dayanand Saraswati sitting in that temple on the Mahashivratri night. Let us see it for ourselves.As I said a moment ago, Swami Dayanand Saraswati was born in Tankara, in Rajkot district of Kathiawar, now called Saurashtra in India, in 1824. He was named Moolshankar. The young precocious boy memorized the text of Yajurved and impressed teachers and taught alike. He was always keen to ask questions and find answers to many a jigsaw puzzle. The 13-year-old Moolshankar was exhorted by his father, Karsan ji to observe complete fast on the Mahashivratri and sit in the Shiv temple in the village and pray the whole night. An obedient son that he was, he did so. In the temple, just before midnight, when other devotees including his father had fallen asleep a small rat ascended the Shiv Linga and started eating all edibles kept there as an offering. The rat’s friends followed suit. Devotees were in deep slumber. But not young Moolshankar, who was fired by an ardent desire and his father’s exhortations to have a darshan of Lord Shiva at midnight.Obviously, he was in for a great shock to see the Shiv Linga being desecrated by lowly mice and the idol bearing the insult helplessly. Moolshankar woke up his father and apprised him of his nagging doubt about the idol being the Almighty. The father chided the son for his untimely and irrelevant inquisitiveness. The young body returned to his house where his mother served him a sumptuous meal to break the daylong fast. Young Moolshankar had made up his mind to go in quest of the real almighty, God as described in the Vedas. He talked to all knowledgeable persons around. Not much came out of it. However, the foundations of a great spiritual movement, later, known as the Arya Samaj had indeed been laid. Of course, the formal formation had to wait till 1875. The great quest had begun. The young lad left his parental home at the age of 22 when pressed to get married and abandon his spiritual quest. He carried a new name, Shuddha Chaitanya. Later he met a sanyasi Swami Poornanand Saraswati, a great Vedic scholar who initiated the young seeker of truth into the Sanyas Ashram. Thus was born an ascetic, Swami Dayanand Saraswati.We may recall some major and minor anecdotes of his life that go to show that he placed great reliance on the social unity of the masses. His aim was to unite the entire mankind into one religion – the Vedic Dharam. Swami Dayanand Sarswati advised all Arya Samajists to run their show in a democratic manner. On staurday, April 10th, 1875 when the 1st arya samaj was founded at Kakarwadi, Mumbai in India, the great swami was requested by the congregation to assume the presidentship but the Swami declined. He chose to be just a simple member. Swami Dayanand Saraswati pleaded for equality of human beings, both men and women, as propounded in the Vedas. He was against creating human idols or icons. Indeed he was nipping the problem of human worship in the bud.Swami Dayanand Saraswati was dead against entering into litigation to solve problems of social nature. He made a mention of it in his will twice; first at Meerut and later again in 1883 in Udaipur, Rajasthan. He advised all Aryas to sort out their personal and social as well as religious problems among themselves. Social solidarity should be achieved at all levels, said the Swami. He backed those Aryas against whom followers of other religions had filed legal cases just to harass them. Under his advice, monetary and legal support was given to writers, speakers and preachers of the Vedic Dharma to raise their morale high. The Swami succeeded immensely.Learning, speaking and writing in the Hindi language was Swami Dayanand Saraswati’s hobby. He saw Hindi as a common link language among all Indians, irrespective of their faith. The Swami was himself a Gujarati and as an adolescent spoke his mother tongue only. Of course, he had studied Sanskrit and wrote in Sanskrit extensively. But he promoted Hindi as a language of unity. All his treatises are written in the common man’s language. This indeed was a turning point in the linguistic history of India. Other national leaders followed suit later. The movement for Hindi had its effect among the Indians in foreign countries too. Hindi books are read by them and Hindi classes are organized in the Arya Samaj in foreign lands too. The Swami never wanted to be known as the founder of a mere sect that would cut away his followers from the vast society of the Hindus. He stressed that the ancient Vedic Dharma did not divide the society among sects and sub sects. He took pains to avoid the pitfalls that the Brahmos of Bengal could not avoid and separated themselves from the general social fabric. Swami Dayanand Saraswati’s efforts have paid rich dividends and the Arya Samajists have joined all movements for the unity and solidarity of the Indians in general and Hindus in particular. Let us take a look at his travels to preach and propagate the Vedic Dharma. Multan (now in Pakistan) in the north to Pune in the Deccan; Rajkot in the west to Kolkata in the east form the large canvass that he painted in the Vedic colours. Of course, there were many cities, towns in various other provinces in the British India and the princely India where he had hoisted the flag of Aum and given discourses to men and women who flocked to hear him in large numbers. The Swami started wearing long coat and Dhotis instead of only a loin cloth so that ladies did not fight shy of coming to his lectures to learn of the Ved Mantras. Indeed, he was never dogmatic. Many a time he traveled in great discomfort risking his life and limb but was determined to carry on with his mission. Of course, the Punjab became the citadel of the Arya Samaj after he founded his institution in 1877 in Lahore (now in Pakistan).It was in Lahore that the 10 principles of the Arya Samaj were enshrined and continue to guide the Arya Samaj till today. A turning point once again in the socio political history of India. In 1877 in Delhi many religious, cultural and political stalwarts had assembled. All the major ruling princes of India had come to attend the Delhi Durbar. Swami Dayanand Saraswati took advantage of this opportunity to bring about a unity of principles for conduct of righteousness among the followers of all major religions of the world. He invited Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, a Muslim scholar and later founder of the Aligarh Muslim University, Reverend Father Scott of the Protestant Christian Church, prominent Brahmos of Bengal and stalwarts among Sanatani Hindus to sit together and iron out all differences that led to divisions in society. It was indeed a lofty ideal. His efforts made a good beginning. The Swami started with a bang but unfortunately the entire effort ended with a whimper. The people did not agree on the entity called God and how human beings should draw inspiration from him. Further, the non Hindus were not prepared to accept the Vedas as divine revelation. The plan fell apart. Let us now travel to Rajputana, the present day Rajasthan. It was here that Swami Dayanand Saraswati met with a measure of success in reforming the princes. His Highness Maharana Sajjan Singhji, the ruling prince of the state of Mewar became Swami’s devoted disciple. The maharana studied Sanskrit and Manusmiriti at the feet of the Rishi. He reformed the education system and brought it in tune with the Vedic Standards. The ruler performed daily havan in his palace. Indeed, it was going great guns for the Arya Samaj in Mewar. His Highness Sir Nahar Singh Varma of Shahpura went a step forward. He even accepted the Presidentship of the Parop karini Sabha to carry forward the mission of the Swami. However, it was in Jodhpur that a conspiracy was hatched by the forces enemical to the propagation of pristine Vedic Dharma to poison the Swami. They got him. After suffering from the after effects of that deadly poison for a month and a day the great Rishi of modern India breathed his last on October 30, 1883 at Ajmer.It was the evening of Diwali and indeed a turning point. The Swami let his soul leave his body and in the worldly sense the lamp of his life was extinguished but in the spiritual sense he lighted millions of lamps to lead men and women from darkness unto light.


The Kargil war between Bharat and Pakistan was in full swing. The enemy had gained an advantage by occupying high hills and dominating peaks stealthily. The Indian Army had brought in heavy howitzers and field guns, besides crack infantry units to dislodge the Pakis. In the pre-attack tete-a-tete with commanders of lower formations, the date and time of opening the blistering attack on the Paki enemy was to be decided. The commanding general, an enlightened man, set a date. Other officers demurred. It happened to be a Saturday. The next day was 13th of the month, not auspicious either said some. The General had a Vedic background. He knew that Saturday or shanivar was based on the word Shanaishchar which was indeed Parmatma's Vedic name and it taught men and women to inculcate patience. The ill-omen associated with the word was a bye- product of a superstitious belief. He, therefore, ordered the battle to begin on that Saturday. The Indian troops fought well, beat the Pa! kistanis and won the battle. The mantra about Shanaishchar had motivated the commanding general to keep superstition at bay and vanquish the foe. In the first chapter of the Satyarth Prakash , Swami Dayanand Saraswati has dealt with the subject at length. It is indeed helpful in motivating a man to act correctly. A mantra, recited and meditated upon, raises morale of military men sky high. A mantra motivates military men to go in for decisive action. Gaurav Sawant, formerly a print journalist and now an electronic media man, had the privilege of being in the Kargil war for its entire duration of 9 weeks in 1999. He has mentioned in his book, Dateline Kargil that before launching a frontal attack the soldiers prayed in makeshift temples and priests recited mantras from the Vedas and shlokas from the Bhagvad Gita to motivate them , raise their morale and instil in them a burning desire to WIN. Yogeshwar Shri Krishna was quoted time and again : Tasmad Uttishth kaunteya Yudhaya Krit Nishchayah , was the bottom line of sermons. It worked wonders. India won the war defeating Pakistan decisively. Indeed mantras motivated. When an army unit or a formation goes into battle, it has to win. Be a winner, a winner throughout. There is no prize, what to say of a trophy, for a runners up in a battle. A soldier who has no mental make up for a victory must be weeded out of the army lest he makes the will to win of other soldiers weak. A bad sheep infests the whole flock, so goes an old adage. It is as true today as it was in days of yore. No wonder commanders at all levels and at all times take suitable steps to raise morale of men sky high. Factors impeding building of a high degree of morale are eliminated ruthlessly. There is never a compromise on this issue because all commanders wish to win. No prize for losers, never! A mantra, in the form a talk or a recitation or a community singing is the biggest single factor in raising morale of men and winning battles. The word Mantra has passed into the English lexicon and is used across the seven seas. Napoleon, Emperor of France and a great strategist , said : Morale is three times as important as physical numbers. It steels the will to win. Pray, tell me who would not like to win. Indeed there is a tremendous stress , both mental and physical, among officers and men when they are in a theatre of war. Before a battle is joined in, there is a waiting period. That is the time of tremendous stress on minds of men. Here priests and purohits, besides officers at various levels, come into picture. They have to recite mantras, explain meaning and encourage greenhorns to meditate to make morale as uncrackable as finest steel. Indeed, a well delivered sermon on our soul being unperishable and that the soul is Anadi as well as Anant, motivates a martial man to make the supreme sacrifice for the noble cause he is fighting for. The motivation mantra lies in the lines of the poet when he wrote : How else can a man die better than facing fearful odds For the ashes of his forefathers and temples of his gods. Isn't that the finest form of mantra motivation? Indeed it is. FEAR is the greatest enemy of a fighting man. Fear of the unknown demotivates. Fear lowers the morale to such an extent that highly trained soldiers turn their tales when the battle is joined. In the 1962 India-China war in the NEFA (now Arunachal Pradesh), many a battle hardened infantry units and senior officers just ran away from the battlefield. There was no Mantra motivation. No one had disabused minds of men of the element of unknown fear. No one had recited the relevant mantra, what to say of meditation, of the Yajurveda which runs thus : Abhayam Mitradabhayam Amitradabhayam Gyatadabhayam Parokshat, Abhayam naktambhayam Diva Nah Sarva Asha mum Mitram Bhavantu. May God make us strong enough not to be afraid of a friend or a foe. May we not be afraid of the known and the unknown . May we be fearless by day and by night. May we all make friends with one and all. Indeed many a man who knows this mantra and meditates on it certainly swears by its efficacy. This mantra motivates both in war and in peace. This mantra will motivate men and women of all age groups in all walks of life to be Fearless and develop a highly motivated personality. Cohesion is another important factor helpful in winning a war, what to say of a battle. The second mantra of the last sukta of the Rigveda comes in handy in building cohesion. It is effective in the civil life too. While on an Akashvani sponsored mission to do a five-part feature in Hindi for broadcast I found the batch of pilgrims a divided lot. The sangathan sukta mantra was given to all ladies and gentlemen on pilgrimage. They recited it before beginning the day's walking tour. Within a week or so all members were on talking terms with one another. They also shared the goodies that they had brought from their hometowns. Such is the motivating power of the mantra. Indeed, seeing is believing. Long years ago while on active service in the Army in Ladakh, My soldier friends and I were stuck on a makeshift road along the Pangong Tso, one of the biggest fresh water lakes in high altitude, on account of a sudden snowfall. Again the famous Yajurved mantra, so dear to Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati, was taken recourse to. Aum Vishwani Dev Saviturduritani Parasuv, Yad Bhadram Tann Asuva motivated us to act. The" durit" or the impediment in our path was removed and thereafter the patrolling was just smooth sailing. It was a personal experience of the efficacy of mantra motivation in the military.
By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM

Monday, July 27, 2009


The Kargil War memorial at Drass is the centre of attraction. 537 names of Martyrs are inscribed there. They were the brave hearts who “gave their today for our tomorrow”. The Indian nation is proud of them. The Kargil Kalash is the centrepiece of the memorial and the temple architecture around lends a spiritually dignified look. The memory of our martyrs is sanctified by floral and emotional tributes of loved ones who come from far and near. Tears well up their eyes, roll down cheeks and mingle with the dust where soldiers lived, fought for and made the supreme sacrifice. They are gone forever but their presence can be felt by their loved ones who find solace and spiritual peace by just gazing at the war memorial and the Kargil Kalash. The living and the dead have an emotional bond of love that is etched in the hearts, never to be erased.
Drass, located at the exit of the formidable Zojila pass as one travels from Srinagar to Leh-Ladakh, is the second coldest inhabited place in the world. The shelling of Pakistan artillery had converted Drass into a ghost town in 1999. The Indian Army restored Peace and it is a tourist town now. Siachen hotel is a landmark and it never closed its doors to journalists even at the peak of artillery duels. Along with the memory of martyrs the stories of Drass have become a part of history. Tashi Namgyal, the shepherd who first discovered Pakistan soldiers of the Northern Light Infantry in black clothes, is mentioned in every war related story. The savagery and cruelty of Pakistan in mutilating the body, gouging out eyes and cutting private parts of Capt Saurabh Kalia, a patrol leader arouse hatred for Pakistan Army commanders including General Pervez Musharraf, villain of the piece. The bravery of Capt Vikram Batra, JAK Rif and Lt Manoj Pande, 11 GR gladdens hearts of compatriots and applies balm to the emotional wounds. Celebrations to mark the Tenth anniversary of Indian victory over Pakistan brought both sorrow and solace to loved ones who came all the way from Nagaland, the North-East, the Punjab, Rajasthan , Jammu and Kashmir
and what have you to commemorate the war heroes who fought and fell but immortalised their saga of gallantry and sacrifice made above the call of duty. Many a touching and moving scene was witnessed and the Media made it a part of folklore to be narrated to children generation after generation so that India has a living string of brave hearts for ever.
In 1999 the Media, especially the electronic media, brought battles to bedrooms in every nook and corner of the country. The Media helped Indians unite for a national cause against their arch-enemy – Pakistan. Every Indian, child and adult, did something or the other to promote war efforts. School children, both boys and girls, heard and felt proud of chivalry of Vikram Batra when he said “yeh dil mange more” and went into attack on enemy bunkers time and again. He was unwell and yet he volunteered to kill some more bandits from across the border. How many did he kill is just anybody’s guess. The number exceeded the guess. Lt Manoj Pande, ex-student of Sainik School, Lucknow did not ask for respite or evacuation despite serious wounds until the objective, Khalubar peak was captured and our Tricolour unfurled. On hearing saga of chivalry every child wanted to join the Armed forces and become a Batra or a Pande. What a pleasant surprise it was to see in person, face to face in Drass, some young officers of both the sexes who in their student days were inspired by the heroes of Kargil War and succeeded in their mission of earning the right of wearing army uniform. Indeed it was a national and everlasting gain beyond the immediate gains of beating back bandits from Pakistan. The Indian Media can rightfully claim a share of gains beyond Kargil in winning over the youth to the uniformed services.

Why is Pakistan so fond of hitting below the belt? It is because they do not possess courage or capability of hitting above the belt. War is a game of gentlemen. If one is not a gentleman one will not play the war game as per rules. In that case a”stab in the back” becomes a state policy. Pakistan has been doing that all along. However, to let the world know that they do not play foul, Pakistan takes recourse to spinning yarns and telling lies. Compulsive liars they are and must never ever be trusted – that is the line of thinking among those who know history and can read evil men’s minds. Pandavas failed to read Kaurava’s mind and paid for it dearly. Who wants to be a Pandav of today? Not the youth of India. Let us take a look at the peace proposals of the Vajpayee govt to Pakistan. Didn’t Musharraf answer peace in Lahore with war in Kargil? He sent into Kargil officers of Pakistan Army and said that they were freedom fighters. Now he admits facts but it is toolittle and too late.When the Indian Prime Minister was still in Lahore, the buzz of war preparations could be heard in Skardu, the central fort of erstwhile Gilgit Agency of Maharaja of Kashmir, for launching Pakistan officers and troops into Drass, Kargil, Batalik and Mushkoh valley. Despite warnings of the past, if any Indian leader is still planning peace with Pakistan, I am afraid he will be writing his last will and testament. One wonders why some peaceniks wish to commit Harakiri. If someone is bent upon doing so, let him make arrangements for his own funeral.

Rudyard Kipling wrote: East is East, West is West; the twain shall never meet. I have no inclination to comment on that but with an apology to the poet, I shall say “India is India, Pakistan is Pakistan; the twain shall never meet. I have no intention of undermining the efforts of pro-peace with Pakistan elements this side of Ravi, but I may venture to write with a sense of responsibility of a septuagenarian that what the peaceniks are doing is an exercise in futility. Peace and friendship should have two partners equally keen to make friends. If one side is keen on friendship and the other is either lukewarm or hostile by word and deed, the ship of peace will be on the rocks like a non-consummated marriage. The top echelon of both civil and military in Pakistan have a mindset that is India hater and India baiter. Pakistan had launched as many as four attacks on India since 1947 and was badly beaten in all four. So, they have an axe to grind. Some one or the other in Pakistan wants to avenge something or the other and place India at the receiving end. They always fail because their attempts to bring India to her knees have been at best Quixotic. And how silly on their part that they continue charging at the windmill! Let the Spaniards rejoice that their Don Quixote has found a permanent residence in a country called Pakistan.

When the Islamic terrorists were prevailing on the Pakistan establishment to grant one concession or the other and the govt did not muster courage to say No, Americans toyed with the idea of having a tight control on the nukes there. General Mirza Aslam Beg, the then Army Chief was asked what would he do if the Americans take away all the nukes, the General said with aplomb “I shall bomb India with a nuke before surrendering them to America.”It certainly shows the hate-India mindset of Pakistan’s top brass. The Peace Proposals may now be thrown to the wind, if you like. I hope someone is listening in the MEA in the South Block so that the Prime Minister is spared the trouble of travelling to his home village in Pakistan for a back-slapping get-together.
Thinking beyond Kargil, modernisation of our Armed Forces is the crying need of the hour. Admittedly, the much maligned Bofors guns won the war for us in Kargil. Of course, it is Man behind the gun who matters more than the gun. In India’s case both have to be modernised. The Bofors howitzers ( gun is a misnomer) are 22 years old and outdated. Spares are rarely available. Man behind the gun has to undergo new training in tactics and his personal weapon, rifles, has to be new with a lot of fire power and easy on assault. Bunker busters are needed too so that precious lives of trained soldiers are not squandered in busting bunkers. Well, the list is long. Let us proceed step by step and buy or make at home world class weapon system and equipment so that another misadventure by Pakistan costs her dearly.
Strategically speaking, a unified command of the three services is urgently needed. However, vested interests stall the process before it begins. An officer in the rank of a Field Marshal or an equivalent rank to head the CDS may be appropriate but the mythical ghost of a military coup sends shivers down the spine of those who matter. Thus the proposal of a Combined Defence staff and its Chief is back to square one. The snake and ladder game between the services and the bureaucrats is a never ending one and the political head just is an onlooker from the outskirts. He comes and goes – that is the political scenario with which Services are not concerned. What about the nuke in India? Who controls the Command? Who will say: Push the button and fire the Nuke? Not the Army, nor the Navy nor the Air Force. The three Chiefs of Staffs are not even on the periphery of the decision making process. What happens if there is an Emergency? God alone knows, not the services. Let us pray: God is in His heaven and all is well with the world. Aum Shantih Shantih Shantih.
Authored by Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM

Sunday, July 26, 2009


The Arya Samaj Perinthalmanna has observed the Kargil victory day on 26th July 2009. A vaidika agnihothram and special offerings with 'vaidika rashtra gaanam (Yajurvedam 22-22) was performed. In his prabhashanam, Acharyan Kizhanellur Parameswaran Namboothiri has paid the homage to those martyrs who gave supreme sacrifices for defending our frontiers. He emphazied the need of inculcating the ideals of nationalism and dedication for protecting our borders as mentioned in our glorious vedic literatures.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Arya Samaj Perinthalmanna is observing the Malayalam month of ‘Karkkidakam’ as ‘Veda prachara masam’. During these period Sapthahik sathsang, vaidika agnihothram, classes on various vedic topics and Sanskrit vyakaranam will be conducted on all Sundays. In addition to this an essay competition for college students on the subject of ‘The significance of Vedas in present times’ is planned. The first three winners (I/II/III) decided by the Acharya Sabha will be given suitable prizes and certificates. All participants will be given attractive consolation prizes. The essay should not be more than two pages and the students are requested to submit their age proofs and a certificate from their respective colleges stating that they are the students of that particular college along with their articles. The essay should reach by 10th Aug 2009. For more details contact at aryasamajperinthalmanna@gmail.com. Om krinvantho vishwamaryam!