Seminar on Military History to begin at Welham Boys’ today
The Welham Boys’ School, Dehradun will host the 3rd edition of the annual Military History Seminar on October 4-5. Having taken the initiative to expose their students to India’s post-Independent history on a regular basis about three years ago, the school has been inviting students across the country to also share in the experience and expand their own horizons.
In this year’s edition, the chief guest is Air Marshal (retd) KC ‘Nanda’ Cariappa, the son of India’s first Army Chief who himself did his formative years at Welham Boys’ before moving to Lawrence School, Sanawar. Later, having joined the IAF, Nanda while flying a Hawker Hunter during the 1965 Indo-Pak war, ejected over enemy territory and was then a prisoner of war. Field Marshal Ayub Khan, the the president of Pakistan famously sent General (later, Field Marshal) Cariappa a message saying he needn’t worry, his son would be looked after. General Cariappa promptly replied that all Indian POWs with Pakistan were his sons and that he expected Ayub Khan to look after all of them.
Taking the inspiration from Field Marshal Cariappa’s response, the opening talk show focuses on “Ethics and Leadership”. The opening segment will be anchored by the noted author Shiv Kunal Verma. The other participants in the discussion, along with Cariappa, will be the school chairman Darshan Singh, Air Chief Marshal (retd) AY Tipnis and colonel Vivek Sharma, the present commandant of RIMC.
Lieutenant general Rakesh Loomba along with group captain Johnson Chacko, a former MiG 25 pilot, and wing commander Rajesh Khosla, who specialises in photo interpretation, will discuss the importance of military intelligence.
Artists from various schools will use their medium to put their message across while an innovative slogan writing contest will also be held. Under the tutelage of Shibani Arora, the school’s music teams are planning renditions that will further enhance the experience of student delegates.
Lieutenant general (retd) KJ Singh, former Western Army Commander, will make a presentation on three Indians who fought Aurangzeb at the same time – Shivaji, Lachit Bhorphukan and Guru Govind Singh – before aiding the government of the day in a parliamentary debate on an integrated command system for the future. The opposition will be guided in its counter by a top cop from Kerala, Sudesh Kumar, who has specialised in Coastal Security post the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
Noted conservationist Bittu Sahgal will be talking about the armed forces and conservation, reiterating that the threat to the country from within is perhaps just as dangerous than any external threat.
Lieutenant general (retd) Mohinder Puri, who played a key role during the Kargil war, will introduce a film on Kashmir – Baramula to Kargil – that gives an idea of the existing ground situation in the valley. Another presentation, on the point 5700 battle by general (retd) KH Singh, that was fought in the Turtuk Sector in 1999, will also be held.
The school chairman said, “There is no doubt in my mind that the younger generation is indeed more than ready to be exposed to critical subjects like military history which unfortunately does not from a part of our present curriculum. French children know their own French military history, similarly for the Germans, English and American children, and so on; so why is it that Indian children do not know of our military history? Hopefully the day is not far when it will be an integral part of our educational system.” Air chief marshal (retd) AY Tipnis will preside over the closing ceremony on October 5.
Friday, 04 October 2019 | PNS | Dehradun
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