Jude Mayne
Kuljit Pal Singh
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Ramakrishna Reddy
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Dear Citehrians,

I found this gem written by an officer of the Indian Army-it touched my heart strings and brought on a wave of nostalgia. My 30 years had some many such similar incidents. Please read and be grateful that there is still an Organisation that pomotes brotherlyness:-
"As a serving army officer, I never stop marveling 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.(The Thackerays are the epitome of hatred of fellow Indians)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 -..A..- 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."

Colonel Jude Mayne:p:icon6:

From India, Bangalore
Dear Sowmini,
Thanks for the reply-there are over 50 hits but not one has remarked-thats how secular we are. Religion and language is tearing our nation apart but we do not have the time to stop and think-as we are selfish and more interested to see where the next Rupee is going to come from even if it means treading over a few people too.
Colonel Jude Mayne

From India, Bangalore
Dear Colonel
The posting was really heart touching. The subject line mentioned is the suitable one. I think you must have heard Mr.Sachin's comments in a function. He said "He is an Indian first and then a Marathi". This is the best answer for the narrow minds. Ofcourse, your content the above says the same.
Hope you must have noticed about a bad practice which UPA government have implimented i.e.counting of minority soldiers in Indian Army for the sake vote factory. I condemn deeply on this practice.
My salute to you for serving 30 years to this great nation.

From India, Mumbai
This is really heart touching....
I think Army officer is the best human beings ever....
even my boss is Ex-Army officer,and I really inspired with him.He is a good leader,a gr8 speaker and having qualitative content..........
Once I asked to my boss,where are you from basically ??
his answer was-INDIA..
Hats off to all officers...........

From India, Pune
Hey Jude
It was nice to see such an awesome mail from you. Hope the Citehrians will join together and would be able to make there voices heard to these thackerays. Always we use to say the policy of Britishers was to divide and rule but today our own country people are ripping of our motherland. Iam still amazed why The PRESIDENT OF INDIA is not responding to these kind of statements of these uncultured politicians. They should be punished in such a manner that again no one should open there voice in the name of religion.
Jude thanks for this beautiful mail....

From India, Madras
I all alone laughed continuously for minutes one day sitting before the TV. The reason was the thought which sparked in my mind.
Sharukh khan was detained for hours in US airport and there was so much fires sparking in media through out the day....in CNN IBN, Times now etc...lots and lots of condemn statements etc...
Few days before MNS People made sort of lathi charge on candidates who came to write exams. Media brought it to limelight a bit but not as fiercely as Sharukh's issue.
Now who is fooling who

From India, Madras
Such a nice timing for such a good post... Hope every Indian follow the philosophy of secularism as prevailed in Indian Army... Hats off to Indian Forces.. Jai Hind!!!
From India, Vadodara
By Sachin bashing Bal Thackeray has exposed his rabid fangs. Have the Shiv Sena or the MNS done something for the farmers and poor of Maharashtra.They have played with the sentiments of poor to get richer. These rabble rousers should be hounded out of their "thrones" and made to work in communes. There are copycat organisation coming up in other States which spells more danger then the terrorist or the Maoist.
Colonel Jude

From India, Bangalore
Dear Citehrians,
The attack by the Bal thackeray's SS (Society Scums) are a point in debate as given in my original mail. A man who cannot take criticism shows his pettiness by letting loose his rabid dogs on to a bastion of democracy (Media). Should we be silent listeners-raise your voice as indians and not chauvinist state players-please do not destroy our beautiful country that we in the Army have protected and kept together for so long.
Colonel Jude Mayne

From India, Bangalore
Dear Colonel Jude,
Whenever I see this thread, I never fail to log in to check out the interaction going on!! And, everytime I have a glance at your post, it gives me Goosebumps!!!
I bow my head in respect and salute all the brave Men in the Army!!!

From India, Madras

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