In a unique gesture five pillars of the state including Armed Forces veterans, Judicial luminaries, Ex Bureaucracy, Political personalities and Press joined together in a seminar “A Tribute to the Armed Forces and the March Ahead” to pay tribute to the armed forces for their sacrifices in the service of the nation. The speakers paid rich tribute to the martyrs and lauded the efforts of the armed forces for leaving no stone unturned to secure the nation from internal and external threats. During the seminar the eminent panelists gave invaluable suggestions and a road map to build military capabilities to prepare armed forces to fight future wars.
In the backdrop of the growing military tension post Uri, Pathankot and Pulwama attack, speakers stressed the need to send a strong message to Pakistan that if it continues to pursue the policy of cross border terrorism, India will not hesitate to use military power in future as well. The panelists in a strong language conveyed that terrorism as a state policy by Pakistan will not be tolerated any more.
In a single voice all speakers termed terrorism as a major threat to the country. Therefore, there is a need to deal with this threat in a resolute manner by adopting smart strategy. The speakers suggested that on one side government should engage in talks with the stakeholders in J&K, but on the other side government should continue to deal firmly with the perpetrators of the terrorism. It was also stressed that youth of J&K should be integrated with the main stream and citizens at large should also make endeavours to treat them as an equal stakeholders in nation building.
All speakers were unanimous in their opinion that military capabilities of the armed forces should be built in a structured and time bound manner. Need for modernisation, indigenisation and restructuring of Defence Public Sector Undertaking require urgent attention. Most of the panelist applauded the armed forces for their skills, discipline, dedication and morale to sacrifice in the service of the nation. They also cautioned the government that the morale and combat edge can only be maintained if the soldiers are given the best equipment to serve the nation. Soldiers must be treated with dignity, care, empathy and welfare so that they don’t have to look back while performing their duties. Eminent speakers also highlighted the need to enhance defence budget so that modernisation of forces can be fast tracked.
The Seminar “A Tribute to the Armed Forces and the March Ahead” was organized under former President of the Supreme Court bar Association Mr Rupinder Singh Suri, , Founder & President of the Centre for Unifying Society & Research Mr Prabir Bagchi and United Service Institution of India. The seminar was attended by veterans, academia, Members of Bar Council of the Supreme Court, Excellencies, Students, Veterans from the Armed Forces, former bureaucrats and the members of the press.
Eminent panellists, who participated in the deliberations, included Ashok Bhan, Rupinder Singh Suri, Gen Deepak Kapoor, S N Sirivastava (Director IIC), Lt Gen PK Singh (Director USI), former Governor A M Kohli, former Governor BP Singh, Justice (Retd) Promod Kohli, A S Dulat, Air Marshal Vinod Kumar Bhatia, Admiral Satish Soni, Lt Gen AK Sahni, senior Journalists Alok Mehta and Pankaj Vohra. Decision was also taken by the eminent participants to take this movement further and conduct such awareness seminars in various parts of the country including J&K.