Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Bhopal's Shaurya Smarak to be ready in a year: Chief Minister

As a fitting tribute to the Indian Armed Forces' officers and men who made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty, the Shaurya Smarak (Gallantry Memorial) will be completed here in a year, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said today.

While speaking at the Golden Jubilee function of the Sainik School, Rewa, he said, "It is a matter of pleasure and pride for all of us that -- apart from the Army -- the School's pass-outs are also distinguishing themselves by rendering valuable services in the social, political, economic, industrial and educational sectors." The bhoomi poojan for the Memorial -- coming up at Chinar Park on Arera Hills -- was performed on February 23 last year in the presence of the then Chief of Army Staff General Deepak Kapoor who had said, "The proposed Smarak will be a source of inspiration for the present and future generations displaying the value of freedom besides maintaining it."

Terming the construction as true homage to the martyrs, Gen Kapoor expressed gratitude to the Madhya Pradesh regime and the Chief Minister. Once completed, the Smarak will boast a son et lumiere (sound and light) programme focussing on the martyrs' saga. Incidentally, Gen (now retired) Kapoor's late father-in-law Brigadier (Retd) Kailash Prasad 'Tom' Pande -- who was decorated with the Maha Vir Chakra for leading his men to victory at Mynamati during the 1971 Bangladesh War--was a highly-respected denizen of this City of Lakes.

In an interview to UNI some years back, Brig Pande--then 81 years old opined that recognising the Line of Control as an international border between India and Pakistan could be a practical solution to the Kashmir imbroglio but would certainly not be the correct solution.

"Entire Kashmir is ours but the Indian policy on the issue leaves a lot to be desired. It has not been a diplomatic success for our country. Besides, our neighbour is seeking revenge for the loss of East Pakistan. Pakistan possesses a good army but it is badly commanded and politicised," he said. Brig Pande was part of undivided India's Regiment of Artillery in which Pakistan's former president Pervez Musharraf was also enlisted much later.

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