December Diary : With the Battle Axes


I read in the News, that on 14 Dec 2009 our Defense Minister Informed the Lok Sabha, that his Ministry had received NINE BOXES of Medals returned by Retired Servicemen to Protest the Non-Settlement of their demand for ‘One Rank One Pension’

Strangely no body wanted to know the actual number of Medals in those boxes.

No awkward questions were asked .

No mention of any Uproar or a heated Debate , over this dis-closure.

Seems like it was pretty acceptable to the House, for the Ex-Servicemen , to take this unprecedented action.

Would this Minister and the Honorable Members be so unperturbed , if this was 14 Dec 71? Wonder how many medals in those boxes, were those earned in the 71 War.

Today I also read that 38 years after this Victory the same Minister has stated that a Memorial will be built for those who made the supreme sacrifice in 71.

I also read about a group of Ex-Servicemen knocking the doors of the Supreme Court to get Justice, from the very Country whose Freedom they fought for and died.

Have these erstwhile warriors become greedy or unreasonable?The people deserve to know the answer.

Strangely whenever their cases come up for hearing they are decided in their favour.

No one could ever imagine in 71, that they would live to see Soldiers Return the Medals earned with their sweat and blood. Battle honours are the pride and Glory for which a soldier is ready to die. They are given by our Country. Have those soldiers lost faith in the country? It cannot be.

My Log book is in front of me.The page open is Dec 71. I ask myself, Will I do it again?

I realize that some of my comrades did not live to ask this question.

We went out to fight in support of each other, for our squadron and our pride. All of this. helped conquer ‘Fear’. I would do it again and again if called upon to do so.

Life has dealt me a good hand, but I can never forget my days as a ‘Battle Axe..
I remember the faces of widows and small children whose bread winner never came home.

I owe them. We all owe them. They were ordinary men who paid with their lives to achieve the extra- ordinary, which the Nation today calls ‘Victory Day’

Jai Hind


End Notes:

[i] Wg Cdr B A Coelho

[ii] Sqn Ldr S K Gupta

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