Underlining the stupendous role played by the Military Literature Festival for reigniting the craze for the Defence Forces amongst Punjabi youth, Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal on Sunday called on the youngsters to direct their quest for individual brilliance towards making the country proud.Bringing the curtains down on the 4th Military Literature Festival through a virtual ceremony this evening, Manpreet Badal termed it a matter of great satisfaction and pride that during last three years batches of IMA, the sword of honour has been won by a Punjabi. Elaborating on the reasons for coming up with the MLF in 2016, Badal expressed his gratitude towards the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh for his guidance and direction. Our great tradition of serving in Forces was being diluted with youngsters not choosing the profession as a choice then which we wanted to change, Badal said adding the Festival has created much needed buzz in this direction.The whole nation owes a debt of gratitude towards our forces for their services to the motherland, Badal added. He thanked the organisers for the successful conduct of the annual affair making it the most sought after calendar event.MLF, the joint initiative of the distinguished military historian and Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and Punjab Governor VP Singh Badnore in collaboration with Western Command was launched in 2016 with the avowed aim of facilitating the value and appeal of a military career and life style to our youth. The annual event has rightfully earned enviable brand presence in the region by successfully encompassing all aspects of defence literary works, arts, crafts, music and defence displays.
Speaking on the occasion, Senior Advisor to Punjab CM Lt. General T S Shergill thanked the Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh for his encouragement and support to organise the Festival. He also thanked the Governor VPS Badnore for his guidance in making the Fest a success, besides complementing the Western Command for the immense support and guidance for holding the momentous event.The General expressed confidence the Fest would go a long way in encouraging our youth towards choosing defence forces as a career, which he hoped would be organised in October 2021 next year physically in a Covid free environment.On the occasion, the Finance Minister also virtually launched Ladakh 2020 an e-book based on insightful information on Indo-China standoff at the LAC.Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had on Friday inaugurated the Festival through a virtual ceremony, lauding the initiative as a befitting tribute by Punjab towards our Defence Forces. The theme Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan reverberated through out during the three-day Fest which witnessed invigorating panel discussions on wide-ranging topics of global and regional significance.The event also acted as a curtain raiser for the golden jubilee celebrations of the 1971 War against Pakistan which falls next year. Celebrated defence officers, subject experts and political leaders including Former Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba, MP Shashi Tharoor, MP Manish Tewari, Ram Madhav, Ambassador K C Singh, Dr. C Christine Fair, Prof. C Raja Mohan, Gul Panag, Shubhra Gupta during 13 panel discussions deliberated the topical issues, besides 7 of the Clarion Call - Josh aur Jasbah episodes and 3 book discussions which saw in total more than 85 eminent speakers and experts participating. The event which had gone totally virtual this year, was viewed online by over 20 Lakh viewers, further enlarging its base especially amongst the intended young population.Prominent amongst those attended virtual closing ceremony Including Major General TPS Waraich, Major General AP Singh, Brigadier JS Arora, Brigadier Pardeep Sharma, Colonel Parry Grewal, Colonel Otto Chahal, Colonel Jarnail Singh, Colonel NKS Brar, Colonel NK Sharma, Colonel APS Johal, Colonel Harjeet Singh, Major Munish Kumar, Major RS Virk, Colonel JS Bath, Colonel RS Brar, Karanveer Singh OSD to Senior Advisor to CM Lt. General TS Shergill, Sumer Brar and Mandeep Singh Bajwa.