On the 3rd day of Military Literature Festival-2020, a special session was held virtually on Pluralism, the “Defence Forces- and the Question of who is an Indian” in which Gen VP Malik, Finance Minister Punjab Manpreet Singh Badal, Maj Gen. AP Singh and Col Shantanu Pandey took part. Moderating the discussion, Lt Gen NS Brar said that pluralism is increasingly contagious issue in the world so this discussion would help us to discuss its various key prospects thoroughly and understand how our forces live with integrity and peace under one roof like no country in the world as adverse as India. Maj VP Malik said that our armed forces today are true reflection of the basic concept of diversity and unity. Soldiers have all classes, religions and living together in barraks and eating from the same kitchens. Secularism, discipline, integrity, loyalty are the essential values that integrated among our men and women. Efficient and dedicated soldiers, even after leaving the services they continue to be a national builders and role models so Indian arm forces who always proud of their status as role models for national integration.He stated that we have great concern about unity and pluralism in the Indian army. The people are most important part of our nation, they look at our forces as positive and impartial.And main question is before us is how we build our nations and interstate nationalism among our people but politics of vote banks divide our people. Political strategist talks very frequently about the social engineering instead of regional as well as national developments so our schools and college education has to play a key role through students programs like the NCC and other institutions that are secular. They can play a very useful role and it needs to be encouraged everywhere.
He also said that it was sorry to say that large number of schools all over India, even now they have not adopted NCC primarily.Taking part in one of the interesting and key sessions of MLF-4, the Finance Minister Mr. Manpreet Badal said that as far as Mughals were concerned, Dara Shikoh who was a favorite of Shah Jahan and when Emperor Shah Jahan was very ill and at the same time Aurangzeb started marching towards Agra for battle. When this battle took place, royal army was with Dara Shikoh but most of army deserted and only people stood by Dara Shikoh and emperor Shah Jahan were Hindu Rajputs. Similarly, at the time of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, large troops were Muslims and there were Italian and French generals. He also shared that till 1946, there was almost 70 percent Muslim majority and Punjab Legislative Council had only 3 Muslim members.Gen AP Singh said that even we have different religions, we all live happily and there are also different numbers of classes. He said that if he talk about army where our soldiers coming from different regions, culture and religions, they live together and respect all religions and values.Col Pandey said that we have a rich history of army of Chhatrapati Shiva Ji Maharaj and Laxmi Bai Ji which were beyond casteism and inspirational for us. Similarly, we live together under the same roof and we believe in one God and we strongly believed in victory at any cost.Moderator NS Barar shared his personal experience when he met Inayat Ali Khan in 1969 who took him first time to army camp. He said that still we are good friend and we always extended wishes on festivals, whenever we got chance we spent quality times together. It reflects the identity of our Indian Army. During this session, a special video of Col Sourabh Singh Shekhawat was also displayed in which Mr. Shekhawat said that when I took the first step army then my senior asked me about my caste and he frequently replied Hindu Rajput. He ordered me to take one dip in dirty water. After that, he again asked him about my caste then I replied SF/elite volunteer force of Indian army and this is the strength of our Army.