Stating that respect for all religions is fundamental to the “idea of India”, Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Pande on Thursday reminded the youth at the IIMUN conclave at Parul University in Vadodara that tolerance is the cornerstone of a harmonious society.
General Pande also cited Late Captain Vikram Batra’s sacrifice during the Kargil War as he elaborated on the true spirit of a soldier.
General Pande, whose talk at the conclave was focused on leadership, spoke about the values the Indian Army adhere to while detailing the virtues of a leader in the armed forces.
General Pande said, “As young citizens, and even as you grow into men and women, remember that tolerance is the cornerstone of a harmonious society. Learn to acknowledge and accept different perspectives and points of view. Respect for all religions is fundamental to the idea of India and it is the principle that you should live by.”
He added, “Love for the country is not merely a feeling. It is an unwavering commitment, a sense of devotion and an undying passion for the land that has nurtured us. So, honour the country’s legacy and uphold values that make us proud Indians.”
Remembering Late Captain Vikram Batra’s words during Kargil War “Yeh dil mange more (the heart seeks more)’, General Pande said, “His words encapsulate his aspiration for more opportunities, courage to seek combat and the spirit to conquer challenges. These are the bedrock of the values of soldiers. He made the supreme sacrifice on Point 4875 during the Kargil War. His words resonate beyond the battlefield as a beacon; stretches oneself beyond the limit. This innate drive to push boundaries and overcome obstacles is what sets leaders apart and in doing so, they also inspire others.”
Urging the youth to take on challenges, he said, “Challenges will put your commitment to test. Many attacks or assaults during the Kargil War failed due to intense firing from the enemy which was firmly entrenched on the icy peaks. The difficulties stood enhanced due to the terrain and the hilly region and the assault. But our brave soldiers relentlessly pushed on till success was achieved. Adversity in the form of setbacks and failures are a part of the game. They need to be seen as not insurmountable barriers but as stepping stones to success.”
General Pande also applauded Neeraj Chopra’s achievements and said, “Take the example of Subedar Neeraj Chopra — a proud soldier who has brought glory to the nation through his achievements in (the sport of) javelin, including the coveted Olympics gold medal. He did not achieve this overnight. He had a dedicated set of goals and backed it up with years of hard work.”
The Army Chief also advised the youth to forge “lasting relationships” that would see them through their journey in life and said, “Men and women in olive green (Army uniform) share a bond. Inclusive to this bond are camaraderie, a collective sense of belonging to the team, collective pride, morale and solidarity with the team. This bond lasts a lifetime. Develop lasting friendships that offer support, companionship and sense of belonging. Invest in lifelong relationships that encompass family, colleagues and mentors. These relationships will stand the test of time and will guide you in different stages of life.”