Sidhu unveils India’s 1st Military Literature Festival as an ode to armed forces

Chandigarh, November 10

Punjab Local Bodies and Tourism & Culture Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Friday formally unveiled India’s first Military Literature Festival (MLF), describing the unique event as a tribute to the armed forces, whose contributions to the nation remain etched in history as iconic events.

Addressing a press conference here, Sidhu, while expressing happiness and pride at being part of this first-of-its-kind event, credited Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh with pioneering this great initiative, which is being jointly promoted by the Punjab Government and Chandigarh Administration with the objective of spreading awareness about the subject among the people.

Sidhu, who also unveiled the Festival logo and congratulated the designer for his innovative thinking, said that with top thinkers, authors, historians, curators and defence experts participating in the programmes, the event promises to be a huge success.

With Punjab standing tall in terms of Param Vir Chakras won by its men, the Festival is an apt and glowing tribute to the grit, courage and fearless determination of the country’s defence personnel, said the minister, adding that this annual event will yield immense benefits for the society.

Sidhu urged the media to support the festival and help spread its message of sacrifice and bravery among the masses, especially the children. This would help plug a major gap in the capabilities of Punjabi men and women seeking to join the defence forces, he said, adding that while our boys are empowered with physical strength they lack the intellect needed to make them complete soldiers.

Earlier, in his opening remarks, Senior Advisor to Punjab CM, Lt. Gen. T S Shergill, said the main event, scheduled for December 7-9, 2017, will be preceded by many curtain raisers to build the momentum for the grand finale.

In response to media queries, he said military literature had ancient roots, with the longest poem, the Mahabharata, being all about warfare. He also spoke about the relevance of technology to military and literature, underlining the importance of promoting all aspects of the subject.

The Festival, he said, was aimed at invoking the feeling of sacrifice, which Punjab had a great history of, among today’s youth. Youngsters, therefore, would be a key target audience of the Festival, with special programmes designed to reach out to them.

In response to another question, Shergill said recruitment into the defence forces should be merit-based in order to strengthen their competitive and combative capabilities.

Others who joined Sidhu and Shergill in unveiling the Festival programme include Secretary Tourism and Cultural Affairs Jaspal Singh, Director Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Brigadier General Staff Information Warfare HQ Western Command Brig. J S Bhardwaj, Staff Officer Aviation Brig. K J Singh, Staff Officer to Chief of Staff Western Command Lt. Col. Sukhdev Singh, General Staff Officer Lt. Col. Manoj Kumar, and Captain Himanshu Pradhan.

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