Gunning for peace

Sometimes we take a few things for granted. Like for example, our freedom. Or the security of our neighbourhood. Without giving it much thought. Ask a freedom fighter what it was like to keep up the resistance that eventually made the foreign dominance yield to our demands, and you will start seeing the reel of events through his eyes. And salute the heroes that chanced their arms for the glory of the land. After all, who can value freedom more than those who have fought for it? And who can understand the value of peace better than those who have witnessed friends, colleagues and relatives bite the dust at the altar of war?

These fearsome and fearless leaders have braved all odds in their bid to take down the enemy, and have silently mourned the loss of human life to the lethal onslaught of the foe. While the ocean of bad blood, which washed the shores of both countries, bubbled to a boil. These two countries that were once branches of the same tree.

After reaching at crossroads in their careers, these diehard heroes opted to go benign. And rested their smoking rifles on the racks. Never to pull the trigger again. Understanding that war costs both countries more than an arm and a leg, they are today ready to give their right arm to establish peace, disengagement and rapprochement. Holding the belief that glory lies only in congruence and the fostering of goodwill.

Meet Major General TK Kaul (PVSM, AVSM, VSM), one of the most decorated officers of the Indian armed forces. And the current Executive President of the IPSI India (India Pakistan Soldiers Initiative for Peace), where he exemplifies his National Defence College credo of ‘Wisdom is Strength’. For it is wisdom that helps us understand the vanity of engaging in war under a tsunami of rage. And it is wisdom that makes us realize the prudence of burying the hatchet and showing magnanimity. General Kaul’s peace calling was evinced through his tireless and humongous contribution to the IPSI.

Maj Gen Tej Kaul was the Brigade Commander of Jammu area in 1997 at a time when the state was plagued with militancy. He also served as the GOC of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa before retiring from the armed forces.