DW BUREAU/ CHANDIGARH
Enthusiastic amateur 4X4 off-roaders on Saturday put their vehicles through the paces racing up adrenalin levels for the much awaited 3rd Military Literature Festival (MLF) slated to be held here from December 13 to 15 with the dazzling display of defence weaponary including T 90 tank, Light & Medium Machine and pneumatic Guns raising patriotic fervour amongst the audiences.
The specially curated events being held as part of 2-day Military Carnival in run up to the main event saw over 50 drivers, mostly first timers, mesmerising the spectators with their obstacle tackling skills in negotiating articulation and slush pits, excel breaker and small man made ditches at the specially curated two and a half acre course .
Riding the world acclaimed Polaris, Force Gurkha, Thars, MM 550 to Gypsies and Boleros, the young drivers exhibited courage, power, patience and resilience embodying the spirit of the defence forces. The events held today with assistance from Army Adventure Cell are aimed at showcasing Army’s off-roading expertise with a greater goal to attract youth towards Defence Forces.
Inaugurating the Carnival, Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal said that the aim is to foster a feeling of patriotism amongst youngsters while offering them a peep into the rich Army ethos and legacy. He also lauded the defence authorities for making this grand attempt at inculcating the sense of nationa building in youth.
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 has steadily earned brand presence in the region by successfully encompassing all aspects of defence literary works, arts, crafts, music and displays welded around the central theme to encourage youngsters to take up defence forces as career. Over 50,000 visitors witnessed the Fest last year registering whopping 500 percent increase in attendance.
Also evoking a sense of awe and pride, especially amongst youngsters, was the Weapons Display at the Carnival, exhibiting the artillery, armoured and engineering marvels of Indian Armed Forces ranging from Automatic Grenade Launcher, INSAS Rifle, besides the bridge laying Pantoon Mushtwa Supernova and Anti Aircraft L 70 Guns.
Captain Amarinder Singh’s 2 Sikh Regiment, along with 1st Guards, 25 Air Defence Regiment, besides 270 Engineers, 65 Engineer and 12 Armoured Regiment are involved in the Arms Display.
Underlining the pace of technological advancement and defence preparedness of our forces against any chemical or biological attack were a host of equipment, including DRDO make Integrated Field Shelter and Inland Protection Equipment.
Quantum Sniffer, Non Linear Juncket Detectors, and Mine Detecting Set and a 12-seater pneumatic boat employed by the Army during wartime further evoked a sense of amazement among the audiences.
In another major attraction of the day, gutsy horse riders of Army, and Punjab Armed Police, besides students of local city clubs, enthralled both the young and the old as they flamboyantly galloped past the fire fence, motorbikes and gypsies during the Equitation Show. Major General Raj Purohit took the standing salute from the Army and Punjab Police riders. On the occasion, the band was played by 2 Sikh Regiment.
Riding at breakneck speed of 800 meters per minute, Punjab Armed Police jawans, in the backdrop of piper band tunes played by 2 Sikh, showcased immaculate horse controlling skills during the Tent-pegging, Trick Riding, and Show Jumping, drawing huge praise and appreciation from the audiences.
Expert canines from various Army Dog units including the Remount Veterinary Corps Centre and College, Meerut and the NSG enthralled audiences during the Dog Show. The sheer agility and precision of Army dogs while negotiating various hurdles, jumps and walls evoked huge appreciation.
Tracker, Mine Detection, Explosive Detection, Guard, Infantry Patrol, and the Avalance Rescue and Rescue Dogs included the several types of dogs were involved in the show.
Speaking on the occasion, the Senior Advisor to CM LT. General (Retd.) T S Shergill while appreciating the efforts of the organisers for making a concerted effort to disseminate information about activities of Army stated that Punjab and Indian Army are complimentary to each other. Our brave boys and girls have always been at the forefront of serving the nation, and this passion and commitment needs to be harnessed further, he added.
The Carnival would continue enthralling audiences tomorrow with incredible feats of 4×4 off Roaders besides the Equestrian event, Weapons display, and Dog Show.The events today witnessed a huge public response besides students from various school and colleges and NCC cadets adding a special flavour. More than 4000 people from all walks of life attended the events today, with higher numbers expected for the next two days.