By Our Staff Reporter
Dehradun, 16 Jun: Officers of the 49th Regular and 33rd Technical Courses passed out from the Indian Military Academy and were commissioned into various Arms and Services of the Indian Army. For these young men in olive green, it was a dream start to their military careers as the Reviewing Officer for the Passing Out Parade was none other than the legendary Army Chief, General Sam Manekshaw, who had just won accolades for leading the Army to victory in the Bangladesh Liberation War. When the Gentleman Cadets took the ‘Final Steps’ to the tune of Auld Lang Syne and crossed the threshold as Commissioned Officers, the words of their Chief resonated in every heart of this lot – “And some of you will rise to dizzying heights, like me”.
Field Marshal Manekshaw had also reviewed the Parade a year earlier when the Course passed out from NDA, so the moment added greater poignancy and joy.
Now, fifty years down the line, the 49th Regular and 33rd Technical Courses are commemorating the momentous occasion of their Golden Jubilee in the ‘hallowed portals’ of the Indian Military Academy. It has been a long journey, with every member of this group having served his country with honour and pride. Quite a few have risen to dizzying heights, one amongst them is General Bikram Singh who rose to become the Army Chief. The Course also produced 12 Lt Gens, including an Army Commaner, Lt Gen KT Parnaik. Be it counter insurgency operations in various parts of India. Operation Pawan in Sri Lanka, Operation Meghdoot in Siachen or Operation Vijay in Kargil and UN Missions in Nicaragua, Namibia, Cambodia and Angola, the Course Members have distinguished themselves in the various roles they were asked to play. It was indeed Service with Selflessness, in tune with the IMA credo, ‘Valour and Wisdom’.
Earlier, the Courses celebrated their Golden Jubilee in New Delhi on 31 March, with a Wreath Laying Ceremony at the National War Memorial. A large number of veterans along with their families attended the function, with the wreath being laid on behalf of all by General Bikram Singh. This was followed by a course dinner. Now, the Course got together at the Indian Military Academy, their alma mater to commemorate their Golden Jubilee. As many as 180 veteran officers with their wives are attending the function over a period of two days, 15-17 June. In addition, three ladies whose husbands have passed away also attended.
The Reunion was marked by paying homage at the IMA War Memorial and presentation of a statue of Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw by the Course alumni to the IMA, as a motivator for future generations.