Service Before Self—National Army Day 2019
On 15th January 1949, when Field Marshall Kodandera Cariappa took over the reins of the Indian Military from the British Lieutenant General Sir Roy Bucher, as the first Indian Commander-in-Chief of the military, the annual tradition of National Army Day was born. This year, the 4 Karnataka Engineer Company, the in-campus NCC Contingent of MIT hosted an exhibition in celebration of the same.
The main aim of the exhibition, according to Cadet Udit Sharma, was to familiarise civilians with the various equipment that the Indian army uses in warfare. The display had four interactive and informative stalls as well as an on-field immediate medical response display. With various posters depicting the different ranks of the Indian Army and the premier military institutions of the country, the exhibition enticed many on-lookers. The stalls included a fieldcraft and battle-craft stall, showcasing a range of on-field gadgets and battle formations, a weapons display, and a field-engineering booth.
While the weapons stall attracted the maximum attention, the entire exhibition was abuzz. The guns on display included a 7.62mm calibre SLR, a 5.56mm INSAS, and multiple 0.22 rifles. The field engineering stall showcased the lesser-known tools involved in field-warfare such as PEK Explosive, tent equipment, pickets, and various types of axes and mallets.
“A large number of people attended the exhibition and seemed very interested in the displays, which is very encouraging for us. If the response is so good, we might do this every year and showcase something different, so that the people of Manipal can relate to their forces,” said Cadet Udit Sharma. This first celebration of Army Day in MIT gave students a glimpse into the life of a soldier and roused a sense of respect for their work. Seeing real weapons of war was both a sobering and awe-inspiring experience for students.