Guns blazing, adrenaline pumping, protected by a uniform of leaves and grease… isn’t that how we imagine our soldiers due to the image publicized by popular movies?? But just like Sylvester Stallone in ‘Rambo’, not everyone who survives gets the respect they deserve. Some become martyrs and some remember the battles they fought every single time they look at their handicapped limbs. But most importantly, they are forgotten by the people they protected and the country they love. And this injustice is exactly what the students of class 12 D and E wanted to bring to the limelight and change.
So while we sat in the classroom, shooting ideas for possible topics, the reason this suggestion definitely got our attention was because it was unconventional, as not many would dare to think that something worthwhile could be done about it and hence was unique. Once all of us decided that we wanted to follow through with this, with the help of our class teachers and Akanksha Ma’am, we got down to the business of exactly how we go about presenting our definitely avant-garde topic.
As the discussions began only a few days before “D Day”, we began to realize that unless we actually got the perspective of the people who've experienced the things we've only read about, we wouldn't be able to be able to send out a heartfelt message. So some of us decided to interview ex army and ex navy personnel about the things that proved to us that pride was more than just a feeling and that discipline took a lot more than following a routine. In the 2 days that followed, other than informative placards, 10 minutes of making others reflect upon their actions (or rather the lack of them), countless hours of editing videos by the tech team and hectic preparation, we also spent almost 3 hours debating with our beloved Ajit Sir, asking questions on the true definition of patriotism, that begged us to look into our minds to find something more than electrical impulses, which ergo helped us put forth meaningful questions to the others.
As for the assembly, the presentation was twofold, with class 12 and parts of class 11 basking in the aura of our chief guests, Commodore Homipal Singh and P. K. Mishra, father of our classmate Shashank Mirsha, while class 11 experienced a first-of-its-kind assembly within the classroom itself. The presentation, which began with a play/mime, set to the reverberating recitation of a poem saluting our soldiers and their sacrifices, showcased exactly that in a wonderful manner and was followed by little tidbits of information regarding existing campaigns to stop the injustice retired defense personnel face, job opportunities present and the changes others would want to see in the three tiers of defense forces. Everyone listened in rapt attention (and silence) to everything our chief guests had to say, because it brought up some interesting points about the meaning of war and patriotism, the necessity of peace and discipline and the need to follow orders which helped fuel the avid discussion that followed.
With the help of about 8 questions covering a wide spectrum, from financial to ethical to practical aspects of war and the military, the diverse views and ideologies of young minds were revealed, since so many of them offered a mixture of opinions and raised questions that definitely got everyone’s grey cells firing up, getting ready to contradict or to support another’s point of view. And with our chief guests also joining the conversation from time to time, it really seemed as though the mike was a vital life source, proving exactly why this issue needed to be addressed.
Since the point of our assemblies is not just to present a particular topic, but to do something before and after its completion to keep the ball rolling, we have taken the initiative to write letters to the real stars of our country and invite you to join us in our mission to bring about a small but essential change with the help your own letter; to make sure that our brave hearts know that we truly respect them and are grateful for their service to this country, because showing them we care is truly the need of the hour.
- - Ananya Kar and Anushka Gangwal ( XII E )