Indore: To celebrate Army Day on January 15, Indian army has organised a five-day artillery exhibition, which was inaugurated at Dusshera Maidan on Wednesday.
On display are weapons including - Bofors gun, AK-47, night vision devices, UBGL, 130-mm gun, infantry weapon, bomb disposal squad, commando kit and sniper suit. The event organised to arouse patriotism is aimed to draw youth to the army. Army Day is celebrated on January 15 every year because on this historic day General KM Cariappa became the first Indian to take charge of army in 1949. He took over from General Sir Francis Robert Roy Bucher, who was the last British commander-in-chief of Indian army.
A large number of visitors had the unique opportunity to see weapons and defence equipment. The day started with exhibition weapons amidst band performances. The patriotic tunes played by army band at regular intervals mesmerised visitors.
MMGs: Old machine guns: The machine gun carrying memories of army’s bravery in battle field was also on display. MMG (Medium Machine Gun) first brought to India in 1962 from Belgium has supported army for decades. “MMGs replaced other guns called General Purpose Machine Gun made by Belgians in 1950s. The actual practice of using medium machine guns dates back to World War I. “The trend of replacing more types with MMGs gave a boost, as tactics using heavy water-cooled MGs slowly phased out,” an army officer said. MMGs are manufactured in Kanpur.
World’s highest battlefield: A video documentary room displayed the live and tough training of Indian army men at Siachen glacier, the world’s highest battlefield where frequent blizzards blow in sub-zero temperatures. It one of the most hostile places to live in, let alone fight.
105 mm: Indian field gun: One of the most prized possessions and inspiring innovations on display is the 105-mm Indian field gun. It was designed by Armament Research and Development Establishment in 1972. It is a variant of the British L13 105mm howitzer. Used in conflicts like Kargil and introduced in 1980s, it is considered one of the best in the world in terms of weight. Its range even surpasses Russian equivalent 122-mm D-30 field guns.
Though Bofors gun was used in Kargil, it was Indian field gun that provided suppressive fire support to infantry and remained the most used one in the war.
The objective: The event motivated youngsters to join forces. During informal chat with Indian army officers, an aspirant Vidya Sharma asked if she can join the army. Motivating her, the officer replied, “Remember, there is no place for fear in your life. Once you will start wondering and thinking something is difficult, you are taking a step back from your dreams and duties. You must give your 100% and be sure that the best will come your way. Whenever we give our 100%, there is 99 percent surety that we will get whatever we aim for.”
Real heroes: Army officers informed visitors about weapons and equipment and how soldiers use them to guard India’s borders. “I cannot believe my eyes when I see the real heroes of our country. They are so humble, kind and inspiring,” 10-year-old Sameer Dhiman said. He kept enquiring about weapons and life in army from the officers. Likewise, 21-year-old college student Kashish Khubhani inquired about possibility of girls joining the Indian army.