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Airlines carrying soldiers’ bodies may observe 30 seconds of silence

  • Mrinalini Singh
  • October 10, 2017
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From the burning deserts of Rajasthan to the icy heights of Siachen, from battling wars, to nation-building, from scaling mountains, to an Olympic drawing, from enduring struggle, to supreme sacrifice, with an indomitable will, our soldiers lay down their lives, for Honour, for INDIA. The wrath of Mother Nature comes without warning and can be far more devastating than war itself. In such catastrophe, the nation turns to the ever dependable Army, the fastest responders in any crisis. To honour those real heroes who sacrifice their lives for us, Indian airlines have come up with a marvellous gesture.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has asked the opinion of airline operators on its proposal to make mandatory a 30 seconds silence to pay homage to martyred soldiers if their bodies are being carried on the flight. The original proposal had come from the armed forces, which DGCA forwarded to plane operators. Government officials told that the proposal may get accepted. The government also released a template of the text to be read out before the 30-second time of silence.

DGCA also forwarded a possible template for the announcement that could be made on such flights. Oddly enough, the template includes terms like ‘proud’ and ‘privileged’ while referring to martyred soldiers. However, a DGCA official said the script had not been prepared by the regulator. “It is our proud privilege/moment to announce that today on our flight we have amongst us the mortal remains of an extremely brave and gallant soldier of the Indian Army/Navy/Air Force… We request you to observe 30 seconds of silence for the departed soul,” reads the template forwarded by the regulator.

The current protocols do not entail any public announcement if bodies of martyred soldiers are on the flight. Though the crew of the flight has to conduct a small ceremony before loading a soldier’s body to a plane. Words can hardly convey the gratitude that these martyrs inspire for their sacrifice is our Freedom. Hard at work, the gritty Indian Soldier holds his soldierly skills throughout the year.

From the dense and humid jungles of Arunachal Pradesh to the barren expanse of the Rann of Kutch, from the beaches of Port Blair to the high altitude desert of Ladakh, the Indian Army is every ready, be it war or as the ever-dependable instrument of state supporting national endeavours and sustaining National Pride. The Indian Soldier stands steadfast and strong knowing that the aspirations of 1.2 billion Indians rest on his shoulders.

In the heat and cold, in pleasure and pain, strike and steadfast you will find the Indian Soldier living by his code, willing to pay even by his life for the dignity of our nation and the idea of INDIA.

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