COL DPK Pillay, SC, visited village Longdi Pabram, in Manipur, on 27 mar 2017 and distributed 500 solar lamps, 100 solar lanterns and 10 street solar lights to the villagers. It was here about 2 decades ago that COL pillay was grievously injured in an encounter with undergrounds of NSCN-IM, when not caring about his personal safety, he ensured airlifting of two injured children, a girl Masebuiliu, then aged 11 and Dingamang, then 6 years, both of whom survived. He had an emotional meeting with both, the girl is now happily married and mother of three kids and the boy is employed in imphal.
These beautiful words shows the bondage between COL DPK Pillay and the people of village Longdi Pabram, in Manipur.
Thank you for your warm welcome, as before, I am overwhelmed. Coming to Longdipabram is like coming home. I don’t know how I will repay the affection and blessings that I have received from everyone here – all for nothing more than doing my duty.
I am truly honoured and blessed. I think I was from this village in my previous birth. When I meet the grandmother I feel I am with my own mother. When Atanbou calls me I feel like my elder brother is calling me.
When I see Dingamang and Masebiliu I feel I see my nephew and neice. I want to tell you all I love you all. I must also thank the army chief gen Rawat who asked me to visit the village before I retire.
He facilitated this visit with the blessings of corps Commander, Let gen Chauhan. I want to thank Gen Shokin Chauhan who firstly as our divisional officer in national defence academy made men out of boys like us worthy to be honored in this manner for doing nothing but our duty as we know it.
I also want to thank Brig RK Singh offg IG and col DP Singh offg Cdr 9 sector and Lt col Sharma CO of 23 AR who has travelled all the way to this village on this road enduring the bumps and made sure this function took place .
What is a soldiers duty in NDA we learnt of service before self and in IMA of the chetwode code. What is that country we are supposed to defend even at the cost of our lives.
Is it a region is it a community is it a language or religion. It is none of that yet all of it yes indeed that what we seek to defend is that idea of India as defined in our Constitution in which no one is insignificant.
Every human life is precious and that is why as a soldier I chose to do what I did that fateful day. As a soldier I knew I could lose my life defending the ideals of our country values and Constitution, but there was no way I could transfer this liability on to young Masebiliu and dear Dingamang. For me and many other soldiers like me you were worthy of any sacrifice irrespective our differences as others might see it.
To my family in Longdipabram, I want to say this: let us not stop believing in the possibility of peace, in the power of friendship, and the strength of democracy. You have endured a great deal, and I cannot promise that things will get better in the immediate future. But I ask you to trust in the democratic values and principles that this country is built on. As someone said, the solution for the flaws of democracy is more democracy, not less.
We have to make our institutions work for our people, all of our people everywhere must get the benefit of education, healthcare, security, jobs, the right to go anywhere in the country, to work, study, travel without being labelled or attacked.
I know this is not the case for so many, including for people in this region. We would like to see young people from this village, from Tamenglong and indeed the entire state and region, feel and believe that they are as much a part of this country as anyone else. They should be able to study and work anywhere they want, without fear and insecurity. In fact, they should have opportunities right here – they should not have to leave home to make their lives better.
We cannot have development without peace. We also cannot have peace if there is no development, no roads, not enough electricity, schools and universities that cannot function. I want you to spread the message that peace will bring greater dividends . Let this be the start of a new era where we shun the language of exclusivity and spread violence and talk peace, harmony and coexistence for a greater future for all of us.
My brothers in the Army, many of whom are here today, understand that trying to keep the peace is not easy. But I know that the core values of our armed forces continue to guide these efforts – of respecting the rights of civilians, of ensuring their safety and security at all times, and of ensuring that people look upon as protectors and well-wishers. To earn the trust of those we seek to protect is also not easy, in times when there are competing claims, deep divisions, and an atmosphere of mistrust that has lasted decades. I have no doubt that our great institution will continue to abide by its codes of honour and duty, and soldier on, until the day – and I hope and pray that that day will come soon – when the presence of soldiers on this land will no longer be required.
I also wanted to bring my children here – two of them are here today – to make them understand the uniqueness and diversity of this land. To make them see how friendships, loyalties and goodwill can go beyond our families, friends and acquaintances. I wanted them to see a larger world, which has many flaws but which also has enough humanity and fellow feeling that can help us overcome our flaws and challenges. They already have friends here whom they consider brothers and sisters – and I am so happy and thankful that I was able to bring them. I hope and pray that these ties will never break.
I must thank Mr. Atenbou Pamei…. [add others] for keeping the faith, for believing that God works in amazing ways to bring people together. Let us make sure that we do not waver in our faith.
I foresee a future where the power of your prayer will ensure the road sanctioned by Honble Gadkari connecting longdipabram to Kohima and Tamenglong and your prayers will ensure the PM will come to this village one day .Please keep praying.keep the faith and have faith that good will happen.
In the end let is all pledge to keep India First and her civilizational values first always and everytime.
- Col DPK Pillay