The Seventh Edition of the Military Literature Festival, Chandigarh.

Chandigarh,28-NOV,The Seventh Edition of the Military Literature Festival, Chandigarh, South Asia’s only such event will be held on Saturday, the 2nd and Sunday, the 3rd of December at the Lake Club, Chandigarh. Sardar Bhagwant Singh Mann, Chief Minister of Punjab will declare the Festival open on 2nd December and HE Shri Banwarilal Purohit, Governor of Punjab and Administrator of Chandigarh will preside over the closing ceremony on 3rd December. The Festival was kicked off on Sunday, 19th November with a Wreathlaying Ceremony at the Chandigarh War Memorial by HE Shri Banwarilal Purohit, Governor of Punjab and Administrator of Chandigarh. Later His Excellency flagged off the Bravehearts Ride dedicated to the memory of the martyrs of the Indo-Pak War, 1947-48. 860 motorcycle riders, an all-time high number took part in this hugely successful event, taking a round of the Tricity.

Today, we face a world in turmoil with potentially destabilising and polarising conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East. To discuss the challenges posed, the threats implicit and the issues involved particularly lessons for India we have panel discussions on both the Russia-Ukraine War and the Israel-Hamas Conflict. Former Western Army Commander Lt Gen KJ Singh, Maj Gen Harvijay Singh, Lt Gen Prakash Menon, well known strategic affairs analyst Sushant Sareen and Brig Deepak Choube will participate in these debates.

In 1947-48 the Indian armed forces went into action to defend a free country for the first time in a thousand years. The First Indo-Pak War was a saga of unparalleled sacrifice, courage, efforts and above all patriotism. This is the military historical theme for this year – paying homage to the martyrs of that war as well as all those who fought in Jammu and Kashmir on the conflict’s 75th anniversary. An iconic battle of that war will be discussed. The victory at the Battle of Zojila in November 1948 opened the way for the liberation of Ladakh from the Pakistani invaders. In this panel we have Lt Gen NS Brar, Col Ajay Singh and Sagat Shaunik.

The Indian nation is increasingly threatened from all sides. How do we deal with the dangers which lie ahead? We will discuss threats from China and Pakistan as well as the optimum force level and organisation required to take on insurgents and terrorists. Ancient Chinese strategic thinking applied to modern geopolitics and its future ramifications forms the fourth part of this segment. Here one will get to hear the considered views of former Union Ministers Mani Shanker Aiyer and Manish Tewari, Lt Gen SL Narsimhan, Maj Gen GG Dwivedi, Ajay Bisaria, IFS, Pakistan-specialist RK Kaushik, IAS, Maj Gen Dr Mandip Singh, Maj Gen Ashok Dhingra, Praveen Swami, noted journalist and author specialising in international strategic and security issues, Brig Pradeep Sharma, Brig Harsh Vardhan Singh, Col TPS Hundal and Col Nihar Kuanr.

The Festival will also focus on Punjab and Punjabiyat including military history. Maharaja Ranjit Singh, his strategic vision and his addition through conquest to the Indian nation of the territories of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Kashmir, Baltistan and Ladakh will be articulated in a panel discussion moderated by the eminent historian Professor Indu Banga with Dr Karamjit Malhotra and distinguished Tibetologist Claude Arpi as discussants. Martial poetry in Punjabi will be authoritatively discussed by Punjab’s poet-laureate Surjit Patar, Col Jasjit Singh Gill and Dr Tajinder Singh with the session being chaired by Lt Gen JS Cheema, Vice Chancellor of the Maharaja Bhupinder Singh Punjab Sports University.

The Clarion Call theatre will feature some new documentaries to inform and educate. Decorated soldiers and veterans of various wars and insurgency campaigns will motivate the youth to join the Defence Services and serve the nation through lectures and talks. Martial dances, a weapons and equipment display and food stalls will also form part of the Festival. The ambience of the event situated on the banks of the Sukhna Lake will resemble that of a rural Mela. Entry is free.

We would like to thank HE Shri Banwarilal Purohit, Governor of Punjab and Administrator of Chandigarh, Sardar Bhagwant Singh Mann, Chief Minister, Punjab, Ms Anmol Gagan Mann, Tourism and Cultural Affairs Minister, Sardar Chetan Singh Jauramajra, Defence Services Welfare Minister and the Punjab Government and Chandigarh Administration for their unstinted financial, material and technical support. In addition, we thank the Defence Services and our partners, Western Command for their generosity. The Punjab and Chandigarh Police forces have been of immense help.

Our sponsors have been generous as ever. We thank them as well as veterans and the population of the Tricity for unfailingly supporting the Festival.

Last but not the least we owe a debt of gratitude to our dedicated band of selfless volunteers without whom the MLF would not be where it is today.

The final programme giving details of topics, participants, dates and timings is given below.