Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 8:
The book titled “My Years at Sea “written by Vice Admiral S H Sarma PVSM was released at the Press Club of Odisha on Sunday evening.
Speaking on the occasion Vice Admiral Sarma spoke of the 1971 Indo-Pak was and the role of the Indian Navy in the victory.
The book was released by General B.K.Mahapatra, AVSM, (Retd), Amiya Bhushan Tripathy, IPS (Retd), Dr Bimlendu Mohanty and Murali Manohar Sharma.
Vice Admiral Sarma is one of the highest decorated and among the few persons who have seen all the major wars including the World War II. As the Flag Officer Commanding of the Eastern Fleet, he was in command on the INS Vikrant which flew many sorties and destroyed the Naval establishments of Chittagong, Khulna, Cox’s Bazar and Mangla.
Murali Manohar Sharma, Convener of the Bharat Raksha Manch spoke of the martial and maritime tradition of Odisha. He said that there should be compulsory military training for each citizen. Dr. Bimlendu Mohanty said that modern day youth should be inculcated with the virtues of patriotism, love for the motherland and nationhood. He said that a Kalinga or Paika regiment should be raised in the Indian Army. Shri Amiya Bhusan Tripathy said the Admiral Sarma’s book should be translated into Odia so that it has a wider reach. General B.K. Mohapatro gave instances from the life of Admiral Sarma and his role in the 1971 war.
Anil Dhir, the publisher of the book, said that an official history of the 1971 war should be written. He said that the Naval blockade and strikes of the 1971 war were one of the most successful victories in Naval history. He said that the 1971 war victory is a tribute to India’s amazing plurality. The entire war planning was conducted by Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw (a Parsi); the Eastern Army that liberated Bangladesh was headed by Chief of Staff of the Indian Army’s Eastern Command Jacob-Farj-Rafael Jacob (a Jew); the head of ground forces in the east was General Jagjit Singh Aurora (a Sikh); the man who set alight the Chittagong, Khulna and Cox Bazar for a week was Flag Officer Commanding of the Eastern Fleet Rear Admiral S H Sarma (a Hindu); the Raw Operative Abdul Kader Siddique nicknamed as “Tiger Siddique” ( a Muslim) who headed the Kader Bahini which wreaked havoc in the Pakistan Army by disrupting communication systems, ambushing army columns, blowing up supply and ammunition dumps and assaulting enemy convoys and Major Ian Cardozo (a Christian) who lost his leg in a landmine blast in the battle of Sylhet and went became the first disabled officer in the Indian Army to command an infantry battalion and then a brigade.