A SERMON IN KAPTAI, BANGLADESH


Quran

 

GLORIOUS QURAN SURAH VIII ‘SPOILS OF WAR, VERSE 61 : “And if they incline to peace, incline thou also to it, and trust in Allah. Lo! He is the Hearer, the Knower.”

” Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God “.( The Holy Bible,The Book of Matthew, Chapter 5, verse 9)

” (This is) a Scripture that We have revealed unto thee, full of blessing, that they may ponder its revelations, and that men of understanding may reflect “.(Holy Book of Quran, Surah XXXVIII, “SAD” verse 29)

SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE – ESTABLISHMENT NUMBER. 22 – OPERATION EAGLE – LIBERATION WAR OF BANGLADESH 1971:

 

OPERATION EAGLE – BANGLADESH OPERATIONS – 1971-72 – A SERMON IN KAPTAI BANGLADESH

Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India had initiated Liberation of Bangladesh during 1971 with military action in Chittagong Hill Tracts. The battle plan of this military action is known as Operation Eagle. She had conceived this battle plan to bring peace in that region. She was inclined towards peace. She wanted to deliver peace to people of Bangladesh who had earlier declared their independence from Pakistan. During Operation Eagle, Bangladesh Operations of 1971-72, I had served in South Column, an Infantry Unit Commanded by Lieutenant Colonel B K Narayan. He was a great Islamic Scholar. He had explained to me that PEACE is the greeting of Righteous people.

  

OPERATION EAGLE – BANGLADESH OPERATIONS:The Flag of The Regiment of Artillery of Indian Army. This is a story about a Gunner, an Officer of The Regiment of Artillery who had commanded an Infantry Unit during India-Pakistan War of 1971 and had planned and executed Infantry Assaults on Enemy Posts to Liberate Bangladesh. His Unit was the first to receive the Gallantry Awards of Vir Chakra during the Liberation War of Bangladesh.
The Military Operation in Chittagong Hill Tracts during Indo-Pak War of 1971 aimed at restoring Peace and to help Bangla Muslims to live in Dignity. My Unit had captured Kaptai and this Dam was not targeted for inflicting any kind of damage.
OPERATION EAGLE – BANGLADESH OPERATIONS:The Military Operation in Chittagong Hill Tracts during India-Pakistan War of 1971 aimed at restoring Peace and to deliver Peace to Bangladesh Muslims to help them live in Dignity. My Unit had captured Kaptai and this Dam was not targeted for inflicting any kind of damage. For example, we did not carry enough explosives to cause any significant damage.

 

My Unit never discussed any Battle Plan that required blowing up the Dam over Karnaphuli River at Kaptai.
OPERATION EAGLE – BANGLADESH OPERATIONS:My Unit never discussed any Battle Plan that required blowing up the Dam over Karnaphuli River at Kaptai. However, we discussed the Plan to capture Rangamati, and Kaptai.

AN ISLAMIC SCHOLAR WHO SERVED IN OLIVE GREEN UNIFORM:

A personal tribute to Lieutenant Colonel B K Narayan, the Regiment of Artillery

I was in college from 1962 to 1965 and had obtained an undergraduate degree in Bachelor of Science from Osmania University, Hyderabad. I remember this period as the Golden Age of immortal Mohd. Rafi whose melodies still fill my ears. I grew up in this cradle of Urdu language Culture and had acquired my love for ghazals and qawaalis. I had spent time in Lucknow, a crown jewel in the Urdu speaking world, where you meet in the market place, ordinary folks who speak in tones that have made the language famous for its sweetness. Much later, I had served in the Land Forces of The Sultanate of Oman and took my first lesson in Arabic language. My love for Urdu and my Knowledge of Arabic language pales when I write about this Scholar and language expert whom I had met in India during 1971. He passed away on Sunday May 2, 2004 in Bahrain where he had worked for over 20 years as the Head of the Translation Department at the Bahrain Archives. This is not a tribute about his academic accomplishments, the books that he had published, his military career or about his famous friendly relationship with President Gamal Abdel Nasser and President Anwar Sadat of Egypt. I am writing this tribute to recognize his personal qualities and the values that he had promoted. I am writing this tribute to recognize him as a “peacemaker”.He represents a symbol of hope and the light that he had shown may lead us on to a path of peaceful co-existence.

I met Lieutenant Colonel.B K Narayan; he hails from  Karnataka, and he grew up as a Hindu, while he served in Indian Army in the Olive Green Uniform during the period of ” The Liberation War of Bangladesh ” in 1971. He had the unique distinction of commanding an Infantry Unit in the conduct of War while he had belonged to The Regiment of Artillery. I have not known a ‘GUNNER’ who could plan and execute Infantry Attacks on Enemy posts. Colonel Iqbal Singh, the Chief of Staff at the Force Headquarters also belonged to The Regiment of Artillery but the role played by Lieutenant Colonel B K Narayan as an Infantry Commander during War is exceptional and has no comparisons that I am aware of. I had the opportunity to converse with him for extended periods of time and came to know his admirable personality. It is not the knowledge of Arabic language that has made him unique and sets him apart from all other language experts but he is special because of his love for Islamic Culture and his ability to project the deep understanding of that Culture when he spoke to others. He had performed the holy pilgrimage of hajj and had observed all the rituals of that spiritual journey like a true and devout Muslim. When he narrated his hajj experience, I could know the sense of joy and the purity of his intentions. His observance of hajj was genuine, real to its core.

Col Narayan was able to quote Quran from his memory and would convey his understanding of the verses with great clarity. I had personally witnessed his amazing performance in a little town called KAPTAI, on the banks of Karnaphuli Lake, Rangamati Division of Bangladesh. He had conducted the Friday Worship Service for the local Bangla Muslims and delivered a sermon which was received with great appreciation by the worshipers. His job in Uniform did not impose any obligation to organize such an event. he held that prayer meeting entirely on his own initiative and it was purely an expression of his love to worship in the Islamic tradition and it also affirms his faith that the worship of God is not limited by one single tradition. The Friday Worship Service was held at the State Guest House in Kaptai where I had stayed after my Unit had captured Kaptai. It had a large Conference Room. Col Narayan had contacted the Muslim Clerics of the local Masjid and they were absolutely delighted when they met him. His Scholarship and devotion to Islam had captivated them and they had immediately agreed to convene the local congregation at the Guest House and organize the Friday Worship Service. The Conference Hall got totally packed with worshipers. I could watch the proceedings directly from my room in the State Guest House. The Bangla Muslim Community of Kaptai were truly appreciative of Colonel Narayan and his military campaign for bringing Peace and Joy to their Community. 

I knew Col Narayan’s great admiration for Arab people. He had always described them as peace-loving people. He knew this as a fact and it was based upon his understanding of Islamic Culture and traditions. I would describe Col B K Narayan as a God’s humble servant. It is important to remember and pay tribute to such “peacemakers” as we can achieve true peace through reflecting and understanding the revelations from the Holy Scriptures of all people. The Regiment of Artillery of Indian Army must record this historical contribution made by a Gunner officer who had served as an Infantry Commander during the Indo-Pak War of 1971.    

 
OPERATION EAGLE -BANGLADESH OPERATIONS:Major General Sujan Singh Uban, Inspector General of Special Frontier Force, was my Commander during Operation Eagle 1971-72 but he made no mention about ‘The Sermon in Kaptai’ in his book.
OPERATION EAGLE – BANGLADESH Ops:THE SERMON IN KAPTAI, BANGLADESH. We had helped the Bangladesh Muslims to regain their freedom and dignity.The India-Pakistan War of 1971 and the Birth of Bangladesh are very significant achievements of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. As I was then serving in an Establishment under the Cabinet Secretariat, I had direct and personal understanding of her Foreign Policy Initiatives. She had personally approved our military Operation in Chittagong Hill Tracts. In the conduct of this War, we had faced a very critical moment and it needed her personal intervention and a decision that she alone could make. I rendered my services and had overcome the challenge posed by that critical situation. The importance of this situation could be understood as it needed an intervention from the Prime Minister. I am now asking the Government of India to recognize my GALLANT response in enemy’s territory without any concern for my personal safety.

Related  Blog Posts :

https://bhavanajagat.wordpress.com/2010/04/03/award-of-gallantry-awards-indo-pak-war-of-1971/

1. Liberation War of Bangladesh – Fallen Heroes on both sides – October 28, 2007

2. About Guns, Victory, and Gallantry awards – Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971 – October 23, 2007

3. Sangram Medal 1971 – A Story that I shared with the Director General of Armed Forces Medical Services – November 22, 2007

4. India and Iran – What is the Connection ? – January 28, 2008

5. The Spirit of a Jew – Revisiting the Birth of Bangladesh – February 10, 2009

6. The Phantoms of Chittagong – A Story from Chittagong Hill Tracts – August 17, 2009

7. The Fifth Army – The Untold Story from Chittagong Hill Tracts – August 18, 2009

8. The Medical Plan for Fifth Army in Bangladesh – The Experience of Madhurya in Chittagong Hill Tracts

9. Award of Gallantry Awards – Indo-Pak War of 1971

10. The Art of Battlefield Medicine

Electricity generated at Kaptai helps to operate Chandraghona Paper Mills near Kaptai.An engineer who had worked in the Paper Mills at Chandraghona, a Bangla Muslim had helped my Unit during our military operation in Chittagong Hill Tracts.When our Unit reached Kaptai, the engineer happily returned to his home. I went and visited the Paper and Rayon Fiber Mill at Chandraghona.
OPERATION EAGLE 1971:Electricity generated at Kaptai helps to operate Chandraghona Paper Mills near Kaptai.An engineer who had worked in the Paper Mills at Chandraghona, a Bangla Muslim had helped my Unit during our military operation in Chittagong Hill Tracts.When our Unit reached Kaptai, the engineer happily returned to his home. He had joined Lieutenant Colonel Assar in a military operation at Chittagong. I went and visited the Paper and Rayon Fiber Mill at Chandraghona.
Lieutenant Governor of Andaman & Nicobar Islands(December 1985 to December 1989) – Lieutenant General(Retd) TS Oberoi, PVSM, VrC., former General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Headquarters Southern Command, Pune, former Inspector General, Special Frontier Force, former Commandant, Headquarters Establishment No. 22, Commander Operation Eagle –  Bangladesh Ops. He is the tall person in this photo wearing dark brown turban. I knew him since 1971. Under his able leadership, the Liberation of Bangladesh had commenced in the year 1971 during the Indo-Pak War.Apart from his military wisdom, he took a good care of all men under his Command. While I was proceeding to Chittagong Hill Tracts, he had individually greeted all the members of my team and had delayed the departure of aircraft to ensure that a hot breakfast was served to all the men boarding the aircraft. He paid personal attention to all the aspects of the military mission to ensure the wellbeing of men apart from achieving success in accomplishing the military task. The sense of warmth he radiated is easily felt when we meet him in person. His grandson provided me the link to this photo. Photo Credit – Trishna-Ajay-Picasa Web Album.

R. R. Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,     

Service Number:MS-8466, Rank:LIEUTENANT/CAPTAIN Branch:Army Medical Corps/Short Service Regular Commission;

Designation:Medical Officer, South Column, Operation Eagle 

 

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “A SERMON IN KAPTAI, BANGLADESH

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s