The Imam Square in Isfahan houses two blue mosques which use lapis lazuli and gold and silver work with shades of turquoise and emerald, the entire structure gets a dazzling blue appearance. These pale blue tiles of Isfahan’s Islamic buildings is very unique and the historical Qutb Shahi monuments at Golconda, Hyderabad, Deccan, India would be restored on the same lines and would be preserved like the monuments in the city of Isfahan.
Isfahan is located at about 400 km (250 miles) south of Iranian capital city of Tehran. Isfahan is considered to be a charming and memorable place and if it is known as ” nesf-e-jahan meaning that Isfahan is half the world, I would name Hyderabad(DECCAN),India as the other half. Hyderabad is charming and its historical monuments are being restored and the city was originally modeled after Isfahan and very soon people would appreciate the connection between these two cities.
CHIEF OF ARMY STAFF, INDIAN ARMY February 1, 1985 to May 31, 1988.
GENERAL KRISHNASWAMY SUNDARRAJAN(SUNDARJI), PVSM.
We can not win peace if we are not ready for war. There will be no peace until we are willing to stand up to the challenge posed by the enemy. People who arrive at the battlefield fully prepared are more likely to display courage and the well-prepared are more likely to win.
IS WAR AN ART FORM ???
General Sundarji served as the General Officer Commanding, First Armoured Division of Indian Army during 1976 to 1978 and I had served in 55 Medical Battalion of First Armoured Division during that time. He would not let us give an excuse for not being prepared for the combat operations. He would stand next to me to check the expiration dates of the life saving medicines we bring to the battle and very often count the numbers to make sure that we carry enough quantity of each item that is included in our operational plans. Without preparation, no plan could be executed to accomplish its goal. While serving under his Command, I learned the importance of preparing for war. Shortcomings and deficiencies should not be ignored and should never be concealed. Being fully prepared boosts up the level of confidence and keeps up the fighting morale of men. I was fortunate to learn from his experience and his insistence and expectation that people under his command should excel in the art of preparing for war. He was an exceptionally good task master and would not permit any second guessing when he inspected Units to evaluate their battle preparedness. He paid scrupulous attention to every detail and no aspect of preparedness was considered trivial and no shortcoming would escape his attention. Under the leadership and stewardship of General Sundarji( whom I consider as my ‘Guru’) I learned the basic method of preparing for battle. He is described as the scholar General, military genius of India and is well-respected for his professional acumen and candor. He was the first and the only Infantry Officer in the Indian Army till date to command an Armoured Division. My learning experience started upon my posting to the First Armoured Division in 1976 while General Sundarji served as its Commander. In India, the classical literature had always described the use of weapons as an art which like all other branches of learning requires a ” GURU “(Teacher) and the act of preparing for war needs a proper attitude, discipline and application. Modern Warfare is like a Symphony Orchestra where different players come together, work in harmony to provide an alluring musical experience. The actual warfare may provide images of violence but the preparation for war is more of an art form. Just like the practice for a great musical performance, each player should learn the notes, tune the instrument to play the correct notes and synchronize their moves with the rest of the team. My service in the Indian Army had given me the opportunity to master this art of preparing for war and I would consider General Sundarji as a great Master of this Art.
YOU WIN PEACE WHEN YOU ARE READY FOR WAR :
In early 1979, as tensions between India and Pakistan had increased and in response to Pakistan’s military build up and aggressive postures, India had demonstrated its willingness to accept the challenge by moving its fighting forces and conducted a massive operation near the Indo-Pak border in the Thar Desert of the State of Rajasthan. I was deputed to witness this military exercise as an umpire and was asked to report upon the performance of a Medical Battalion. The Battalion was commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel and was supervised by an Additional Director of Medical Services, a Colonel. From my experience at the First Armoured Division and the mentor ship of General Sundarji, I had acquired a sharp eye and a passion for details. During the course of the exercise, I had submitted several reports to the Deputy Director of Medical Services at the Head Quarters of the Southern Army Command. I had frank and open discussions with the Officers and the men of the Medical Battalion about aspects of their training and preparedness. I had accurately pointed out their shortcomings in training and their deficiencies in stores and equipment. I was pleased to hear from all of them that they would not mind any hardship or inconvenience and that they would prefer to retrain and improve their battle preparedness. My reports had helped the Unit to identify the areas of weakness and later the Medical Battalion was provided with the necessary retraining.
The robust military response from India at that time in 1979 had forced Pakistan into a retreat and eased tensions between the two countries and averted the possibility of a war. From this experience, I learned that we can win peace when we are prepared for war.
Please also read the blog post titled ‘Blessings for Peace’.
I joined Indian Army Medical Corps during September 1969 when I qualified for the grant of Short Service Regular Commission in the rank of Second Lieutenant. General Manekshaw had a very high reputation across all the ranks and branches of Indian Armed Forces. I had no opportunity to meet him in person but I always felt motivated by his spirit and enthusiasm to perform military tasks with cheerfulness and a sense of strong conviction to uphold the pride and dignity of Indian Army.
‘SAM THE BRAVE’-FIELD MARSHAL SAM HORMUSJI FRAMJI JAMSHEDJI MANEKSHAW, MILITARY CROSS, PADMA VIBHUSHAN, PADMA BHUSHAN, CHIEF OF ARMY STAFF 07 JUNE 1969-15 JAN 1973
MY CONNECTION WITH THE ‘ PARSI ‘ COMMUNITY OF INDIA :
Parsis are the followers in India of the Iranian Prophet Zoroaster. The name means ” Persians “. According to tradition, the Parsis had initially settled at HORMUZ on the Persian Gulf and they sailed to India in the 8 th century. They form a well-defined community and they have retained almost unchanged the beliefs and customs of their ancestors. Just like other Indians, the Parsis consider the elements of Fire, Water and Earth as sacred. I would like to speak about two members of this community with whom I am connected with love and a great admiration.
1.Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw :
In the year 1969, while I was a student at Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, I qualified for the grant of Short Service Commission to join the Indian Army Medical Corps in the rank of Second Lieutenant. I had joined the Army Medical Corps on 26 July, 1970 in the rank of Lieutenant. On completion of my training, I got promoted to the rank of Captain on 26 July, 1971. My first task was getting ready for the crisis that India was facing on account of the influx of the Bangla refugees. General Manekshaw was born in Amritsar, Punjab to Parsi parents. He became the 8th Chief of Staff of the Indian Army in 1969 and his distinguished military career has spanned four decades and through five wars, including World War II. He has the rare distinction of being honoured for his bravery on the battle front itself. He won the Military Cross for display of his valour in face of stiff resistance from the Japanese while he was leading a counter-offensive against the invading Japanese Army in Burma. He is the architect of India’s heroic victory in the 1971 INDO-PAK WAR. He had shown uncommon ability to motivate the troops and coupled it with a mature war strategy. He had masterminded the rout of the Pakistan Army in one of the quickest victories in recent military history. I take pride in my military service and my connection to ” SAM BAHADUR “. This military experience has helped me while I had participated in Military Security and Intelligence Operations at Strait of Hormuz, Persian Gulf during 1984 to 1986 while I had served in the Land Forces of Sultanate of Oman. I began my military service under the leadership of a member of the Parsi Community which had arrived in India from Hormuz area of Persian Gulf (IRAN) and my military career came to a final conclusion at Headquarters Peninsular Security Force, KHASAB, on the shores of Persian Gulf at Strait of Hormuz while I was very actively involved in arresting the growth of Iranian influence in that area.
2.FEROZE GANDHI( “FEROZE GANDHY” ) :
Feroze Gandhi was born into a Parsi family. He was a member of India’s first Parliament. He won his election in 1952 and in 1957 from Rai Bareilly constituency in Uttar Pradesh. His wife was his election manager. He was the husband of India’s first woman Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi and the father of the former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. His grandson is a Member of Indian Parliament. Feroze died in 1960 but his name connects me to our beloved Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. I was a student in Kurnool Medical College in 1966 when Mrs. Gandhi was first appointed as the Prime Minister. I wrote her a personal letter to congratulate her and she had graciously responded to that letter. In 1967, I was in New Delhi to participate in a National Student Seminar for National Integration . Myself and other student delegates had a opportunity to meet Mrs. Gandhi at her residence and exchanged our views and expressed our concerns on several issues. After joining Indian Army, in 1971, I joined duty at the Office of the Directorate General of Security which takes its orders from the Prime Minister’s Cabinet Secretariat . It gave me an opportunity to understand the great leadership role played by Mrs.Gandhi and it provided me an insight into her foreign policy initiatives. Mrs. Gandhi’s decisive leadership had helped India to successfully test our first nuclear weapon.
SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE – OPERATION EAGLE – INDIRA GANDHI’S MILITARY ACTION IN CHITTAGONG HILL TRACTS – LIBERATION WAR OF BANGLADESH 1971:
Among several people who had participated in Operation Eagle 1971, I may mention the name of Flight Lieutenant PARVEZ JAMASJI of Indian Air Force, the Parsi helicopter pilot who had helped me with my battle casualty evacuation from Chittagong Hill Tracts to our Field Hospital at Lungleh, Mizoram.
Iran is an ancient land. We had trade and Cultural relations with Iran( PERSIA – THE LAND OF ARYANS ) for several centuries. People of Persian origin have immensely contributed to India in a variety of fields such as business, arts, architecture and public service. The Parsi community of India represents my connection to Iran.
Dr. R. R. Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,
Service Number – MS-8466 CAPTAIN AMC/SSC, MR-03277K MAJOR AMC/DPC INDIAN ARMY & XSCO-324 NAQEEB/CAPTAIN FMS HQ SOLF Sultanate of Oman
Medical Officer, South Column Unit, Operation Eagle 1971-72
My Father, Shri. R. Suryanarayana Murthy, Principal(Retd) rejoicing during the Golden Jubilee Celebrations at Giriraj Government Arts College, Nizamabad.
INDIA’S RIGHT TO TEST NUCLEAR WEAPONS :
In the year 1961, my Father was transferred from Government Arts College, Rajahmundry to Nizamabad upon his selection as the Principal of Giriraj Government Arts College. At age 13, I had joined Giriraj as a student of the Pre-University Course. In 1962, at age 14, I had joined the Bachelor of Science, 3 year degree course. I had started understanding the security threats that were faced by India after the brutal Chinese aggression across our Himalayan frontier. I had also started to lose my faith in the United Nations as India was not able to defend its vital national interests in the Security Council and India had mostly survived on account of the help extended by the Soviet Union. At Giriraj, when we celebrated the ‘ U.N.O. DAY ‘, I had an opportunity to speak and publicly express my opinion about India’s relationship with the United Nations. As my Father, the Principal of Giriraj, was listening to me, I told the Faculty Staff Members and the assembled student community that India should exercise its rights to develop and test the nuclear weapons. India had actually carried out its first nuclear test at POKHRAN on May 18, 1974.
I WAS SMILING LIKE ” THE SMILING BUDDHA ” :
I love Giriraj, which had given me this courage to speak my mind without any inhibition or fear. Later in my life, in the year 1979, while I was a Major in the Indian Army, I had visited POKHRAN, the nuclear test site in the State of Rajasthan and I was smiling like ” THE SMILING BUDDHA “.
In the year 1961, my father was transferred from Government Arts College, Rajahmundry to Nizamabad upon his selection as the Principal of Giriraj Government Arts College. At age 13, I had joined Giriraj as a student of the Pre-University Course. In 1962, at age 14, I had joined the Bachelor of Science 3 year degree course. I started understanding the security threats that were faced by India after the brutal Chinese aggression across our Himalayan frontier. I had also started to lose my faith in the United Nations as India was not able to defend its vital national interests in the Security Council and India had mostly survived on account of the help extended by the Soviet Union. At Giriraj , when we celebrated the ‘U.N.O. DAY’, I had an opportunity to speak and publicly express my opinion about India’s relationship with the United Nations. As my father, the Principal of Giriraj, was listening to me, I told the Faculty Staff Members and the assembled student community that India should exercise its rights to develop and test the nuclear weapons. India had actually carried out its first nuclear test at POKHRAN on May 18, 1974.
I WAS SMILING LIKE ” THE SMILING BUDDHA “
I love Giriraj , which had given me this courage to speak my mind without any inhibition or fear. Later in my life, in the year 1979 while I was a Major in the Indian Army, I had visited POKHRAN, the nuclear test site in the State of Rajasthan and I was smiling like ” THE SMILING BUDDHA “.
The Strait of Hormuz connects Persian Gulf with Gulf of Oman and kindly view the enlarged picture and you would appreciate the maritime boundaries between Iran and Oman and the narrow shipping lanes that are vital for global energy supply. I served in The Sultanate of Oman’s Land Forces and also took part in the operations conducted by The Sultanate of Oman’s Air force, Navy and Coast Guard almost on a daily basis while I was stationed at Al-KHASAB air base. My Unit is responsible for the security of the Musandam Peninsula and also safeguard Oman’s territorial waters. We keep a 24 hours watch on all the vessels that transit through the Strait of Hormuz and provide navigational guidance and assistance as needed. Apart from keeping this vigil and monitoring the activity in the narrow shipping lanes, we regularly patrol all the coastal villages and contact the residents on a regular basis and gather information about any possible cross border infiltration. I used to make my trips using a variety of modes of transportation that included boats, smaller naval vessels, helicopters and land rovers. There are very few roads and the terrain is rocky and very rough. The villages are literally cut off from the rest of the country. Oman’s Ministry of Health runs clinics and hospitals at places like Khasab and Bukha and the smaller village communities have no such facilities and I have not noticed even grocery stores as the places are remote and inaccessible. I could make a very dramatic impact upon the Village Patrolling in Musandam Peninsula and could successfully redirect the military security and intelligence operation to provide assistance to the villagers. I used to spend my time talking to the residents, provide free medicine and arrange free trips to the Hospital in Khasab. Many of them needed dental treatment and were not able to visit a dentist. I could use the military helicopters to take them to the dentist and bring them back to their homes at the end of their appointments. During all of my trips, women, children, the elderly and others used to come out of their dwellings and line up to converse with me. To my utter surprise, sometimes I used to meet women from Hyderabad, India who had married Omani citizens. During my journeys, I used to get a very clear view of the coastline of Iran and I was told that many villagers regularly do their shopping at Bandar-e-Abbas of Iran.
IRAN – A MISSED OPPORTUNITY ???
Before I had moved to OMAN in January 1984, I made an attempt to find employment in Iran. I visited the beautiful Iranian Consulate in Hyderabad, India. Several of my friends who were then serving in the Medical and Health Services of the Government of Andhra Pradesh, had been to Iran on 5 years deputation, gave me a very good account of their service conditions and experience in Iran. I was looking for an opportunity to serve in the Iranian Armed Forces and was not really keen to take up a job with their Ministry of Health. Simultaneously, I found this opportunity in Oman to serve as an Officer with a good contract from their Ministry of Defense. Interestingly, I had again gone to the Iranian Embassy in Muscat, Oman in July, 1986 looking for an opportunity to live in Iran. I met with their senior officials who had received me with great courtesy. Very regretfully, they claimed that their hands are tied and they could not give me the type of Visa I wanted. However, they sincerely appreciated my desire to work and live in Iran. If God is willing, may be I would get a third chance to knock on the doors of some Iranian Embassy. When I look back into our history, the story of Aryan Migration to Iran interests me a lot and I also recognize that Persian was the Court language during the long rule by MUGHALS(MOGULS) and I love listening to ‘ghazals’, the lyrics composed in the Indian language Urdu which is enriched with the ideas and thoughts that are expressed in Persian language.
The above lines are an attempt by me to translate into English the ‘ghazal’ titled “MUJH SE MERA KYA RISHTA HAI” by Mumtaz Rashid. The ‘ghazal’ is included in the music audio cassette(11/98), “RUBAYEE“ (Volume 1). The singer is India’s famous ghazal singer PANKAJ UDHAS. The cassette was released by Music India, Polygram India Ltd. The cassette includes “Rubayees” of Hakim Omar Khayyam translated into Indian language Urdu by Janab Zameer Kazmi and Janab Irteza Nishat. I would particularly invite all Farsi speakers to listen to these songs and appreciate the connection between Persian language and Urdu. This melodious Indian language Urdu represents a bridge that connects the people of IRAN with the people of INDIA.
WHO AM I? FROM WHERE I HAVE ARRIVED? WHERE AM I GOING?
Human existence raises some fundamental questions about individual’s identity, the purpose in life and the nature of human relationships. I love Hakeem Omar Khayyam for he had asked himself these questions. Does the image I see in the mirror describe my true identity ? Unless I define my identity, how it would be possible to describe my relationship with others. If I do not know as to who I am, why should I contemplate on issues such as my purpose in life and my destination? Self-Knowledge is the key to answer questions about existence.
SIR, WHO ARE YOU?
‘JAGADGURU’ Sri Adi Shankaracharya had answered the above question. In six verses described as ” NIRVANA SHATKAM “, he had stated what he is not and as to what he could be.
” I have no death, I have no fear, I do not belong to a category, the differences that we accrue as a result of caste, creed or occupation do not belong to me, I have no father, I have no mother and in fact, I am not born (it implies that I am an eternal entity), I have no relatives, I have no friends, I have no ‘GURU’, and I am not a disciple of anyone. But, I am the reflection of the image of ‘SAT+CHIT+ANANDA, I am that SHIVA and I am SHIVA”.
I would read that response from SHANKARA to acquire a sense of direction in my search for my identity. If I know, who I am, I could live in a relationship with myself. First of all, I need to forget that image, that reflection that I may have seen in the mirror.
Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham,
Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India,
>OM SHANTI, SHANTI, SHANTI Lead me from unreal to Real, Lead me from darkness(ignorance) to enlightenment, Lead me from death to immortality, Let there be Peace, Peace and nothing other than Peace. Aum, asatoma sadgamaya, Tamasoma Jyotir gamaya, Mrityorma Amrutam gamaya Aum Shanti, Shanti, Shanti hi.