Defence journal Sainik Samachar turns 100 today

Defence journal Sainik Samachar turns 100 todayNew Delhi, Jan. 2: Defence Minister AK Antony today released a coffee table book "Soldiering On" to commemorate the centenary of the Sainik Samachar, the fortnightly journal of India's Armed Forces, here today.

The journal had started its journey, rather tentatively, as a sixteen page Urdu Weekly on January 2, 1909, to provide to Army personnel a summary of news with a military bias. Rare photographs, memorable documents and vignettes of the heroics of the Indian Armed Forces are the hallmarks of the coffee table book.

Antony congratulated the Sainik Samachar for turning 100 today, and said the publication is doing a yeoman service to the armed forces.

He also asked the media to be cautious in its approach while reporting on the matters dealing with the armed forces.

"Soldiering On" presents a panoramic view of the major events in the life of the nation and to some extent, of the world, as reported by Fauji Akhbar/Sainik Samachar since its inception. It also reflects the trials and tribulations of some of the epoch making chapters of Indian history and world history.

The book "Soldiering On" has been divided into four chapters. The first chapter covers the trivia related to the magazine, while the second chapter covers the period from the date of its inception in 1909 till 1947 when the British soldiers left India.

This portion of the book includes archival material and photographs connected with the declaration of Delhi as capital, the First World War, the early stages of formation of all the wings of Armed Forces and its major institutions, the Second World War, the partition and India''s independence. Two rare pages of this chapter, "Down the Memory Lane" stand out for their historic value.

During its chequered history, Fauji Akhbar has travelled from Shimla, where its office was originally located and published from Allahabad, to Lahore, back to Shimla and then to Delhi.

Its popularity was at its peak during the World War-II when an overseas edition was also brought out from Cairo for the benefit of Indian troops deployed in far-off theatres. The print order of Fauji Akhbar and its special bi- weekly supplement Jang Ki Khabarein was in excess of three lakhs at that time.

The publication of Fauji Akhbar was suspended temporarily immediately after Independence due to sudden migration of Muslim staff and the printers. However, it bounced back with renewed vigour in no time. The magazine turned into a fortnightly on April 4, 1954 and re-christened as Sainik Samachar.

Published by the Directorate of Public Relations (DPR), Ministry of Defence, the magazine is now brought out in 13 different Indian languages including English.

Among the many articles and photographs, some of the memorable pages include a photograph of a young boy of `Kashmiri National Militia' saluting Pandit Nehru in Rajouri in 1948 along with a banner saying "We Will Defend Kashmir with Our Blood".

There are photographs, which show Indian troops manning a lonely post at Chushul and going on a patrol next to Pangong Lake in Ladakh in 1962. The book has dug out a rare photograph of Indira Gandhi donating all her 367 grams of gold jewellery to the national relief fund to support the 1962 war effort.

The book is a record of the indomitable courage and heroics of Indian Armed forces. The pictures and stories reinforce the fact that whenever any adversary has dared to mess up with India's security or territorial integrity, the Indian Armed Forces have risen to the challenge and given the enemy a crushing reply.

The book features some rare pictures of Indian troops in action on foreign soil during UN peace keeping missions in Korea, Congo, Gaza , Indo-China among many such operations. (ANI)