The Warriors’ Homecoming
Sanathana Dharma College, Alleppey, a not-too-well-known institution outside Kerala, yet an elite one that has produced a number of eminent personalities over the years, recently hosted a path-breaking event; a conclave, in association with its NCC unit, to honour the veteran and serving armed forces personnel it has given the nation. The institution, known for its outstanding faculty and a vibrant academic environment that promotes multi-faceted development of its students by combining scholastic excellence with liberal values, can pride itself of an alumni comprising noted figures in every sphere, be it bureaucracy, corporate world, art, literature, cinema and even politics and most significant of all, a high proportion of armed forces officers. During its seventy-four-year-old existence the college has seen more than half that number of its students answering the call to arms. No wonder the event turned out to be an emotional reunion for the invitees, some of whom, including yours truly, were returning to their alma mater after more than half a century, and an inspirational one of the rarest kind for the students, most of them NCC Cadets, fired by their enthusiasm to join the armed forces.
An air of nostalgia was palpable throughout the event, as speaker after speaker reminisced their association with the college and recounted their experience serving in the arms. A number of them were war veterans and others seasoned soldiers, sailors and aviators, who had had their share of action fighting insurgency, serving overseas under the UN flag or coping with natural calamities. If the interactive session with students at the end was an extremely pleasant change for the invitees, it proved to be highly invigorating for the students.
They called it the ‘Warriors Conclave’, a concept that holds promising dividends in terms of enthusing the youth to join the armed forces. The college might well have set an example worth emulating by universities and institutions across the country for its greater common good. Kudos to the organizers.