Irance pitches for India to join military operations overseasSeveral interviews concerning India’s Defence
- Bana Singh: a Warrior’s Tale
Interview with Bana Singh, Param Vir Chakra, for Rediff.com (June 27, 2007)
To India’s surprise, in 1984 Pakistan began sponsoring mountaineering expeditions in the Siachen area and showing the glacier as its territory. The situation worsened in early 1987 when the Pakistanis established a post on a feature overlooking Indian defences located near the Bilafond Pass on the Saltoro ridge.
The post was so important for Islamabad that it was named the ’Quaid’ Post, after its first Quaid-e-Azam, Jinnah. When the Pakistanis started sniping at Indian helicopters, some Indian posts maintained by air suddenly became untenable. The Indian Army then planned a daring, secret, operation to evict the Pakistanis from the post.
At a time when the de-militarisation of the Siachen glacier is in the news, Claude Arpi spoke to retired Captain Bana Singh, one of only three living recipients of the Param Vir Chakra, India’s highest award for gallantry, who captured the ’Quaid’ Post, 20 years ago this day, June 26, 1987.
- The Hero of Tiger Hill
Interview with Yogendra Singh Yadav, Param Vir Chakra (2012)
Yogendra Singh Yadav survived 15 bullets while capturing Tiger Hill in the Kargil War and was awarded the Param Vir Chakra, India’s highest award for gallantry. On the eve of Independence Day, the 32-year-old soldier relives that night when he and his fellow commandos won one of India’s most historic military victories
- I cut my leg off and ordered: ‘Go and bury it’ – December 7, 2011
Two-part interview with Mag Gen Ian Cardozo.
Major General Ian Cardozo served the Indian Army with distinction and was the first disabled officer to command a battalion and a brigade
Major General Ian Cardozo was a young major in the 5 Gorkha Rifles in the 1971 war with Pakistan. In a swift military offensive, India defeated Pakistan within 13 days, liberated a region and led to the creation of Bangladesh.
In the war, the then Major Cardozo stepped on a landmine and had to cut off his badly wounded leg with his own khukri. Yet, through sheer will power and determination, he did not let his disability come in the way of his duty as a soldier and went on to become the first disabled officer in the Indian Army to command an infantry battalion and a brigade.
Awarded a Sena Medal for gallantry, General Cardozo spoke to Claude Arpi about the historic war and how he conquered his disability in the second part of a fascinating interview.
- “Our Collaboration can far”
Interview with French Defence Minister JEAN-YVES Le DRIAN (December 2014)
Paris is upbeat on the potential that exists to enhance India-France defence cooperation through the Make in India campaign, and on an early resolution of the various defence deals that are there in the pipeline. French Defence Minister JEAN-YVES Le DRIAN’s two-day visit to India was to meet his new Indian counterpart and also give a push to India-France defence collaborations. He spoke extensively to The Pioneer on the road ahead.
- France pitches for India to join military operations overseas
Interview with Hervé Morin, French Defence Minister for The Indian Defence Review (October 2010)
Mr. Hervé Morin was born on 17 August 1961 in Pont-Audemer, Eure (Normandy). He was reelected thrice since 1998 as an MP representing the constituency of Eure. He is leader of the New Center Party. After the presidential elections of 2007, his Party became an ally of the majority (UMP Party). He was later selected by President Nicolas Sarkozy to hold the important defense portfolio.
In an exclusive interview to The Indian Defence Review, the Defence minister answers questions by Claude Arpi on Indo-French relations, in backdrop of the forthcoming visit of the French President to India in December 2010 during which several agreements are likely to be finalised.
- “Rafale is the best fighter plane in the world”
Interview with Air Marshal Denis Mercier for The Indian Defence Review (July 2104)
Appointed as the Air Force Chief of Staff (CEMAA) on September 17, 2012, at the age of 53, General Denis Mercier had joined the French Air Force academy in 1979 and qualified as a fighter pilot in 1983. With 182 combat missions and more than 3,000 flying hours (mostly on Mirage F1C and Mirage 2000C) throughout his career, he has acquired extensive experience both as an operational commander and as a fighter pilot. In 2008, he was appointed Commander of the French Air Force Academy in Salon de Provence. Prior to becoming Air Chief, he was posted as a senior Military Advisor in the Ministry of Defence.
Claude Arpi met him on his return from Jodhpur where the Indo-French joint exercises ‘Garuda V’ were being held. That day, General Mercier flew a Sukhoi-30 MKI, while his Indian counterpart, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha flew a Rafale
- France and India meet in Space
An interview with the Chairman of the CNES, ISRO’s French counterpart (February 2013)
On February 25, 2013, ISRO put into orbit an Indo-French satellite SARAL, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. President Pranab Mukherjee and other dignitaries witnessed the special event.
In a 22-minute perfectly smooth operation, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C20) first released the Indo-French satellite and then place on a perfect orbit six other foreign mini and micro satellites. It was the 23rd mission of PSLV, which has an impeccable record of 21 consecutive successful flights. The 668.5 kgs and 44.4 metres tall rocket lifted a mass of 229.7 tonnes.
A couple of hours the launch, Claude Arpi meets Mr. Yannick d’Escatha, Chairman and CEO of the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), ISRO’s French counterpart to discuss the deep trust between India and France in the field of space.
- A PoW in Tibet
A Rediff Special on Maj Gen (retd) K K Tewari, PVSM, AVSM (November 2002)
As a result of the Chinese threat on our northern borders, some time in 1959 the headquarters of the Eastern Command at Lucknow was given the operational responsibility for the defence of the borders in Sikkim and NEFA.
- A Soldier with Two Wives
Interview with Brig Lakshman Singh (Signals) – October 17, 2012
A slim young captain had two wives when, in May 1962, he was told to join the ill-fated 7 Infantry Brigade on the Namkha chu (river) of the then North East Frontier Agency (NEFA); clouds had been gathering on the Indo-China border.
Many officers and jawans must have been in his case. One wife was the ‘regular’ one; the other one was the Indian Army
- “I was, I am, and will remain anti-Chinese”
Interview with Brig Amar Jit Singh Behl (October 2012)
I know by experience that they can put a dagger in our back at any time…’
‘It was a state of total chaos. Nobody knew what was happening. The fog of war was so thick that nobody could see anything… It is an experience which marked everybody’s life.’
Brigadier Amarjit Singh Behl (retd), then a second lieutenant, and his men fought to the end before being taken prisoners of war by the Chinese in the 1962 Indo-China war.
Then a 21 year old, the soldier looks back at a war fought in extremely difficult circumstances and life as a Chinese PoW in this interview to Rediff.com’s Claude Arpi.
- Interview Bharat Verma for Sify.com
Capt. Bharat Verma has been the editor of Indian Defence Review. A quarterly journal read by leading policy makers at senior bureaucratic, political and military levels, the IDR is renowned as the “most-quoted Indian defence publication”.
Capt Verma is also the founder and current editor of Lancer Publishers, a publishing house dedicated to defence and security matters.
In an exclusive, wide-ranging interview to Claude Arpi, the former Army officer recalls the travails of setting up the IDR against stiff government opposition, and explains how India’s enemies use the country’s media and other democratic tools to try and destabilise it.
However, he argues, the India of 2012 will not be as “pacifist” as it is today. “It will be far more assertive and equipped with sufficient power to take on such adversaries in our vicinity.”