CHENNAI: Shooting rifles in the air, men in uniform marching down the road with practiced precision...you might have seen it in movies and documentaries. But what if you could see them in real? ‘Colours of Glory’ is a group of retired officials from the armed forces, who have been conducting various activities in the city to create awareness about the Armed forces’ participation in world events.“I have always had a passion for military history. Our Indian armed forces had contributed a lot during the World Wars. Some of it has been ignored; it is all Westerners’ history. I wanted to do something that is visible. And that is how the group Colours of Glory was formed in August 2016 with Commodore RS Vasan, Air Marshal S Varthaman, Brigadier K Sampath and S Muthiah as the trustees,” explains Capt DP Ramachandran, founder and managing trustee, Colours of Glory.
With talks, indoor and outdoor shows, movie screenings and so on, the group has been successful in its endeavour. “Our first event was a children’s painting contest in October 2016, where many school kids participated. The theme for the contest was ‘My image of our armed forces’ and was a great start off to our group,” he says.To commemorate Independence Day and Madras Week, the group has organised a Military Heritage Week, which includes a week-long celebration of our military history. There are around 40 images and paintings with a brief write up, to explain the 300-year history of the armed forces, along with information on their growth. There will also be a weapon demonstration.
Capt Ramachandran explains the process of Drill Purpose. “These are harmless weapons that are used for demonstration purposes. Even kids can learn how to use these weapons.” Apart from these, there will also be an aero-modelling show by the air NCC demonstrating how an aircraft functions. There will also be a game of tent pegging by the Officers Training Academy “It is a military sport where the player comes galloping on a horse holding a lance and picks up the tent peg that is on the ground,” he explains.
The main attraction is the military tattoo which is a military performance of music or display of soldierly skills and pageantry. “The Military Tattoo, as a term, was derived from Dutch in the early 17th century. Many people today don’t even know what a military tattoo is,” he avers.
The Military Heritage Week Exhibition will go on till August 24 from 11 am to 6 pm at Shakunthala Art Gallery, Alwarpet. ‘The Military Tattoo’ will be conducted on August 20 from 4 pm onwards at MCC Higher secondary School Playground, Chetpet.