BANGALORE: The real action heroes are here. To get honoured for their valiant efforts that fetched glory to the nation. Fearless and raring to go, these men have got fame to Karnataka as well, in their missions - be it at Siachen, Assam or Kashmir.
In Bangalore to receive the prestigious Gallantry Awards (Sena Medal) during the Investiture Ceremony, these bravehearts spoke to Express on their transformation from boys to men of guts. The daredevils had one message in common - a clarion call on Army Day - to all the sons of soil in Karnataka: “Come and join the Indian Army. We are there for you.”
Major Madhusudan B S holds a Masters in Bio-Technology from Bangalore University and was a lecturer before joining the Army. Inspired by his father, a banker, Madhu graduated his skills as a Scout and later in NCC, before reaching his dream destination. An operation in April, 2010 is the high-point in his career when he took on a militant group in Manipur head-on.
“An ambush was laid to flush out the militants. God is great and the mission was safe. I had earlier eliminated many militants during various operations. But, this one was close. Seeing death from very close quarters. We fired at them with AK-47s. We had gone there to win and we won,” says Madhu from Bappujinagar in Bangalore. A native of Coorg, Madhu wants more men from Karnataka to join the Army. “The privilege and esteem are more. It is an excellent profession. Give a try, come what may. I am the lone Kannadiga officer in my Artillerymen Battalion,” he said.
K B Lava is an instructor with the Commando School in Belgaum. Sixteen years into Service, Lava is from 19 Karnataka Battalion and was influenced by his NCC teacher Capt Devaiah to join the Army. It took five attempts for Lava to finally make it. “The 5th one was crucial and I was already 21 then. I knew I will and I am proud of my decision,” Lava said.
In Jan 2010, while serving in Assam, Lava’s team received an information on an insurgent hiding in a house. “He jumped out of the house and fired at me straight. My life is precious and he was a goner in seconds. I love the religious harmony in the Army. I am already talking to youngsters in Coorg to join the Army,” Lava, whose father is a farmer, said.
Major Rajiv Shankar hails from Thiruvananthapuram and is now posted at Army Service Corps Supply Department, Bangalore. He will be receiving his second Sena Medal and he has already two Mention in Despatches to his credit. He took on LeT militants in the valley in a counter-terrorism operation. “We moved in based on inputs. I am the hunter and got on with the kill-task with no second thoughts,” said Rajiv Shankar.