The Bharat Rakshak IAF History Projects

Samir
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The Bharat Rakshak IAF History Projects

Postby Samir » 07 Mar 2006 10:40

Folks,

Jagan and I would like to send out a call for help with with the several IAF history projects that we are working on. Histories are written slowly, painfully, and rely a great deal on the patient accumulation of information. We need all the help we can get. The following page provides links to all our current history projects and provides information on how you can get started on providing help with these projects.

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Projects/index.html

No contribution is too small or too large.

Questions and comments welcome.

Samir

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Postby Arun_S » 07 Mar 2006 11:55

Samir and Jagan: Capturing veteren's story as they remember is a project that is precious to the nation. It is urgent because it must be collected before age snatch their memory, faculty & life away.

Apart from what you need for the book, I would suggest that audio recording or better still video recording will serve the country well.

Excellent new web pages to start this project. Please think of extending it to capture history audio/video recording of veteren recollection.

History capturing has been a very weak point of India for many millinium, that India has paid dearly. Allowing others to impose their fiction as Indian history becase we do not have a shred of historical evidence. This require all BRFites to wake up and contribute to this effort.

There are many lakh Indian vets out there who are willing to tell their story; most them matching or exceeding those that we see in History Channel etc in western media and get impressed. The 1971 war, the Kashmir proxy war, the insurgency in various parts, Op-Pawan, the Maldives operation ... there are so many people who fought and lived to tell their story. Alas no one to listen or record it.
Last edited by Arun_S on 07 Mar 2006 13:04, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Jagan » 07 Mar 2006 12:13

Arun_S wrote:Samir and Jagan: Capturing veteren's story as they remember is a project that is precious to the nation. It is urgent because it must be collected before age snatch their memory, faculty & life away.

Apart from what you need for the book, I would suggest that audio recording or better still video recording will serve the country well.

Excellent new web pages to start this project. Please think of extending it to capture history audio/video recording of veteren recollection.

History capturing has been a very weak point of India for many millinium, that India has paid dearly. Allowing others to impose their fiction as Indian history becase we do not have a shred of historical evidence. This require all BRFites to wake up and contribute to this effort.

There are many lakh Indian vets out there who are willing to tell their story; most them matching or exceeding those that we see in History Channel etc in western media and get impressed. The 1971 war, the Kashmir proxy war, the insurgency in various parts, Op-Pawan, the Maldives operation ... there are so many people who fought and lived to tell their story. Alas no one to listen or record it.


Arun,

You hit the nail on the head reg audio and video coverage.

A small beginning had been made on the Audio archives front - I had done a significant majority of the interviews that dealt with the 65 project (as well as the WW2 Veterans Project) conventional audio tapes (which subsequently have been digitised to mp3 formats ). The quality is not great (due to use of tape recorders) but its a start. Samir had also done some of his interviews on tapes. hopefully with better equipment (collar mikes, digital recorders etc) the quality of interviews will improve.

I made one attempt to video the interview. It turned out allright because the subject was told well in advance it will probably be a video interview. But for a majority of the interviews, I consider that video archiving is a little cumbersome.

Which is why i think the recent 'Great Battles' initiative to be a step.. It must have generated tons of video interview footage - even though all of it may not have made it to broadcast.

I think a start can certainly made if every BRFite takes the initiative to talk /interview / or convince any veteran they know to narrate their experiences. even if does not make it to BR, it will be a service to everyone if such experiences are archived for posterity.

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Postby AmanC » 07 Mar 2006 12:33

Why don't we do something similar for Army and Navy too?

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Postby merlin » 07 Mar 2006 14:49

My question exactly - is this just restricted to the IAF vetrans or can vetrans from other Services also join in?

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Postby Samir » 07 Mar 2006 17:52

There is obviously no restriction on people helping out with Army or Navy Veterans. Jagan and I are concentrating on the the IAF, but if BRF members could do something similar for Army/Navy vets (collecting exactly the same kind of information we are looking for), and send it to the Army/Navy webmasters, then I'm sure they could use it as well.

I should point out that we have had discussions on veterans histories before, and the same need has arisen in the past. BR webmasters can't do this alone. We need help. And the best possible people to do this are those that are interested in the military i.e,, the readers of these fora. Given the size of the readership here, we should be able to make significant headway.

Grab a tape recorder, and sit down with a vet. Ask them for their stories. Record them, transcribe them. Send 'em in.

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Postby Jagan » 07 Mar 2006 21:49

Yes I think this should not be limited only to IAF veterans - we need to do it for all - army, navy and what have you.

Another five years and we wont have any WW2 Veterans or even Veterans of the 47-48 Kashmir war in our midst. So Now is the time to do this thing. whether army, navy or airforce.

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Postby Mandeep » 07 Mar 2006 23:51

Jagzy, I spoke to Air Marshal MM Singh, PVSM, AVSM, VrC this evening. Commissioned 1950 he commanded squadrtons in both the '65 and '71 Wars, ending up as CinC Western Air Command.Has a wealth of knowledge about the IAF 1949-88.

Of course there are lots of other RIAF/IAF vets around. What I'd suggest is that we shoot their interviews for the archives.

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Postby Jagan » 08 Mar 2006 00:30

Mandeep,

Thats great - Can we email you a questionnaire regarding both the wars? You can ofcourse write a profile of him whenever you get around to doing it - and we can host it on the site.

Aman,

I remember you told me once your interviewed Gp Capt PL Dhawan some time ago before he passed away. Can you do a story based on that?

regards

Jagan

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Postby ramana » 08 Mar 2006 01:02

Also dont forget the old IPS types who worked on special ops/IB if they want to tell their story.

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Postby Mandeep » 08 Mar 2006 17:05

Jagan, you're most welcome to email me a questionnaire. I interviewed a number of RIAF vets for the BBC WW 2 Project so I'm a bit clued up.One of them is Air Marshal Randhir Singh who still has his flying log book with entries dating back from operations in Waziristan 1941, the Arakan 1943 and the First Kashmir War 1947.

Mail me at mandeep at orbat dot com

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Postby Samir » 08 Mar 2006 19:56

Mandeep, interviewing AM Randhir Singh would be awesome. He ran a tight ship at Adampur during the 71 Ops (Randhir Air Force!). His perspective would be very useful. Questionnaire on the way!

Thanks,
Samir

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Postby Mandeep » 08 Mar 2006 20:43

You've got your interview ! I've got lotsa time for the Air Marshal. An excellent person, very humane and a great air warrior.

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Postby Jagan » 08 Mar 2006 22:32

Mandeep,

Can you also put together a WW2 profile of the Air Marshal to go here ?

The 71 Questionnaries for both MM Singh and Randhir Singh should follow soon. I will also see if there are any other names I can get from Chandigarh reg 71. If you already have anything written up on the ARmy vets, why not consider sending them in to rakesh? (and us) they should find a good place in the relevant sections.

Jagan

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Postby Mandeep » 08 Mar 2006 22:56

Yes to all your questions and requests.

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Postby Rakesh » 09 Mar 2006 07:57

Mandeep: Any help that you can provide would be much appreciated. Thnx.

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Postby Mandeep » 09 Mar 2006 09:48

I'd be glad to help with anything to do with the IAF.

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Postby manju » 09 Mar 2006 09:55

Arun_S wrote:............History capturing has been a very weak point of India for many millinium, that India has paid dearly. Allowing others to impose their fiction as Indian history becase we do not have a shred of historical evidence. .............


Arun, slightly on a tanget but just wanted to clarify (from what little I know) that We Indians did not capture history well. Even I used to think so. What I learnt later was that most of these have been destroyed when institutions were wiped out...eg Nalanada etc... This is my understand so far. I am willing to change if some sheds more light on this issue.

Anyway, now with digitilization it will be difficult to wipe out..

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Postby Arun_S » 09 Mar 2006 14:06

manju wrote:Arun, slightly on a tanget but just wanted to clarify (from what little I know) that We Indians did not capture history well. Even I used to think so. What I learnt later was that most of these have been destroyed when institutions were wiped out...eg Nalanada etc... This is my understand so far. I am willing to change if some sheds more light on this issue.

Anyway, now with digitilization it will be difficult to wipe out..


I would be happy to see history captured in last 55 years (Does GOI and Indian Armed forces has a written history of 1971 war or 1965 or 1947? No.) How about 100 years old? or 200 years old or 400 years old or 600 years old or 1000 years. Before we reach Nalanda University?

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Postby Jagan » 09 Mar 2006 21:27

Arun_S wrote: How about 100 years old? or 200 years old or 400 years old or 600 years old or 1000 years. Before we reach Nalanda University?



There are certain things that can make you cringe - for example, all personnel records going back to 50s and 40s have been destroyed or dumped due to lack of space or some shifting of office. The list of airmen casualities from WW2 was certainly destroyed by fire "as per existing guidelines" and when the IAF wanted to bring out a list of WW2 casualities for abook of theirs, they had to ask the CWGC about it...

i believe only recently was the Official History of 47-48 Ops was published. The Navy has done well, has done detailed official histories in nearly four volumes. Air Force has a long way to go.

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Postby Jagan » 10 Mar 2006 02:54

Here is a big THANK YOU for Philbert , for volunteering and transcribing the following article from VAYU Magazine.

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Histo ... Chamb.html

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Postby Samir » 10 Mar 2006 04:12

Taaliyan, shabash, congratulations. Thanks very much Philbert.

Folks, may I suggest the open source model for building BR History Projects? Don't just write in with suggestions for features. Write in with 'bug fixes'. Pick something you can help out with, even a little bit, and we'll see how we can utilize that. With lots of little bits of help, we can make significant headway into these projects. Philbert could only help us out with simple transcription. we suggested a task, he took it up and delivered. We are now able to bring to you an article written by one of the heroes of the 1965 war.

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Postby Jagan » 01 Apr 2006 05:28

Folks.

Added a new aspect to this project - Transcription of Audio Files to Text. (Its a major p-i-a job - so definitely help is needed)

I have the following audio files that require transcription. Anyone is free to volunteer for the transcription work according to interest

There are roughly three files available related to :
-A WW2 Observer / Signal Officer Interview
- A Transport Pilot interview
-A Navigator who talks about the 47-48 War

Each file would be an hour long of audio..

Job involves transcribing the tape - and possible re-writing into an article - which will appear in the name of the transcriber. If anything is of your interest. Step right up...

cheers

Jagan

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Postby Ved » 01 Apr 2006 08:40

Jagan wrote:Folks.

Added a new aspect to this project - Transcription of Audio Files to Text. (Its a major p-i-a job - so definitely help is needed)

cheers

Jagan

Are you looking for only historical data from retired senior officers, or would you also like accounts from serving officers (there are some on this site, presumably) which you could use as you see best, or it could remain in your archives as potential history, so to speak?

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Postby Jagan » 02 Apr 2006 05:56

Ved wrote:
Jagan wrote:Folks.

Added a new aspect to this project - Transcription of Audio Files to Text. (Its a major p-i-a job - so definitely help is needed)

cheers

Jagan

Are you looking for only historical data from retired senior officers, or would you also like accounts from serving officers (there are some on this site, presumably) which you could use as you see best, or it could remain in your archives as potential history, so to speak?


Ved,

We would like to see accounts from all sources - whether retired or serving. We keep stressing about retired officers because they do not seem to have any restrictions in telling thier stories. But if a serving officer is willing to tell his story, or share his experiences. we would definitely welcome them. any instructions that accompany the accounts (eg.. publish right away, hold it till retirement etc) will be carried out in full.

So if you know someone who is willing to share his story, do recommend to them to write / share with us.
regards

Jagan

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Postby Jagan » 09 Apr 2006 23:03

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Histo ... ewoor.html
Induction of T-72 Tanks into Sri Lanka and Leh by No.44 Squadron - by Gp Capt Anant Bewoor.

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Postby Jagan » 06 May 2006 01:56

Let me take the oppurtunity to thank another BRF member Pradeep for procuring and doing the profile of Air Chief Marshal OP Mehra at http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Histo ... Air-8.html

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Postby vsunder » 21 Jun 2006 00:44

I did not know where to post this query? Recently while travelling in the US Southwest, I was struck by the number of US Air bases named after distinguished aviators, the doyen off course is Nellis ( outside Las Vegas)named after a WWII pilot from Las Vegas shot down over Bastogne. Why is it the IAF does not honor its aviators in this way? Why not name Yelahanka, Devayya Air Force station? or Halwara after Sekhon. Jamnagar after Pete Wilson etc. I mean "morons" get their names attached to all and sundry but not aviation pioneers and genuine people who have advanced the cause of military and civil aviation in India. Its a shame really. Sorry if this is the wrong thread,


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