NEW DELHI: Minutes after the captured Indian Air Force pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was handed over to the Indian authorities, the Indian Army on Friday tweeted a famous poem which says that a soldier never quits whatever may be the circumstances.
The ADGPI, the official Twitter handle of the Indian Army, quoted a few lines from a famous poem penned by noted poet Shivmangal Singh 'Suman' to celebrate the homecoming of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman.
क्या हार में क्या जीत में
किंचित नहीं भयभीत मैं,
संधर्ष पथ पर जो मिले,
यह भी सही वह भी सही।
वरदान माँगूँगा नहीं।।
— ADG PI - INDIAN ARMY (@adgpi) March 1, 2019
Shivmangal Singh 'Suman' was a noted Hindi poet and academician. He was born on August 5, 1915, at Jhagarpur, Unnao district in Uttar Pradesh. He was a leading Hindi writer and poet. He earned a M.A. and Ph.D. in Hindi from Benaras Hindu University. The university also honoured him with a D.Litt. in 1950.
Suman worked as the Vice Chancellor of Vikram University (Ujjain) during 1968-78; the Vice-President of Uttar Pradesh Hindi Sansthan, Lucknow; Press and Cultural Attache, Indian Embassy, Kathmandu (Nepal) during 1956-61; and the President, Association of Indian Universities (New Delhi) during 1977-78.
He also served as the Executive President, Kalidas Academy, Ujjain, until he died of heart attack on 27 November 2002. Upon his death, the then Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee said, "Dr Shiv Mangal Singh ‘Suman’ was not only a powerful signature in the field of Hindi poetry, but he was also the custodian of the collective consciousness of his time.
Earlier, after the IAF carried out air strikes at a Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terror camp in Pakistan's Balakot, the Army had paid a glowing tribute to the armed forces for carrying out the daring operation.
A poem in Hindi was tweeted by ADGPI from its official handle lauding the bravery and valour of the Indian forces.
The poem says the Indian borders are safe because of its brave soldiers, who keep rewriting the history with their sacrifices.
The IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, captured by Pakistanis two days ago after his MiG-21 crashed in Pakistani territory, returned to India on Friday night.
Dressed in a blue coat, grey trousers and white shirt, he was received by senior Border Security Force officers at 9.21 p.m. at Zero Line that marks the India-Pakistan land border.
While one BSF officer shook his hand, another put his arm around the pilot to escort him back into India.
"I am happy to be back home," Abhinandan said in his first reaction after stepping into India, according to Amritsar Deputy Commissioner, Shivdular Singh Dhillon, who received the IAF pilot along with senior IAF and Border Security Force (BSF) officers.
Abhinandan was accompanied from Pakistan side by Group Captain JD Kurian. He was surrounded by armed troopers of the Pakistan Rangers up to the border gate.
The Wing Commander was in Pakistani captivity for over 60 hours before he walked back home through the Zero Line at the Wagah-Attari joint check-post and received by senior IAF and security officers.
Pakistani authorities kept delaying his actual return to India through the day on Friday for unexplained reasons. He was whisked from the Attari joint check post (JCP) complex under tight security cover.
Air Vice Marshall RGK Kapoor told the media that the Wing Commander was "handed to us as per the standard operating procedure of the Indian Air Force".
"He will now be taken for a detailed medical check-up. The check-up is mandated particularly because the officer has had to eject from an aeroplane which would have put his entire body under great stress," Kapoor said.
Earlier, Abhinandan was formally handed over to officials of the Indian High Commission at Wagah (in Pakistan) led by Group Captain JD Kurian.
He was captured in Pakistan on Wednesday (Feb 27) after his MIG-21 Bison fighter jet was shot down during an aerial dogfight near the Line of Control (LoC).
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced on Thursday that the captured pilot will be freed as a "goodwill gesture" after New Delhi demanded his unconditional, immediate and unharmed release.