The 1971 War gifted the 49th Regular Course at the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, three additional months of commissioned service. Our commissioning was advanced to 31 March 1972, instead of June that year, to make up for the war causalities. The losses had bequeathed the benefit of early commissioning to about 350 of us. Later, it became a topic of debate among our coursemates whether the benefit we enjoyed was at a cost to the Army. Some thought that the three months of training lost had often shown up in the overall performance of the batch.
While such debates will continue life long, here is a personal story that wouldn’t have been the same, had it not been for the Indian Air Force (IAF). As the IAF celebrates its raising on 8 October, I say “cheers” to them.