Sandhurst or Westpoint of India
Dehra Dun Travel Blog› entry 14 of 30 › view all entries
In her days in Dehra Dun, Jo had spent 3 hours jumping through numerous hoops to organise for us to visit the Indian Military Academy (IMA). Actually, she did this specially for Pat who had trained here some 60 years ago and this would be his first time back.
The arrangements came as a surprise to Pat. He then explained that he hadn't completed his four year of service to the military due to various situations after India's independence (including his migration to New Zealand). Hhmmm ... potentially a problem if anyone wanted to make an issue out of it. Nerves all around.
Fortunately all went well as we guided around the gracious halls and buildings. Some observations:
- We noticed that there were no Muslims amongst the current officers' rank.
- Amongst the roll of honours in the hall, Muslim names were virtually zilch after 1947.
I wonder if there was any suspicion of treason (sympathysing with Pakistan) or whether Muslims didn't want to join up.
I also saw an interesting display amongst the plaques gifted by various visiting officials. Singapore's military coat of arms (Tentera Singapura) had the motto "Yang Pertama dan Utama", which means "The first and the best".
Some of you will know this fits Singapore to a "T". Their progress and pursuit for excellence in everything is well-known ... sometimes even for what others consider trivia. This culture is known amongst Singaporeans as "kiasu" which means "afraid of losing" or "always must win".
Some years ago, there were fracas and minor civil disobedience in Singapore as their citizens scrambled for Hello Kitty trinkets which came with McDonalds' meals! If I'm not mistaken, the trinkets were withdrawn ... but when similar promotions came on across the border, some even drove across to get them!