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“Death is all about fate” – A conversation with a man in uniform

Hello dear readers. Hope the year has been good to you. In an attempt by GingerChai to bring before you -fresher articles, meaningful write-ups: Stories that will entertain as well inform and educate, Stories that inspire you, touch you – we are starting this new series just for you.  You have cheered our survivors, tasted our visual recipes, gone places with JITC, practiced a Healthy living with Vidya Sury and welcomed the Indie bands. We hope you will show the same enthusiasm to this new series about the Average Indian Person with their dreams, achievements, and their life or for that matter, the work they do. How much do we know about our neighbour who is in the Army? The pilot? Postman?  TTE? The Indian from among us! Yes! It is our story! Your story! If your story can bring a new meaning to someone’s life, if it can provide a sense of direction to lost souls, then why not share it? Though we will endeavor to dig out such inspiring stories for you, we will like it more if you come forward to tell us about it yourself.

Today we will start the series with a chit chat with Dr Arup Jyoti Karmakar who is a Dy Comdt (SMO) of the Assam Rifles, which has the distinction of being the oldest Paramilitary force and is at present deputed with the CISF in Haiti as a part of the UN peacekeeping mission.  This is a matter of national pride as well as a matter of immense pride for Assam, where he belongs too. Two months into his present place of posting, and he is raring to go and as enthusiastic as ever. Ginger Chai had the honour of having a conversation with him, in which Deputy Commandant Dr.Arup speaks about his stint with the Assam Rifles and his stay in Haiti. Youngsters of today who are eager to do something note worthy for the country may find an inspiration in this chit chat and help them decide in joining the paramilitary and the defense services.

Mani Padma of GingerChai in conversation with Dr Arup.

Mani Padma – Welcome to GC Dr Arup. So how long have you been with Assam Rifles? Could you please tell us where else you have been posted till now?

Dr. Arup – I joined Assam rifles in 2004. I was in Manipur for three years followed by Tezpur, Assam for a period of two years and then 1 year in Tuensang, Nagaland followed by posted finally as Deputy Commandant (SMO) in 40 Assam Rifles in Lunglei, Mizoram  . And at present I am temporarily deputed as a part of UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti along with CISF.

Mani Padma – So what exactly was the selection procedure for this mission?

Dr. Arup -I was selected by the board of officers of CISF, MHA as we had to work in conjunction with CISF for this mission.  Firstly I was selected by board of officers headed by Brig Administration, of headquarter DGAR or Directorate General Assam Rifles, a random selection on the basis of service profile. After which I had to undergo a selection test in CISF headquarter, New Delhi. The selection was made on the basis of viva voce, written and physical test that included firing both long and short range.

Mani Padma – that is really impressive, Dr Arup. So could you please tell us a little about this mission (as much is permissible)

Dr. Arup– Well, the mission an UN peacekeeping and stabilizing mission of Haiti, and is named MINUSTAH which is a French word. (on my interruption about what the word meant). It is basically a political stabilizing mission which was started in 2004 and presently 67 countries are part of it. MINUSTAH means Mission Des Nations Unies pour la Stabilisation en Haiti.

Mani Padma – And how many contingents are there from India?

Dr. Arup – Well, there are one from Assam Rifles and the other from CISF and BSF joined on 15 Dec 2010 here.

Mani Padma -So what basically is the nature of your duties in Haiti? How has been the experience till date.

Dr. Arup – To look after the contingent personnel and UN officials, civilians working with UN….and also medical aid to civil local people, over and above giving the medical cover to the personnel involved in special operations. The experience has been quite enriching as well as I have had some awesome experiences, but I am really sorry. As per protocol I cannot share the details of my experience here. But all in all I can just say that the experience has been amazing. Of course I have some photographs to give you a general idea of our duties there.

  • Top left: paramedical staff is spraying chlorine as a part of anti-cholera measure in the entry point of our camp.
  • Top right:  Dr.Arup performing a minor surgery in OT
  • Bottom left: Treating a suspected case of cholera at UN clinic, MINUSTAH RHQ UN CLINIC,LES CAYES
  • Bottom right: Examining a patient.

Mani Padma – Tell us Dr Arup, in today’s age of commercialization, when medicos are joining  major corporate houses , why and how did you join the Assam rifles, which is associated by the laymen with risks restrictions and danger?

Dr. Arup– Well, in my schooling days I was influenced by two warrior one Che Guevara and other one Netaji Subhas Bose ,especially after going through “Ami Subhas Balsi” & “Autobiography of Guevara’ . Since then it was in my mind that if I got the chance ,I will join the and serve as a combatant in forces to serve for my motherland and finally the opportunity knocks my door in Feb. 2004 though my parents did not agree with my decisions initially.
I have joined Assam rifles after selection by special selection board for medical officers constituted under ministry of home affairs, combined for all Para military forces in 2003.It was a direct interview taken by board of officers consisting of medical specialist of all the fields headed by DG  BSF as the chairman, followed by a medical fitness test

Mani Padma -What do you feel about the youngsters who shy away from joining the defense and paramilitary forces? What message do you have for them?

Dr. Arup – I think Assam Rifles or for that matter joining the security forces of our country is a matter of honour for ourselves. As for the risks and danger associated with it, it is as much risky as driving down to your place of work or flying a plane. Death is all about fate.  But being in security forces has for me the best part of life. I am proud of Assam Rifles which has provided me with the best in infrastructure and facilities. Some of the best sportsmen have also emerged from Assam rifles only.

Mani Padma
– Dr Arup Do you miss your family and country now that you are in Haiti?

Dr. Arup – Of course I miss my family and my country but I will be home soon and they are very cooperative. I just want to make my family and my country proud of me.

Thank you Dr. Arup for the lovely conversation. I am sure many of the youngsters will be surely influenced by what you said today. Thank you again.

Well readers that was Dr Arup for you . What do you think of the series? Did you like it? We would love to have your feedback for better performance. Hoping to come back next with a new story.


0 20 January, 2011 We The People January 20, 2011

About the author

She is a Doctor by profession , working in Delhi. Loves traveling, mind games and playing with words… And also the chief-co brewer of GingerChai. She is the chief brewer of some of the interesting categories you see in GingerChai. Follow @manishalsam

View all articles by Mani Padma


  1. S.R.Ayyangar

    This one is a good initiative and kudos to Ginger Chai & Mani Padma.There are so many individuals doing lot of good work for the society but are unknown to most of us. There are media like News papers and TV etc who often feature such people who are almost on celebrity or page 3 status but there are many more on the other side of fence doing their bit not bothering for publicity. If Ginger Chai is able to focus on such people, the flavor of the Chai would be unique.

  2. Anirudh Bose

    Ever since I stumbled upon this site through google I been following it silently. Its heart warming to know the younger generation doing a fabulous job and a meaningful one at that. I have my two of my son working in Armed force and reading this article made me comment the first time here. Keep up the commendable work you are carrying on. God bless.

    1. mani

      Sir you have no idea how much your words have meant to us. It is the readers encouragement that makes us give us our best. We thank you for your appreciation and blessings.

  3. Joseph

    These days to be known to the world one has to be a bollywood star or hold a willow. Love this concept – We the People – truly for the people, by the people, of the people.

  4. mani

    Thanks very much for all your encouraging words. Ginger chai will try its best to live upto your expectations. We would also love it very much if you kindly refer or report to us stories of people who would be an inspiration to others.
    Thanks Rajan for your faith in me. You make everything possible- almost! 😛

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