While we sleep, someone out there stays up all night guarding our borders. While we eat, someone out there goes for days without food, battling a war. When it comes to doing their duty in the most extreme conditions, the Indian Armed Forces are no strangers. Here are some of the most dangerous postings and bases our protectors have undertaken, just to ensure the safety of our nation and, at times, of others' as well.
The world's highest battlefield
Situated 19,000 feet above the sea level, and with temperatures plummeting as low as -50 degrees, Siachen is the highest and coldest battleground in the world. The glacier is guarded by 3,000 men and has seen a loss of 2,000 lives till date. While the threat of war is very real, most soldiers have lost their lives due to the unfavourable weather and living conditions.
2. The LOC
One of the most volatile borders in the world
The LOC is the de-facto border that separates India from Pakistan and runs from Gilgit-Baltisan to Dras. Soldiers posted at the LOC are trained to withstand mortars, artillery shelling and bullets at a very frequent basis. The LOC witnessed the death of over 500 Indian soldiers when India fought the Kargil War against Pakistan.
3. The temporary base-camp at Kathmandu
The epicentre of the Nepal earthquake
After the major aftershock of the 7.3 magnitude earthquake in Nepal, the Indian Armed Forces were one of the first ones to help and rescue the victims of this natural calamity.
India-China border, Arunachal Pradesh
Due to the constant friction between India and China over China's claim over Arunachal Pradesh, the Indian Army has always had a strong presence in Tawang. The ill-defined border and constant clashes between the two countries' security forces, make Tawang a one of the most dangerous postings in the country.
5. Bharati Research Centre
The freezing embrace of Antarctica
Battling weather conditions as harsh as -89 Degrees, the Indian Army is to be credited for the organization and accumulation of data support for the Indian Research Centre, Maitri and is now doing the same for India’s third Research Centre in Antarctica, Bharati.
6. The Submarine Arm
One of the most dangerous arms in the Navy
Ironically the dangers of submarine postings are often overlooked by most people. Submarine crews often go weeks (sometimes months) in cramped conditions without surfacing, along with the added danger of an almost certain fall to the depths should anything go wrong.
7. Farkhor Air Base
Tajikistan, Central Asia
Farkhor Air Base is India's first and the only International military base. While the base is primarily used for intelligence gathering purposes, the armed forces used to also run a hospital in the base.
India-Pakistan border, Thar Desert
Located in the Thar Desert, also known as the land of the dead, this place experiences temperatures as high as 50 degrees Celsius. It is the longest India-Pakistan border running 1,040 km in length with more than 3 lakh Indian soldiers guarding it. The soldiers have to suffer through sand storms, shifting sand dunes & ridges and strong winds, apart from guarding the border in the scorching heat. It was a major battlefield during the 1965 and 1971 wars.
Naxalite hotbed in Chhattisgarh
Also known as the Red Capital of India, Dantewada is located in South Chattisgarh. The Naxalite-Maoist insurgency led to the death of more than 1500 Indian soldiers. Dealing with land mines and violent clashes has now become routine for the Indian Armed Forces.
10. Assam's forests
The HQ of the dangerous ULFA
For the last few decades, Assam has been facing a critical insurgency situation. The dangers posed by outfits such as the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), combined with the extremely unfriendly terrain, makes postings here a serious danger.