19 Jan 2023  |   05:50am IST

It is time for a Goan Military Hero and a Nobel Laureate to speak

Goa Arts and Literary Festival (GALF), one of Goa’s most well-appreciated and cherished festivals, is finally making its mark after a three-year hiatus. Professor Abhijit Banerjee and Major General Ian Cardozo will be delivering keynote addresses on January 19 at the International Centre Goa, Dona Paula, at the inauguration of the comeback of GALF 2023
It is time for a Goan Military Hero and a Nobel Laureate to speak

Aalokshi Awade


bhijeet Banerjee once said, “Poverty is not just a lack of money; it is not having the capability to realize one’s full potential as a human being” in his book ‘Poor Economy’ which was first published on April 26, 2011. Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee is an Indian-born American economist who, along with Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer, was awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics (the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences) for their contributions to the development of an innovative experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.

Banerjee has previously been a president of the Bureau for the Research in the Economic Analysis of Development, a Research Associate of the NBER, and has prominently contributed his work to other research agencies as well. His areas of research are prominently development economics and economic theory. Abhijeet has also been the author of various articles, as well as five books, including ‘Making Aid work’, ‘What the Economy Needs to Know’, ‘Good Economics for Hard Times’, and ‘Poor Economics’, which won the Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year. Today however he will talk about his deeper passions, more specifically his love for food and more specifically cooking. Today, he will be addressing his newest cookbook ‘Cooking to Save Your Life', illustrated by Cheyenne Olivier. Like him there is another great achiever who will be present at the event. The Goan military hero, Ian Cardozo.

In 1947 with the ongoing tension between India and Pakistan, the possibility of a war breaking out was high, when it was soon confirmed there seemed a possibility of war, and in a short time, this news was confirmed. This war broke out for the Independence of East Pakistan. Initially, Ian Cardozo was not part of this war; however, when one of the officers was martyred while fighting with the Pakistan army, Ian was sent to war in his replacement. During this span, he also became a part of the first Helicopter mission of the Indian Army. This war broke out for the Independence of East Pakistan. Gorkha Regiment was one of the first troops sent by India.

"If a man says he is not afraid of dying, he is either lying or is a Gorkha", once stated the legendary Field Marshal, Sam Manekshaw. So, Ian along with his division of BSF(Border Security Force), got the task of getting some Bangladeshi prisoners trapped nearby as a mission. Fighting and moving forward with the Pakistan army, he had completely evacuated the place; while reviving the injured and weak prisoners to the army camp was remaining, he took the initiative for the same, and while he was on his way to lend help to the prisoners, he accidentally landed on the land mines laid by the Pakistani army. Before the arrival of the army personnel, a Bangladeshi saw Ian injured, and decided to rush him to their camp. The absence of medical personnel made the condition even worse. This is when Ian took a stand for himself, and decided to cut off his leg with his kukri (curved short sword with a broad blade used especially by Gurkhas).

Speaking about this incident later in an interview, he jokingly said “Where is my kukri?” he asked Balbahadu, when he pulled it out, “Cut off my leg”. “He refused. So I cut it off and told him to bury it. Poor chap. I now have a piece of land in Bangladesh.” General Ian Cardozo, hence is a Goan military hero known for being the first war-disabled (amputee) officer of the Indian Army to command a battalion and a brigade.

At the age of 56, Ian Cardozo retired as chief of staff of a corps in Assam. After his retirement, he published 1971: Stories of Grit and Glory from the Indo-Pak War. He has also written and contributed to prominent books including ‘Param Vir: Our Heroes in Battle’, ‘The Bravest of the Brave: The Extraordinary Story of Indian VCs of World War I’, and now ‘Cartoos Saab’, which he will be addressing in today’s festival.

He has also been campaigning for the marigold to be the flower of remembrance for India's war dead, as they are often linked to the powerful strength of the sun and represent the power, strength, and light that lives inside of a person.

Delegates will include poet/ novelist Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih, Trisha Niyogi(next-gen publisher), Arpita Das Ribeiro(Indie publisher), Iffat Nawaz(Bangladeshi novelist), and Bardroy Barretto(Goan filmmaker) will also be having their presence to the festival.