In the whole episode of the sinking of INS Khukrii, what comes shining through is the character and personality of Captain Mulla, who was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra posthumously.
Given the difficult task of locating and destroying PNS Hangor, a state-of-the-art underwater weapon of war, he did not flinch and accepted the orders given to him unhesitatingly, knowing full well the importance of his task, and despite the inadequacies of the ship at his command.
Not only did the Hangor boast of superior sensors and weapons, but also on the unfortunate night, the Khukri did not have the cover otherwise provided by two Sea King anti-submarine warfare helicopters, both of which had been employed elsewhere.
His conduct and attitude on the night in question brings to mind other heroic actions of the past where soldiers and sailors went unflinchingly into battle against superior odds.
A true colossus, Captain Mulla proved himself to be a leader who practised what he believed was right to his very last breath.
Given the choice of saving his own life, he rejected it outright, as he could not abandon those of his men, who were forced to give up theirs. Personal acts of cold courage like this are rare.
Through his bravery and heroism, Captain Mulla taught us not only how to live, but how to die.
He upheld the highest traditions of the armed forces, which emphasise that the nation comes first, that the men you command next and your safety comes last.
The principles and values that he stood and lived for should be imbibed by all of us so that we can become better citizens of this great country.
Picture courtesy: Ameeta Mulla (Any unauthorised reproduction is prohibited)