In all these years, despite frequent and extended internal deployment for ensuring the territorial integrity of India, the Army has enjoyed tremendous public goodwill or love of the majority of people.
Insinuations by the press about rape, arson and looting were but the exception.
There was never a clamour for removal of the Army. In fact, the Army was seen as the saviour.
A UNI bureau chief, a close acquaintance of mine, had told me in the late 80s, that all bureau chiefs were under strict instructions that they must refrain from any reporting which has a negative impact on the image of the armed forces.
After the war in Kashmir in 1948, and particularly after 1962, there was massive deployment in the Ladakh region.
The symbiotic relationship of the Ladakhis on the security, economic and social planes continues to be extraordinary.
There has never been an insinuation of rape, loot etc. by the Ladakhis against the army personnel. It may be reiterated that Ladakh is part of the same state as Kashmir.
Image: Refugee children, displaced from war-affected areas like Kargil and Drass on the Indian side of Kashmir, hold banners expressing their support for Indian troops in a pro-India rally 12 July 1999 near Minji, a refugee settlement near the town of Kargil.