Colonel KM Roy – The Veteran’s Philosophy
Having dedicated thirty four years of his life to military service and participated in two defining historical wars (1965 and 1971) Colonel Roy enlightens us about war and comradeship as well as shares a few anecdotes which demonstrate how patriotism moves soldiers to undertake extraordinary personal sacrifice.
Born in Sialkot to the Headmaster of a Mission School, the Colonel’s passion for service struck in 1957 as a BSc student in Forman Christian College. In 1959, he enrolled himself in the army. He light-heartedly jokes about the kind of questions he is often asked about war. The unjustified stereotype is that soldiers are revelers in wartime but this is never the case. The Colonel’s views about war and clear-cut,
“War is dirty, cruel. No soldier likes war. They will not fight because they love war or they enjoy war. They only fight for their country and their principles. Ordered and trained, it is their job to defend the country. When the time comes, the soldier is always ready to fight.”
He addresses the discrimination against Christian officers that is rampant in the country but not so much in the martial entity itself. He tells the inspiring tale of Lieutenant Peter who raised the flag of Pakistan over a mountain top, exhibiting his love for his homeland. It is the general understanding that Muslim soldiers fight for their religious freedom whereas Christian soldiers fight for the freedom of their nation. When describing the participation of Christian officers in the wars, he labels them as “outstanding”. He highlights their commitment to Pakistan by saying,
“Surrendering your life is not an easy thing unless you are committed to a cause.”
He urges the Christian community to not give up. He acknowledges the presence of discrimination but didn’t allow it to inhibit his dream. He holds no resentment and has complete faith in the principles of his country and the constitution of Pakistan.
“Discrimination is definitely there. But, this is not in the Constitution. No Constitution intends to discriminate and it can’t judge the intention to discriminate.”
After retirement in 1991, he was on the Board of Education for twenty-two years. During this time, he was able to establish a strong relationship with the people of his community, visiting villages and solidifying bonds. He is the emblem of an ambitious Christian officer. We all owe him a great debt; an inspiring, charismatic veteran of paramount importance.
Interview by Hammad Anwar | Written by Manal Mohsin