Shaheed Captain Pannikot Visvanath
has accomplished what I could not'
son has accomplished what I could not. I am really proud of him," was the
immediate reaction of Lieutenant Colonel (retired) P K P Viswanatha Panickar
when he heard about the death of his son, Captain Pannikot Visvanath Vikram,
25, in a shell attack at Kargil yesterday.
In a family where
military tradition runs in the blood there were no ostentatious signs of
grief. "I participated in two wars against Pakistan, but I could not sacrifice
my life for the country. He has sacrificed his life for the nation. I have
no regrets," the colonel commented stoically. In his service days he himself
had a stint at Kargil.
Lt. Colonel Panickar,
who works in Bangalore, reached Kozhikode on learning about the death of
his eldest son. To the hundreds who gathered at his home to offer condolences,
he voiced the same matter-of-fact refrain, "a soldier should always be
prepared to die in the battlefield.''
Growing up among
soldiers, Vikram had set his eyes on the army in school itself. He had
managed a 'C' certificate as a NCC cadet. After graduation he followed
his father to the Indian Military Academy at Dehradun. Passing out from
the Academy in June 1996, he was commissioned in the Madhya Pradesh-based
141 Field Regiment, again his father's regiment.
Vikram came down
to Kozhikode on leave in April. The last time the family spoke to the captain
was on May 4, when he called home. Vikram's mother is the principal of
the Vidyatmika School at Kozhikode, while his younger brother, P V Keshav,
is a third-year student at the dental college in Kozhikode.
His body was
cremated on Sunday within the premises of his house at Panniyankara near
Kozhikode. State minister K Radhakrishnan represented the state government
at the funeral
By D Jose