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Major general Konsam Himalay Singh, the first army officer from the northeast to have been cleared for promotion to the rank of lieutenant general, has asserted that he never faced discrimination during his 36 years of service.
At a time when the killing of a student from Arunachal Pradesh has added fuel to the debate on racial discrimination, general Singh urged students from the northeast to choose a military career to realise their full potential.
"I would like to tell them the sky is the limit in the armed forces if you are capable. On a broader level, I feel anyone from the northeast can make it to the top in any field. That's the beauty of our democracy," the 56-year-old officer, who was decorated for bravery in the Kargil war, told HT. He is currently the chief of staff of a strike corps.
Singh recalled the 1999 Kargil war as one of the highpoints of his career. The battalion, 27 Rajput, he commanded during the war captured a Pakistani post in the Chalunka sector and inflicted heavy casualties on Pakistan Army's 3 Northern Light Infantry unit.
"One of the officers we killed was decorated posthumously by the Pakistani army," said Singh, who was awarded the Yudh Seva Medal for distinguished service during the Kargil operations.
Commissioned into 2 Rajput in 1978, general Singh is an alumnus of Sainik School, Goalpara, Assam. He said good governance was the key to the development of the northeast and empowering its people. He belongs to Charangpat village in Thoubal district of Manipur.