INSThere are a lot of things wrong with Air India and Indian. They got really old planes, bad service and rarely on time. In-spite of this, I can’t get myself to dislike them. On the contrary, every-time I see an Air India and Indian jet, anywhere, my eyes go all moist.

I grew up in the Middle East, when the ’91 Gulf war broke out, these two airlines stopped all that they were doing and carried out one of the largest air evacuations in the world. More than 50,000 Indians were brought back to India safely from Iraq and Kuwait.

It’s these little things that we tend to forget when we ask ourselves what our nation does for us. Today, as Israel prepares for a ground assault on Southern Lebanon, our nation has sent four naval warships to the region to help in the evacuation of over 12,000 Indians and several hundred Sri Lankan and Nepalese citizens.

INS Mumbai, INS Betwa, INS Brahmaputra and auxiliary tanker INS Shakti, anchored overnight off the Lebanese coast, moved into the port to pull out the anxious Indian nationals and shift them to camps in Larnaca in Cyprus.

I would like this opportunity to thank fleet commander Rear Admiral Anup Singh and our Ambassador to Lebanon, Nengcha Lhouvum, for all their sleepless nights and hard-work.