About Gunners Shot…
In 2019, one of my articles was rejected by a leading news portal. The editor felt that it was not worth. That was when I decided to start my own blog and called it ‘Gunners Shot‘. Initially the response was low…typical…if there were 50-views per day on the blog…it was celebration time. As things evolved, viewership has increased. Over 650 posts, approximately 5 million views spanning 25 countries does make Gunners Shot a popular blog. As I wrote more, my knowledge increased and so did the scope of my articles. As my confidence increased the subjects have also expanded.
I have been getting requests for articles / references on specific subjects on which I had written. I found that I could not give any answer other than – “please search my blog“. The blog was not well catalogued and one could not pick an article easily from it. That was when I decided to catalogue the articles and video presentations in some cogent manner and put it in a website which readers and researchers can zoom into based on their interests. Most of my articles and posts are researched reasonably well with embedded links and references. It will help students of strategic affairs, international relations and defence matters in forming their own ideas.
How does one build a website? I asked my son. He directed me to https://sites.google.com/new and asked me to fiddle around and get back to him when I got stuck…so I fiddled … and I created a website. However it was not a satisfactory effort. Hence I embarked on this site with the help of my son again. He designed the website and taught me how to go about the whole affair….this is the output… . It was a great past time and fun for a 67 year old veteran…of course my son helped me with finer details, at every stage , which were beyond me.
I wish you happy browsing of the website…any suggestions are welcome…any time
Lt Gen Palepu Ravi Shankar, PVSM, AVSM, VSM (retired)
I am Lieutenant General Palepu Ravi Shankar. I retired as the Director General of Indian Artillery in Oct 2016. It was a great experience and education to have served in the Indian Army for four decades. When I got commissioned in 1977 as a second lieutenant in the Gunners, little did i know that i would be part of an incredible journey which took me to all corners of India ( Indra Col to Indira Point and Lakpat to Kibithu) and almost all important places along the LAC and LC. It was indeed wonderful to experience and explore the Deserts of Rajasthan, Plains of Punjab and the High Altitudes in the Himalayas (in Ladakh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal) repeatedly. I was fortunate to have been through most conventional operations and counter insurgencies which confronted the Indian Army during my service. I have commanded a Field Regiment in conventional operations, a Mountain Artillery Brigade in Counter Insurgency and an Artillery Division in a Strike Corps.
Most importantly I met and interacted with all the great people who make up this ancient land of mine. They were hindus, muslims, christians, jews, parsis, sikhs and more. They were from Ladakh, Nagaland, Arunachal, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and more. I heard many of those myraid languages which change every 20 km in India. I learnt about the expanse of India from a temple priest in an obscure but ancient temple, 20 km away from Thanjavur. He showed me a sculpture which depicted the Sindhu, Ganga, Brahmaputra, Godavari, and Cauvery rivers. He explained to me that as per the scriptures he read and the depiction in the sculpture, the land encompassing these great river basins defienes India. This conceptualisation of India from a man who had never left his village was enlightening. Great Land. Great People. Worth Defending.
I earned my spurs in the National Defence Academy Khadakvasla, and the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun. My military education hinges around the Long Gunnery Staff Course at School of Artillery, Deolali, Artillery Technology Course at Defence Institute of Advanced Technolgy, Pune, Staff Course at Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, Higher Command Course at Army War College Mhow, National Defence College, New Delhi, and Senior International Defense Management Course at Naval Post Graduate School, Monterey, USA. In the course of this education i also earned B.sc, Msc and M Phil degrees from JNU and Madras Universities.
I was very fortunate to serve under Dr Abdul Kalam when he was the Director, DRDL. It was in the initial days of development of the Prithvi and Agni Missile systems. Later in life I had the opportunity to work closely with Mr Manohar Parrikar, who in my opinion, is one of the best Defence Ministers, India ever had. He encouraged and pushed me hard in the development and procurement of all the new 155 mm Gun systems including M777, K9 Vajra, Dhanush and ATAGs. He also held my hand to make up the deficiencies in ammunition which were then bedeviling the Artillery. In the same vein I am proud that Dr Satish Reddy and I could come up with the Guided Pinaka Rocket in record time. Most importantly I was blessed to have been taught my life experiences by the Officers, JCOs and men of the Indian Armed Forces. They are truly the best.
After hanging up my uniform, I joined the Aerospace Department of IIT Madras as a Professor of Practise. I teach the basics of defence technologies to the bright and best children of our country. I am also trying to bridge the gap between the IITs and Armed Forces. It is an exciting new phase of life.
I also have the proud privilege of being an Independent Director on the Board of L&T Defence i/c.
I advise the Tamil Nadu Government in activities connected with the Defence Industrial Corridor.
I am also a founding member of the think tank CASA. In addition I am also a member of the Chennai Centre of China Studies and CENJOWS.
I owe a lot to Lalitha (my better half), Vijay (son), Shruti (daughter in law) and Sudha (daughter) who have supported me staunchly through thick and thin in this incredible journey called life.
Hope all of you like my Gunners Shot
Lt Gen Palepu Ravi Shankar, PVSM, AVSM, VSM (retired)