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An officer and a gentleman

SOMA BASU
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Captain D.V.P.Raja, recounts stories of war, both on the battle field and off it. His love for service continued long after he hung up his uniform, and he set up the prestigious MISS. SOMA BASU listens in

Iwait in his spacious but spartan office room staring at the black-and-white photo of a soldier in uniform, when Captain Dharma Venketa Perumal Raja walks in. At 77, he is straight as an arrow and elegantly grey. “You have come on a busy day but it’s my duty to answer all your questions,” he smiles.

The captain is the founder of the Madurai Institute of Social Sciences (MISS).

He is a veteran of the 1962 and 1965 wars. Though he had a scholarship to study Social Work in the US, he gave it up in the face of the Chinese aggression in 1962, and joined the Indian Army as a commissioned officer.

Capt.Raja served in the 23 Mountain Division where he saw firsthand the devastating consequences of war as well as instances of valour and sacrifice. His quit the Armed Forces in 1968 and came to Madurai to start an educational institution that has grown into one of the finest institutions of social science in the region.

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