‘Gone Too Soon’: Father of Hav. Palani Who Died in Galwan Valley

“Can my life be taken away instead of his ?,” said father of Palani who lost his life at the India- China face-off.

Updated
India
3 min read

Video Editor: Vivek Gupta
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Smitha TK

“Can my life be taken away instead of his?”
Kalimuthu, Palani’s Father

38-year-old Havildar Palani had a plan laid out. Retire from service in a year and settle down with his family in his village Kadukkaloor in Ramanathapuram district in Tamil Nadu. However, fate had other plans. He was among the 20 Indian soldiers who lost their lives at the brutal face-off with China’s People’s Liberation Army at Galwan Valley in Ladakh.

In the first week of June, his dream home had taken shape in his hometown. He was on a phone call with his 35-year-old wife Vanathi Devi listening to the mantras at the housewarming ceremony. He is the father to a 10-year-old son and an eight-year-old daughter.

His family moved into their new home on 12 June. It was in January that the army soldier had visited home last. He missed his family even on his birthday on 3 June.

Havildar Palani joined the Indian army at the young age of 18. He is the elder son of Kalimuthu and Logambal.
Havildar Palani joined the Indian army at the young age of 18. He is the elder son of Kalimuthu and Logambal.
(Photo: The Quint)
Palani’s sister said her brother worked hard to get her married.
Palani’s sister said her brother worked hard to get her married.
(Photo: The Quint)

In his last phone call to his wife where he mentioned about going away on an assignment. The next call they received was on Tuesday from his brother informing them of his martyrdom.

‘Made us Proud’

Havildar Palani is remembered as a ‘soft-spoken loving’ man by his near and dear ones.
Havildar Palani is remembered as a ‘soft-spoken loving’ man by his near and dear ones.
(Photo: The Quint)

Palani joined the Indian army at the young age of 18. He is the elder son of Kalimuthu and Logambal. His father, a farmer had struggled to provide him education so that he could follow his dream of serving the country.

“I struggled a lot to provide education and sent him to the army. It was back in 1999 I sent him to the army in Kashmir. He has been working for over 21 years and is such a talented boy. But he lost his life at such a young age,” Kalimuthu said.

His brother Idhayakkani, is now in the army’s clerical cadre posted in Rajasthan.

“My sons have always made be very proud but he can’t be gone at the age of just 38. I can’t believe this...I can’t accept this,” he broke down.

“He always lived for the family, his parents, his sister, his brother, his children. He never lived for himself. He lived for everyone else. He has today sacrificed himself for this country and I am very proud.”
Havildar Palani’s Sister
The entire village came to offer condolences because they were fond of Palani.
The entire village came to offer condolences because they were fond of Palani.
(Photo: The Quint)

Havildar Palani is remembered as a ‘soft-spoken and loving’ man by his near and dear ones.

“I wish that the government set up a memorial to remember the sacrifice he has made for his motherland,” Kalimuthu requested.

Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, leader of Opposition MK Stalin and several other leaders have condoled Palani's death.

The state government announced a relief sum of Rs 20 lakh and offered a government job to an eligible member of the family.

Havildar Palani’s father is a farmer who struggled to help him join the army.
Havildar Palani’s father is a farmer who struggled to help him join the army.
(Photo: The Quint)

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