Revisiting Bharat Rakshak's origins

The Bharat-Rakshak.com web portal, as visitors may note is one of the oldest - if not the oldest web portal devoted to the Indian Armed Forces.  Started sometime around 1997, the site is still going strong after 22 years. Just look up when the domain was first created - 1997-05-08!  

The story of the website has been recounted in the "About" section of the site many years ago.  Still 22 years is a whole generation ago - and a whole generation of Indian citizens have been added to the the country in the meantime.  We often joke that babies that were born in India when the site was established in 1997 are today serving  as the full fledged members of the Indian Armed Forces!

Thus while the site may be familiar for many of the older citizens, it is a complete mystery for many of the younger generation. While the work being done on the site by the site administrators, editors and contributors is appreciated, there are still queries that come into our inbox asking who the heck we are.  The location of the website and the privacy policy of the website. 

This post sets out to answer a few of the queries that we frequently encounter..

Who are the current people behind the website?

When the site was set up , there was an active community of users who got together to run, maintain and participate. The About section has a good list of our past contributors. 

The current people behind the website can be divided into two sets - those who "maintain" the website and those who "contribute" to the website.  Contributors are many - veterans, veteran families, enthusiasts etc.. every article or section or content page has the author's name who contributed the page or information. From retired air force officers, to their families, to specialist historians and to amateur historians - the list is rather too long to list here.

Then there is the forum - which has its own list of volunteers who contribute time and effort to ensure it does not go nuclear - again the list is rather long - but you can find it by looking around.

The website is kept in operation "i.e the maintainers" by two individuals - the first is Seetal Patel, an NRI settled in the United Kingdom specialises in the networking security, Seetal is the administrator of the website.

The second individual is Jagan Pillarisetti, who works in  the United States, he specialises in Open Source CMS implementation as well as custom web and database programming.  (Jagan is better known as the co-author of The India-Pakistan Air War of 1965, Eagles over Bangladesh and the Indian Air Force's official history of the Westland Wapiti. He is also a honorary fellow of the Center for Armed Forces Historical Research, United Services Institute.

Both of them hold day jobs in other fields - and maintain the website in their free time as a hobby. 

Minor Fun fact: Both of them hail from the same hometown. Hyderabad. (Nno.. not Pakistan!  But Hyderabad Deccan!)

We also have a representative in Mumbai. Kapil Chandni.. but you probably knew him already...What does Kapil do? He keeps the peace for us in India...

Where is the BR server hosted?

The BR Server is hosted on a web server that is located in the France - Earlier it used to be in UK closer to Seetal's base, but it was moved to France later on. Why France? its not because we like the Rafael more than the Tejas ! , but because that service provider offers us great protection on DDOS attacks and they have a wide range of global network peering that offers consistent browsing experience from users across the globe - whether in US, or UK, or India.  

Why is the site not hosted in India? You are an Indian defence site FFS!

Read the note above about DDOS - we have been a consistent target for DDOS and cyber attacks. We havent found an Indian ISP who could provide us with the level of protection we need at the budget we have. 

What is your budget? Who funds the website? Who pays you ?

There is no funding by an external source.  The cost of hosting the website and bandwidth consumed, cost of backups etc are all paid for by Seetal Patel.  There are no corporate funds involved - It all comes out of Seetal's pocket.  

Why is he doing it? Whats his agenda?

There is no agenda - he does it because Bharat Rakshak is his baby and he loves it.

I dont believe that!

Ah well...    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯  

Does the site "snoop" on its visitors? Do you collect our IP addresses to locate where we are? What is the privacy policy?

No. The site does not snoop on its visitors. No data is collected or retained other than webuser logs which are purged on a regular basis. The site is a target of multiple hacking attempts by countries that are not India's friends. To guard against denial of service attacks and hacking attempts, we do store a certain amount of logs to track down these attempts. But these are purged at regular intervals.

If you are concerned that your IP data to the website is being collected by us or malicious middle men, you can protect yourself - just download and use the the TOR browser from the TOR project. Regardless of using it to visit our site, we highly recommend that you read about the TOR browser and its benefits.

Are you politically affiliated to any political party? Are you a  rightwing/leftwing/centrist website? Are you war-mongers?

We do not have a political agenda nor a stance that is right/left/center. There is only one position that we hold and that is we are pro-Indian Armed Forces and Pro-Indian constitution.  We dont support war, but do support the commemoration of the Armed Forces and its contributions and the right of India to defend itself against both internal and external enemies.   

We would like to get in touch with you - how do we contact you?

Write an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - you can also leave a public or private message at our Facebook pages - http://fb.me/briaf , http://fb.me/bharatrakshakofficial  or DM us via Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/vayusena or http://www.twitter.com/bharatrakshak  . Since we still have to do our day jobs and feed our families, we may take a bit of time to get back to you - but we promise we will get back to legitimate requests...

We would like to talk to you over phone - can you share your phone number?

Yes, contact us via the channels above, and leave your phone number with us, the reason and a convenient time, one of us will give you a call back.


 Finally  - here is a blast from the past!

 

BR2003
This was so 1990s!!!

一肖平特准