Indian Army soon after Independence

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Anupama Nair

India has always given birth to many brave sons and daughters who sacrificed their lives for their mother land. Be it Rana Pratap, Shivaji Maharaj or Rani Laxmi Bai, the list is never ending. Even after Independence many brave sons and daughters gave their lives for us. “The Indian Army has been filled with spine-chilling tales of valor, indomitable spirit in the face of adversity, and unparalleled devotion towards our motherland”. It is said brave hearts are not born with any special power, they are ordinary people like us, but  they possess indomitable spirit and bravery when the situation demands. So is the tale of our brave Indian army soldiers who have proved it time and again after Independence.

Today, I am going to talk about some officers whose ‘tale of valor’ inspired us over the years. It is a known fact that the braves of the Indian Army sacrifice their own lives during any war so that the entire country can sleep in peace. The stories of their bravery, courage, and passion are larger than life stories. Their bravery will not only just make us proud but also their sacrifices will leave our eyes a little moist.

Soon after India got her Independence in 1947, Pakistan waged a war against us. The conflict was over Kashmir. Now let me tell you about the brave hearts, who fought in the War.

Major Somnath Sharma (31 January 1923 –3 November 1947), was the first recipient of the Param Vir Chakra (PVC), India's highest military award for gallantry, which was given posthumously to his family. He was in the 8th Battalion, 19th Hyderabad Regiment, in 1942. He served in Burma during the Second World War. After Independence his first assignment was fighting in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947-1948. Unfortunately, Somnath Sharma was killed in action on 3 November 1947 while resisting Pakistani infiltrators near the Srinagar Airport. For his gallantry and sacrifice during the Battle of Badgam, he was posthumously awarded the Param Vir Chakra.

Subedar and Honorary Captain Karam Singh (15 September 1915 – 20 January 1993), was an Indian soldier, and was a recipient of the Param Vir Chakra. Singh joined the army in 1941, and took part in the World War II, and received the Military Medal for his bravery during the Battle of the Admin Box in 1944. He also fought in the Indo—Pakistani War of 1947–1948, and was awarded the PVC for his role in saving a forward post at Richhmar Gali, south of Tithwal. He was also among the five soldiers chosen to raise the Indian flag for the first time after independence in 1947. Singh later was promoted to the rank of Subedar, and was conferred the rank of Honorary Captain before his retirement in September 1969.

Major Rama Raghoba Rane (26 June 1918 – 11 July 1994) was the first living recipient of the Param Vir Chakra. Rane served in the British Indian Army during the Second World War. In April 1948, Rane played a key role in the capture of Rajauri by the Indian forces and was instrumental in clearing several roadblocks and minefields on the way. His bravery helped in clearing the way for the advancing Indian tanks. He was awarded the Param Vir Chakra on 8 April 1948 for his gallantry. He retired as a Major from the Indian Army in 1968. He died in 1994 at the age of 76.

Jadunath Singh Rathore (21 November 1916 –6 February 1948) was posthumously awarded the Param Vir Chakra, for his bravery during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947. Singh served in the British Indian Army in 1941 and fought against the Japanese in Burma. He later took part in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947 as a member of the Indian Army. He commanded a nine-man forward section post. Though the Indian forces under him were heavily outnumbered by advancing Pakistani forces, he led his men and defended thrice against attempts to overtake the post. He was wounded during the second assault, he was armed with a Sten gun, and he single-handedly charged the third assault with such determination as to cause the attackers to withdraw. Unfortunately, this brave heart was martyred. A sports stadium in Shahjahanpur and a crude oil tanker were named after him.

Company Havaldar Major Piru Singh Shekhawat (20 May 1918 –18 July 1948) was awarded the Param Vir Chakra for his bravery. He joined in the British Indian Army on 20 May 1936, and was assigned to the 1st Punjab Regiment. Between 1940 and 1945, he served on the North-West Frontier and as an instructor, before he was deployed to Japan as part of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force. He took part in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947, and was in the 6th Rajputana Rifles. He was part of the soldiers that was assigned to capture a Pakistani post at Tithwal, in Jammu and Kashmir. Soon after the attack was launched, the company suffered heavy casualties. Singh successfully occupied a Pakistani medium machine-gun post. Unfortunately, the entire company lay dead or were wounded. Singh singlehandedly moved out and threw grenades at the enemy post. Before moving to another trench, he received a bullet wound to the head, and was martyred.

Reading and writing about these brave hearts sure made me proud of my motherland. In the next part I am going to write about some other brave hearts. All I can say is:

Aye mere vatan ke logon, tum khub laga lo naara
Yeh shubh din hai ham sab kaa, lahara lo tiranga pyaara
Par mat bhulo sima par, viron ne hai pran ganvaaye
Kuchh yaad unhe bhi kar lo
Jo laut ke ghar naa aaye
Aye mere vatan ke logon, jara aankh me bhar lo paani
Jo shahid huye hain unaki, jara yaad karo kurbaani


Jab ghaayal huwa himalay, khatare me padi aajaadi
Jab tak thi saans lade woh, phir apni laash bicha di
Sangeen pe dhar kar maatha, so gaye amar balidaani
Jo shahid huye hain unaki, jara yaad karo kurbaani


Jab desh me thi diwali, woh khel rahe the holi
Jab ham baithe the gharo me, woh jhel rahe the goli
The dhanya javaan woh aapane, thee dhanya woh unaki javaani
Jo shahid huye hain unaki, jara yaad karo kurbaani

Jai Hind ke sena!






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