Thursday, 21 April 2016

The Story of Exemplary Courage of a Young Martyr


  
Most of you must not have heard of Jaswant Singh Rawat, and the supreme sacrifice he made for the country almost about fifty three years ago. Very few from later generations even know about the bravery and courage he exhibited against heavy odds. Jaswant Singh Rawat, a 22-year-old soldier who was martyred in the 1962 Indo-China war. In the battle of Nuranang which started on November 17. His heroics is part of folk lore. The brave soldier who stood his ground till he was killed the battle.

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During the 1962 Indo-China war, on November 17th, the battalion came under heavy attack from the Chinese army near the Nuranang valley. Armed with a medium machine gun, the Chinese army were firing at the A company from a higher vantage point and a huge target area was covered by the gun creating havoc on the Indian troops. The gun had to be silenced before it could cause more damage to the Indians.

Jaswant Singh Memorial 
To counter the attack, a small team comprising of Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat along with Lance Naik Trilok Singh Negi and Rifleman Gopal Singh Gusain were assigned the mission of recovering the MMG from the Chinese bunker with full force. While Lance Naik Trilok Singh Negi provided cover fire with his sten gun, Rifleman Jaswant Singh and Rifleman Gopal Singh hurled grenades at the enemy. After the attack, they managed to kill the Chinese soldiers and destroyed the enemy bunker and capture the MMG.

Jaswant Singh Rawat, the young rifleman of the 4 Garhwal, along with the two brave soldiers held their post for 72 hours, 21 km from the Sela Pass near Tawang and killing over 300 Chinese soldiers from the assault. According to some reports, a wounded Jaswant was eventually captured and shot. But by then Indian army reinforcements arrived stopping the Chinese progress into Arunachal Pradesh. His act of bravery was responsible for stopping the Chinese over running through Arunachal Pradesh.


Jaswant Singh temple
For their acts of bravery, they were honoured with gallantry awards. Jaswant Singh was posthumously decorated with a Mahavir Chakra, but over half a century after his untimely demise, the Indian army continues to treat him as a serving officer. He gets regular promotions as the army believes he still guards India’s Eastern border. It’s a story of exemplary courage and patriotism. Jaswant Singh was a real hero and to commemorate him the locals and the army built a memorial and a temple at the spot where he was shot; the place was named Jaswantgarh. And folks continue to talk of him as if he were still alive. The memorial has his original bed which is made up every day by one of the army jawans posted at the post. His shoes are polished every day, letters from admirers brought to ‘Baba’ and taken away the next day ‘after he has gone through them.’  The personal items of Rifleman Jaswant Singh are on display there and all travelers are served with hot tea by the Indian army soldiers near the memorial.

Graveyard of Chinese soldiers
A report about a new biopic on rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat is expected to roll towards the year-end is out. Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s biopic on Jaswant Singh Rawat is all set to roll around September. A source close to the development revealed that Jaswant’s brother is on board to help with details of his life. His mother, who passed away recently, was also assisting with the research over the last two years. Director Sanjay Khanduri has almost completed the script. Hope this biopic would be a true homage to this great son of India.





 

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Shree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Kerala, India
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