Wednesday, 15 January 2014

The Flying Sikh "MILKHA SINGH"

Early Life 

Milkha Singh was born on 17 October 1935 at Govindpura,a village 10 kilometres  from Muzaffargarh city in Punjab Province,British India (now Muzaffargarh District, Pakistan) in a Sikh Rathore Rajput family.He was one of 15 siblings, eight of whom died before the Partition of India. He was orphaned during the Partition, when his parents, a brother and two sisters were killed in the violence that ensued. He witnessed these killings.Escaping the troubles in Punjab, where killings of Hindus and Sikhs were continuing,by moving to Delhi, India, in 1947, Singh lived for a short time with a married sister and was briefly imprisoned at Tihar jail for travelling on a train without a ticket. His sister, Ishvar, sold some jewellery to obtain his release.He spent some time at a refugee camp in Purana Quila and at a resettlement colony in Shahdara, both in Delhi.

Introduction to Athletics 

Singh tried to get into the Army 3 times, but was rejected. Finally, his brother Malkhan Singh helped him get into the Electrical Mechanical Engineering branch of the Army in 1952, and it was there that he participated at the first sports meet in his life.

Making of a Champion 

Under the guidance of his mentor Havaldar Gurdev Singh, Milkha began training hard and harder at the Army to become an accomplished Athlete. He showed his prowess for the first time at the Services Athletic Meet 1955, wherein he finished 2nd in the 200m and 400m race events. After delivering a much better performance and winning both the events at the National Games 1956 held at Patiala, Milkha went on to break the 200m and 400m records in the National Games 1958, held at Cuttack. He clocked 46.1m in 400m at National Games 1960 that was considered to be a World class performance of that time. But, his best had still to arrive.

International Career 

Milkha represented the nation in the Melbourne Olympic Games 1956, his first Olympic event. Although he couldn’t fare quite well at the event being less experienced at the time, he learnt a lot from the competition to prepare himself well for the future meets. The most important occasion in Milkha’s career arrived in the form of Rome Olympic Games 1960. In the first heat of 400m race at the Rome Olympic Games, he covered the race at 47.6 seconds and finished at 2nd position. In the second heat he further improved his timing and grabbed 2nd position again with a timing of 46.5 seconds. Karl Kaufman of Germany had outclassed him this time. In the Semi Final heat he still finished at 2nd place, although this time he further improved the timing with 45.9, beaten by only Ottis Davis of USA. In the final round of the coveted race, Milkha went off like an arrow and left all other competitors behind till the distance of 250m. It was when he miscalculated his own speed and committed the blunder of his lifetime and perhaps the history of Indian Athletics, by slowing down a bit. Although he tried the hardest of his lifetime to recover the distance, the other opponents had lagged him behind enough for him to catch them again. The competition was so tough that Ottis Davis and Karl Kaufman clocked 44.8 seconds, while Malcolm Spence of South Africa covered the race in 45.5 seconds. Milkha, who was initially leading the race, finished just 0.1 seconds later by Spence, clocking 45.6 seconds. The difference was so minute that the announcement was initially held up and further declared after a photo-finish. Thus Milkha, who was a favorite for the Gold, lost a Bronze by a whisker, probably the closest an Indian Athlete could get to an Olympic Medal till now.

The Golden Period 

Probably the best period during Milkha’s career as an Athlete arrived between the year 1958 and 1960. He won Gold Medals in both 200m and 400m events at the Tokyo Asian Games 1958, clocking 21.6 seconds and 47 seconds respectively. At the Cardiff Commonwealth Games held the same year, he improved his 400m timing to 46.16 seconds, and grabbed a Gold Medal again.

Milkha Singh got name  “ Flying Sikh” 

During the 1950s, Singh's biggest rival was Abdul Khaliq, a runner from Pakistan.In 1960, Pakistan invited him to compete in Pakistan but, scarred by the trauma of Partition, Singh refused. It was only after then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru convinced him to go that Singh went to Pakistan. One of the spectators who turned up to see Khaliq and Singh compete was General Ayub Khan. Singh won the race, and when Khan was giving away the medals, he told Singh, "You didn't run today, you flew." The Flying Singh nickname caught on from then.Milkha Singh defeated the Fastest Pakistani runner Abdul Khaliq who had won a 100m Gold Medal at Tokyo Asian Games 1958 in the year 1962, and the Pakistani President Ayub Khan named him ‘The Flying Sikh'

Milkha Singh and Arjuna Award 

Milkha Singh, probably the most celebrated Indian athlete of all times, refused to accept the Arjuna Award for lifetime contribution, saying: “I have been clubbed with sportspersons who are nowhere near the level that I had achieved”.Milkha Singh said that  Arjuna Awards, instituted in 1961, were being given to those who did not deserve them. “I am against this award itself and the way it is awarded”. He said he was of the view that the national sports awards like the Arjuna should be decided by specialists who had a deep understanding of the subject.It is of no use giving such awards to such persons who might produce one freak performance during their lifetime. He also alleged that athletes took to drugs to perform better at home, but once they go abroad they are totally exposed since abroad all athletes are tested for drugs. Milkha Singh wrote in the letter. The prestige of the award has gone down. I will get a bad name if I accept it, Milkha Singh said adding it is surprising that organizers of Asian and other games have also been honored with national awards, especially after the 1982 Delhi Asian Games.’’Milkha Singh said that “after the Padma Shri in 1958, the Arjuna Award in 2001 looks as if the government is trying to give me a matric certificate after an MA degree. The Arjuna Award, least to say, could have been given to me in 1961 when it was first instituted.

Awards & Honors 

Honoring the incredible and hitherto the best performance by any Indian Athlete that Milkha Singh delivered throughout his sports career, he was bestowed upon the Padma Shri award (1958) and the Arjuna Award by the Government of India.Milkha Singh ran 80 races all over the world winning 77, He was awarded the Helms World Trophy in 1959 by the USA by virtue of being the best 400-metre runner in the world and broke the Olympic record in the 1960 Rome Olympics.


1)Gold Medal - 1958 Commonwealth Games - 400 m
2)Gold Medal - 1958 Asian Games - 200 m and 400 m
3)Gold Medal - 1962 Asian Games
4)Padma Shri – 1958
5)Helms World Trophy – 1959

82-Year-old Milkha Singh  told to PTI 

My last desire before I leave this world is that I want an Indian boy or a girl wins an Olympic gold medal for the country and for my sake. I failed to win it in Rome Olympics in 1960.After 2-3 years, I may be no more. Whether I will live for next few years more, it is up to God. I want to see an Indian win an Olympic gold in athletics.Since India gained Independence, only five reached the finals in athletics event and all failed to win a medal.

1)Milkha Singh
2)Gurbachan Singh Randhawa (1964)
3)Shri Ram Singh (1976)
4)PT Usha (1984)
5) Anju George.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Success Of 1965 & 1971

                                     Indo-Pak War of 1965

The second war began in Apr., 1965, when fighting broke out in the Rann of Kachchh,a sparsely inhabited region along the West Pakistan–India border.In August fighting spread to Kashmir and to the Punjab, and in September Pakistani and Indian troops crossed the partition line between the two countries and launched air assaults on each other's cities. After threats of intervention by China had been successfully opposed by the United States and Britain, Pakistan and India agreed to a UN-sponsored cease-fire and withdrew to the pre-August lines. Prime Minister Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri of India andPresident Ayub Khan of Pakistan met in Tashkent, USSR (now in Uzbekistan), in Jan., 1966,and signed an agreement pledging continued negotiations and respect for the cease-fire conditions. After the Tashkent Declaration another period of relative peace ensued.

                                     Indo-Pak War of 1971

Indo-Pakistani relations deteriorated when civil war erupted in Pakistan, pitting the West Pakistan army against East Pakistanis demanding greater autonomy. The fighting forced 10 million East Pakistani Bengalis to flee to India. When Pakistan attacked Indian airfields in Kashmir, India attacked both East and West Pakistan. It occupied the eastern half, which declared its independence as Bangladesh, on Dec. 6, 1971. Under great-power pressure, a UN cease-fire was arranged in mid-December, after Pakistan's defeat. Pakistan lost its eastern half, an army of 100,000 soldiers, and was thrown into political turmoil. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto emerged as leader of Pakistan, and Mujibur Rahman as prime minister of Bangladesh. Tensions were alleviated by the Shimla accord of 1972, and by Pakistan's recognition of Bangladesh in 1974, but tensions have periodically recurred.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

BSF “Duty Unto Death”

Border Security Force


The Border Security Force (BSF) is a Border Guarding Force of India. Established on December 1, 1965, it is a paramilitary force charged with guarding India's land border during peace time and preventing transnational crime. It is a Union Government Agency under the administrative control of Ministry of Home Affairs.It is one of many law enforcement agency of India.It currently stands as the world's largest border guarding force.

The BSF, in its 41 years of existence, has emerged as an elite force of the country having excelled with distinction in the 1971 war with Pakistan. Its ethos is “Any task, any time, any where” and the BSF has given blood and sweat to execute its motto “Duty Unto Death”.


Till 1965 India’s borders with Pakistan were manned by the State Armed Police Battalion. Pakistan attacked Sardar Post, Chhar Bet and Beria Bet on 9 April, 1965 in Kutch. This exposed the inadequacy of the State Armed Police to cope with armed aggression due to which the Government of India felt the need for a specialized centrally controlled Border Security Force, which would be armed and trained to man the International Border with Pakistan. As a result of the recommendations of the Committee of Secretaries, the Border Security Force came into existence on 01 Dec 1965, and Shri K F Rustamji was the first chief and founding father.


The Border Security Force has its Head Quarters at New Delhi and is known as Force Head Quarter (FHQ) headed by a Director General. Various Directorates like Operations, Communications & IT, Training, Engineering, General, Law, Provisioning, Administration, Personnel, Medical, Finance etc. function under the DG. Each Directorate is headed by an IG. The Eastern Theater is looked after by Spl DG HQ at Kolkata and the Western Theater is looked after by Spl DG HQ at Chandigarh.Field Formations in BSF are headed by an IG and are known as Frontiers Head Quarters (FtrHQ). There are 10 such Frontier under which Sector Head Quarters (SHQ) function headed by a DIG each. There are 31 such Sectors. Each SHQ has under its command 4–5 Duty Battalions. Presently 186 Battalions are sanctioned to BSF. Five major training institutions and 10 Subsidiary Training Centres (STCs) are imparting ab-initio as well as in-service training to its ranks and other CPOs/SPOs including IPS Probationers.

BSF is the only Indian paramilitary force to have its own Air Wing, Marine Wing and artillery regiments, which support the General Duty Battalions in their operations.

The BSF also has a national level school for breeding and training of dogs. Dogs from other CPOs and State Police are sent to National Training Centre for Dogs (NTCD) to be trained in infantry patrol, detection of explosives and tracking.

The BSF maintains a Tear Smoke Unit (TSU), which is unique in India. The TSU is responsible for producing tear gas munitions required for the Anti-Riot Forces. It also exports a substantial quantity to other countries.

Two battalions of the BSF, located at Kolkata and Guwahati, are designated as the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF). Each battalion maintains 18 self-contained specialist search and rescue teams of 45 personnel each, including engineers, technicians, electricians, dog squads and medical/paramedics. The establishment of each battalion is 1,158 personnel. The NDRF is a multi-disciplinary, multi-skilled, high-tech force for all types of disasters and can deploy to disasters by air, sea and land. The battalions are equipped and trained for all natural disasters including combating nuclear disaster, biological and chemical disasters.


SECURITY OF BORDER OF India and matters connected therewith.


The tasks of the BSF are divided as follows:

1.  Peace time

  • Promote a sense of security among the people living in the border areas.
  • Prevent trans border crimes, unauthorized entry into or exit from the territory of India.
  • Prevent smuggling and any other illegal activity.

 In the last few years the BSF has, in addition to their duties, been deployed for counter insurgency and internal security duties

2.  War Time

  • Holding ground in less threatened sectors.
  • Protection of vital installations.
  • Assistance in control of refugees.
  • Anti-infiltration duties in specified areas.

 Some Important Facts

  • The BSF contributes every year a number of personnel for services for UN Mission.

  • During the Kargil conflict in May-July 1999, the BSF remained on the heights of the mountains and defended the integrity of the country with all the might at its command in unison with the Army.

  • BSF personnel have been performing Internal Security Duty in Manipur for the last two years and have been successfully fighting insurgency in those areas.
  • During the earthquake in Gujarat on 26th January 2001, the BSF was the first to reach out to help the distressed people.

  • During the communal disturbances in Gujarat recently, BSF personnel went all out to restore amity and brotherhood among the people.

  • The BSF took over the erection of the border fencing in Jammu & Kashmir and it was successful in its task despite all attempts of Pakistan to scuttle our efforts.

  • The BSF has been defending the borders along with the army and checking infiltration on the borders during the current standoff with Pakistan.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012


India is a nation with a very rich historic background. The Independence Day, India (Swatantrata Divas) is celebrated on the 15th August to commemorate its independence from the 150 years British rule and its birth as a sovereign nation on that day in 1947. It is one of the 3 national holidays in the country. Flag hoisting and distribution of sweets is done all over the country. This is a proud day for the Indians. The prime minister raises the national flag at the Red Fort in New Delhi, and delivers a nationally televised speech from its ramparts, which is viewed by millions of nationals. He highlights achievements of the government, important issues and gives a call for further development through his speech.

On the eve of 15th August 1947, India tricolor (saffron, green and white) flag was first hoisted by Jawahar Lal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, at the Red Fort of Delhi.

The Independence Day is celebrated with great enthusiasm in all over the India. On this day tributes are paid to the freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives to gain the freedom for India. The main event takes place in New Delhi, where the Prime Minister hoists the National Flag at the Red Fort accompanied with the gun shots, parade, amazing live performances and music. On this day many political leaders appear at the public events and talk about the nation's heritage, laws, history, people, about recent events and future projects.

"Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we will redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance.... We end today a period of ill fortune, and India discovers herself again." 

Jawaharlal Nehru (Speech on Indian Independence Day, 15th August 1947)

History of the Independence Day, India:

On third June, Lord Mountbatten announced the partitioning of the British Empire into an India and Pakistan under the Independence Day, India act 1947. At the stroke of midnight 1947, India became an independent nation, which was preceded by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru's spine chiller speech titled Tryst with destiny. It went as follows:
At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. We end today a period of ill fortune, and India discovers herself again.


In the capital New Delhi most of the Government Offices are lit up. Flag hoisting ceremonies and cultural programs take place in all the state capitals. In the cities around the country the Flag Hoisting Ceremony is done by politicians belonging to that constituency. Schools and colleges around the country organise flag hoisting ceremony and various cultural activities within their respective premises. In various private organisations the Flag Hoisting Ceremony is carried out by a Senior officer of that organisation Families and friends get together for lunch or dinner, or for an outing. Housing colonies, cultural centres, clubs and societies hold entertainment programmes and competitions, usually based on the freedom theme. Most of all is that the people flu colourful kites in the sky. It is a long traditional thing,and the skies look very beautiful and colourful.
Hence, Independence day in india is a very important and cheerful occasion.

Sunday, 12 February 2012


My Great Web page

They'd promised their families they'd come back soon. They more than kept their word. Went as mere men. Came back as heroes. In coffins. 

                               2nd LT ARUN KHETRAPAL PVC

2nd Lieutenant Arun Khetarpal, son of Brigadier M.L. Khetarpal, was born on 14 October 1950, in Pune, Maharashtra . Arun came from a family with a long tradition of service in the Army. In Sanawar he distinguished himself both in academics and sports.

In 1967 he joined the National Defense Academy (NDA) and then went on to Indian MilitaryAcademy . He was commissioned in the 17 Poona Horse on 13 June 1971. During the 1971 Indo-Pak War, the 47 Inf. Bde., with the 17 Poona Horse under command, was ordered to establish a bridge-head across the Basantar river in Shakargarh sector. The 47 Inf. Bde. Completed the task by 2100 hours on December 15th.

It was now for the engineers to breach the enemy minefields and make a safe lane for the induction of the 17 Poona Horse in support of the bridgehead. While the engineers were half way through their task, the Indian troops at the bridgehead reported alarming activity of the enemy armour.They requested immediate tank support. But the minefield had been cleared only partially by that time. At this critical juncture, the 17 Poona Horse decided to push through the minefield come what may. By first light on December 16th, the regiment established a link-up between the armour and the infantry at the bridgehead. At 0800 hours, the enemy made a counter-attack with an armour regiment, under the cover of a smoke screen. The target was the regimental pivot at Jarpal. As the Indians troops were heavily outnumbered, the Commander of 'B' Squadron requested reinforcement. At that time, 2nd Lt. Khetarpal was positioned close to the squadron with his troops in two tanks. He answered the call and moved out to face the enemy attack.On the way, his troops came under fire from enemy strong points and recoilless gun nests, in the bridgehead zone. 2nd Lt. Khetarpal fiercely attacked these strong points; over-ran enemy defences and captured many enemy soldiers and recoilless guns at gunpoint. 

During one of these attacks, the commander of his second tank was killed on the spot leaving him alone. But he continued attack on the enemy strongholds single-handed, until all the enemy positions were overwhelmed. He then raced to the 'B' Squadron position. By the time he reached there, the enemy tanks were on the retreat. He pursued and destroyed one of these tanks. The 'B' Squadron Commander could persuade him to fall back in line after great difficulty. The enemy soon reformed for a second attack. This time they chose the sector held by 2nd Lt. Arun Khetarpal and two other Officers, for the main attack. The enemy employed a complete armoured squadron against these three tanks in order to achieve a breakthrough.A fierce tank battle followed. As many as ten enemy tanks were destroyed and of these 2nd Lieutenant Khetarpal alone destroyed four. In the thick of the battle, two of the three Indian tanks became casualties - one was hit and another suffered mechanical failure. The third tank, which was 2nd Lt. Khetarpal's tank, also received a shot and burst into flames. 

The Commander of the tank troops ordered 2nd Lt. Khetarpal to abandon the burning tank. But realising the useful role of his tank in preventing a breakthrough he communicated the following message to his Commander, "No Sir, I will not abandon my tank. My gun is still working and I will get these bastards." Then he set about destroying the remaining enemy tanks. The last enemy tank, which he shot, was barely 100 metres from his position. At this stage his tank received a second hit. The brave Officer met his death denying the enemy the intended breakthrough. For his conspicuous gallantry in the face of the enemy, 2nd Lt. Arun Khetarpal was honoured with the highest wartime gallantry medal, the Param Vir Chakra, posthumously. 


Captain Gurbachan Singh Salaria, was born on 29 November 1935, in Gurdaspur, Punjab . He was commissioned in the 1 Gorkha Rifles on 9 June 1957. After the Belgians quit Congo , a civil war situation developed in that country. When the United Nations decided upon military intervention to retreive the situation, India contributed a brigade of around 3000 men to the U.N. Force.

In November 1961, the U.N. Security Council had decided to put a stop to the hostileactivities of the Katangese troops in Congo .This greatly angered Tshombe , Katanga 's secessionist leader, and he intensified his 'hate the UN' campaign. The result was more violence against UN personnel. On 5 December 1961, a 3/1 GR Company supported by 3-inch mortar attacked a road-block, established by the Katangese troops, between HQ Katanga command and the Elizabethville airfield at a strategic round about. The enemy roadblock was destroyed and the Gorkhas established a UN roadblock there.

When Captain Salaria in platoon strength tried to link up with the Gorkha Company to reinforce the roadblock, he met strong opposition in the old airfield area. The enemy brought down heavy automatic and small arms fire on his force from a dug-in position on the right flank. The enemy held the area strongly with two armoured cars and 90 men. Captain Salaria was not deterred by the superior enemy strength and firepower. He decided to take the enemy, head-on, to achieve the objective. The Gorkhas then charged the enemy with bayonets, khukris and hand-grenades. A rocket launcher supported them in the attack. In this sharp encounter, Captain Salaria and his men killed 40 of the enemy and knocked out two enemy cars. His bold action completely demoralised the enemy who fled despite numerical superiority and well-fortified positions. However, in the engagement, Captain Salaria was wounded in the neck by a burst of enemy automatic fire, but he ignored the injury and continued to fight till he collapsed due to excessive bleeding.Subsequently, he died of his grave wounds. Captain Salaria prevented the enemy from going to the roundabout thereby saving the UN Headquarters in Elizabethville from encirclement.

His leadership, courage, unflinching devotion to duty and disregard for his personal safety were in the best traditions of the Indian Army. For his extraordinary leadership and devotion to duty, Captain Gurbachan Singh Salaria was awarded the highest wartime medal, Param Vir Chakra, posthumously.

                                     CAP VIKRAM BATRA, PVC 

Captain Vikram Batra, 13 JAK Rifles, and his Delta Company was given the task of recapturing Point 5140. Nicknamed Sher Shah for his unstinting courage, he decided to lead the attack from the rear as an element of surprise would help stupefy the enemy. He & his men ascended the sheer rock-cliff and as the group neared the top, the enemy opened machine gun fire on them, pinning them on to the face of the bare rocky cliff.  

Captain Batra along with five of his men climbed on regardless and after reaching the top, hurled two grenades at the machine gun post. He single handedly engaged three enemy soldiers in close combat and killed them. He was seriously injured during this combat, but insisted on regrouping his men to continue with the given task at hand. Inspired by the extraordinary courage displayed by Captain Batra, the soldiers of 13 JAK Rifles charged the enemy position and captured Point 5140 at 3:30 a.m. on 20 June 1999. His company is credited with killing at least 8 Pakistani soldiers and recovering a heavy machine gun. 

The capture of Point 5140 set in motion a string of successes like Point 5100, Point 4700, Junction Peak and Three Pimples. Captain Batra led his men to even more glorious victories with the recapture of Point 4750 and Point 4875. He was tragically killed, when he tried to rescue an injured officer during an enemy counterattack against Point 4875 in the early morning hours of 07 July 1999. His last words were, "Jai Mata Di.

For his sustained display of the most conspicuous personal bravery and junior leadership of the highest order in the face of the enemy, Captain Vikram Batra was awarded the Param Vir Chakra, India's highest medal for gallantry, posthumously. His father, Mr. G.L. Batra, received the award from the President of India, on behalf of his brave son. 

                              LT MANOJ KUMAR PANDEY, PVC

Lieutenant Manoj Kumar Pandey, 1/11 Gorkha Rifles, forced back the intruders from the Batalik sector on 11 June 1999. He led his men to recapture the Jaubar Top, a feature of great operational importance. But his finest hour was in the capture of Khalubar in the early morning hours of 3 July 1999. 

On the night of 2/3 July 1999 the battalion's progress on to its final objective, was halted by a determined enemy firmly entrenched on commanding heights. Clearing it was critical as the battalion faced the prospect of being day lighted in a vulnerable area. Lieutenant Pandey stepped forward to take on the mission. Quickly sizing up the situation, the young officer led his platoon along a narrow, treacherous ridge that led to the enemy position. While still short of the objective, the enemy fired upon the Indian soldiers effectively stalling the Indian attack. Displaying great courage, he surged ahead of his troops and charged at the enemy with a full-throated battle cry through a hail of bullets.

Although wounded in the shoulder and leg, he pressed on his solitary charge with grim determination, till he closed in on the first bunker. Then in ferocious hand-to-hand combat, he killed two of the enemy and cleared the first bunker. It was the turning point. Inspired by their leader's spontaneous valour, the troops charged at the enemy and fell upon them. Unmindful of his grievous wounds, he rushed from bunker to bunker urging his men. On critically bleeding, he collapsed at the final bunker and finally succumbed to his injuries, but not before the last of the enemy had been annihilated. His last words were, "Na Chodnu" (Don't Leave Them).

For his sustained display of the most conspicuous personal bravery and junior leadership of the highest order in the face of the enemy, Lieutenant Manoj Kumar Pandey was awarded the Param Vir Chakra, India's highest medal for gallantry, posthumously. His father, Mr. Gopichand Pandey, received the award from the President of India, on behalf of his brave son.

                               LT Sushil Khajuria, Kirti Chakra

Lieutenant Sushil Khajuria was born on August 28, 1985 at Samba in Jammu and Kashmir.After completing his studies in Jammu, he got commissioned into the Indian Army after passing out from Officer's Training Academy in Chennai in 2010.

He was attached with 18 Grenadiers and as ghatak platoon commander he conducted several counter-terrorist operations in Kupwara, J&K.

On September 2011 Lt Sushil Khajuria while leading his team in a search operation in the main area in district Kupwara, Jammu and Kashmir came face to face with two terrorists. Displaying exceptional presence of mind he opened fire on them allowing his team to take cover. In the prolonged fire fight, the officer advanced from cover to cover and with unflinching resoluteness and raw courage, closed in and eliminated the terrorist from close range.  The other terrorist brought down intense fire on the team.  Sensing danger, the officer exhibiting conspicuous bravery of highest order immediately engaged and forced the terrorist to retreat.  He pursued the terrorist, using the difficult folds in the ground, approached from an unexpected direction and personally eliminated the second terrorist.The officer, displaying exceptional sense of responsibility and camaraderie as a true leader unmindful of his personal safety immediately crawled forward to evacuate one of his injured colleague upholding the highest traditions of the Indian Army.

For his act of conspicuous gallantry, exceptional leadership and camaraderie in the highest traditions of Army, and For his sustained display of the most conspicuous personal bravery and junior leadership of the highest order in the face of the enemy Lt Sushil Khajuria was awarded the   ‘Kirti Chakra.

                     Major Sandeep Unnikrishan, Ashok Chakra

Major Sandeep Unnikrishan was born in Cheruvannur – Kozhikode district, Kerala on March 15, 1977 from where his family migrated to Banglore and was settled there. Major Sandeep was the only son of retired ISRO officer  Mr.K Unnikrishna and Mrs. Dhanalakshmi, or should I say, India’s only son. He completed his schooling from the Frank Anthony Public School, and was a charm among his fellow mates and had a dream since childhood of joining the Army. He is also remembered as an outstanding student. He was known for a young and energetic personality along with a soft core heart.Sandeep joined the NDA  Pune, Maharashtra in 1995. He was a cadet, part of the Oscar Squadron (No. 4 Battalion) and a graduate of the 94th Course of NDA. He graduated as a Bachelor of Arts (Social science stream).He was commissioned as Lieutenant to the 7th Battalion of the Bihar Regiment (Infantry) on 12 July 1999. After serving the Indian Army in different locations in Jammu & Kashmir and Rajasthan to counter insurgencies for two terms, he was selected to join the National Security Guards. 

On completion of training, he was assigned to the Special Action Group (SAG) of NSG on January 2007 and participated in various operations of the NSG. He was a popular officer who was loved and adored by his seniors and juniors alike. During the 'Ghatak course' (at the Commando Wing (Infantry School), Belgaum), the most difficult course of the Army, Major Unnikrishnan topped the course, earning an "Instructor Grading" and commendation from seniors. Perhaps this was the reason or his passion for bravery that he opted for the NSG commando service which he joined on deputation in 2006.

On the night of 26 Nov 2008, several iconic buildings in South Mumbai were attacked by terrorists. One of the buildings where the terrorists held people hostage was the 100-year old Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. Major Unnikrishnan was the team commander of 51 SAG deployed in the operation at the Taj Mahal Hotel to rid the building of terrorists and rescue the hostages. He entered the hotel in a group of 10 commandos and reached the sixth floor through the staircase. As the team descended the stairs, they sensed the terrorists on the third floor. The terrorists had held a few women as hostages in a room and locked it from the inside. After breaking open the door, the round of fire by the terrorists hit Commando Sunil Yadav, who was Major Unnikrishnan's partner.

Major Unnikrishan led his team from the front and engaged the terrorists in a fierce gunfight. He arranged for Commando Sunil Yadav's evacuation and regardless of personal safety, chased the terrorists who, meanwhile, escaped to another floor of the hotel, and while doing so Major Sandeep continuously engaged them. In the encounter that followed, he was shot from the back, seriously injured and succumbed to injuries). 

For his sustained display of the most conspicuous personal bravery and junior leadership of the highest order in the face of the enemy Major Unnikrishan was awarded the Ashok Chakra.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

January 26 (Republic Day of India)


The Republic Day of India commemorates the date on which the Constitution of India came into force replacing the Government of India Act 1935 as the governin document of india on 26 january 1950.

The 26th January was chosen to honor the memory of the declaration of independence of 1930. It is one of the three national national holiday in india.Although India obtained its independence on 15 August 1947, it did not yet have a permanent constitution instead, its laws were based on the modified colonial Government of India Act 1935, and the country was a Dominion, with George VI as head of state and Earl Mountbatten as Governor General. On 28 August 1947, the Drafting Committee was appointed to draft a permanent constitution, with B R Ambedkar as chairman. While India's Independence Day celebrates its freedom from British Rule, the Republic Day celebrates the coming into force its constitution.This was the day when our rights and duties were brought to a concrete form. It holds a lot of value in every Indian’s heart and mind.

The patriotic fervor of the people on this day brings the whole country together even in her essential diversity. Every part of the country is represented in occasion, which makes the Republic Day the most popular of all the national holidays of India. To mark the importance of the occasion, every year a grand parade is held in the capital, New Delhi, from the Raisina Hill near the Rashtrapati Bhavan (President's Palace), along the Rajpath, past India Gate . Prior to its commencement, the Prime Minister lays a floral wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti, a solemn reminder of the sacrifice of the martyrs who died for the country in the freedom movement and the succeeding wars for the defence of sovereignty of their country . Thereafter he reaches the main dais at Rajpath to join other dignitaries, subsequently the President arrives along with the chief guest of the occasion. First he unfurls the National flag, as the National Anthem is played, and a 21-gun salute is given. Next, important awards like the Ashok Chakra and Kirti Chakra are given away by the President, before the regiments of Armed Forces start their marchpast. The parade is followed by a pageant of spectacular displays from the different states of the country. These moving exhibits depict scenes of activities of people in those states and the music and songs of that particular state accompany each display. Each display brings out the diversity and richness of the culture of India and the whole show lends a festive air to the occasion. The parade and the ensuing pageantry is telecast by the National Television and is watched by millions of viewers in every corner of the country.

Celebrations are also held in state capitals, where the Governor of the state unfurls the national flag. If the Governor of the state is unwell, or is unavailable for some reason, the Chief Minister of the state assumes the honor of unfurling the National Flag of India.In this day India became a totally republican unit. The country finally realized the dream of Mahatma Gandhi and the numerous freedom fighters who, fought for and sacrificed their lives for the Independence of their country. So, the 26th of January was decreed a national holiday and has been recognized and celebrated as the Republic Day of India, ever since.

The Republic Day Parade

To mark the importance of this occasion, every year a grand parade is held in the capital, New Delhi. The different regiments of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force march past in all their finery and official decorations. The President of India who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces, takes the salute.

Celebrations, though on a much smaller scale, are also held in state capitals, where the governor of the state unfurls the national flag. If the Governer of the state is unwell, or is unavailable for some reason, the Chief Minister of the state assumes the honor of unfurling the National Flag of India.
The parade showcasing India's military might and cultural diversity covers an eight-km route, starting from the Rashtrapathi Bhavan through the picturesque Rajpath down to India Gate before winding up at the historic Red Fort in Old  Delh

The events of the day begin with the Prime Minister laying a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti (at India Gate).He meets the dignitaries present and unfurls the National Flag.Following the unfurling the National Anthem is played to a 21-gun salute.
After this a brief investiture ceremony takes place during which the President awards India's top gallantry awards - Param Veer Chakra, Veer Chakra and Maha Veer Chakra. In army these are known as the most prestigious awards for bravery for saving their motherland from the enemy of our country.

Origin of India's name

The official name India is derived from Sindhu, the historic local appellation for the river Indus and is the most internationally recognisable of the country. The Constitution of India and general usage also recognises Bharat as the other official name of equal status. Bharat comes from the name of an ancient Hindu king and means seeker of knowledge. The third name is Hindustan, meaning land of the Hindus (where Hindu refers to those who dwell to the right of the Indus/Sindhu river) used from the Mughal times onwards.
India,a sub-continent with 5000 year old History. A civilization united by its diversity,richness of culture,the glory of past,the turbulences and triumphs. The landmarks of each era,the achievements of a change,the legacy of a regime. As we walk through the history,India is an amazing discovery and its history is a unique tale of the past.
With the arrival of the Portuguese, French and English traders, advantage was taken of the fractured, debilitate kingdoms to colonise India. In 1857, an insurrection amongst the army sepoys ensued in the popular Revolt of 1857 against the powerful British East India Company; this mobilised resistance, though short-lasting, was caused by the widespread resentment against discriminatory policies of the British. After the revolt, the Indian independence movements started demanding complete independence. On August 15th, 1947, India was finally granted independence from British rule and became a secular republic.

 Indian Constitution

When India gained freedom from the British on August 15, 1947 there was the need to regulate the meaning of freedom.Therefore, to have a set of rules and regulations that would guide the nation, the Constituent Assembly met on December 9,1946.The Constituent Assembly was convened and appointed a committee with Dr. B.R.Ambedkar as Chairman to draft the Constitution.
Borrowing from the Constitutions of other countries, for example, the parliamentary form of government from Britain, supremacy of judiciary from the United States, federal system with a strong centre from Canada, directive principles of state policy from Ireland, the idea of concurrent powers and co-operative federalism from Australia, the system of procedure established by law from Japan, the Indian Constitution is an amalgam of all these.
The Indian Constitution, the longest in the world, consist 397 articles and 12 schedules which provides for a single citizenship for the whole of India.The constitution of India was originally written in English It gives the right to vote to all citizens of 18 years and above, unless they are disqualified. Fundamental rights are guaranteed to the citizens, equality of religion and so on.

National motto
 Satyameva Jayate (In sanskrit it means Always Truth Alone Triumphs) 
The Great Indian Flag

This is an ancient Indian symbol associated with the powers and changes of nature.
    • Officially, the Orange color stands for Courage and sacrifice.
    • The White color signifies Peace and truth.
    • While Green symbolises Faith and Chivalry.
It is the duty of every Citizen to realise the significance of our flag and pay the honour and respect its commands.