This story now
IN History & Culture ON 29 Mar, 2016
"How can a Man die better than facing Fearful Odds,
For the Ashes of His Fathers and the Temples of His Gods,"
Fighters once said that you can win a battle but lose a war. Even if your troops have the most state-of-the-art weaponry and skilled soldiers, if you do not carry a passionate spirit to fight what is essentially right and equitable, the victory is still with those with the heart and who aim for peace, reconciliation, and fair leadership. Fifty-four years ago, India was involved in a dispute at the China-India border, when Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka were rebelling for sovereignty (as Afro-Asian nations) against China.
The Tibetan society has to be in India for some reasons, but the Chinese government during that time did not recognize this stance. The war lasted for some time, and it was a very bloody story. There is even a deeper conflict covering this historical event, but above all these information, there is this story of valour and that is one of the best heroic stories accounted in Indian war history.
The battle took place in the vicinity on November 18, 1962. Admittedly, although the Indian soldiers are full of passion, they remained 'blind' with tactics and information about Chinese strategies.
There were 120 junior soldiers (jawans) of the 13th Kumaon Regiment infantry. For them, it's their gem to hold for their intention to save their state's territory and leadership.
Since the junior battalion was not very firm with the information regarding the vicinity, they found it hard to ask for backups. Jawan soldiers had to rely on themselves, they were surrounded by Chinese fighters.
While these 120 brave, strong souls managed to kill at most 1300 enemies, they were trimmed to 6. On their last stand, at Rezang La, the troop, headed by Shaitan Singh fought until their very last breath. However, the last six survivors were arrested and imprisoned but have escaped for some amazing reasons.
This serves as a illustrative timeline about the historical war.
Three days after, Chinese declared to halt firings. Medical institutions, the Red Cross came in to save survivors and bodies. All bodies were recovered.
The 114th infantry brigade came in to pay honor to those who offered their lives. The additional forces are ordered to inflict more casualties on the enemies and to continue guarding Chushul.
With all the might, power and pure tactics, Singh's military prowess, and his battalion's collaborative efforts made it be on par with 5000-6000 People's Liberation Army (PLA)--their opponent.
This posthumous award is indeed the highest award for self-sacrifice and priceless braveness in India. It was awarded to Shaitan Singh. Other exemplary soldiers were awarded Vir Chakra, Sena Medal, Maha Vir Chakra, and Ati Vashisht Seva Medal. As a whole battalion, the 13th Kumaon infantry received 'The Theatre Honour Ladakh', and 'The Battle Honour Rezang La'.
After two years (1964), Bollywood produced the movie that emphasizes soldiers' accounts about Chushul war.
Structure was erected in this historical war site to ensure that this event is very valuable to India and it's identity.
Excerpt engraved goes like: "To the sacred memory of the Heroes of Rezang La, 114 Martyrs of 13 Kumaon who fought to the Last Man, Last Round, Against Hordes of Chinese on 18 November 1962. Built by All Ranks 13th Battalion, The Kumaon Regiment."