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IN History & Culture ON 01 Oct, 2016
The Indian Army has always been invincible and unconventional when it comes to self-defence since ages. Everyone of us knows about the very famous Indo-China war held in 1962. This war is considered to be one of the most remembered wars in the history of the country because India lost it, sadly, due to various reasons. One of the major reasons was- lack of proper artillery and armed weapons. But still, we salute our brave and courageous soldiers, who without any modern weapons fought till their last breath. Similar was the case in the Battle of Rezang La, but the only difference is that. many of us yet don't know about this unheard tale.
So come, let us unveil those pages from the history and get another chance to salute the bravery of our brave Indian soldiers.
It lies in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. On the morning of 18 November1962, when snow covered the mountains of the Chushul valley, an army of 120 soldiers led by Major Shaitan Singh was protecting the Chushul airfield. This airfield was meant to be protected if India had to claim Ladakh.
With only a handful of mates and no armed weapons, the Indian soldiers when saw their opponents on the People's Liberation Army(PLA), they were absolutely shocked. The army had 5000-6000 soldiers that too equipped with heavy artillery support. And what made things worse on the scene was a crest of the ridge that prevented the Indian artillery from lending support and restricting the soldiers only to fight for themselves.
Seeing an army which is larger than you can even imagine, a smaller army must have surely stepped back. But the one led by Major Shaitan Singh fought till their last breath. The brave soldiers killed around 1300 enemy soldiers. However, the sad truth is also that only 6 out of our 120 fighters survived the war and rest 114 couldn't make it. The remaining six soldiers were taken as Prisoners Of War(POW) by the Chinese Army, but all of them managed to escape somehow. Out of these survivals, only 4 of them are alive now.
When around 3:30 in the morning, the Chinese started firing on the airfield, these soldiers didn't give up so easily, fought with all the spirit and kept suppressing the enemy soldiers.
Major Shaitan Singh always knew that they were fighting an already lost battle, but he refused to surrender and moved on with his army with all the courage. He was later awarded the Parma Vir Chakra for his exceptional leadership. The company was also awarded five Vir Chakras and four Sena medals.
He recalled and told that the Chinese were extremely violent in the beginning and kept attacking which was why the ammunition of the Indian soldiers finished. The soldiers then decided to fight empty handed. Yadav reached the headquarters on November 19 and on November 22, he was taken to the army hospital in Jammu.
The soldiers came from the Ahirwal region of South Haryana's Gurgaon, Rewari, Narnaul and Mahendragarh districts, but only aimed at serving their Indian Motherland.
These memorials have the names of all those 120 soldiers who risked their lives for their nation. Yadav believes that he has survived only to tell this story to everyone wherein 120 brave men sacrificed their lives for saving Ladakh from the Chinese.
In 1964, Bollywood movie 'Haqeeqat' tried to portray the Battle of Rezang La amidst the audience. Although it clearly depicted the bravery of those 120 soldiers, but failed at many points due to the factual errors. The film has the famous song, 'Kar chale ham fida jano tan sathiyon, ab tumhare hawale watan sathiyon' which always instills in us that feeling of patriotism with which our brave soldiers fought and gave up their lives with selfless smiles on their faces.
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