Archive for November, 2017

A Pakistani Film …

Posted on November 29, 2017. Filed under: Pakistan |

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Hindus of Bali …

Posted on November 28, 2017. Filed under: Indian Thought |

Bali is a province of Indonesia, a country with the biggest Muslim population in the world. But the majority in the state of Bali, over 93 %, are Hindus.

Bali is home to 4.22 million Hindus whose ancestors had to flee from other islands of Indonesia, after the great Indonesian Hindu Empire Majapahit was defeated and most of Indonesia was converted to Islam. Here are some interesting facts about Bali

1. Nyepi day, a day of total silence (mauna) once a year, when even the Ngurah Rai International Airport of Denpasar is closed from 6 am to 6 am. No cars, no traffic, no entertainment, no TV. Sit in the house, do contemplation, do prayers.

2. The culture of Bali was begun by the Rishis of India, whose names are no longer taught in the schools of India but which are common in the schools of Bali—Markandeya, Bharadwaja, Agastya – the names we hear in the Puranas but they are part of the way the history of Bali is taught in the schools of Bali. How many Rishis can you name? Do you remember any one of the 402 names of the Rishis and Rishikas (female Rishis) from the Rig Veda (the most ancient and most sacred text of Hinduism), which are our ancestors and the forming fathers of our religion – Vaidika Sanatana Dharma?

3. The national Balinese dress for both, men and women, girls and boys, is Dhoti. No one can enter a temple without wearing a Dhoti. Except in some parts of South India, Dhoti is laughed at in India today. Why are we so ashamed of our heritage? Even most Indian priests change their dress after they are finished with the worship because they feel ashamed to be seen in a Dhoti??

4. The social, economic and political system of Bali is based on the principle of tri-hita-karana…three benevolent, beneficent principles— that every human being has three aspects …the duty, the relationship that we have with God [Parahyangan]; the relationship that we have with human beings [Pawongan]; and the relationship that we have with nature [Palemahan] and these are the three principles on which the entire culture of Bali is built. This was all established by the Rishis whose names are just about forgotten in India which are taught in the schools of Bali.

5. Trikala Sandhya (Sun worship three times a day) is practiced in every Balinese school. The Gayatri Mantra is recited by every Balinese school child three times a day. Many of the local radio stations also relay Trikala Sandhya three times a day. Can we even think of introducing something like this to our schools in India? How many Indian Hindus are aware of their duty of Trikala Sandhya? It is as central to our religion as the 5 times Namaz is to Islam, yet?

6. In the year 1011 AD, at a place which is now known as Purasamantiga… there was the first interreligious conference of three religions: Shaiva Agama, Bauddha Agama and Baliyaga, the traditional pre-Buddhist, pre-Hindu, Balinese religion. The scholars and the leaders sat down and worked out a system by which the three religions should work together and exchange forms with each other and that is the religion of Bali today.

7. In Bali every priest is paid by the government. Despite the fact that Indonesia is a secular country with the biggest Muslim population in the world, the priest of every religion is paid by the government. Every religion is supported by the government. That is the Indonesian form of secularism.

8. The national motto of Indonesia “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika. One is many, many is one.” is inspired by an Indonesian Hindu scripture Sutasoma Kakavin. The complete quotation is as follows – “It is said that the well known Buddha and Shiva are two different substances; they are indeed different, yet how is it possible to recognize their difference in a glance, since the truth of Buddha and the truth of Shiva are one? They may be different, but they are of the same kind, as there is no duality in truth.” Why can’t we have “Ekam Sad Vipra Bahudha Vadanti” (The truth is one, but the wise express it in various ways – Rig Veda) as our national motto?

9. Bali is one of the world’s most prominent rice growers. Every farm has a temple dedicated to Shri Devi and Bhu Devi (Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth and Mother Earth – the two divinities that stand on the either of side of Tirupati Bala ji in India).
No farmer will perform his agricultural duties without first making offerings to Shri Devi and Bhu Devi. That is called culture, that SubSystem.

10. The agricultural and water irrigation plan for the entire country was charted in the 9th Century. The priests of a particular water temple still control this irrigation plan. And some World Bank or United Nations scientist did a computer model that would be ideal for Bali. And when they brought the model the Balinese said ‘we have been practicing this since the 9th century. What are you bringing here?’ And I don’t know how many million dollars these WTO, these World Bank people, United Nations people, spent on creating that chart which was already created in the 9th century without any computers…. and that Subak System still continues.
Such systems were in place in various parts of the country. Its remnants are still visible here in India. I have visited areas where there is no water for miles due to drought, yet the well at the local temple still provides fresh water.

In Bali Hindus still don’t read a printed book when they perform Puja (worship). They read from a Lontar, which has traditionally been scripted by hand on a palm leaf. Before they recite the Ramayana Kakavin the book is worshipped. There is a special ritual of lifting the sacred book, carrying it in a procession, bringing [it] to a special place, doing the bhumi puja, worshipping the ground there and consecrating the ground, then placing the book there. Then the priest will sit and recite the Ramayana.

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1962 War – Rezang La …

Posted on November 26, 2017. Filed under: From a Services Career, Personalities |

Remember Rezang La – By Mohan Guruswamy

One of the bitter ironies of life is that greatest acts of heroism and valor mostly happen when the odds are hopeless and death and defeat inevitable. Throughout history nations have always glorified such episodes in their ballads and poems, by honoring the heroes and commemorating the event.

It is the common perception of these few and far in between episodes in a people’s history that forge a sense of nationhood. Why else would we celebrate the deaths of a Prithviraj Chauhan or a Tipu Sultan? Or a Porus or a Shivaji who battled great armies with little more than a handful of brave comrades and immense courage? Of course we rejoice in the triumphs of an Ashoka or Chandragupta or even an Akbar but that is about greatness and not heroism.

Even if it is true that the end of history is at hand, we can be sure that the annals of heroism will never cease being written. However endless these may be, the heroic stand of C Company of the 13 Kumaon at Rezang La in 18 November 1962 will always be among the more glorious chapters.

The monument that stands at Chushul asks: “How can a man die better/ Than facing fearful odds/ For the ashes of his fathers/ And the temples of his gods.” C Company was fighting for neither ashes nor temples, for they were none at Chushul. The loss of Chushul would not even have had much bearing on the ultimate defence of Ladakh. But in those dark days of 1962 Chushul became a matter of national honor.

Chushul is only 15 miles from the border as the crow flies and even then had an all weather landing strip. It was the pivotal point of our frontier posts in this sector as it was astride the second route into Tibet from Leh about 120 miles further west. The road built after 1962 rises to nearly 17000 feet crossing the Ladakh range at the desolate and wind blown Chang La pass, steeply descends into Tangtse and then goes on to Chushul.

Between the Chang La and Tangtse the road takes the traveler though the most beautiful scenery with matching beautiful wildlife. Golden marmots dart in and out of their holes and in the distance you can sometimes spot a snow leopard warily keeping a watch on mankind.

Chushul itself is at 14230 feet and is a small village in a narrow sandy valley about 25 miles long and 4 miles wide, flanked by mountains that rise to over 19000 feet. At the northern end touches the Pangong Tso, a deep saltwater lake nearly a hundred miles long and that makes for one of natures most glorious sights. Also near Chushul is a gap in the mountains called the Spanggur Gap that leads to another beautiful lake, the Spanggur Tso that like the Pangong extends well into Chinese territory.

The Chinese had built a road from Rudok in Tibet right up to the Spanggur Gap capable of carrying tanks. In the first phase of their assault on Ladakh in October 1962, the Chinese had overrun many of our major border posts on the line between Daulat Beg Oldi near the Karakorum Pass to Demchok astride the Indus on the border with Tibet. Chushul was the solitary Indian position east of the Ladakh range. Geography favored the Chinese and they were able to make a major concentration of men and material for an attack on Chushul.

Till September 1962, the defence of all of Ladakh was vested with 114 Brigade commanded by Brig. TN Raina (later General and COAS). It consisted of just two infantry battalions, the 1/8 Gorkha Rifles and 5 Jat. Initially, only the Gorkhas were deployed in the Chushul sector and when the gravity of the Chinese threat began to be realized 13 Kumaon, which was at Baramula in the Kashmir Valley, was sent in to reinforce 114 Brigade.

In the first week of October the 3 Himalayan (later Mountain) Division was formed for the overall defence of Ladakh and the Chushul sector was entirely left to 114 Brigade. On 26 October, 114 Brigade set up its headquarters at Chushul and braced for the inevitable Chinese attack.

The newly arrived 13 Kumaon began deploying on October 24 in the lull that followed the first phase of the Chinese attack. The forward defenses of Chushul were on a series of hill features given evocative names like Gurung Hill, Gun Hill and Mugger Hill, but C Company of 13 Kumaon got Rezang La which was about 19 miles south of Chushul.

Rezang La as the name suggests is a pass and is on the southeastern approach to Chushul valley. The feature was 3000 yards long and 2000 yards wide at and average height of 16000 feet. Digging defensive positions and building shelters was hard going for the men were still not acclimatized and cold wintry winds life even more hard. At this altitude it took hours to bring a kettle to boil for tea and whatever fruit and vegetables that came were frozen hard. Let alone potatoes even oranges acquired weapon grade hardness.

More than the thin air and cold the location of Rezang La had a more serious drawback. It was “crested” to Indian artillery because of an intervening feature, which meant that had make do without the protective comfort of the big guns. Both sides prepared feverishly, mostly within sight of each other, for the next Chinese attack. That attack came on that cold Sunday that was 18 November.

Most Kumaon battalions are mixed formations made up of hill men from the Kumaon Hills, Ahirs from Haryana and Brahmins from the northern plains. 13 Kumaon was the Kumaon Regiment’s only all Ahir battalion. The Ahirs who are concentrated in the Gurgaon/Mewat region of Haryana are hardy cattlemen and farmers. When the order to move to Chushul came, its CO, Lt.Col. HS Dhingra was in hospital but he cajoled the doctors into letting him go with his men.

Maj. Shaitan Singh who was a Rajput from Jodhpur commanded C Company of 13 Kumaon. C Company’s three platoons were numbered 7,8 and 9 and had .303 rifles with about 600 rounds per head, and between them six LMG’s, and a handful of 2 inch mortars. The Chinese infantry had 7.62 mm self loading rifles; MMG’s and LMG’s; 120 mm, 81 mm and 60 mm mortars; 132 mm rockets; and 75 mm and 57 mm recoilless guns to bust bunkers. They were much more numerous and began swarming up the gullies to assault Rezang La at 4 am even as a light snow was falling.

The Ahirs waited till the Chinese came into range and opened up with everything they had. The gullies were soon full of dead and wounded Chinese. Having failed in a frontal attack the Chinese let loose a murderous shelling. Under the cover of this intense shelling the Chinese infantry came again in swarms. C Company, now severely depleted, let them have it once again.

Position after position fell fighting till the last man. C Company had 3 JCO’s and 124 other ranks with Maj. Shaitan Singh. When the smoke and din of battle cleared, only 14 survived, nine of them severely wounded. 13 Kumaon regrouped and 114 Brigade held on to Chushul. But the battalion war diary records that they were now “less our C Company.”

The Chinese announced a unilateral cease-fire on 21 November but little more than what the survivors had brought back was known about C Company. In January 1963 a shepherd wandered on to Rezang La. It was as if the last moment of battle had turned into a tableau. The freezing cold had frozen the dead in their battle positions and the snow had laid a shroud over the battlefield.

Arrangements were then made to recover our dead under International Red Cross supervision. Brig Raina led the Indian party, which recorded the scene for posterity with cine and still cameras. This tableau told their countrymen what actually happened that Sunday morning. Every man had died a hero.

Maj. Shaitan Singh was conferred the Param Vir Chakra. Eight more received the Vir Chakra while four others the Sena Medal. 13 Kumaon received the battle honor “Rezang La” that it wears so proudly.

Few events in the annals of heroism can match this. C Company gave its all to defend Chushul, a small Ladakhi village, which for one brief moment in our history came to symbolize our national honor.

At Thermopylae on 18 September 480 BC, 1200 Greeks led by King Leonides of Sparta died fighting the Persian King Xerxes’ mighty bodyguard called the Anusya or Companions. But Leonides was fighting for a great prize.

In July 481 BC the Oracle of Delphi told him that in the next war with Persia either the King will die or Sparta would be destroyed. Leonides thus died to save Sparta. But C Company willingly sacrificed itself to save a little village and that makes its sacrifice all the more glorious. That is why we must never forget Rezang La.



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Sacrifice of Guru Teg Bahadur …

Posted on November 25, 2017. Filed under: Personalities |


Emperor Aurangzeb (1658-1707) was a barbaric ruler of the Mughal Dynasty who came to power in 1658 and ruled for 49 years until his death in 1707. When he came to power in 1658, he killed or had killed his three brothers and imprisoned his father and forcibly converted Lakhs (hundreds of thousands) of Hindus to Islam.

He is commonly considered the last of the Mughal emperors. His last 25 years were spent in the Deccan fighting a war of attrition against the Marathas which practically bankrupted the Mughal Empire, which never rose again to its onetime splendour.

The Kashmiri Pandits were Hindus renowned for their high intellect and education. They had a good relationship with the Sikhs and their Gurus. Guru Nanak Dev met Pandit Brahm Das who was an ancestor of Pandit Kripa Ram in Mattan. Kripa Ram had known the Ninth Guru and also taught Sanskrit Classics to the young Gobind Rai.

During the reign of Jehangir, Guru Hargobind came to Srinagar and met Kashmiri Saintess Mata Bagh Bari, who lived at Rainawari. It is interesting to note that Mata Bagya Bari’s spiritual interaction with the sixth Sikh Guru is incredibly well-preserved in the Sikh religious tradition. In Pandit tradition Mata Bagya Bari is a person renowned for her high spiritual merits.

In early 1675, the Kashmiri Pandits approached Guru Tegh Bahadar to seek his assistance in their acute hour of need. Pandit Kripa Ram with his large delegation met Guru Tegh Bahadar at Chak Nanki, Kahlur (now known as Anandpur Sahib). He explained their dilemma to the Guru in the open Sangat at the place where today stands Gurdwara Manji Sahib, in Anandpur Sahib.

“The Emperor had given us some time to decide to convert to Islam or to be executed. The time for deciding has expired. Now, we have to convert to Islam or die. What shall we do? Guru ji, we have no one else to turn to. We don’t have an army to protect us – We need your help. Please assist us”, said Kripa Ram.

Guru ji is said to have gone into deep thought after Pandit Kripa Ram’s request. At this point, it is said that Guru ji son, Gobind Rai walks into the Sangat to see Guru ji deep in thought.

“Guru ji, I see the sad faces of the Sangat and you are silent and in deep thought. What is the problem?” asked Gobind Rai to his father. Gobind is about 9 years old. Guru ji slowly turn to his son and explain the situation as concisely as possible.

“Baata (Son), this is sangat from Kashmir. They are Hindus who have been friends of Sikhs since the time of Guru Nanak. They have a very serious problem on their hands” said Guru ji. Gobind Rai replied, “Pita ji, you are the Guru of the entire world (“Jagat Guru”). You will know of a solution to all problems”

“Bata, Emperor Aurangzeb has given them an ultimatum – If they do not become Muslims, he will kill them all”, explained Guru ji. Guru ji continued, “Some well-known “Mahapurakh” will have to make a sacrifice to stop this butchery. We have to find a supreme soul who will die so as to awaken the sleeping consciousness of the people of Hind”.

“Pita ji, there is an easy answer to this problem. You are the most spiritually aware person in whole of Hind. You can make that sacrifice”, answered Gobind Rai. Guru ji was pleased to hear these words as it confirmed that his son had reached a suitable age to become the next Guru, and that Guru ji’s work on Earth had been completed.

Guru ji addressed the Pandits, “Go and tell Aurangzeb that if he can convert Guru Tegh Bahadar to Islam, they will all convert. Otherwise he should leave them alone”

The Pandits were delighted that a solution was found and duly informed Emperor Aurangzeb of the decision. Aurangzeb was delighted that by converting one person, he would without any further delay have the conversion of many 1000’s to Islam. Accordingly he summoned his officers to arrest Guru Tegh Bahadar.


25 May, 1675 Pandit Kirpa Ram, the leader of the Kashmiri Pandits arrives in Anandpur Sahib (then called Chak Nanki, Kahlur) to ask Guru Tegh Bahadur for help in preserving the Hindu faith in Kashmiri.
11 July, 1675 Guru Tegh Bahadur sets off for Delhi

27 July, 1675 Guru Tegh Bahadur taken into custody by Nur Muhammad Khan Miraza of Ropar Police post, on Savan 12,1732 at Malikpur Ranghran, Pargana Ghanaula, and sent to Sirhind.

9 November, 1675 the qazi ordered that Bhai Dayal Das be seated in a cauldron of boiling water.

11 November 1675 Bhai Mati Das sawn into two pieces and Bhai Sati Das was wrapped up in cotton wool and set on fire. They both attained martyrdom on this day.

24 November, 1675 Guru Tegh Bahadur attains martyrdom

More Detail Guru goes to Delhi – Gurdwara Rakab Sahib, Delhi

In the summer of 1675, the Guru, along with some of his companions were finally brought to Delhi and asked to convert to Islam or else face the penalty of death. Guru ji was also asked to perform a miracle. Guru Tegh Bahadur averred that he would rather sacrifice his life than give up his faith and his freedom or belief or perform a miracle.

Thus, under Aurangzeb’s orders, Guru ji and his companions were tortured. The Guru was chained and imprisoned in a cage and was tortured in the cruellest and the most inhuman ways for five long days. In order to terrorise him further into submission, one of his distinguished devotees (Bhai Mati Das) was sawn alive, another (Bhai Dyal Das) was boiled in the cauldron and the third (Bhai Sati Das) was roasted alive before the Guru.
Gurdwara Sis Ganj, Chandni Chowk, Delhi.

Finally, the Guru himself was beheaded, under imperial warrant, in broad daylight, in the middle of a public square, the most prominent public place in India, called Chandni Chowk, of Delhi, on the charge that he was a stumbling block preventing the spread of Islam in the Indian subcontinent.

The exact location of the beheading is marked by Gurdwara Sis Ganj in Delhi.

His martyrdom was yet another challenge to the Sikh conscience. It was then realized that there could be no understanding between an insensate power imbrued with blood and a proud people wedded to a life of peace with honour. The sacrifice roused the Hindus from their passive silence and gave them the fortitude to understand the power that comes from self-respect and sacrifice. Guru Tegh Bahadur thus earned the affectionate title of “Hind-di-Chadar” or the Shield of India.
Events Following The Martyrdom

After the execution of Guru Teg Bahadur, Nature unleashed her full fury. There ensued a severe dust storm. There was pandemonium all around and because of the dust storm nothing could be seen or heard.

A disciple of Guruji, Bhai Jaita dared and picked up the Sis (severed head) and with great devotion wrapped it up in his clothes. Taking his 2 associates along, the group of three traversed over a period of 5 days to reach Kiratpur Sahib.

With a heavy heart Bhai Jaita now presented Guruji’s head to his son Gobind Rai. Guruji’s head was consigned to the flames with full respect. Today, at the spot in Anandpur sahib where Guruji’s head was consigned to the flames, stands a beautiful Gurudwara, also by the name of Sis Ganj.

In the meanwhile in Delhi, another disciple of Guruji, Lakhi Shah along with his son reached the site with cotton and other stuff loaded on bullock carts and quickly piercing the crowd picked up Guruji’s beheaded body, loaded and hid it in the cotton bales in the bullock cart and rode away to their house in Raisina.

The Mughal forces were flabbergasted at the disappearance of the Guruji’s head and body. Fearing that the Mughal soldiers would find them out, Lucky Shah took Guruji’s body to his hut and after a hurried prayer set fire to the hut itself to avoid detection. The Mughal soldiers thought fire had engulfed Lakhi Shah’s house and so didn’t press further.

Gurudwaras Sis Ganj (Delhi Chandni Chauk) & Rakab Ganj (New Delhi, near the Parliament Building)

Today, Gurudwara Sis Ganj stands at the spot in CHANDNI CHAUK where Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib was executed; and Gurudwara Rakab Ganj, stands at the site near The PARLIAMENT BUILDING in New Delhi, where Lakhi Shah performed Guruji’s last rites by burning down his house.

Such supreme sacrifice made to defend the followers of another faith is unparalled in world history.

Noel King of the University of California – “Guru Teg Bahadur’s martydom was the first ever martydom for human rights in the world”.

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Sher Shah Suri – Just Five Years …

Posted on November 24, 2017. Filed under: Personalities |

Dr. Praveen Kumar Prabhakar writes:.. “If you say 5 years is too less to achieve anything substantial, see what Sher Shah Suri achieved in 5 years (1540-1545)”

1. Started the measurement and survey of all land holdings in the kingdom. Intoduced the measure “Gaj” which corresponds to 39 inches.

2. Started the “Patta” system for sale purchase of land.

3. Introduced the currency called “Rupya” (Rupee) which was a silver coin weighing 178 “Ratti”. One Rupya was equal to 64 “Daam” which was later called “Aana”.

4. Created 47 “Jilla” (districts) which were called “Sarkaar”. Each Sarkaar had a Military officer and a Civilian officer like today’s SP and DM.

5. Agricultural land was classified into the categories of Good, Average and Poor according to yield.The ‘Lagaan’ was determined accordingly.

6. Farmers were granted the facility of Agricultural loan called “Takavi”.

7. Business tax was simplified into Entry tax when goods entered the Kingdom (Customs tax) and when they were sold (Sales tax).

8. Formed the “Cabinet system” of ruling with seperate ministers for Finance, Defence, Foreign affairs and Communications.

9. Instead of “Jamindari” system brought in “Rayatvari” system. While Jamindari was dynastic, in Rayatdari an officer was appointed like IAS.

10. Revenue courts were established in every ‘Sarkar’ where “Munsif” (DM of today) used to officiate as a Judge.

11. Every Sarkar also had a Criminal court where “Shikdar” (SP of today) used to officiate as a Judge.

12. Started new systems in Military. Horses were branded to identify them permanently. Records of soliders were maintained and they were assigned to a unit (Regiment system).

13. Constructed 1700 “Sarai” (Resting places) along the highways.

14. Started a Postal service.

15. Constructed GT road from Peshawar to Sonargaon, about 3000 km. long.

16. Constructed highways from Agra to Jodhpur, Agra to Burhanpur, Lahore to Multan.

17. Got Fruit yielding and Shadow giving trees along all highways.

18. Put the onus of the safety of travellers on the villages en route. If a traveller was robbed either the village produced the robber or it compensated the traveller. The onus of protection of traveller’s life was on the village head. Either the culprit had to be handed over or the village head was punished. These measures made travelling quite safe for businessmen and others.

19. Constructed the Old fort of Delhi, Rohtasgarh fort and many other buildings.

20. Erected lamp post at every “Kos” on the highways to guide the travellers at night.

21. And he managed to achieve all this while fighting wars for 31 months out of 60 months reign!!!

—- So much can be done in 5 years

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Animal Facts You will Love …

Posted on November 24, 2017. Filed under: Personalities, Uncategorized |

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1965 War: Battle of OP Hill …

Posted on November 21, 2017. Filed under: Regimental |

The Story in an exchange of Mails on Regt Website

1. My Mail –


Gen Sher Amir, 2 Dogra and of 10 NDA has written this piece re the Battle

Could I have your inputs pls as I have heard Sudesh Bhasin of the Second often talk about it.
2. Gen Bhimaya –

My dear Bert,

Sher Amir (JSW 1321, and I was 1330) is a good friend of mine, but I think he has made an out-of- context reference to the SECOND. The blatant infiltration took place under 2 DOGRA’S watch in August 1965, when our 2nd was deployed in Sarol, far away from the Op Hill.

Our 2nd mostly depended upon the intelligence provided by 2 DOGRA, who were in contact with the enemy. The intelligence was faulty, and it grossly underestimated the enemy strength.

CO 4/5 GR refused to attack the position because he had correctly estimated the enemy strength to be a well-dug coy plus. CO 2 Dogra had been relieved of command for a lack of aggressiveness.

Col Mazumdar (ex-Garhwali), who took over 2 Dogras provided the guts and spirit required for a challenging task. In the event, 2 DOGRA did well.

Remember, the unsuccessful attack by our 2nd Battalion had been mounted October 2/3, and the final attack by the Brigade (it had five battalions, and ample Arty support, plus 30 days for build up and recce) was launched November 2/3.

5 SikhLI, not 5 Sikh, as mentioned by Sher Amir, also played a very important part in the successful attack. Col (later Brig ) Sant Sing won the MVC. I think the Brigade Commander was Brig (later Maj Gen) Ahluwalia. The previous commander who had ordered our 2nd Battalion’s attack had been relieved of his command! Sher Amir has discreetly avoided to mention this.

Since I was not with the Battalion, I am unable to explain why our 2nd Battalion failed. Sudesh, Satish, and RK Singh would give you a more authentic story than what I can reconstruct.

It appears, insufficient time and deployment, woefully little arty support, and inflexible deadline imposed by the higher commanders may be some of the reasons why the attack failed. I was told that the B and D companies did not move forward rapidly to build on the late Khera’s foothold.

But again, Satish and RK would give you a more authentic version. How could anyone allot one mtn bty to provide support to a Battalion attack in mountains?

3. Col SK Singh –

Dear Sirs

From reading the given text, it appears that the aslt made by Advitiya Bn against an underestimated en posn, OP Hill, was STALLED and we may reconsider labelling it as such, rather than a failed attempt.

Col(Dr) SK Singh
4. Gen Bhimaya –

Dear S.K.,

History should be recorded truthfully lest posterity should misread it. Successes and setbacks are the smooth and rough edges of life, which should be taken together with equanimity. I will refrain from pinning the blame on anyone, because I am not aware of the then-prevalent challenges.

Be that as it may, it would be a stretch to label it as “STALLED.” I would hate to say this, but I have to : It was a failure. And it pains me to accept this, because the best portion of my service, seven consecutive years, was with the Regiment (five of them with the SECOND). Only elements of A and C companies pressed home the attack.

A coy, led my the late,gallant Khera and equally enterprising RK Singh (later Brigadier) almost took the first objective; C coy led by an equally brave officer, the Late Maj Sethi, lost its way to the objective, and suffered heavy casualties on account of shelling. B and D coys did not move forward to reinforce whatever successes A coy had achieved. I shall say no more of this. You can draw your own conclusions.

It is not always appropriate to correlate the intensity of battle with the number of casualties suffered: In Punch, 6 SIKH and other battalions of the Bde, repulsed a Divisional attack with minimum casualties. In Dograi, 3 JAT suffered heavy casualties, but took the objective.

Even the second Bde level attack with five battalions, and one month’s recce, mounted by us on OP HILL, entailed very heavy casualties that were overlooked in the wake of an unjustified triumph of a Pyrrhic victory! You may want to contact Gen Satish Sondhi (former Col of the Regt) and Brig RK Singh for a more authentic account than what has been tentatively reconstructed by me.

I will be glad to take the discussion further, should you so desire.

With regards,


5. Self –

Hope there is a response from Brig RK because I doubt whether dear Satish is even on this site.

A Capt Sethi of whom I heard a lot and who would surely have turned into a great Regtl Soul lost his life soon after the war in a village feud.

Another criticism I heard re this Battle was that the CO, who was a most professional type and became a Brig, was unfortunately overseeing the assault from where the MMGs were giving covering fire. I hope I am wrong.

Btw Gen Sher Amir had his half brother in our Third and this wonderful officer was killed prior to Maj Malhotra just before the Ceasefire.

Re Gen Bhimaya’s comments in the preceding mail, permit me to record my admiration for his strong sense of uprightness. Just after the Centenary two shameful incidents occurred in the same unit and the Regimental senior officers were gathered in the Dy Chief’s Office as he was the CoR and had been called re something by the Chief.

One Gen Officer lamented that what could the COR do? Where upon Gen Bhimaya burst out saying-

“You are asking what can the COR do? I will tell you what he can do! He can walk into the Chief’s Office and get the CO removed forthwith and the unit absolved of all op responsibility and sent into the hills for three months of serious training to sort things out. The Center Comdt can then be ordered to revamp the unit. That’s what the COR can do!”

Gentlemen, What more can be asked of a senior officer!
6. R K Gaur –

Thank you Gen Bhimaya for your very candid and objective inputs.
And my thanks to Brig Bhullar for some very pertinent observations on Gen Bhimaya.

I think these two have contributed some very valuable insights and made this conversation rich for our benefit.

I request Gen Sondhi and Brig R K Singh to please provide their inputs.

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GARH RIF – Regt History …

Posted on November 20, 2017. Filed under: Regimental |

Gen Bhimaya’s Comment/Appeal to the COR

My dear Col (COR),

1. Lt Gen Ata Hasnain’s piece on the recent burial ceremony of the mortal remains of our brave martyrs is comprehensive, accurate, and brief (with the soul of wit, of course).

2. It eminently fulfilled the needs of the targeted audience, civil and military. It is remarkable how he put together so may facts and figures at such a short notice.

3.The above piece is a good candidate for incorporation as a brochure intended for visiting officers, at battalion levels. Of course, CO’s can suitably modify some portions to bring in the special flavors of their respective battalions. Here, I enjoin caution, however. Our rich legacy and sacred heritage should be faithfully captured, that is, it should be characterized by unimpeachable veracity that brings forth outstanding and, for historical purposes, not so outstanding achievements.

4. In other words,it should be reliable history, not runaway hagiography.
With the preceding thoughts in mind, I would like to summarize my recommendations. These are intended to enhance the contextual clarity and the factual enrichment of Gen Ata’s piece.

A) The citations should be reproduced verbatim. I approached the office of the London Gazette and obtained the copies of the Gazette. I am listing the URLs below: Rfn Gobar Singh Negi Nk Darwan Singh Negi Lt WD Kenny

B. Maj Wardell was killed 23 November 1914, during the First Action at Festubert (There was a second attack at Festubert on or about 15 May 1915).

C. The designations (numbering) of Infantry Regiments was discontinued, effective 1 January 1946. Thus, on this date, our Regiment was designated Royal Garhwal Rifles,and this designation continued until January 26, 1950. Gen Hasnain (Senior) was aware of these changes and correctly referred to the battalions as 1 R.Garh. Rif., 2 R. Garh. Rif, and so on (For example, see, p.13 of Regimental History Vol III) during this transition.

D. 3 R.Garh.Rif also won the Regiment’s first Shaurya Chakra (Then known as Ashok Chakra Class 3)

E. Captain CN Singh was awarded the only MVC during the 1965 operations.
Some enterprising officer may please research the citation and share this with us. 2nd Battalion should accept this challenge.

F. Similarly, the awards won in Kargil and Sri Lanka should be properly documented with appropriate citations (Perhaps, the GRRC should take advantage of this opportunity).

5. Thank you once again for your initiative in adding another inspirational chapter to our History. Officers are welcome to bring out inaccuracies, if any, in this document.

With regards,



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The Greek Gods …

Posted on November 19, 2017. Filed under: The Great Greeks |

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China and Realpolitik …

Posted on November 19, 2017. Filed under: Chinese Wisdom |

Times of India –

After a decade’s hibernation Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s plan to rally Asia’s four democratic nations is again on the table. The name ‘China’ may not be in the mission of the Quadrilateral – comprising the US, Japan, Australia and India – but Beijing is understood by all to be the group’s core concern.

The rather low key launch of the Quad in Manila this week highlighted the caution of the once-bitten-twice-shy crowd. While the menace from a resurgent China has multiplied since Japan’s last attempt to bring together this loose union of democratic countries, so too have the risks of such a venture. The Quad’s members today face greater economic and even military consequences from antagonising China than they did a decade earlier.

In August 2007, fresh from his first electoral victory, Abe came to New Delhi and to the applause of Indian Parliament announced his plan for Quadrilateral Security Dialogue. The initiative had already led to its first quiet meeting on the sidelines of the Asean Regional Forum (ARF) gathering in Manila in June 2007.

Soon after Abe’s India visit, however, his government lost power and amid the more pressing priorities of the global financial crisis, the Quad project was shelved.

Strengthened by a strong new electoral mandate for his government and galvanised by China’s relentless advance towards a dominant position in east Asia, Abe has once again taken the lead in pushing for the Quad. Perhaps to avoid provoking China, at least in the initial stage, the launch was low key.

While the leaders of the four countries held consultations, they avoided a showy summit meeting. However, their differing perspectives on the Quad’s mission were revealed in the subtly different statements that they issued.

In separate statements issued by Quad partners they showed their preference and concerns in the a la carte selection of varied missions. For example, the Indian statement avoided mention of freedom of navigation and overflight – an issue that was highlighted by the others but one that is bound to raise Chinese hackles.

China has strongly criticised US Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOPS) in South China Sea. India was silent on respect for international law and the peaceful resolution of disputes, also shying away from mentioning one of the key objectives sought by the other partners – upholding or coordinating maritime security in the Indo-Pacific. For its part, Japan was silent on “enhancing connectivity” sought by the other three, perhaps to avoid commitment on responding to China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

Behind the partners’ hesitant responses lies the hard reality of economics. While all are concerned by China’s aggressive moves in the South China and East Seas, along Sino-Indian border, and its heavy-handed moves vis-à-vis other neighbours, they cannot ignore the weight of their trade and investment relations.

In 2015-16, China ranked number one among Australia’s export markets, accounting for fully 28% of exports. China remains a major export destination for both Japan and India, and has shown no hesitation in administering economic punishment in response to what it views as hostile actions. Economic dependence on China is accentuated by economic disarray thrown by President Donald Trump among east Asian allies with his rejection of TPP.

In his single-minded transactional calculus, Trump seems to value bilateral relationships not based upon strategic or political consideration, but by some notional dollar value of a given business deal. Trump has stopped disparaging the US-Japan alliance after promise of, as Trump tweeted, “massive amounts” of military equipment purchase from the US.

Australia too has pleased Trump by ordering $1.3 billion worth of spy planes. Trump may well tweet that US support for the Quad will be contingent on American military sales to these countries.

Close economic ties form the backbone of any security cooperation and Trump’s disdain for multilateral trade pacts in favour of bilateral deals, as shown during the latest Apec summit, does not bode well for the Quad.

And yet there may be Hope —

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