We hope that your NDA preparations are going well. In our previous articles we have already discussed about exam pattern and syllabus, strategies to outsmart your peers. You can check out the articles here.
In this article, let us introduce you to some of our bravest heroes who, Far from their home and loved ones, sacrifice their own lives so that entire nation can sleep in peace. Their lives here may have been short but the stories of their courage and passion are larger than life. We want you to read on and be inspired by 10, among many, such armed forces heroes. They are legends whose tales will make your chests swell with pride, whose sacrifices will leave your eyes a little moist, whose stories of courage will motivate you to go on any scale to protect the Pride and honour of your Nation.
They are the real men of steel, we can call them Supermen who stood tall in the harshest of conditions disregarding freezing cold temperatures and scorching heat. Every one of these Heroes has a story of legend that deserves to be shared and followed over and over again.
We hope that these stories motivate you and guide you towards your goal and inspire you to be an officer that can take their legacy forward.
Captain Anuj Nayyar
Saif Ali Khan played Captain Nayyar’s role in J. P. Dutta’s 2003 movie LOC Kargil. The film is based on the Indian Army’s successful Operation Vijay that was launched in May 1999 to cater Pakistani intrusion and occupation of the strategic peak in the Kargil sector and to flush out the Pakistani intruders from the Indian side of the Line of Control. Captain Anuj Nayyar of 17 Jat Regiment of the Indian Army, headed this group to capture the peak called Pimple II that was possessed by Pakistani infiltrators. Nayyar along with his group fought on without any aeronautical backing. A rocket explosive specifically hit him, yet he carried on till his last breath to secure back the strategic mountain peak.
Captain Vikram Batra
Yet another hero whose story was also portrayed in the same movie. Recently another movie- Sher shah was also made which won hearts of everyone. This movie was based on the life of Captain Vikram Batra of 13 J&K Rifles who was Born in Palampur, Himachal Pradesh.
He led one of the toughest war operations in Kashmir, and was also called Sher Shah. His role was instrumental in recapturing Peak 5140, which is located at an altitude of 17,000 feet in the Kargil area. During the mission, He was seriously injured but still managed to kill three enemy soldiers in close combat. After capturing Peak 5140, he went on yet another difficult mission to recapture Peak 4875 on July 7, 1999. Batra made a call to his father before he left and told him about the crucial mission. Little did he know that this would be his last call home.
It is considered as one of the most difficult missions the Indian army attempted because the Pakistani forces were sitting on a strategic peak at 16,000 feet and the climb gradient was aboout 80 degrees. On their way up Batra managed to saved his fellow soldier but was killed while clearing enemy positions. “Jai Mata Di.” were his last words.
A famous quote by Captain Batra- “Either I will come back after hoisting the tricolour (Indian flag), or I will come back wrapped in it, but I will be back for sure.” He was later honoured with the Param Vir Chakra posthumously.
Subedar Yogendra Singh Yadav
Born in 1980 in Aurangabad Ahir village, Uttar Pradesh, this brave soldier received Param Vir Chakra at the age of 19 for his actions on July 4,1999, during the Kargil war and became the youngest recipient of the honour. Yadav showed immense courage during the war in 1999. He volunteered for the daunting task of capturing three strategic bunkers on Tiger Hill, which were situated at the top of a vertical, snow-covered, 16,500 feet high cliff face.
While climbing the high cliff with the help of a rope Yadav was hit by three bullets in his groin and shoulder. Despite being severely injured, He kept climbing and finished the remaining 60 feet to reach the top of the cliff. Yadav later crawled to the first enemy bunker and killed four Pakistani soldiers with the help of grenades and this subdued the enemy fire giving an opportunity for the rest of the Indian platoon to climb up the cliff face.
The story does not stops here, Yadav carried on to fight and destroyed the second bunker too with the help of fellow soldiers. In fact, he managed to kill four more Pakistani soldiers engaging in hand-to-hand combat with the enemy. This not only further neutralised the enemy attack but also gave Indian soldiers the upper hand and they managed to accomplish one of the toughest missions to capture the peak of Tiger Hill.
Yadav’s heroic actions were portrayed in the film, Lakshya by actor Hrithik Roshan.
4. Brigadier Kuldip Singh Chandpuri
Who has not cried watching J.P Dutta’s famous war film Border which was based on the Battle of Laungewala on the fateful night of December 4-5, 1971. Brigadier Chandpuri, whose role was portrayed by none other than Sunny Deol, headed a team of 124 soldiers of the Indian Army and 23 officers of the Punjab regiment against a Pakistani ambush and managed to held them off till air support arrived. He was honoured with the Mahavir Chakra by the Indian government for his courage and valour.
5. Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan
Sandeep Unnikrishnan was a Major in the Indian Army serving in the elite National Security Guards (NSG). He played a crucial role while engaging terrorists inside the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel during the Black Tornado operation in the Mumbai attacks in 2008. When a commando got injured during the operation, Major Unnikrishnan started chasing the terrorists himself after arranging for evacuation of injured fellow soldier. It was during this chase that he got hit by several bullets and later succumbed to his injuries.
6. Captain Mahendra Nath Mulla
If you ever happen to travel to Diu, you’ll find a memorial in Captain Mahendra Nath Mulla’s name along with a full-case model of INS Khukri. Mahendra Nath Mulla, the captain of the INS Khukri, died after his ship was hit by torpedoes fired from the enemy submarine during the 1971 war. Mulla gave away his own life-saving jacket to a sailor and tried to save as many lives as he could before he went down with his ship.
7. Second Lieutenant Arun Khetarpal
Born in Pune, 2nd Lieutenant Arun Khetarpal, Param Vir Chakra awardee, of the 17 Poona Horse regiment is yet another braveheart who died in the Battle of Basantar during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971 at the age of 21.
During the battle, Khetarpal continued to attack the enemy fiercely even when the commander of his troops was killed, until the enemies tanks started pulling back. Khetarpal even managed to destroy one of the withdrawing tanks.
The enemy reformed later and targeted the sector held by Khetarpal. This attack was severe than before and even though Khetarpal was wounded he managed to hit 10 enemy tanks. He fought courageously and refused to abandon his tank and destroyed yet another enemy tank. But by this time his own tank received another hit which resulted in the death of this courageous officer.
8. Arun Kumar Vaidya
Arun Kumar Vaidya, Maha Vir Chakra awardee, was part of the action during the 1965 war with Pakistan at the Battle of Chawinda which resulted in destruction of Pakistan’s 1st Armoured Division and heavy loss of Pakistani lives. His regiment won 22 gallantry awards and Vaidya as the Commandant was awarded India’s second highest military decoration, the Maha Vir Chakra .
Later, During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, he displayed skill and leadership in getting his tanks through deep minefields and got his second Maha Vir Chakra.
He served as the 13th Chief of the Army Staff from 1983 to 1986. In 1984, he planned Operation Blue Star, which sought to evict Sikh militants hidden inside the Golden Temple in Amritsar. As the principal organiser of Operation Blue Star, he was shot to death in his white Maruti 800 while driving home from the market on Rajendrasinhji Marg in Pune.
He was well aware of being a high-profile target for assassins but he remained equally calm about the danger to his life: “After seeing two wars I can’t run away from danger. If a bullet is destined to get me, it will come with my name written on it.”
9. Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat
A hero of the 1962 Indo-China war, Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat of the 4th Garhwal Rifles Infantry Regiment is the only soldier in the history of the Indian Army who was ‘promoted’ to the rank of Major General 40 years after his death, and is still believed to ‘command’ troops guarding India’s eastern frontiers with China.
During the 1962 war, even though soldiers were ordered to vacate their posts due to heavy casualties, Jaswant did not leave his position and continued to fight even after the other soldiers had left. He along with two Monpa tribal girls set up weapons at separate points and maintained a volume of fire to fool the Chinese for 3 days believing that they were facing a huge battalion.
After the Chinese found out about the set up, Rawat chose to shoot himself rather than be captured by the Chinese forces. The Chinese were so furious learning that they were fooled for 3 days that they cut off Rawat’s head and carried it back to China.
A small shrine to Rawat has come up at the battle spot where All army personnel who pass by this route make sure to pay their respects to him here. Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra posthumously.
10. Nand Singh
During World War 2, Nand Singh led his troops in Burma and captured major steep trenches despite carrying multiple injuries.
In 1947 he took part in India’s first war with Pakistan. He got severely injured in the same year in Uri after which his body was paraded and thrown into a dump in Pakistan from where his body was never recovered. Nand Singh has the honor of receiving the British Victoria Cross, the highest and the most prestigious award for gallantry awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.