Unsung heroes of India who made extreme sacrifices for us – Let’s salute all the brave sons of India
They are the real life heroes of India. They are the brave sons of our motherland, who sacrificed their lives for us. But, how many of us actually know their names, who died happily to give us a peaceful future. There are innumerable such brave soldiers, who made extreme sacrifices for our motherland, India. Here are the stories of few such unsung heroes, whom every Indian should know. Let’s recall and salute all the brave soldiers of India, who fought for us and even sacrificed their lives, so that we can live peacefully in our homes.
Colonel Neelakantan Jayachandran Nair – Ashoka Chakra, Kirti Chakra
In 1993, Colonel Neelakantan Jayachandran Nair, popularly known as ‘NJ’ of 16 Maratha Light Infantry was deployed in Nagaland. Col N. J. Nair displayed exemplary bravery to take on the rebels on his own, when his convoy was ambushed by Naga rebels on December 1993. In the process, he sacrificed his own life to save others of his convoy. For his outstanding bravery, Colonel Neelakantan Jayachandran Nair was awarded with the Ashoka Chakra and Kirti Chakra. He is the only Indian to have won both the prestigious awards.
Nand Singh – Victoria Cross
Nand Singh led his troops up a steep ridge in Burma, during World War 2. Despite several injuries, he captured major trenches. He took part in India’s first war with Pakistan. He was badly injured in Uri. His body was then paraded in Pakistan and thrown into a dump. His body could not be recovered after that. Nand Singh received the British Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
Gurbachan Singh Salaria – Param Vir Chakra
There are Indians, who have sacrificed their lives in other countries. Among such heroes, Chief Gurbachan Singh Salaria will be always remembered for his sacrifices. After Belgium left Congo, the UN interceded to stop a civil war raging through the African nation. Gurbachan Singh Salaria was a part of the UN’s group to spare the nation from Katangese rebels. He died at a very young age of 26 and that too in an unknown land. Indian government honored Chief Salaria with the Param Vir Chakra, India’s most astounding wartime military honor, for his grit in the Congo War in 1961.
Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat – Maha Vir Chakra
Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat is an extra-ordinary symbol of bravery. He was a legend in the Indian Army. During Indo-China War of 1962, he was a part of the Fourth Battalion of the Garhwal Rifles. During the war, they were asked to retreat from their position, due to heavy casualty and circumstances. But, Jaswant Singh Rawat stayed back to fight against the Chinese. He fought against them with the utmost intelligence and courage. With the help from two Monpa tribal girls named Sela and Nura, he set up weapons at separate points and maintained a volume of fire that fooled the Chinese into believing that they were faced with a huge battalion. This went on for three days and it frustrated the Chinese. But, when Chinese captured the man who was supplying rations to Jaswant, Jaswant Singh Rawat shot himself in the head, knowing that he would be captured soon. The Chinese became furious when they learned that they were fighting a lone soldier and then they cut off his head and carried it back to China. However, after the ceasefire, the Chinese commander, impressed by the soldier’s bravery, returned the head along with a brass bust of Jaswant Singh. The bust, created in China to honor the brave Indian soldier, is now installed at the site of the battle. Sela died in a grenade burst and Nura was captured. Jaswant Singh Rawat is the only soldier in the long history of the Indian army, who is known to have risen through the ranks after his death, and this rifleman has been promoted to the rank of Honorary Captain. This great son of India was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra (posthumous).
Brigadier Kuldip Singh Chandpuri – Maha Vir Chakra
It was the night of December 4-5, 1971, in the battle of Laungewala where Brigadier Kuldip Singh Chandpuri headed a team of 124 soldiers of the Indian Army and 23 officers of the Punjab regiment against a Pakistani ambush and held them off. Brigadier Chandpuri was later honored with the Mahavir Chakra by the Indian government. The famous film Border by J.P Dutta was based on the Battle of Laungewala and the Brigadier’s character was played by Sunny Deol.
Captain Anuj Nayyar – Maha Vir Chakra
Pimple II, a key mountain top was possessed by Pakistani infiltrators in the Kargil War in 1999. Captain Anuj Nayyar, of 17 Jat Regiment of the Indian Army, headed his group. Without any aeronautical backing, he and his group fought on like warriors. It was during that, a rocket explosive specifically hit him, yet he carried on till his last breath to secure the mountain peak. His role was played by Saif Ali Khan in J. P. Dutta’s movie LOC Kargil. This great son of India was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra, India’s second highest gallantry award, for exemplary valour in combat during operations in the Kargil War in 1999.
Captain Vikram Batra – Param Vir Chakra
Captain Vikram Batra, another hero of Kargil War. He was the key person to recover Peak 5140 situated at a height of 17,000 feet from the enemy. Captain Batra recaptured the Peak 5140 from the enemy. He died in a counterattack by the enemy. Captain Vikram Batra died while saying the words ‘Jai Mata Di’. Captain Batra is also well known in India for using the slogan, ‘Yeh Dil Maange More’ as his signal to communicate mission success. He was famously known as ‘Sher Shah’ in the intercepted messages of the Pakistan army. Actor Abhishek Bachchan played Batra’s part in the film LOC Kargil. Captain Vikram Batra was posthumously awarded with the Param Vir Chakra, India’s highest and most prestigious award for valour, for his actions during the 1999 Kargil War in Kashmir between India and Pakistan.
Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan – Ashoka Chakra
Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, a name we can’t forget as long as we remember the terrifying terrorist attack in the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Mumbai in 2008. He was a Major in the Indian Army, serving in the elite National Security Guards (NSG). When a commando got injured, Major Unnikrishnan arranged for his evacuation and started chasing the terrorists himself. ‘Do not come up, I will handle them’ – these were probably the last words spoken by Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan to his men as he was hit by bullets while engaging terrorists. He was consequently awarded the Ashoka Chakra, India’s highest peace time gallantry award, on 26 January 2009.