Jaswant Singh Rawat
|Birth:||17, July 1941|
|Father:||Sri. Guman Singh Rawat|
|Awards||Posthumous Mahavir Chakra|
The holy land of Uttarakhand, along with being a religious, spiritual and a land full of cultural rituals, is also the birthplace of many heroes and warriors. Subedar Balbhadra Singh Negi, Victoria Cross winner Subedar Darban Singh, Victoria Cross winner Rifleman Gabbar Singh Rawat, Col. Buddhi Singh Rawat, Major Harshvardhan Bahuguna etc are some immortal names from the land of Uttarakhand. A history with such brave heroes is a matter of pride for us. Their indomitable courage and chivalry have upraised the name of Uttarakhand.
An invaluable diamond of this historic thread of Uttarakhand is Rifleman Jaswant Singh Gorla Rawat, whose heroism is still the vaunted and celebrated by the Indian Army as the Nuranang Day on 17th November every year.
Rifleman Jaswant Singh Gorla Rawat, who gave his life to protect the country, was born on 15th July 1941, in village Badu Patti, in Pauri (Garhwal). His father Mr. Guman Singh Rawat was an employee of Military Dairy Farm in Dehradun. His mother's name was Lilavati. His brothers are Shri Vijay Singh and Ranvir Singh.
After completing his schooling till Class IX, his maternal uncle Shri Pratap Singh Negi, retired Major, admitted him in the fourth Garhwal Rifle Lansdowne on 16th August 1960. At the time of their training, China infiltrated the northern border of India. Slowly the war started over the northern border. The army was given the orders to march, and the fourth Garhwal Rifle was sent to fight against the Chinese invasion in Nepal region.
The ancestors of Jaswant Singh, Garh-Kanda-Guradgarh, Veer Senani Bhupu Raut and Tilu Rautali were the court officers of Garhwal. Their names are honored in the history of Garhwal due to their indomitable courage and exemplary bravery. Tilu Rauteli is also called as the 'Rani Lakshmibai of Garhwal'.
On 17th November 17 1962, on completion of the training, the fourth Garhwal Rifle was sent for the protection of the Nuranang bridge on the Tawang Wu River in Nefa-Arunachal Pradesh, but the Chinese army attacked. This place was at an altitude of 14,000 feet, the Chinese army broke down on India like small worms. There were high number of military casualties, as the Chinese army had more soldiers and better weapons. The enemy had a medium machine gun, which they succeeded in bringing near the bridge. Because of this L.M.G., the safety of both the bridge and platoon was in high danger.
Seeing this, Rifleman Jaswant Singh voluntarily surrendered himself to the Chinese army, with the purpose of robbing their machine guns. Lans Naik Trilok Singh and Rifleman Gopal Singh also supported him.
All three of them crawled on the ground and stayed at a distance of 10-15 yards from the machine gun. They attacked Chinese soldiers with grenades. They brought their L.M.G. and shot them with bullets in defence. Jaswant Singh showed bravery, and kept his firing continuous from all the Barracks around him, and succeeded in keeping the enemy away for 72 hours. He used to go to a bunker, shoot from there, then go to another bunker. A local lady Sheela, helped him alot by continuously supplying him the bullets and explosives. The patriotism in him kept him to continue the bullets firing. At that time, God Himself gave him the infinite power to fight against the Chinese army. His ancestor Veer Bala Tilu Rauteli was his ideal. Due to his strategy, the enemy continued to understand that the Indian army has number of soldiers fighting against them.
In this fiercest battle of 1962, 162 soldiers received veergati, 1264 were abducted by the enemy, and 256 soldiers went missing in snowy winds. At that time, the Indian Army did not have warlike ammunition, war material and neither they were prepared for such a battle.
There, the traitor Lama, told the Chinese army that a single man has stopped their brigade for 72 hours. After this news, the Chinese army surrounded the post from all directions, beheaded Jaswant Singh Gorla Rawat, and took his head to their commander. The Dib commander of the Chinese army, with respect, sent his body in the ark and with a letter saying "The Indian government should tell what honor this hero will get, who kept our brigade confused and away for 3 days and 3 nights." The true hero is the one whose valor is respected by the enemy too. At Tejpur, 425 km on the Tawang road, the names of the martyrs are inscripted and a Samadhi Mandir is built in their memory.
Lieutenant General Kaul, in his book ‘The Untold Story’, wrote that the way the war of China was fought by the soldiers of the fourth Garhwal Rifle, if similarly other battalions would have also fought the war, the results of this war would have been different. The people of Nefa worship Jaswant Singh Gorla Rawat in the form of a deity and call him Major Sahab. Jaswant Garh has also been built in his honor. It is believed that his spirit is still active for the country. If any of the guards on the border is sleeping on duty, then they are awakened by his slaps.
Hero of Nefa was awarded Mahavir Chakra and every year the army remembers the Amar Shahid Jaswant Singh Gorla Rawat by celebrating Nuranang Day on 17th November in his memory. Even today our country should be cautious with the actions of China, as China can ever meet Pakistan to strike our country's independence.
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