Chandragupta and Ashoka were two of the greatest rulers of Bharatvarsh. Till the time they showed their valor on the battlefield and constantly launched offensive strikes inside the enemy’s territory, the glory and territory of their kingdoms were intact. Following the Bherighosa (War) policy, Ashoka politically united the nation. From Assam in the east to Afghanistan in the west, Kashmir in the north to Karnataka in the south, around 2275 years ago, Ashoka was able to maintain the territorial integrity of Bharatvarsh. But when he adopted the dhammaghosha (peace) policy, the kingdom degenerated and disintegrated Bharatvarsh into small kingdoms.
There are similar other instances in Bharat’s history, from Gupta to Maratha, Chola to Vijayanagara. Those who fought fearlessly were able to maintain their integrity and glory. No matter how good your state polity is, until and unless you are ready to fight hard, you will not be able to survive till the end. Your enemies will always be ready to ambush you at your lowest.
Similarly, when India was recovering from its war with China and most of its resources were exhausted, under the code-name of Operation Gibraltar, Pakistan launched an offensive strike on India. The annexation of Kashmir was Pakistan’s single, definite political aim, and they would do everything possible to attain that objective. Signifying Arabic invasion of the Hispania peninsula (Spain through the strait of Gibraltar) in the 8th century, Pakistan, thinking to invoke the same Jihadi feelings, launched Operation Gibraltar to annex Kashmir.
Strike at the heart of the enemy
When the armed infiltration in the dangerous Kashmir valley was occurring, when Pakistan was on the verge of victory in Kashmir with a three-pronged attack on Jammu, Akhnoor, and Pathankot to cut off Kashmir from the rest of India, it was the time for India to create a special counter-strike force.
Pakistan was succeeding in Kashmir. The only way to counter-attack was to launch an attack deep inside the Pakistani territory, causing destruction in the enemy camps and divert their attention from behind. This was only possible because of the Special Forces who held the speed of a Cheetah, the power of a lion, and the cleverness of a fox.
Here starts the origin of one of the bravest soldier groups of Bharat, The Special Forces. When the nation’s integrity was threatened by the Islamist forces, the nation’s true soldier, Major Megh Singh Rathore raised to the opportunity. Just a month before the 1965 war started, he was Court Martialed and demoted to the rank of Major from Lieutenant Colonel. But, when Lt General Harbaksh Singh, the Western Army Commander, asked him for the special operations and said, “Son if you succeed in this, I will put that star on your shoulder with my own hands,” Megh Singh happily accepted to volunteer for carrying out commando raids.
Without the government’s approval, the daredevils of the Special Forces, specially chosen soldiers by Major Megh Singh Rathore, were organized and named ‘MEGHDOOT FORCE’, after the name of the leader himself. Proving their name with action, the Meghdoot Special Forces became instrumental in snatching victory from the claws of Pakistan.
Meghdoot Forces carried out the three of the most daring raids in the history of war along the deadly Kashmir valley. The first raid was at an important bridge on Dwarandi-Bandi Gopalpur, seven miles behind the cease-fire line, inside the Pakistani territory. Succeeding here, Meghdoot Forces moved towards Kahuta Bridge and helped in the Poonch-Haji Pir link-up. Now was the time to attack the Chamb Sector, where Pakistanis had strengthened their position and made considerable gains.
In the second week of September 1965, Meghdoot Forces launched successive strikes in the forward areas of Kalidhar Sector, Nathal logistics base, and Thuggi post. The enemy was totally surprised by the attack and suffered severe casualties. At the Thuggi strike, Major Megh Singh was severely wounded in a hand-to-hand encounter.
It was the courage and daring of Major Megh Singh and his men that ensured that Kashmir remains with India. His offensive strike capabilities and tactical acumen of warfare in surprise attacks proved to be instrumental in winning the 1965 War.
Lt Col Megh Singh Rathore, the pillar of Indian Special Forces
The daring capabilities of the Para Special Forces were defined by Major Megh Singh Rathore during the war itself. On August 27, 1965, in his speech to around 80 soldiers selected from 3 Rajputana Rifles, who had volunteered to join special forces, he said, “Commandos…our association dates back not to one year or one generation but to thousands of years. I am a Rajput from Rajasthan and most of you are from that area. History is evidence that our forefathers had lived together, worked together, fought together, won victories together, and whenever required perished together in defending the honor and dignity of our motherland against our enemies. With such glorious tradition, it does not matter whether we know each other or not. We will fight shoulder to shoulder in the thickest of battles”.
For his bravery and leadership, he was awarded the Vir Chakra. His award citation read as “Lt Col Megh Singh, then a Major with a Brigade in Jammu & Kashmir successfully conducted three important raids into the enemy territory between 1 September to 11 September 1965. On 2 September, his force blew a big Culvert on Kotli – Bandi Gopalpur Road, disrupting the enemy’s line of communication inside their territory. On 6 September, his Column captured two important Piquet’s NEJAPIR and ARIDHOK. Again on 10 September his Column went 2 miles deep into enemy territory and affected the Uri-Poonch Link in spite of the heavy enemy fire. In all these actions, by his exemplary courage and initiative, Lt Col Megh Singh inspired confidence in volunteers under him, causing confusion and casualties in enemy camps and facilitating the success of Brigade’s Operational Plan.”
In a way, the failed Operation Gibraltar of Pakistan provided ground to raise special forces units of the nation. With the motto of “Men apart, every man an emperor” and “Balidan Badge”, Special Forces of India have launched various special operations.
Their name is inscribed in the golden history of India for their success in operations like Indo-Pak War in 1965 and 1971, Operation Blue Star, Operation Cactus, Operation Pawan, 1995 Kashmiri hostage, Operation Golden Bird, Kargil War, Operation Rakshak, Operation Khukri, Hot pursuit attack in Myanmar and recent Surgical Strike inside Pakistan.
Following the legacy of Major Megh Singh Rathore, the Special Forces of India have ensured India’s safety in all conditions. They have destroyed enemies both inside as well as outside the country. Combined with the most advanced weapons and daring physical capabilities, the Indian Special Forces are always ready to launch offensive strikes anywhere in the world. They are among the best fighters in the world and continue to secure the integrity of republic Bharat.
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