Major Shaitan Singh biography: It’s the time of 1962. The Chinese expansionist dragon has already gulped the Tibetan Plateau. It has shown its clear intent towards its audacious ‘five finger policy’. Now, it has sensed an opportunity to exploit the naivety and incompetence of Indian PM Jawaharlal Nehru. While preparing for an all-out war and overwhelming the Indian armed forces, the Communist despots are enticing Mr Nehru in their sweet talks of Hindi-Chini Bhai-Bhai.
The Ostrich Policy of the Politicians led us down
The Chinese parties are advancing at a brisk pace and have reached an alarming proximity. Sensing the inevitable threat, the Indian armed forces repeatedly urge Mr Nehru to accept their plans to fight the large-scale Chinese intrusion. But these expert defence opinions fell on deaf ears and Gandhian Liberal Nehru foolishly accepts the proposal of his ‘bureaucratic coterie’. Facing a massive backlash for his inaction, Mr Nehru implements the “Forward Policy” against the repeated advice of the army.
The army pragmatically analyses the strengths of the Chinese and opposes the untenable ‘Forward Policy’ proposed by the elitist, psychopaths of PM Nehru. The army stresses to devise a different strategy altogether as the Chinese have the geographical advantage.
The Army explains that maintaining numerous small posts would be untenable against a large-scale Chinese assault. But again, the so-called flag bearer of Peace, Mr Nehru refutes the army’s claims citing his belief that the Chinese would not attack. Soon, the inevitable happens and Mr Nehru realises that his adamant behavior and blind trust on the Chinese and his advisors have invited a great dragon army in the Indian territory.
The War: Man vs Machine
Now, the war has begun between defiant and valiant Indian Soldiers with an untiring will to defend their motherland and the well-prepared, well-equipped Chinese soldiers. The Chinese had state-of-the-art weaponry, they had the geographical advantage, a well-cut out strategy and had numbers on their side. But what they lacked was the ‘will’ and ‘moral’ that Indian soldiers live and die with. A classic case of man vs machine. But as they say, it’s the man behind the machine that matters the most.
This battle was in full display in the early hours of 18th November, 1962 in the Chushul Sector. The 13th Battalion of Kumaon Regiment was stationed here. Charlie ‘C’ company of 123 Ahirs was commanded by a fierce Rajput Major Shaitan Singh. It was holding the strategic Rezang La (pass). The area was defended by five platoon posts.
It was dark in the night with a bone chilling breeze blowing at a furious speed at an altitude of 16,000 ft above sea level. The atmosphere was not even conducive for normal metabolic activities let alone patrolling or fighting. Moreover, the hands of Indian forces were tied by the Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai rhetoric.
Last man, Last round
At around 5 A.M., the first bullet was shot and soon the eerie silence was replaced by the loud sounds of mortar shelling, firing and grenade attacks. Sighting the Chinese soldiers, Indian soldiers gave Chinese the taste of Indian metal and ambushed them
with light machine guns, rifles, mortar, and grenades, killing Chinese soldiers by hundreds. The vanguard of the Chinese swarm was smacked aside by possessed Indian soldiers.
After repeated failure in attacking from front and heavy loss of life, the Chinese soldiers attacked from the rear. Owing to the short sightedness of Politicians and psych phony of top Military leadership, the Indian side didn’t have enough resources to last a full-scale war. Swarm of Chinese despots kept coming in waves and each time it suffered heavy casualties.
For every man lost on the Indian side, the Chinese lost five to six. With each soldier attaining martyrdom and ammunition running dry, the Indian soldiers were becoming more and more resolute. The Rajput warrior, Major Shaitan Singh dominated the battle scene and reorganised defences. He moved from one platoon post to another like a man possessed and boosted the morale of his overpowered platoons.
The Indians soldiers fought till the last round and even with bare hands but eventually the numbers played their roles and eventually the Chinese overpowered the remaining soldiers of the platoon. By then 114 Indian bravehearts had thwarted the full throttle attack of more than 2000 Chinese soldiers and had sent countless of them to their final resting place.
This exemplary courage was unearthed when the crimson ice melted from the peaks of Rezang La. The passers-by witnessed that each Indian soldier had his finger on the trigger and died fighting till his last breath. Major Shaitan Singh was found behind a boulder sitting in a royal posture with his gun in his hand.
With their exemplary bravery, Major Shaitan Singh and the five-platoon foiled the nefarious plan of the better prepared and better equipped Chinese soldiers. They have cast their names in stone and will remain alive in the hearts of every Indian for time immemorial. As they say, Legends never die, the timeless legacy of Major Shaitan Singh will keep inspiring new generations and keep instilling fear in enemies. ‘Dada Krishan Ki Jai‘.
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