Writes Anshul Gandhi
“If a man says he‘s not afraid of dying, he’s either lying or he’s a Gorkha.”
This quote by Sam Manekshaw, Indian Army’s first Field Marshal, aptly describes what it means to be a Gorkha. Indian Army Gorkhas are meant to be fearless and as any military personnel worth his salt would know, they are also the most worthy warriors of the Indian Army.
Courage on war front and innumerable gallantry awards notwithstanding, the aura of Gorkhas on the field demands immense respect and makes the enemy tremble with fear. Their personal weapon is a ‘Kukri’, which is a 12-inch long curved knife and can be found with every Gorkha rifle personnel. The Kukri or Khukri is also embedded in their badges attested on the uniform.
|Gorkha Regiment India|
After independence, out of the 10 Gorkha regiments at the time, six joined the Indian army. An 11th regiment was re-raised post-independence after many men from 7th and 10th regiment which had defected to the British army, joined the Indian army.
Currently, the Indian army is indebted to the service of 40,000 brave Gorkha soldiers in 42 different battalions of 7 regiments. One of the most famous platoon of Gorkhas, 1/11 Gorkha Rifles is one of the most decorated with 11 vir Chakras, 2 Maha Vir Chakras, 3 Ashok Chakras and 1 Param Vir Chakra. The stories of its Param Vir Chakra winner Lt. Manoj Kumar Pandey are a case study in their glorious history of courageous war footings.
Another famous battalion of Gorkhas is the third battalion of the 4 Gorkha Rifles which was instrumental in Operation Meghdoot in Siachen. The 8 Gorkha Rifles are also have a glorious past as they produced one of the only two Field Marshals for India – Sam Manekshaw. India’s current chief of army staff, General Dalbir Singh Suhag, is also from the Gorkha Regiment which is a testament of the most incredible services of Gorkhas.
On this Republic Day, we salute these brave men of the Gorkhas for their courage and sacrifice, may they bring more glory to our nation!