Showing posts with label 11 gorkha rifles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 11 gorkha rifles. Show all posts

Gorkha Pride: Major Manoj Pandey and His Gorkha Boys

8:01 AM

Writes: Mr Harpreet

This day 2 years ago: Capt MK Pandey's statue in Lucknow - defaced by his fellow Lucknowites, restored by Gorkhas from his Regiment.

The preferred 'tool' of the Gorkhas? Khukri! These guys are sheer magicians with the Khukri. Can just as easily chop off an enemy's head as they can use the same side arm to delicately remove the offending posters that deface their hero's monument.

Hats off to these simple people from the hills of Nepal / Darjeeling / Sikkim who can put anyone to shame with their single-minded dedication to whatever task they are entrusted with and a cheerful nature that can win over even the most evil of their enemy.

Then there are those that lead them into battle. Capt Manoj Kumar Pandey, PVC (P) was a Lucknowite, yet his immortal last words as he fell on the icy slopes of Khalubar were not in his mother tongue but in that of his men.

'Na Chhornu' (Don't spare them) was what he said in 'Gorkhali' as he fell after receiving one final, fatal burst. Even in death, he paved the way for his boys when the grenade in his hand found its mark and took out the Pakis that had fired the last salvo at him.

The enraged Gorkhas of 1/11 GR ensured that their fierce leader's last command was executed with ruthless efficiency. Not a single Paki was taken a prisoner that night at Khalubar. When dawn broke, the battlefield was littered with dead Pakis of the Northern Light Infantry.

A foothold on Khalubar Ridge had been established by the 'Kirantis' of Manoj Kumar Pandey. Restoring our lands till the LoC was but a small formality hereafter.

A huge price had been paid, but willingly. But young Manoj and his 'boys', some of them nearly 2 decades elder to him, knew no other way.

It is these bonds, forged in blood and sacrifice, that ensure that his Gorkhas assume ownership of a memorial in his name, even if in a civilian part of his hometown, and without any second thoughts, let their Khukries flash again to remove the defacement inflicted.

Via TheDC

Jitu Rai is considered India’s biggest bet for Rio Olympic medal

9:07 PM
India’s top shooter at Rio 2016 Olympics is a man who is most un-Bindra like in temperament. If Abhinav Bindra is intense, wrapped in himself and his sport, Rai, born in Nepal and now with the Indian army, is his opposite. Shivani Naik profiles the earthy, chilled out, nonplussed Jitu Rai who is unfussy about his sport, and with an outlook to life that has left his sponsors astonished, and his family proud.

Dinner nights scare Jitu Rai. He can make eating in front of people sound like the silent moan of American ladies of the hoopskirt era who nibbled on only a few morsels quietly and measuredly, because the only priority in public dining in those Civil War times, was to look elegant. Jitu didn’t need to fit into tight corsets like those poor little rich women wretchedly weaned away from hogging. But formal sit-down army lunches and dinners always ended up in the soldier returning to the empty mess a few hours later to chomp on a second helping of his favourite chicken.
Jitu Rai, soldier of 11 Gorkha Rifles is considered India’s biggest bet for an Rio Olympic medal
Jitu Rai, soldier of 11 Gorkha Rifles is considered India’s biggest bet for an Rio Olympic medal
Yatin Bhatkar, operations head at OGQ, his funding and facilitating sponsors, remembers one such lunch arranged by the Commandant of Mhow’s Army Marksmanship Unit, Col Lalit Sharma. “Jitu told me people speak in posh English and eat so little at these dos. And you’re expected to be polite and listen to others when they talk. Everyone ends up eating much less,” Bhatkar recalls him explaining. Jitu would call him a few hours later to report gleefully how he had polished off a heaped plate of tandoor murg, in his second hearty lunch sitting alone.

It was also Jitu Rai’s second chomp at success at Mhow and as an international marksman – he was packed off to his unit in Lucknow when he stagnated as a pistol shooter a few years ago. Heading into Rio, the 28-year-old soldier of 11 Gorkha Rifles is considered India’s biggest bet for an Olympic medal, though Bhatkar jokes he will have to persuade the shy jawaan to bite into the medal in full public view. He first sensed growing assuredness in the young man earlier this summer, when Jitu had confidently strode towards the dessert counter of the breakfast table at a city hotel without hesitation. “Arre tum log itna sa khaata hai,” he would mock complain, as he attacked the pastries guffawing at Bhatkar who considers Jitu an Olympics-bound athlete like no other he’s ever seen before.

Accustomed to Indian sportspersons’ sighing about lack of support, Bhatkar believes his non-profit fuelling Olympic dreams, has run into an outlandish man who has to be coaxed and cajoled to ask for help. The first time OGQ approached him, Jitu had asked fellow shooters Gagan Narang and Vijay Kumar why exactly would someone support him. He had also wondered how some blokes wearing shorts and sneakers could help him transform from being a shooter who made World Cup finals to someone who began winning those finals. “He’s used to the armed forces etiquette and formality. The first thing he told us was he’d expected someone wearing coats to turn up to help him,”

Bhatkar recalls. Chalking out a training programme in a coffee shop – and not an airconditioned corporate office with stuffy suits – was too much for his imagination in late 2013. “Vijay had to convince him to accept help.”

Not much has changed for India’s most consistent world-class shooter with 7 World Cup medals and podiums at every single elite championship he’s participated in – CWG, Asian Games, World Championships. Jitu still believes it’s mandatory to inform his benefactors and army seniors as soon as he reaches a new international city. He will politely ask for permission to check into a hotel room if there’s an overnight stopover at Frankfurt, and still ask “Are you sure?”

He needed a sports watch, worth Rs 6000 to time himself between shots after he’d returned from medalling at Asian Games and CWG in 2014. “But how can I ask you for it? How will you know whether it is useful to me or not if the coach hasn’t told you I need it?” he would quiz his befuddled backers. Taking a liking to a slightly expensive cycle to unwind after a hard day’s training shoot, he would agonise about it for days and ultimately put his life’s savings into buying it himself. It would take the Mumbai office three weeks to convince him to send across the bill from Indore to reimburse. He would first sheepishly tell them that he’d fallen for a cycle that was ‘thoda mehenga.’ Then he would ask how could he submit a bill if it’s not shooting equipment. Then he argued that there were cheaper cycles worth Rs 8000 in the market, but he had really fallen for a slightly costlier one. “I had to explain to him that he’s an elite athlete of India,” Bhatkar recalls.

Last heard, he had finally accepted a laptop to analyse his scores on the SCATT systems after months of running away from the expensive purchase.
Returning from a World Cup triumph once, Jitu Rai would miss his flight from Delhi to report to Mhow, stuck in the capital’s traffic for 2.5 hours. He would blame himself for not factoring in the time in that smoky snarl and end up booking his own tickets – last minute bookings that would set him back by a lot. “When we got through to him, he said as an Indian Army man he ought to have estimated the precise time. Petrified of missing flights ever since, Jitu will reach airports at 5 am for a 9.30 flight. He said it was his mistake and remained adamant to not accept a reimbursement. Where do you find such people nowadays?” Bhatkar wonders.

This one was found in Sankhuwa Sabha district in Nepal, though at the moment his family stays in Itahari, a city located in the Koshi Zone (south-eastern Nepal). Jitu’s mother Lily Maya Rai recalls an uneventful childhood of her now-famous son – always an introvert, spoke very little and never liked visiting relative’s homes. “He was a very good boy. Everything that he did, he would make sure it is done well and is complete,” she says, adding there was never much time for games. “He used to go to school and get back home and start off with other work on the field – cutting grass.
“Living conditions were all good till his father was still alive. Everything was alright. But then…” she trails off.

Jitu Rai had also cracked the British Army (Originally, there were four British Gorkha regiments which were amalgamated to form The Royal Gurkha Rifles in 1994 ) when he learnt of openings in the Indian army. “His friends were keen on India, so he also gave it a try and got through,” she says. The boy had seen hardship in his life, and the British army would’ve paid him more and given him British citizenship. None really knows why the lad chose the Indian army, though it might have something to do with continuation of loyalty from his father who might’ve served in same regiment, though sketchy details are known.

Jitu’s brother Bhanu Ghale though, recalls a few sporting honours from school. “There was always work to be done in the field. But there were a few games; Jitu liked playing Kabbadi and high jump. He even won an award in school called ‘Birendra Sheel’, named after the then King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev,” he recalls. Four of his brothers (there’s also one sister) would leave the country to find work in Dubai, Qatar and Malaysia, though all have since returned. Independent, hardworking and confident he always was, but what surprised the family was how he was willing to spend a lot of money from his own pocket initially to fund his sporting dream. “Earlier we thought, he was just going to be like any ordinary person from Nepal who goes to India to work. However, later we found out that he was using his own money to build his shooting career and do something different. Then we started hearing of his gold medals,” he adds.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that a Gorkha — known to be excellent marksmen — is primed to win India one of its shooting medals at Rio. “Gorkhas came to India as conquerors in 1790s,” says Madhu Gurung, who’s penning a tome on the history of the regiment illuminating everyday lives of these hardy, brave, martial people. Having captured Kumaon, and passing Garhwal kingdom onto Dehradun where they’d fight the Anglo-Nepalese Wars, the Gorkha realm once spanned from Sutlej to Sikkim. The Brits began recruiting them in 1815, and Gurung notes how over 4 lakh of them would fight in the World Wars. “Jitu would’ve come through more or less the same system of Dallawaalahs who go recruiting to various localities in Nepal,” she adds.
In its 100th anniversary of the first of Anglo-Nepalese wars at Khalanga — considered a mournful British victory because it was as devastating as a loss — Jitu Rai is poised to hit bullseye and reprise the great marksmen skills of Gorkhas. Major-General Rollo Gillespie, who led the attacking troops, is said to have been shot through the heart by a sharp Gorkha sniper, though the brave resistance had come with mere khukris and a few muskets.

The Indian Army waits for another Gorkha to shine on August 6 & 10 with bated breath —a hundred years on.
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It’s always a marathon siege – the 50m free pistol event. Most Indians will tune into the Deodoro ranges in Rio when Jitu fires 60 shots in this long drawn gun-athon; considered pistol’s classical contest in precision. But few will appreciate what it takes to win the short barrel, heavier pistol show.

Imagine a very small target like in rifle, but shot with one hand. Like college marks in humanities, these scores tend to be lower. Not the high 90 percentile to feel exhilarated, a 565 / 600 would do just fine. The wind and the sun and the universe can conspire to make life difficult, and unlike the rifle which is largely about taming the weapon and the equipment, free pistol is about steely skill.

Pistols don’t offer the same stability of rifles, and are severely subject to ballistics – the handling, the support, air temperature, air speeds and weapon temperature. Quite simply, they are difficult beasts to be spot on with. Gun accuracy, they say, is an art few comprehend. In this, the army has done its best to give their man the best possible contraption. He flew down to the Morini factory Switzerland last year, there was a miniscule change in Jitu’s grip which was customised at Francesco. It took into account the anatomical structure of his palm and the contours of his hand – the finger that would pull the electronic hyper-sensitive trigger, reacting to that snap-connect between brain to nerve to finger.

‘‘It is about the ability to repeat the same performance over and over again,’’ explains former international Ashok Pandit. ‘‘Everyone knows how to shoot inner 10s, but you need to be patient to keep repeating it,’’ he says. It’s not a marathon for nothing. Jaspal Rana, India’s first pistol king, talks of the event needing a steady personality. ‘‘You should be able to stay where you are. It takes humility to repeat the same thing,’’ he philosophises.

It isn’t just the noise of guns going off by the opponents standing alongside you that you are trying to cope with but occasionally, you are fighting the crowd as well. In 2014 Asian games, where he won the gold at 50m, Rai was also in contention in the 10 m event when he lost his rhythm, as the crowd started cheering after an opponent aced the maximum score of 10.9. Rai lost his rhythm, and didn’t have enough time to regroup as the 50-second time limit ran out. He had to forego that shot and ended up with the bronze medal.

Alexander Melentyev held the world record in free pistol for 34 years – 581 / 600 – broken only at Granada in 2014 by Jin Jong-oh, where Jitu won silver. Pandit recalls shooting 558 at SAF Games for gold and being deliriously happy. ‘‘Indian standards were miserable. Jitu’s changed free pistol in India,’’ he says, with his added temperament for finals. At the highest stage, at the loftiest meets – Jitu Rai has gotten the job done.
The 50’s where the drama of the opera is – Jitu Rai could well become the first Indian to pick two medals in a single Olympic if he can also go the distance in 10m air pistol – where his scores aren’t too shabby either.

Abhinav Bindra has spoilt Indian shooting fans by laying bare for them a thousand shades of torment, a dozen signs of discomfort and the acutest of agonies suffered in pursuit of that 2008 gold medal, through his epic tome A Shot at History penned by word-maestro Rohit Brijnath. The book, though, sets you up for spectacular disappointment when you attempt to run the slivers of the Jitu Rai story through the same fine sieve of intensity. Bindra’s single-minded pursuit of an encore at Rio meant he returned from a test event at the host city earlier this summer, a tad ‘‘bored’’ at the sight of Christ the Redeemer.

On his arrival in Rio, Jitu would go and strike a Titanic pose in front of the imposing Landowski sculpted masterpiece of Jesus with outstretched hands. Complete with a goofy grin.

That’s chalk and cheese and soapstone and reinforced concrete — all manners of genius in dazzling white that’ll be present at the Olympics in Brazil.
It’ll be silly to think Jitu Rai doesn’t feel pressure – though he’ll never go about deconstructing it, he’d rather watch Bollywood comic capers and make you look silly for worrying – it’s just that he masks it well, chatting and walking around easy just before he’s shooting.

Viren Rasquinha of OGQ deals with a dozen shooters and has stacks of papers that detail how many of them compulsively change stance, technique, equipment – a thousand different screws, absorbers and accessories. ‘‘Jitu won’t bother about old foreign coach or new barrel and such other things. He believes in his own technique and way of training. There’s very little experimentation, it’s steady,’’ he states.

Until 2012 nobody knew Jitu Rai, and till 2014 Jitu Rai didn’t know Olympics was a big deal. He wasn’t star struck receiving an award once from Kapil Dev, and nodded obliviously as three-time Olympic champion Ralf Schumann held fort in English on succeeding. His happiest memory of the Arjuna Award ceremony was that his mother was flown down to Delhi, and enjoyed wearing footwear for the first time in her life.

There’s stage fright common to both luminous shooting stars – fright of the yakking on stage variety, but unlike Bindra who aced it in the end, Jitu doesn’t mind bumbling through it. He was told he’d be required to speak at a recent send-off function. ‘‘Maine room pe practice kiya ye boloonga, wo boloonga. Gurpreet saab ko stage pe dekha aur darr gaya. Upar jaake kadak ho gaya, main sab bhool gaya. Thank You kehke waapis aa gaya,’’ he would later say.

Uncharacteristically last May, Yatin Bhatkar got a frantic call from Jitu. ‘‘Sir, main English course karu kya,’’ the shooter would blurt out. ‘‘Haan karo, lekin tension nai hai. Aapko English mein shooting nai karna hai,’’ he was reassured. In a few day’s time, the rustic storm in the Earl Grey teacup had blown over after Jitu Rai walked upto Bhatkar and told him, ‘‘Sushil Kumar bhaisaab bhi Hindi mein baat karte hai.’’

It’s why the plethora of advice coming his way – mostly in English – amuses him, though he nods politely. Untroubled, unworried he’s the un-Bindraest of them all. Whether this de-complication brings him golden succeeds or not remains to be seen. Coaches were once attempting to explain to him to shut his mind off scores of other shooters as they flashed on the three screens during finals, to avoid them from distracting him. ‘‘Lekin announcement bhi hota hai,’’ he would pipe up. It’s not like shutting his eyes would change the scores, he’d think. Best to just see and be done with it. A mental trainer knew that day, his expertise meant not a thing to Jitu Rai.

Via indianexpress

GJM TMC joint press conference - Rare bonhomie

8:12 AM
Via Vivek Chhetri

Darjeeling, May 4: A rare political scene unfolded in Darjeeling today when Amar Singh Rai, the chairman of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha-controlled municipality, held a joint press conference with the Trinamul Congress (hill) leadership in his chamber.

The Trinamul leaders met the chairman to submit a memorandum that dealt with issues like the collapse of a staircase in Darjeeling town last month and settlement of hawkers. Nobody could recollect Trinamul and the Morcha displaying bonhomie at least in the recent past as was shown today.

Although there had been ups and downs in the equations between the Morcha and Trinamul, for a couple of years, both the parties have been on a warpath. In fact, one of the Morcha's main mottos in the Assembly election was the defeat of Trinamul which the hill party alleged was dividing the region.
GJM TMC joint press conference - Rare bonhomie
Darjeeling municipality chairman Rai and Trinamul leaders hold the
 joint news conference. (Suman Tamang)
Rai was the Morcha's candidate for the Darjeeling Assembly seat, while one of the Trinamul delegation members, Sharda Rai Subba, was also in the fray.

N.B. Khawash, the general secretary, Trinamul (hill), and Milan Dukpa, a nominated GTA Sabha member, were also part of the delegation. The Trinamul leaders, who had obtained an appointment to submit the memorandum, reached the Darjeeling municipality office around 3pm today.

Rai, along with vice-chairman Suk Bahadur Biswakarma, and other officials met the delegation for more than an hour in the chairman's chamber. Soon after the meeting, Khawash met the waiting journalists outside the chairman's chamber. At that particular moment, Sharda Rai Subba suggested that the media could be addressed jointly by the chairman and the delegation on the outcome of the meeting.

Khawash then returned to the chairman's chamber with the proposal which was instantly agreed upon by Rai.

Rai said: "TMC leaders today came to submit a deputation as concerned residents of the town and we had a very fruitful discussion in a congenial atmosphere."

The memorandum was on the collapse of a staircase connecting HD Lama Road and Chowk Bazar in Darjeeling, possibility of a sabotage in the recent fire at a municipality building at Daroga Bazar, steps against high-rises and the issue of permanent settlement of hawkers.

"The municipality has informed the delegation that the staircase collapsed because of the construction of a market complex. We have filed an FIR against the builders, directed them to construct the staircase and stop the work on the market complex now. The municipality will also be monitoring the construction at every stage," said Rai.

Trinamul said the width of the staircase should not be narrowed. On the Daroga Bazar fire, the Darjeeling municipality said an FIR had been filed and it was looking at the police's investigation.

Khawash said: "We thank the municipality for giving us time and hearing our grievances. We just want the municipality to show the political will to tackle the issues and Trinamul will also support the civic body."

Asked if the move to raise municipality-centric issues was prompted by the civic election which is due at the end of the year, Khawash said: "No, we simply raised the issues today as concerned people and it has nothing to do with elections."



Via Telegraph

Gorkha shooter Jitu Rai conferred Arjuna Award 2015

9:58 PM
Aug 29, 2015: Gorkha shooter Jitu Rai was today conferred Arjuna award. He received the prestigious award from, Pranab Mukherjee, the president of India in a glittering ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. The Arjuna Awards are given by the government of India to recognize outstanding achievement in National sports.
Gorkha shooter Jitu Rai conferred Arjuna award 2015
Gorkha shooter Jitu Rai conferred Arjuna award 2015

28-year-old Champion pistol shooter Jitu Rai,had won an Indian record seven medals starting June last year, the most recent being the bronze in 10-metre air pistol event at the ISSF World Cup in South Korea last month.

Recruited in the 11th battalion of the Gorkha regiment, Rai clinched the gold medals at the 2014 Commonwealth and Asian Games and a silver at the ISSF World Championships in Spain, which helped him earn a quota place for next year's Rio Olympic Games.

In all, the (retired) Justice V K Bali led panel had recommended 17 names for Arjuna.

Following is the complete list of names of Arjuna Arjuna awardees 2015

  1. Manjeet Chhillar -Kabaddi Award
  2. Abhilasha Shashikant Mhatre - Kabaddi Award
  3. Sandeep Kumar - Archery Award
  4. Sreejesh Ravindran - Hockey Award
  5. Rohit Sharma - Cricket Award
  6. Sawarn Singh - Rowing Award
  7. M. R. Poovamma - Athletics Award
  8. Jitu Rai - Shooting Award
  9. Srikanth Kidambi - Badminton Award
  10. Anup Kumar Yama - Arjuna Award for Roller Skating
  11. Yumnam Sanathoi Devi - Wushu Award
  12. Mandeep Jangra - Boxing Award
  13. Sathish Sivalingam - Weightlifting Award
  14. Bajrang Kumar - Wrestling Award
  15. Dipa Karmakar- Gymnastics Award
  16. Babita Kumari - Wrestling Award
  17. Sharath Gayakwad -Arjuna Award for Para-Swimming
The Arjuna awardees received statuettes, certificates and award money of Rs.5 lakh each.



Gorkha Rifles set to complete 200 years of service

1:13 PM
The world known Gorkha Rifles or Gorkha Regiment is to complete 200 years of existence who have served India and the British-ruled Indian before independence on April 24 2015.
1st Battalion, 3rd Queen Alexandra's Own Gurkha Rifle, Waziristan, 1936 - photo via nam.ac.uk
1st Battalion, 3rd Queen Alexandra's Own Gurkha Rifle, Waziristan, 1936 - photo via nam.ac.uk
Known for their bravery Gorkha Rifels was organised under British East India Company at Subathu in Himachal Pradesh on April 24, 1815. The unit still exists and is known as the  First Gorkha rifles (1/1 GR) serves with the Indian army during peace and war.

As part of the commemoration of this historic occasion, there will be regimental celebrations at Pathankot in Punjab where 1/1 GR is presently stationed. The Colonel of the 1st Gorkha Rifles, Lt Gen Ravi Thodge, Master General Ordnance, will preside over the function at Pathankot where other senior officers of the regiment will also be present. A bigger celebration is planned later in the year, in October, at Subathu when the regimental reunion is supposed to take place and the Chief of Army Staff, General Dalbir Singh, a Gorkha Rifles officer himself , is likely to attend that.

Invitations for the event have also been extended to former Indian and British soldiers who served in the regiment.

The Gorkha regiment started out as one but now comprises seven regiments. Of those, the Indian army takes services from the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 8th, 9th and the 11th regiments and Gorkha troops also serve in the Rashtriya rifles, Artillery and the Territorial Army units.

Commenting on the 200th anniversary, Lt Gen TK Sapru (retd), former GOC-in-C Western Command and a former Gorkha officer described them as the most amazing soldiers. “Tailor made for soldiering, very honest with integrity of highest order. They very quick on their feet and somehow they have been endowed by God with all qualities required for soldiers,” he said.
The 200 years of service of the Gorkhas is also being marked by the British Army where a host of events are kick-starting from April 24 onwards. A formal event is being held on April 30th by the British Brigade of Gorkhas with a march from Wellington Barracks to the Gorkha Statue in Whitehall, where a memorial service will be held.

As per the British Gorkha Welfare Trust, there will be a service at the Gorkha Statue to re-dedicate the ‘Campaign Service’ and ‘Gurkha Units’ plates, to reflect 200 years of rich Gorkha history and to commemorate those killed in service to the British Crown.

With inputs from indianexpress

6th battalion of 11th Gorkha Rifles celebrate golden jubilee in Khasa

10:22 AM
The golden jubilee celebrations of the 6th battalion of the 11th Gorkha Rifles culminated with a special ‘sainik sammelan’ at the Khasa Cantonment here on Sunday.
6th battalion of 11th Gorkha Rifles celebrate golden jubilee in Khasa
Gorkha Rifles 
The battalion was founded on October 1, 1963 at Clement Town in Dehradun.

During 50 years of its glorious service to the nation, be it war or peace, the battalion always rose to the occasion. Besides it has also excelled in various fields such as sports and brought laurels of the battalion.

The occasion was graced by retired and serving officers, junior commissioned officers and other ranks of the battalion. A number of families of serving jawans and retired personnel came from Nepal to attend the golden jubilee celebrations.

The battalion remembered the valour of their comrades who laid down their lives in the line of duty. On the occasion, ‘veer naris’ were also felicitated.

The highlight of the celebrations was a yak dance by a troupe of the Sikkim government and a ‘kukree’ dance by soldiers of the battalion. A pipe band and a brass band also enthralled the guests.

A special day cover and a postage stamp of the battalion were released by Lt Gen Rakesh Sharma, Adjutant General and Colonel of 11 Gorkha Rifles, on the occasion.

Source: HT

Jitu Rai recieved cash award of Rs one crore from UP government

9:57 AM
Ace shooter Jitu Rai was on Saturday handed a cash award of Rs one crore by Uttar Pradesh government for winning a gold medal in the Incheon Asian Games.
Jitu Rai recieved cash award of Rs one crore from UP government
Jitu Rai recieved cash award of Rs one crore
from UP government
Jitu was felicitated by UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav at a function. The Nepal-born marksman said he was happy to represent Uttar Pradesh and has set his sight on Rio Olympics in 2016.

"I have my sight set on Rio Olympics in 2016. I know that it is a difficult target but will continue to hone my skills and compete in tournaments to achieve that level," said Jitu.

"This is my promise. I sincerely appreciate and genuinely need the support from the state government, Army, from my regiment, the 11 Gorkha Rifles, from Olympic Gold Quest who have supported me throughout and the blessings of UP and all my countrymen without which no one can achieve," Naib Subedar Jitu added.

The ace shooter said that he was very happy that he represents UP as no other state has encouraged its sportsperson as the state.

He said that it was also the state where he came in as a young recruit and has been so well groomed to reach upto his current level of achievement.

Chief of Staff, Central Command, Lt Gen GS Shergill and Brigadier Commandant 11 GRRC A Asthana were also present during the felicitation ceremony of Jitu.

Born in Nepal, Jitu joined the Indian Army in 2006 as a soldier in the 11 Gorkha Rifles Regiment, whose training centre is located in Lucknow.

The ace shooter said that he was very happy that he represents UP as no other state has encouraged its sportsperson as the state.

Source: timesofindia

The Gorkhas’ Khukris flashed at Chola in 1967

12:56 AM
Kirantis’ khukris flash at Chola in 1967

"Rifleman Devi Prasad Limbu after finishing off all his ammunition, charged at the Chinese with his Khukri, severing the heads of five of them, before being killed."

In conflict, moral ascendancy over the enemy is an imperative. During World War 2, we had seen how the Indian and British troops systemically demolished the image of the Japanese supermen before driving them out of Burma.


The Gorkhas’ Khukris flashed at Chola in 1967
The Gorkhas’ Khukris
After the demoralising defeat in the 1962 war, Indian troops were thirsting for a chance to get back at the Chinese. In the wake of the engagement with the enemy at Nathu La in Sikkim on September 11, 1967, 7/11 GR, a newly raised battalion, was moved to take over defences in the Chola area.

Here the Chinese were determined to create an ugly incident by staking claim to a territory legitimately under our control. On the morning of October 1, they got into a heated argument with Naib Subedar Gyan Bahadur Limbu, the forward platoon commander over the ownership of a boulder demarcating the boundary.

The JCO was bayoneted and wounded. In the meantime, the Chinese had taken up aggressive positions, escalating the situation. The Gorkhas’ Khukris flashed and the arms of the JCO’s assailant were chopped off.

Section commander Lance Naik Krishna Bahadur led a charge against the enemy who were forming up for an assault. Hit thrice, he was unable to use his weapon, but nevertheless urged his men on, gesticulating with his Khukri and ultimately killed by a machine-gun burst. Rifleman Devi Prasad Limbu after finishing off all his ammunition, charged at the Chinese with his Khukri, severing the heads of five of them, before being killed.

He was later awarded the Vir Chakra. Another Vir Chakra was awarded to Havildar Tinjong Lama, who used his 57mm recoilless gun to knock out a heavy machine gun with which the enemy was bringing down the withering fire.

Colonel KB Joshi, the commanding officer, exercised command well and even brought down the occasional enemy with a rifle. The same night, he personally led a company attack to recapture Point 15,450. Such was the upper hand achieved by the Kirantis’ fierce reaction to Chinese provocations that the enemy vacated the post without putting up a fight. Thus, a new battalion was blooded.

IS THE SWORD ARM GRADUALLY WEAKENING?

A recent move by the Sikh Regiment to deploy search teams to identify and motivate potential recruits does not come as a surprise to those closely following developments on the ground in Punjab. The ravages of drugs, liquor, declining standards of rural health and education have brought about great changes in the recruitment pool. A state with an abundant reservoir of young, able-bodied, qualified and motivated manpower has over time degenerated to the extent that the Punjabi youth are unable even to pass basic physical tests for entrance to the armed forces.

The people of Punjab must seriously ponder over the crisis and make the right choices in the matter of a suitable course of action to remedy the situation. No less affected will be the armed forces if they lose this very valuable pool of manpower, which has served the country very well in the past.

Citizens and leadership of the army must prevail upon politicians and bureaucrats who rule Punjab to take immediate, long-term measures to rectify the situation. Tomorrow it might be too late.

(Please write in with your narratives of war and soldiering to msbajwa@gmail.com or call on 093161-35343)

Source: Mandeep Singh Bajwa, Hindustan Times

 
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