Revolution through Evolution

The real One Man Army: Rifleman Jaswinder Singh Rawat

Number 4039009,Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat was an Indian Soldier who won the Maha Vir Chakra. This piece of literature isn’t enough to capacitate the Saga of bravery of this soldier. He was serving with the 4th battalion for the Garhwal Rifles.

The pen jots down the saga from 17th November 1962, the battalion was subjected to repeated Chinese assaults. A Chinese medium machine gun (MMG) located at a vantage point close to the A company lines was proving to be a dangerous menace. Jaswant, Lance Naik Trilok Singh Negi and RFN Gopal Singh Gusain went after the Chinese MMG and after approaching within 12 metres threw grenades at the bunker and charged it, killing a number of Chinese and capturing the MMG. Jaswant took the MMG and began crawling back towards the Indian lines but he and Trilok were fatally hit by Chinese automatic fire when nearing safety. Gopal Gusain was wounded but managed to drag the MMG into the Indian post. This turned the course of the battle and the Chinese retreated, leaving some 300 dead behind.

The legend has it,It was the final phase of Sino-Indin war in November ’62.  Even as his company was asked to fall back, Jaswant Singh remained at his post at an altitude of 10,000 feet and held back Chinese soldiers for three days assisted by two local Monpa girls named Sela and Nura (in some versions one or the other girl is mentioned). They set up weapons at separated spots and maintained a volume of fire that made the Chinese think they were opposed by a body of troops. Finally the Chinese captured the man who was supplying rations to Jaswant and he revealed to them that they were opposed by only one man.They attacked in force, Sela died in a grenade burst, Nura was captured and Jaswant supposedly shot himself with his last cartridge when he realized that he was about to be captured. It is alleged that the Chinese cut off Jaswant Singh's head and took it back to China.

However, after the menace..ceasefire took place. The Chinese government.. impressed by the bravery of the soldier, returned the head along with a brass bust Jaswant Singh.

Jaswant Singh's saga of valor and sacrifice continues to serve as an inspiration to all army personnel posted in this sector. He has become a 'Baba', a saint. At the spot where he fought,a small temple has come up with a bust of his and many of his personal effects. A marble plaque commemorates him and 161 other men of his battalion who died in the battle of Nuranang, which was awarded to Garhwal Rifles as a battle honour. This shrine known as Jaswant Garh is between Se La and Jang. Indian Army personnel passing by this route traditionally pay their respects here, irrespective of rank. Jaswant is treated as if he is alive, his boots shined and his uniform and accoutrements cared for by Army personnel posted at the shrine. It is also said that if someone misses to respect him while passing the temple misfortune drives him through the way.He has received all his promotions in time, and has reached the rank of Honorary Captain. He is a source of inspiration to people of Arunachal Pradesh. 

Being an inspiration and showing such charismatic bravery against the beast, Rifleman Jaswant Singh is an UNSUNG HERO. Indian Army still salutes his valor and is commemorated for his sacrifice and his soul is spiritual.

Soldiers never die, they are IMMORTAL. Just like Jaswant singh, there are many more soldiers who are immortal and had played a vital role in the present state of our Nation.

"A nation that does not honour its dead warriors will perish," an army commander remarked as soldiers lit earthen lamps at nightfall to keep Rawat's memories alive.


Yash Kalra

A skilled automobile designer and a lyricist,known for vivid imagination, have been a disciple of arts from the very beginning of mutual understanding between words and me. Tangentially covering the boundaries of every field, have had a taste of everything. Believes in writing to express than to impress.