Gujarat Global News Network, Delhi
Infantry Day 2015 was celebrated with traditional fervor on 27 Oct 15 with Wreath Laying Ceremony organised at ‘Amar Jawan Jyoti’. Gen Dalbir Singh, the COAS, Senior Veterans, Colonels of Infantry Regiments and serving officers attended the Ceremony. Lt Gen GS Rawat (Retd) represented the veterans in the Wreath Laying Ceremony.
Field Marshal SHFJ Manekshaw Memorial Lecture was also organised at Manekshaw Centre, Delhi Cantt as part of Infantry Day celebrations. Proceedings began with welcome address by Lt Gen Sanjay Kulkarni, Director General of Infantry. Lt Gen VR Raghavan, (Retd) delivered lecture on “Old and New Wars: Structural Challenges”, highlighting changes in character and scope of wars. Distinguished Soldier Diplomat, Lt Gen SK Sinha, (Retd) spoke of his association with Field Marshal Manekshaw, with whom he had the privilege to serve. The lecture culminated with closing remarks by the COAS, and a vote of thanks by the Director General Infantry.
October 27 is celebrated as Infantry Day by the Indian Army as it was on this day (27 Oct 1947) that a Company of Infantry of The First Battalion of the Sikh Regiment was airlifted from Delhi to Srinagar, to defend Kashmir from the invading tribal who were being supported by the Pakistan Army. This action was ordered by the then Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru after Maharaja Hari Singh of Jammu and Kashmir signed the Instrument of Accession, acceding his kingdom, “Jammu and Kashmir” to independent India. Another significance of this day is that it was on this day in 1947 that India as an independent nation was first time engaged in operations against an aggressor.
On this occasion, it would be pertinent to recollect that Pakistan Army had launched ‘Operation Gulmarg’ in early October 1947 using tribal to annex Jammu and Kashmir. Hostilities began in early October 1947, when a tribal rebellion was instigated in Poonch in Southwest Kashmir. By 20th October the Pakistani Army entered the conflict in support of the tribal forces. On 22nd October, 1947, a Lashkar of five thousand tribal invaded the Kashmir Valley from Abbottabad.
On 26th October 1947, Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession thus making Jammu and Kashmir an integral part of India and the Indian Army was thereafter ordered to evict the invaders. The entire campaign was predominantly Infantry centric and its commencement on 27 October 1947 is therefore commemorated as ‘Infantry Day’.
Infantry is the largest fighting arm of the Indian Army, also popularly known as the “Queen of the Battle”, it is the backbone of the Indian Army and its soldiers bear the main brunt in any battle. Physical fitness, aggression and discipline are the basic qualities required in these men. The Infantry units of Indian Army have been modernized, equipped and trained to make the Indian Army amongst the best in the world.
The Indian Army Corps of Infantry has been at the forefront in the entire spectrum of activities from maintaining constant vigil at the Line of Control to combating insurgency, to aiding our fellow citizens in distress while facing various forms of natural calamities and even in restoring peace, order and tranquility in foreign lands as part of United Nations Peace Keeping contingents. The challenges have been unprecedented and unique and each and every time, ‘THE INFANTRY’ as the biggest fighting ensemble of the Indian Army has always risen to the occasion.
(For news in Hindi see our Hindi daily Chaupal Chronicle)