Facts About the Indian Armed Forces: A Soldier’s Lakshya

“Yeh Indian Army hai. Hum dushmani mein bhi sharafat rakhte hai”

The Indian Armed Forces of the Republic of India are one of the world’s boldest, bravest patriots of the world. The forces comprise of three uniformed services: The Indian Army, Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force. They are entrusted with the responsibility of protecting their mother land against foreign powers.

The Indian Armed forces have 1.4 million active personnel who work under the orders of the Ministry of Defence of the Indian government. They are the second largest military force in the world with the third largest defence budget.

There is no doubt that the Indian Forces have excelled in times of trouble but there is more to what meets the eye. Their field of work needs to be spoken about and their bravery should be cherished.  

Here are the lesser known facts of these patriotic regimes:

  • The Indian Army was previously called the ‘British Indian army’ when it was established on 1st April, 1895. However, the first time a battalion existed in India was in 1741 but during the British rule, the army was reorganised by the East India Company.
  • The Gorkha regiment, one of the most fierce and respected forces were made a part of the Indian Forces on April 24, 1815. It is believed that Adolf Hitler wanted control over this regiment since he had a vision to acquire Europe which would only be possible with the help of the Gorkha regiment. The Gorkha’s have kept up to their acclaim even today.
  • On April 13, 1984, the Indian Army and the IAF (Indian Air Force) launched Operation Meghdoot to gain control over a part of the Siachen Glacier.  This victory was important and a tough one since it was fought on the world’s highest battlefield.
  • The Indian Army is regarded with such high admiration that armies of United Kingdom, United States and Russia are sent for training in Indian Military Academies.
  • One of the World’s shortest battles was fought between the Indian-Bangladeshi and Pakistani army in 1971. During this Indo-Pak War, the Pakistani chief with his troop of 93,000 men surrendered to the Indian Army marking a new World Record of Largest Military Surrender.
  • The Bailey Bridge in Ladakh is one of the highest bridges in the world and it was constructed by the Indian Army in 1982. Similarly the National War Memorial was built by the Military Engineering Services and completed in just 20 months.
  • The motto of Indian Air Force, “Nabha Sparsham Deeptham” is taken from the 11th chapter of the Bhagavad Gita. It means, Touch the Sky with Glory. An encouraging motto indeed….
  • Similarly to the Indian Army, the Royal Navy was founded in 1612 by the British East India Company. However, with the new constitution coming into effect, the name was changed to ‘Indian Navy’ on 26th January 1950.
  • Although the Navy should consider its establishing day (26 Jan, 1950) as Navy Day it does not do so. The Navy carried out a successful attack on Karachi Naval Headquarters on 4th December, 1971 and that victory is celebrated as Naval Day in India.
  • In 2019, INS Viraat, the popular aircraft carrier was dismantled which stirred news around the country. It was India’s first and oldest aircraft carrier in the world.
  • The fancy aircrafts that put on a show during important world events are one of a kind. Saagar Pawan of India and Blue Angels of the United States are the only two aerobatic teams in the world.
  • Apart from the Mumbai Police, National Security Guards (NSG), Anti-terrorism Squad (ATS) who contributed in the rescue operations of the Mumbai 26/111 attacks, the MARCOS (Marine Commandos) played an important role in airlifting people from Nariman House.
  • The BrahMos missile which is in possession of the Indian/Russian Navy is the world’s fastest cruise missiles to be made. The word BrahMos comes from Brahmaputra of India and Moskva of Russia. It is a joint venture of both the countries which explains the unique name of the missile.

“Jab wahan border par log apni neend ki parwah kiye bina jagte hain, tab tumhein yahan sheher mein chain ki neend aati hain” (Holiday:A Soldier Is Never off Duty)

Salute to the soldiers of India, salutations to those who put their country first, to those who withstand extreme temperatures and to those who are have touched the feet of death fearlessly. May India have many more sons and daughters as brave as you.

Jai Hind.

Written by Jerusha Patel  

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