Story of Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat - Martyr Who Never Died

jaswant singh rawat 
"Martyrdom is not the end, but the beginning of a legend."

This inspirational quote becomes a reality in the case of Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat. Words fall short when it comes to telling this brave man’s story. Jaswant Singh Rawat is a hero of the 1962 Indo-China war and it is estimated that he single handedly fought the Chinese army for 3 days and killed over 300 Chinese soldiers in the Battle of Nuranang. He is the only soldier in the history of the Indian Army who has been promoted after his death. He was promoted to the rank of Major General 40 years after his death, and his ghost is still believed to command troops guarding the India-China border in Arunachal Pradesh. Here is everything you need to know about him, his story and the Battle of Nuranang.

Quick Facts

  • Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat was born on 19 August 1941. 
  • He belonged to the 4th Garhwal Rifles of the Indian Army.
  • He got martyred on 17 November 1962 fighting the Chinese.
  • He played a very crucial role in saving Arunachal Pradesh from the Chinese and was posthumously awarded the Maha Vir Chakra for his bravery. 
Jaswant Singh Rawat - Second from left, seated

Battle of Nuranang

Battle of Nuranang was a decisive battle in the Sino-Indian War of 1962. His unit, 4th Garhwal had already beaten 3 waves of Chinese enemy charges but during the fourth wave of attack, a Chinese medium machine gun (MMG) had come close to the Indian defensive positions and was firing accurately at their positions. 

3 soldiers - Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat, Lance Naik Trilok Singh Negi and Rifleman Gopal Singh Gusain volunteered to tackle the MMG. They were successful in seizing the MMG but while returning, Gusain and Negi lost their lives and Rawat was seriously injured. But still, he managed to return with the captured weapon. 

Indians were suffering heavy casualties, so the soldiers were ordered to vacate their posts as soon as possible but Jaswant refused to retreat and continued to fight even after the other soldiers had left. According to reports, he single-handedly fought the Chinese army for three days. With the help of two local girls, Sela and Nura, who worked as porters, Jaswant Singh set up weapons at three different spots and fired them one by one for. The Chinese thought that since fire was coming from 3 different positions, a big contingent was firing at them due to which they did not show much aggression. 

But soon the Chinese army realised that it was not a massive army, but a lone soldier who was holding the post. In order to prevent himself from getting captuered by the Chinese, Jaswant shot himself. It is estimated that over 300 Chinese soldiers were killed by him. The Chinese were so furious of him that they chopped his head off and took it with them. Later when the war ended and a ceasefire took place, they returned the head of the soldier back to Indian army along with a brass bust in honour of this brave soldier. The brass bust is at display in the Jaswantgarh War Memorial - named after him in his honour.

Jaswant Singh Rawat was posthumously awarded the Maha Vir Chakra and Lance Naik Trilok Singh Negi and Rifleman Gopal Singh Gusain were posthumously awarded the Vir Chakra. Their unit, 4th Garhwal was awarded the Battle Honour 'Nuranang' - the only battle honour awarded in the 1962 Sino-Indian War.

Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat's bust at Jaswantgarh War Memorial

The Legacy of Jaswant Singh Rawat

Myths, folklore and superstitious beliefs are common in all cultures, religions, traditions and customs. The Indian Army is no different. Jaswant Singh’s story of valour, sacrifice and courage continues inspire all the Jawans and Officers posted in this area but his story has been elevated by locals to a Holy Baba. More than 50 years have passed, but people still believe that the spirit of Rifleman Jaswant Singh still guards the Indian posts to day. It is believed that he keeps vigil over the area and protects the region.  Many soldiers believe that he still guards the post as a ghost and also guides Indian soldiers in their dreams.

The post where Jaswant fought his last battle is now named as Jaswantgarh. A shrine and a war memorial has been made at the place where he fought. His personal belongings are still kept safe even today at Jaswantgarh. He is treated like any living soldier. He gets his bed tea at 4.30 AM, breakfast at 9 AM and dinner at 7 PM. . He is the only soldier who is promoted to post of Major general after his death. His salary is credited every month and he is also granted official leaves.

jaswantgarh

There are many different versions of this superstitious story. Believing or not believing in them is up to you. But the main thing is that we should not forget these heroes who gave their supreme sacrifice in order to build a better India for us.

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Hi, I am Pranjay Varshney. I am pursuing my B.Sc. (Hons) in Electronic Science from University of Delhi. My dream is to join the Indian Army as an officer and I am very passionate about it. I like to write articles about Indian Armed Forces and various political and economic affairs. I spend my free time doing gymnastics, listening to music or watching movies.

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The Radical - Information That Matters: Story of Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat - Martyr Who Never Died
Story of Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat - Martyr Who Never Died
Jaswant Singh Rawat is a hero of the 1962 Indo-China war and it is estimated that he single handedly fought the Chinese army for 3 days and killed over 300 Chinese soldiers in the Battle of Nuranang. He is the only soldier in the history of the Indian Army who has been promoted after his death. He was promoted to the rank of Major General 40 years after his death, and his ghost is still believed to command troops guarding the India-China border in Arunachal Pradesh.
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