The youth of the country need to be given a post-Independence historical perspective to make them realise that the freedom that they are enjoying came with a price. Sacrifices did not end with the freedom struggle; they extended way beyond to save the territorial integrity, dignity, democratic values and freedom of the great Indian Nation. The new generation must derive motivation from the historic narratives and remain ‘be prepared’ to make similar sacrifices in the future so that the nation emerges strong and indomitable.
|The battlefield of 1971 and the action at Nagi Sand Dune came alive in Sriganganagar district. The serving soldiers as well as local populace stood at the Sand Dune that experienced the roars of war 43 years ago .|
Towards this end, an initiative taken by the Army in the Fazilka-Abhor sector to commemorate the glorious battles in 1971 and the victory of the Indian Army over deceitful forces deserves utmost admiration.
The Indo-Pakistan war of 1971 witnessed many battles where the Indian soldiers exhibited courage and fortitude in the face of great odds and came out victorious albeit after great sacrifice.
In December 2014, the Army organised a number of functions to commemorate all operation in the sector. The functions included a Shaheedi Mela (Fair in memory of Martyrs) at the Asafwala War memorial which included a marathon. A presentation was made by a number of schools and universities in and around Fazilka portraying, in a pictorial manner, the gallant tales of the heroes of the war.
The youth of the area were overawed by the realisation that such a great war was fought by their army right next to their homes. A grand victory parade was organised by the civil administration and citizens of Fazilka on December, 15, 2014.
The local population and other dignitaries joined in great numbers and with great enthusiasm. The focus was on the glorious Battle of Nagi merits special mention. Nagi is a tiny border village in Sriganganagar, Rajasthan. Little is known about the famous battle that was fought in this area by the Indian Army against Pakistani intruders on December 27, 1971, ten days after a formal ceasefire between Indian and Pakistan had been declared.
Despite a decisive defeat in the hands of the Indian Army, Pakistan did not hesitate from taking a provocative recourse on the border in Rajasthan. Troops of the Pakistan Army occupied a high Sand Dune in village Nagi as a prelude to coming further into Indian territories.
4 Para Battalion of the Indian Army was tasked to evict the Pakistani troops from the Sand Dune and regain control of the area. An attack was launched at 0400 hours on the dark, moonless night of 27/28 December by “C” Company of 4 Para under command of the Company Commander, Major VK Berry (who later retired as a Brigadier). No sooner did “C” Company start its approach to the Sand Dune than it met with heavy and devastatingly accurate Artillery fire from the Pakistan side and heavy machine gun fire from the Sand Dune.
But the nefarious act of the Pakistan Army was put to naught by the brave action of soldiers of Indian Army who reclaimed the post. Despite all odds the Indian flag was hoisted on the Nagi Sand Dune on December 28, 1971.
43 years hence, on 27/28 December, 2014, proud Indian veterans who had participated in the action, their relatives, serving soldiers and the local people stood on the Sand Dune and revisited the courage of those who fought for the glory of the nation. The war veterans were felicitated by General Officer Commanding, Chetak Corps, Lt General PM Hariz.
A one week “Nagi Vijay Diwas” was held at Sriganganagar Military Station and Nagi village on December 27/28, 2014, to commemorate the great victory. Wreath laying ceremony was held at the Nagi War Memorial, Shaurya Sthal, on December 27, 2014. The monument is revered as a temple and shrine by the local community. In a unique gesture, soldiers of the Parachute regiment held a Para Motor display and while passing over the memorial by parachute showered rose petals on the sacred monument.
It is hoped that the Indian Army will take many more such initiatives that motivate historians, writers and columnists to record the great battles fought and won by the army since Independence.
-Jaibans Singh, (The write is Editor of www.defenceinfo.com)