National Defence Bureau,
Lucknow, 12 November 2019
The 11 Gorkha Rifles Regimental Centre at Lucknow celebrated its 12th Reunion over three days, displaying remarkable bonhomie between officers and jawans in the Army. The Centre wore a festive look amidst various ceremonial, sports and cultural programmes organised on the occasion. Attended by nearly 150 officers from all over the country and 1500 junior commissioned officers and jawans from all parts of India and Nepal, the celebrations were aimed at strengthening the regimental spirit and sense of duty.
Addressing the gathering, Lieutenant General JBS Yadav, (Retired) a war veteran of 1971 war, delivered a very inspiring talk on the occasion. He was all praise for the Gorkha soldiers from Nepal and India for their contribution in upholding the traditions of the Regiment with unparalleled valour and sacrifice. General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Army Staff and Colonel of the Regiment of 11 Gorkha Rifles and Sikkim Scouts, speaking on the occasion exhorted all officers and jawans to continue to strive hard, in pursuit of excellence. The gathering was also addressed by Lieutenant General Anil Chauhan, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Command.
The celebration included conduct of cultural programmes and sports events like football and boxing, wherein talent of the Gorkhas was on display. Eminent sportsmen of the 11 Gorkhas were also honoured during the function. Subedar Jitu Rai, a Khel Ratna Awardee of the Common Wealth World and Asian Games in Pistol Shooting also attended the event. The War Widows and Wounded Soldiers were honoured by holding a special event to commemorate their supreme sacrifice for the nation. Prominent amongst the attendees were parents of Late Captain Manoj Pandey, Param Veer Chakra and mother of Late Lieutenant Puneet Dutt, Ashoka Chakra.
Overall the deep sense of bonding and regimental spirit were strengthened for further generations and challenges ahead.
THE BRAVE KIRANTIS OF 11 GORKHA RIFLES
The country’s first Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, an officer in a Gorkha Rifles Regimental, once said “If a man says he’s not afraid of dying, he is either lying or is a Gorkha”. The 11 Gorkha Rifels Regiment will be celebrating its 12th Regimental Reunion with grand celebrations in Lucknow from 10 Nov to 12 Nov 2019.
On 01 Jan 1948, 11 Gorkha Rifles was raised at Palampur (Punjab), now in Himachal Pradesh by Major (Later Colonel) Harnarain Singh Chauhan, fondly called father of the Regiment. 11 Gorkha Rifles became the First Regiment of the Army, raised in Independent India, comprising mainly the ferocious ‘Rais’ and ‘Limbus’ of KIRANTI PRADESH of Eastern Nepal.Presently, the Regiment comprises of six regular Battalions, one Sikkim Scouts Battalion, one Territorial Army Battalion and two affiliates i.e. 7th Light Cavalry and INS KHUKRI.
The Regimental Centre, presently located at Fort Kiranti in Lucknow Cantonment since Jun 1983, has evolved into one of the finest Training Institutions of our Army. The Eleventh Gorkha Rifles has had the proud privilege of having most of its battalions participating in practically all the operations undertaken by the Indian Army since independence. Captain Manoj Kumar Pandey of 1/11 Gorkha Rifles was awarded with Param Vir Chakra posthumously for his gallant actions during operation in Batalik Sector in 1999 during Operation Vijay. The unit was also conferred with the title “Bravest of the Brave” for its outstanding performance during OPERATION VIJAY. The unit was bestowed with Battle Honour ‘BATALIK’ and Theatre Honour ‘KARGIL’.
Brave Kirantis have been awarded from time to time for their gallant actions in various operations. Pre-Independence Awards of Persons who Opted for 11 Gorkha Rifles include 01 Victoria Cross, 11 Military Medals, 05 Indian Distinguished Service Medals, 06 Military Cross among others. The tally of awards Post Independence include 01 Param Vir Chakra, 04 Ashok Chakra, 01 Padma Bhushan, 02 Maha Vir Chakra, 03 Kirti Chakra, 14 Vir Chakra, 13 Shaurya Chakra, 01 Ashok Chakra Class III, 04 Yudh Seva Medal, 8 Sena Medal, 01 Arjun Awards, 01 Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and the tally continues. Thelaurelsitwon in adventure and field of sports are enviable. The Regiment has produced a large number of sports and adventure stars including Subedar P Narjit Singh in International Boxing and Subedar Jitu Rai in International Shooting.
Wherever the battle field, the Regiment has carved an enviable niche for itself and acquitted itself honorably in keeping with its motto of ‘YATRAHAM VIJAY-STATRA” (In English – We the Metaphor for Victory), Regimental Battle Cry “JAI MAHA KALI AYYO GORKHALI” and salutation “JAI GORAKH”
Shailesh Kumar is an independent journalist with over 15 years of experience in crime, political and defence reporting for leading media brands including Star News, India TV and NewsX. He is the founder editor of defence and security news portal, National Defence.