Read to find out more about Major Rajesh Singh Adhikari!
A popular theory named the ‘butterfly effect’ states that in perfect conditions a single flap of a butterfly’s wing can start a tornado. The theory goes on to show the importance of small actions being done at the right time and place. These small actions can change the course of the bigger picture. A similar pivotal decision was made by Major Rajesh Singh Adhikari that led India to its renowned success in Kargil War. His success in the mission was the founding stone of the entire Kargil War Victory.
Rajesh Singh Adhikari was born in a village near Nainital. All his childhood he played around mountains, making him a great mountaineer. After joining the military, he was commissioned in the 2nd Mechanised Infantry. This infantry moved alongside armoured vehicles.
But when Kargil War broke out in the year 1999, Rajesh was commissioned to the 18 Grenadier. Kargil War was primarily fought in mountainous terrains. For a quick response from the Indian Army, soldiers with high-altitude experience were chosen as they require less time to acclimatize.
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Major Rajesh Singh Adhikari was tasked to secure the footholds of Topoling Hill. Topoling was the first peak of the three captured by the enemy. Its foothills were the only way to climb the rest of the mountain chain. The Pakistani army knew the importance of these foothills as well. They have placed two bunkers to defend the point. The bunkers were supporting each other in such a way that they could fire at each other’s blindspot.
Major Rajesh Singh Adhikari reached the location with his squad. His initial scouting of enemy bunkers proved that rocket launchers would be ineffective against them. The enemy bunker was equipped with machine guns. This would not give the rocket launchers time to aim and fire. Adhikari planned to get as close to the bunker as possible and then use hand grenades. Slowly and steadily, Adhikari and his men started inching toward the enemy bunkers. Boulders and uneven topology were their only covers.
Major quickly realized the fault in his plan. Once his men were at a distance to throw grenades at the bunkers, they also became vulnerable to enemy grenades. As the leader of his men, he had to make a quick decision. And like many leaders before him, he made a selfless one. He charged one of the bunkers all by himself. The heavy machine guns were hard to manoeuvre. They couldn’t turn quickly enough to match the pace of Major Rajesh Adhikari.
Major reached inside the bunker and fought two of its occupants. He killed both of them but also sustained bullet wounds. Yet he was not done. He picked himself up and mounted the enemy’s machine gun. He started firing at the other bunker. This gave the Indian soldiers a window to use the rocket launcher. And within a minute both the bunkers were deactivated.
Unfortunately, the bullet wounds were too deep and Major Rajesh Singh Adhikari couldn’t make it out alive. But true to his duty, he completed the task given to him. The 29-year-old leader laid down his life to give India its base of operation. And what followed was a historic win. Major Adhikari was awarded Mahavir Chakra for his excellent leadership and selfless act of courage.