Let’s read about Naik Jadunath Singh!
It is easy to have courage when a battalion of well-trained men carrying guns stands with you. But what spirit does one summon when all those men are dead and yet your enemy marches upon you? Whatever it is, it is more than just courage. And this was why Naik Jadunath Singh was given the ‘Param Vir Chakra’, a medal reserved for soldiers going beyond the definition of the word courage. A leader who stood like a lone wolf against a swarm of enemy raiders.
Jadunath Singh was born in a Rathore Rajput family with a long tradition of bravery and valour. He joined the army in 1941 under British occupation and fought for the British Indian army in Myanmar. After independence, soldiers with previous battle experiences were promoted to leadership roles.
Right after the partition of 1947, Pakistan armed an army of tribal raiders, known as Mujahidin to take over Kashmir. An important town named Naushera was under Mujahidin’s control. Indian army led by Mohmmad Usman successfully drove the Mujahids out of Naushera. But this battle was just half done. Naushera needed constant protection from the future occupation of the Mujahids.
The problem at hand was the openness of Naushera. There were multiple small openings and valleys that Mujahids could use to attack. Brigadier Usman posted small groups of soldiers at all these points. Jadu Nath Singh was leading one such squad with 26 men. He was ordered to guard and defend a bridge leading to Naushera.
Mujjahidding raiders chose the bridge as the site to attack. And on one unfortunate morning, using the mist as an advantage, they attacked. Two guarding soldiers got shot and the remaining troops woke up in disarray. Showing his leadership, Jadunath organized his troops and got the injured soldiers to a cover. The enemy had the advantage in numbers. They were in hundreds and Jadu had only 27 men. But his 27 men were disciplined and polished soldiers while the enemy was a bunch of untrained terrorists. After reorganizing, the soldiers soon overpowered the Mujahids, killing them in hundreds. The remaining rest retreated. Jadunath informed Usman of this attack and requested a backup.
The second wave came with even more men. And the battle became bloodier. The battle against the second wave lasted for two hours. At the end of it, 24 of Jadunath Singh’s 27 men were either dead or injured. Irrespective of their condition, Jadu inspired his men to keep fighting. And then the third wave came. Jadunath Singh needed to hold the post just a little longer before help arrives. But the chances of doing them were getting thinner.
To give his injured soldiers some time, Jadunath Singh picked up his Stein gun and started running toward the enemy. Like a madman who had lost the fear of death, he rained bullets and killed several enemies single-handedly. The enemy camp was in horror. They had never witnessed anything like this. Two enemy bullets found their mark on Jadunath and he fell. But the fear he had provoked in the enemy ranks made them retreat one more time.
Soon after this, the backup arrived and many injured soldiers were rescued. Jadunath was awarded India’s highest military decoration for his excellent leadership and selfless sacrifice. His decision and his company’s stand became the difference in securing Naushera.