This is the story of Major Ramaswamy Parameshwaran.
From time immemorial, warriors have followed only one code: protect those who can’t protect themselves. Over time, warriors have changed. They dress differently, and they have different weapons, but the code remains the same. Indian soldiers are our modern-day warriors. They fight for more than just their nation. And one such warrior lost his life-fighting in a foreign land and for people, he never knew. Though he donned the Indian flag on his chest, he fought and died for the entire humanity. His name was Ramaswamy Parameshwaran.
Srilanka has a very peaceful history behind it. It’s an island with only one neighbouring country, India. India and Srilanka have shared cultural and historical links or millennials. Whether the story of Ramayana or the Son of Ashoka, Mahendra spreading Buddhism, India has a cordial relationship with Sri Lanka. In the 1980s Sri Lanka faced internal trouble with a local terrorist group named Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, LTTE.
Srilankan government looked to their friends in India for help. And India responded. The Indian military was sent there not to fight a war but to defend the peace. The peacekeeping forces of India were to monitor and patrol the cities that the Srilankan Army won. One of the leading commanders of the Indian Army was the highly experienced Major Ramaswamy Parameshwaran.
Ramaswamy Parameshwaaran had become a thorn in LTTE’s flesh. The 41-year-old Major had 12 years of working experience with the Indian Peace-keeping forces, IPKF. His resume was filled with operations against Indian Naxalites and Maoists, who like LTTE also fought in Guerilla warfare. Parameswaran knew the way to counter Gurellia warfare was the constant surveillance of jungles and routes used by the LTTE. This tactic had the LTTE frustrated and they wanted Ramaswamy Parameshwaran dead as soon as possible.
The LTTE staged a trap. They let false intel about their meeting circulate in the nearby town. The Indian military too received the intel and acted fast. But on their way, they were ambushed by a small group of militants. Ramaswamy Parameshwaran had suspected the trap and was well prepared. Rather than being surprised or overwhelmed, the Indian army quickly encircled the militant group. The militants were hidden in a field of long grass. Slowly and steadily, the Indian army tightened their perimeters.
With no option left, the militants fought back. In one such counter-attack, Major Ramaswamy Parameshwaran was resisting a militant when he was shot in the chest from a very close range. Still, he managed to take the rifle from the militant and shot him dead. Even after being shot, he continued giving orders, until the mission was successful and all militants were either dead or captured. When Major was taken to the nearest hospital, he was declared dead. The militant group that they had nulled was carrying two rocket launchers. If not for the clever tactics of Major Parameswaran, the Indian Army would have faced a much more devastating attack and the number of fatalities could have crossed double digits.
For immense loyalty to his duty and the ultimate sacrifice to save others, Major Ramaswamy Parameshwaran was honoured with India’s highest military honour, the ‘ParamVir Chakra’. His sacrifice became a hallmark of Indian peacekeeping forces. Currently, India is the third highest contributor to the UN’s peacekeeping force in the world. Indian soldiers have created a unique brand of trust and honesty worldwide with their peacekeeping efforts.