Col NN Bhatia has documented the history of the Battle of Rezang La in a Coffee Table Book and made the details of these brave soldiers accessible to many of us.
Who would be better than Col Bhatia to write this as he was the Adjutant of 13 Kumaon later and had access to the related war documents and diaries.
First and foremost, though a Kumaoni daughter, I enjoyed reading on how well the hardy Ahirs from the plains had merged with the kumaonis from the hills in the regiment, setting a great example in national integration.Ahirs and Yadavs are two sides of the same coin is slowly understood!
In his book, he brings the battle-field alive;one can visualise Rezangla,Chushul and the tactical features such as Gun hill, Gurung hill, Spanggur gap , Maggar hill, etc.One can almost feel the Chinese moving to their formations and advancing for the battle.The description of the heavy Artillery firing sends a shudder through our hearts.As we stand with Naik Sahi Ram in his lone position and Major Shaitan Singh trying his best with his depleted resources,andSection Commander Ram Kumar disabling his batteries, we can feel the deadly silence after the last rounds were fired and the gallant soldiers of “C” company fought to the last round and to the last man.
I loved reading the book. I was 14 when this battle took place and am the daughter of late Col HS Dhingra, AVSM,who was the commanding officer of 13Kumaon at the time of this battle. Before the war, as the war clouds were gathering, I had exchanged lot of inspirational poetry with him and through discussions later,he continued to rever those days till his end in 2015.He had studied English literature and shared the lines of Macaulay with me while he proposed it to the army Hqs. The narration of the war with such clear maps and rare photographs makes it spectacular
I hope this book reaches as many people as possible, both civilians and military folk, to inspire and to motivate all of us in every walk of life. Maybe a hindi version could follow!
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