PARAM VEER CHAKRA
CAPT MANOJ PANDEY
A Real Inspiration To youth
वीरों की इन गाथाओं को साझा करने का सिर्फ एक कारण है कि यह वास्तविक किस्से कहानियां हमारे बच्चों तक, हमारे युवाओं तक पहुंचे और वह इस से प्रेरणा लेकर जीवन में कुछ बनने की ठान लें, कुछ कर गुजरने की ठान लें। सभी लोग इन कहानियों को इन घटनाओं को अपने बच्चों तक अवश्य पहुंचाएं मैं लगातार एक हफ्ते तक कारगिल सप्ताह के अंतर्गत ये कहानियां आप तक पहुंचाती रहूंगी।
“Service to the nation stands highest form of patriotism”
OUR MARTYRS OUR PRIDE
45 years ago a dashing saviour of the nation was born on 25th June 1975 ,the one and only – Param Vir Chakra Captain Manoj Kumar Pandey
Capt Manoj Kumar Pandey was awarded the Param Vir Chakra for his outstanding courage, leadership and devotion to duty, however, posthumously. We salute Capt Pandey’s service and sacrifice. He destroyed a enemy position with a grenade, even as he got a fatal burst on his forehead. His daredevil act led to the capture of jubar top at Khalubar in kargil. His extraordinary courage and indomitable spirit will continue to inspire the Nation always.
Capt Pandey hailed from Rudha village in Sitapur, UttarPradesh. Son of Shri Gopi Chand Pandey and Smt Mohini Pandey, he was the eldest child in the family studied in Up Sainik School, Lucknow and Rani Laxmi Bai Memorial Senior Secondary School. Subsequently, he joined the National Defence Academy (90th course) got commissioned into the 1/11 Gorkha Rifles.
During his Services Selection Board (SSB) interview, the interviewer asked him, “Why do you want to join the Army?” He replied, “I want to win the Param Vir Chakra.” True to his words, Capt Manoj Kumar Pandey did win the country’s highest gallantry award
His some other famous sayings are :-
“Some goals are so worthy that it’s glorious even to fail…”
If death strikes before I prove my blood, I swear I will kill death.
From Kargil Diary
During Kargil one mission was planned in Batalic Sector and 1/11 GR was assigned the task to take over Khalubar. The task was given to the ‘B’ company of 1/11 GR wherein Capt Manoj was commanding Platoon No 5. On the night of 2/3 July 1999, Capt Manoj along with his troops marched off for the Pahalwan Chowki located at a height of 19700 feet on his way to Khalubar. As the assault team moved ahead, it faced heavy and intense enemy fire from both sides of the hillock. Capt Manoj quickly moved his platoon to an advantageous position under intense enemy fire, sent one section to clear the enemy positions from the right and himself proceeded to clear the enemy positions from the left. Capt Manoj fearlessly charged ahead with the booming battle cry, “Jai Mahakali, Aayo Gorkhali” clearing two enemy bunkers. While clearing the third bunker a barrage of bullets hit him on the shoulder and legs. Undaunted and without caring for his grievous injuries, he continued to lead the assault on the fourth bunker and destroyed the same with a grenade. As he hit his target he himself got hit in the forehead with a bullet. Capt Manoj later succumbed to his injuries
but not before the last of the enemy had been annihilated. His last words were, ‘Na Chodnu’ (Don’t leave them).
He was martyred at the age of 24 years.
The troops under the command of Capt Manoj gained control over six bunkers and killed eleven enemy soldiers besides getting a good stock of arms and ammunition including an air defense gun. Khalubar was eventually captured and Capt Manoj Kumar Pandey with his supreme sacrifice not only set an example of unparalleled bravery but also changed the course of Kargil war.
Captain Manoj Kumar Pandey, thus, displayed most conspicuous bravery, indomitable courage, outstanding leadership and devotion to duty and made the supreme sacrifice in the highest traditions of the Indian Army.
Straight From the Father’s heart
This is what a proud father, Shri Gopichand Pandey , says about his brave son.
Brave son of India- Captain Manoj Kumar Pandey(PVC) (P)
“I am the father of a great son. I know, I can never explain him for he was beyond my understanding and imagination. But I would like to mention some facts the country must know about him.
“We belong to a small village Rudha in Sitapur district, UP. I was not well-off when Manoj was born in the same village on June 25, 1975, as my eldest son. I remember, he was very lovable and affectionate to his grand parents as well as to other family members. He was unique in every manner. At school, his subject or syllabus could never rule him, he always ruled over them. In spite of being seriously ill he got unexpected marks in his 10th examination and was appreciated by everyone.
Manoj always understood my economic condition and whenever any crisis knocked my doorstep, I found him beside me. Observing the family’s condition, he started helping me in my business. He was adjudged the best cadet in NCC and was awarded by the Governor of UP. I had to spend no money on his education as he took care of himself through his scholarships.
“After Intermediate, Manoj was selected for NDA. I think this was the happiest day in his life as he had always desired to go to the Army. I cannot forget his answer to a question at SSB that he wanted to join the Force to be awarded Param Vir Chakra. This answer subsequently shocked everyone related to him as he achieved what he had said.In his own words : “One should join the Infantry in Army and in Infantry one must prefer the Gorkha Regiment”. I am happy that he got both his desires fulfilled.
On commissioning, he was posted in Kashmir Valley at first. He was then posted to Siachen. On the glacier, he came across varied experiences. After coming back from the glacier, he shared all his experiences with us. He explained about the glacier’s problems and Army’s efforts for survival there. In his own words : “On glacier, people fight the climate more than they fight the enemy”.
“His holidays were the happiest days in our family. I know those days can not come back. Those days are over with the Kargil war. But in my memory those days are still fresh. In Kargil, my dearest son made his family and the nation proud. It was Khalubar where my son displayed extraordinary courage and great leadership. In spite of knowing very well that he was going to face death, he motivated his troops through his patriotic words. He did not care for his life for he thought the nation is above everything else. I respect his feelings. Only with hand-grenades and a khukri he scared his enemy and left none to flee. And for this great deed of courage, he had to sacrifice his life. His martyrdom will continue to be an inspiration for thousands who want to follow him.
“I am proud of you, my son! You are with me every moment in my memory. You are still guiding me. Whenever I am faced with any problem I go in front of his photo, see his face and the solution is always there.”
“BRAVEHEARTS NEVER DIE”
Sqn Ldr Rakhi Agarwal (Retd)