On Capt Manoj Kumar Pandey, PVC (Posthumous)



“Some goals are so worthy, it is glorious even to fail” – Capt Manoj Kumar Pandey, Param Vir Chakra (Marnoparant).

This day in 1999, a young Captain by the name of Manoj Pandey was going gung ho, clearing Pakis in Khalubar.

Little would he have known that he had just about 43 days more in this mortal world, before he attained martyrdom and at the same time, immortal fame.

He led the most difficult tasks assigned to 1/11 Gorkha Rifles in the war, with full confidence in his fellow Gorkhas to deliver.

Here is a letter he wrote from the battlefield to a friend.

Download, Zoom & read.

As can be seen in the words he wrote, he knew the task was big, but also that it simply HAD to be done.

And that he was not afraid of what lay ahead.

His moment of glory would come on the night of 02/03 July in Khalubar where he singlehandedly cleared four bunkers out of six that had held up the Indian Army’s advance towards the LoC in that sector.

In the process, he met a glorious death. But even as he fell, mortally wounded, the last grenade in his hand found the last remaining Pakis in the fourth bunker. Even in death, his task was utmost in his mind.

His last words, his last command to him boys in fact was – “Na Chhornu” (Don’t leave them).

The maddened Gorkhas ensured that their fallen leader’s last command was obeyed without any pity or remorse towards the enemy. With their khukris flashing, they ensured not one Paki saw the next dawn.

When dawn finally broke, Paki dead lay littered on the battlefield. But the joy of victory was dampened by the loss of Manoj and six other Paramvirs of 1/11 Gorkha Rifles. One Param Vir Chakra and three Vir Chakras were bagged by the battalion that night on their Path of Glory.

Mr Gopi Chand Padey, a humble gardener from Lucknow would soon find himself on the Rajpath, receiving the PVC earned by his son.

Even normally drably worded official citation couldn’t hide the sheer madness of that night.

God bless this Param Vir and his parents who raised him to become one.

Here’s a short, five minute video of his parents talking about him. The mother actually knew that her son was no more even before anyone told her. Try and watch the video till the end without choking up if you can.


Sharing some snippets from his young life in the succeeding paras.

Photo: Capt Manoj Kumar Pandey, PVC (P) at the battlefield with fellow officers of his Paltan. A rare pic.


Manoj Pandey with his parents, possibly during, or sometime immediately after his training years.


The final homecoming of Capt Manoj Kumar Pandey, PVC (P), for his last journey on shoulders of his fellow Gorkhas, Lucknow, 07 July 1999


A documentary on Manoj Pandey. Totally worth the 15 minutes of your life it asks for.
Footage worth gold.


Sergeant Manoj Kumar Pandey, Mike Squadron, National Defence Academy


Junior Under Officer Manoj Kumar Pandey, Indian Military Academy


A young Manoj Pandey at his village Kamlapur, near Sitapur, about 60km from Lucknow


Last photo of Capt Manoj Pandey clicked during his last leave, 15 Mar 1999.                     He left for Kargil on the 16th.


Khalubar – the last battlefield of Capt Manoj Pandey.  Was unconquerable, but for Manoj & the hundreds like him


Story of Capt Manoj Pandey for kids, a wonderful effort.
My elder one has read it more than 20 times


Photo: A bust of Capt Manoj, being presented to the IMA next month by veterans on their 50th year reunion.

Jai Hind

Jai Mahakali .. Aayo Gorkhali!

On the Battle of Chhappar Chiri / Sirhind

Folks, yesterday marked the 309th anniversary of the day when the Sikhs, led by Banda Singh Bahadur entered the city of Sirhind. Here’s a short blog on the events leading up to this significant victory for the Khalsa Panth.

Sirhind was the unfortunate witness to the martyrdom of the two younger Sahebzadas of Guru Gobind Singh at the hands of its Governor Wazir Khan, who’d vowed to finish the Sikhs after the battle of Anandpur Saheb in 1704.

Sahebzadas Fateh Singh and Zorawar Singh were just 9 and 6 years old respectively, but stood firm to their faith like a rock.

They chose martyrdom over conversion to Islam, along with their grandmother, Mata Gujri, the wife of Guru Teg Bahadur, who too had earned the title ‘Hind Di Chaddar’ for his sacrifice.

Enraged at this dastardly act, the Sikhs vowed revenge.

Soon, in 1708, Guru Gobind Singh too was murdered by assassins thought to have been sent by the same Wazir Khan. However, the Guru had, shortly before his death, baptized a young ascetic, Madho Singh and given him the title, ‘Banda Bahadur.’

Realizing that he was mortally wounded and wouldn’t be able to punish Wazir Khan himself, Guru Gobind Singh sent Banda Bahadur for the job shortly before he left for his heavenly abode.

In Oct 1708, Banda Singh Bahadur marched towards Punjab with 25 Khalsas and a ‘Hukumnama‘ enjoining Sikhs to gather under his banner. As Banda reached Delhi, thousands had gathered around him, raring to avenge the Guru and his Sahebzadas.

Sonepat, Samana, Shahbad, Mustafabad, Kapuri and Banur were soon subjugated. Now Banda Singh Bahadur marched towards Sirhind to give battle to Wazir Khan, who too had marched out to meet him.

The Khalsas and the Mughals clashed at Chappar Chiri in Kharar Tehsil on 12th May 1710. The Mughals fielded cannons and cavalry whereas the Khalsas fought with swords, spears and small arms.

It was not an easy battle.
Far from it, in fact.

Wazir Khan fielded a strong army, bolstered in numbers by a call to Jihad issued by him.
In initial stages of battle, they prevailed over the the Khalsa, with their artillery causing many casualties.

Realising the criticality of taking out the Mughal arty, the Sikhs charged towards the guns.

Many fell enroute, but the remaining finally silenced the Mughal artillery.

Now started a hand to hand fight.

Here too, the Mughals had an upper hand due to their numbers.

At this stage, Baaj Singh, the second in command of Banda, who was sitting atop a mound to observe and direct the battle, approached him and requested him to join the battle.

Banda Bahadur moved to the forefront of his army to give battle to the enemy.

In words of Sohan Singh,

Then rose he (Banda) like a hungry lion from his cave & sprang upon the army like a bolt from the blue.

His appearance very much encouraged the Khalsa, whereas it struck a general terror among the enemy.

The irresistible Banda, with a single sally changed the whole scene.’

Encouraged by the sight of their leader, the Sikhs fell upon their enemy with renewed vigour. Many a Mughal were dispatched by the Khalsas without any pity or remorse.

In the words of Khazan Singh, ‘When the battle was raging, a strong storm set in and with that the Singhs rushed at the enemy and put them to flight.’

‘Money and baggage, horses, elephants, fell’ said Khafi Khan, ‘into the hands of the infidels (Singhs) and not a man of the army of Islam escaped with more than his life and the clothes he stood in.’

Outnumbered, out-gunned and under-equipped, yet the Khalsas prevailed over the enemy.

Wazir Khan himself fell to the sword of Fateh Singh.

After a bloody battle lasting two days, the Singhs finally raised the victory cry and Banda Bahadur took formal charge of Sirhind, which had borne the brunt of the final stages of battle as the Mughals fled Westwards from Chappar Chiri.

On 27th May 1710, Banda Singh Bahadur held a huge ‘Diwan’ in Sirhind city and proclaimed the Khalsa rule and the end of Mughal tyranny.

With this victory, ‘Khalsas of Gobind’ now controlled all land between Sutlej and Yamuna.

This was the first Sikh kingdom in the Land of Five Rivers, established after innumerable sacrifices. It didn’t last very long, but a start had been made. A lasting Sikh Empire was but a matter of time.

God bless the souls of those that perished in those days.

(sourced from )

Fateh Burj (Victory Tower), constructed in Chhappar Chiri to commemorate the epic battle that the Khalsas fought there under the stewardship of Banda Singh Bahadur.

On Pakistan’s De-Escalation Offer


Looks like Shri Ganpat Rai has made Pakistan his permanent home!

But jokes apart, NEVER trust Terroristan, ESPECIALLY when they offer ceasefire / de-escalation. What this statement from Pakistan means is that they are really hurting due to the relentless whacking by the Indian Army since Pulwama / Balakot.

Of course, being practically bankrupt, plus an IMF which is making them grovel for bakhsheesh like never before helps too.

THIS is the reason why they are suddenly smoking the peace pipe, in addition to the dope that they are otherwise addicted to.
And this is not the first time they are doing so, mind you.

On 12 January 2002, the world saw a mightily shaken up Musharraf come on television and ‘promise’ that no Pakistani territory would henceforth be used for terror against India.

You know what prompted this?

It happened when he realized that this time India meant business.

It happened when he saw the way the Indian Armed forces had mobilized in the immediate aftermath of the Parliament Attack, all set to teach Pakis a good lesson once and for all.

Interestingly, by making this statement, he more or less acknowledged Pakistan sponsored terror.

Btw, it was the same Musharraf who had PUBLICLY felicitated terrorist Ilyas Kashmiri for bringing the head of an Indian Army soldier from the LoC not very long ago.

It was the same Musharraf who has been repeatedly humiliated by the Indian Army


(LINK to above tweet)

Here are a few more tweets on Musharraf and his baptism by Indian fire in 1965. This thread was tweeted on the occasion of 50 years of the 1965 war. Here’s the LINK to the relevant part of that thread and a screenshot below:-


It was the same Musharraf who had told a group of retired military officers in April 1999 that “Taliban are my strategic reserve & I can unleash them in tens of thousands against India when I want” (LINK).

So what happened in 2002?

Did he realize his ‘folly’ and become a reformed man?


Far from it.

The reason for this cosmetic change of heart was that India was finally on verge of calling Pakistan’s bluff. How much sincerity lay behind his words was aptly demonstrated when Pakistan sponsored terror killed unarmed women & kids in Kaluchak 5 months later.

Pakistan react ‘fast and furious’ by arresting Hafiz Saeed after Vajpayee talked about Aar Paar ki Ladai.

The same was repeated after the 2008 Mumbai Attacks!

Such is the irony of the terror infrastructure in Pakistan that today Hafiz Saeed, Masood Azhar and Lakhvi roam freely, while Musharraf is hiding in the Middle East!

This brings me back to the basic premise behind this blog – Pakistan offering an olive branch.

We’d be fools to be taken in by it.

Just as their proxies come back stronger after every ‘Ramzan Ceasefire’ in the Valley, so will the Pak Army.

This offer is not that of a ceasefire, but a tactical retreat instead.

A tactical retreat because their bankrupt economy can no longer sustain such prolonged engagements.

A tactical retreat so that they can go back to licking their wounds.

A tactical retreat so that once their wounds heal and logistics replenished, they can go back to being .. well .. themselves.

A tactical retreat because the much anticipated baksheesh from IMF is taking a tad bit longer.

Let’s be clear folks – this ‘offer’ is not due to a change of heart, but is more about making a virtue out of a necessity because they just cannot carry on any longer.

This is not the time for us to repeat past follies and show magnanimity yet again.

Throughout our history, we’ve pardoned an inexcusable number of Ghauris an inexcusable number of times. And we all know what we have to show for it – Zilch. One often wonder what might have been, had we NOT been magnanimous even one of those times. Here is a tweet from about four years ago (LINK):-


This ‘peace offer’ by Pakistan is because they’ve once again realized that the GOI is damn serious about de-panting their brown pants spanking their brown bottoms good.

Any guesses why the ‘peace offer’ came right after this report – Army postpones critical wargames due to deployment on Pakistan border?


Bottomline: This is not the time to smoke the peace pipe.

On the contrary, this is the time to let the dagger thrust in their backsides, remain their, if not pushing it deeper. The enemy is hurting. The Valley is relatively calm, despite the onset of summers. Let it remain thus.


Flying and fighting in the MiG-27: Interview with a MiG pilot



Fast, brutal and unforgiving, the MiG-27 is a formidable Soviet attack aircraft that continues to serve with the Indian Air ForceHush-Kit spoke to former MiG-27 pilot Anshuman Mainkar about flying and fighting in this ferocious machine known locally as the Bahadur.

15284030_10155526477551982_4243330456773933328_n-2.jpgWhat is the best thing about the MiG-27? She was built for low level flying. No doubt about it, she offered a silk smooth ride down low. And she was fast….I remember a live fire exercise mission flows in card with two French Mirages trailing. On being given a call to push, we engaged afterburners and pulled away from the Mirages, who couldn’t catch up with us after that.”

“She was very fast at low-levels, and her ability to hold steady was superb. With wings swept back fully and speeds exceeding 1000 km/h at low levels, the wings waggled and the noise and vibrations…

View original post 2,735 more words

Indus Water Treaty – Time for a Rethink?


So I came across this news report earlier today (LINK)

This is BIG, folks!
Don’t dismiss it as a mere political statement in middle of an election season.
Let me explain how ..

Firstly, this is the first time someone as high up the decision making chain as a Union Minister has talked about the Indus Water Treaty in this manner. 

He’s not talked about optimally exploiting waters of the three Eastern Rivers which in any case are ours as per the treaty. Neither is he talking about utilizing the waters of the Western Rivers to the extent the treaty permits India to do. (In fact, we STILL aren’t utilizing the Western River waters that are we are permitted, even though some steps have materialized in that direction)

What he talks instead is about stopping the flow of river waters into Pakistan.
Now by this, one can safely assume that he is definitely NOT talking about the three Western Rivers because stopping their flow is more or less impossible due to geographical constraints.

What he means is about the three Eastern Rivers, and amongst those too, the Ravi.
Now why Ravi?

Because the Beas in any case merges with the Sutlej well within Indian territory and the Sutlej itself is practically a trickle by the time it crosses the border into Pakistan.

Now as far as the Ravi goes, there has been a steady build-up by this govt regarding diverting excess water that flows into Pak & use it for own consumption. I blogged some thoughts about the same some months ago. Do have a look for a better understanding – On Ravi River Waters Flowing Unchecked into Pakistan

As far as the Sutlej and the trickle that still flows into Pakistan goes, the day Sutlej Yamuna Link Canal happens, that too will be history.

But then, I see this statement of the Minister not for what I have written in the above. What stands out in the above statement is this phrase – PEACEFUL RELATIONS AND FRIENDSHIP. Here’s a screenshot of the same:-

Now before I elaborate upon that, let me tell you about the circumstances in which the Indus Water Treaty can be abrogated by any party – THERE ARE NONE!

Para 3 of Article XII of the Indus Water Treaty states: “The provisions of this Treaty may from time to time be modified by a duly ratified treaty concluded for that purpose between the two Governments.” Unquote

Para 4 of the same article says: “The provisions of this Treaty, or the provisions of this Treaty as modified under the provisions of Para 3, shall continue in force until terminated by a duly ratified treaty concluded for that purpose between the two Governments.” Unquote

So basically, there is just no exit clause for the treaty. It can never be unilaterally abrogated but instead, only be replaced by another treaty for formalizing the sharing of waters.

Now THIS is where the choice of words by the Minister is so significant.

‘Peaceful Relations and Friendship’ is what he said. Now where did this come from? For answers, refer the screenshot of the Preamble of the Indus Water Treaty below. The treaty was signed ‘In a Spirit of Goodwill and Friendship’!

In case the provisions of the treaty don’t permit unilateral abrogation, then lack of ‘Goodwill and Friendship’ could technically provide a way out. In case the very spirit behind the treaty is no longer existent, can the treaty itself hold?

Like I said – Technicalities!

And when a person of the stature of a Union Minister uses the same language, I’d prefer to believe that the same has, at the very least, been debated at the highest levels of the Govt.

Post Uri, the PM had even remarked ‘Blood & Water can’t flow together’. And today comes this statement about terror & water.

So, in a hypothetical scenario, wherein the GOI actually cites this lack of ‘goodwill and friendship’ and actually abrogates the treaty, what might happen?

Contrary to what some might say, or want, flow of the Western Rivers into Pakistan simply cannot be stopped! The Indus and Jhelum flow inside valleys flanked by huge mountains. The only outlet for their waters is towards Pakistan.

Even the Chenab, though only flanked by the Pir Panjal Range to its north, flows through deep valleys and drops as much as 24 metres per kilometre, making it too very difficult to divert.

So like I said, the Western Rivers will continue to flow into Pakistan.

What WILL happen in case the treaty is unilaterally abrogated / suspended by India is that own projects on the Western Rivers will no longer be forced to adopt sub-optimal designs due to whims of Pakistan leading to time consuming litigation / arbitration.

What WILL happen is that own projects will not suffer needless delays while we try to ‘satisfy’ Pakistani whims.

What WILL happen is that we shall no longer be bound to share the designs of own projects, making them further vulnerable to terror.

What WILL happen is that we will no longer be bound to abandon / modify own projects due to Pakistani ‘objections’.

What WILL happen is that we will no longer be bound to ensure a minimum flow in the Western Rivers as our big dams fill up and even thereafter.

Most importantly, what will happen is that Pakis will never be sure about their water supply. The Ravi in any case brings floods to them every monsoon, what will now happen is that the Indus, Chenab and Jhelum can also bring droughts every summer / sowing season.

THIS is why the use of the words – ‘Peaceful Relations and Friendship’ – by the Minister is so significant. It is a warning to Pakistan that things might already by in motion and the cost of sustaining their terror apparatus is about to go significantly higher.