The battle of Saragarhi

buzzo 1982

Apr 30, 2019
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The battle of Saragarhi is perhaps one of the most significant events in the recent past that catered to the collective heroism and bravery of 21 Sikh soldiers who were up against a gigantic army of 10, 000 pathans of the Afridi and the Orakazai tribes. The Sikhs had choice of fleeing from the battlefield and sacrificing their land in the hands of the treacherous pathans. But, the story did not turn out to be like the pathans had expected.

It is the heart-rending tale of 21 Sikh soldiers of the elite army of the 36th battalion, currently forming the 4th battalion of the Sikh regiment, belonging to the Indian army decided not to turn their backs and flee from the battle field like the cowards and to stay and defend their mother land. The elite group of fearless soldiers led by Havildar Ishar Singh displayed such courage, valor and bravery in front of the death himself, that this tale went down in the history as one of the most significant, popular and eminent battle for the love and devotion of the motherland. It is considered to be the second best tale of bravery by the UNESCO, only after the great battle between a small pack of elite Greek soldiers from Sparta against a million of the powerful army of the Persian king Xerxes, fought in 450B.C.

The encounter took place in the Tirah region in the North West frontiers, now occupied by Pakistan. It was then a part of the British occupied India. In 12th September, 1897 a huge army of the Afridi and the Orakazais launched a sudden and unanticipated attack on Saragarhi and another group attacked the communication centre at Forts Gulistan and Lockhart. The Sikhs, with out haste began to resist and repulse the attacks, but not for long. After a fearful battle lasting for six long hours, the Sikhs were left with 21 men against 10, 000 pathan soldiers who had by then managed to breach the walls. The 21 elite Sikh soldiers never gave up but fought back punishing the pathans for their deeds. The ranks began to get thinner with passage of time and the Sikhs fell on the ground, all dead, but not before killing 600 pathans for saving their motherland. The Sikhs battled to the last men and Sardar Gurmukh Singh was the last one to fight single handed against 10, 000 and died while a sword pierced his heart. He fell on the ground, holding his rifle and flag.