A Tigress was Bayoneted by a brave Sikh of the Indian army and thus established a world recordBravery of the SikhsThe year was 1954, 17 Sikh was located at Agra and commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Shamsher Singh, whose outstanding leadership and exploits in the 1947-48 war in Jammu and Kashmir were part of regimental lore. The unit was out on a training camp in a forest near Shivpuri, which was to culminate in a test exercise.One day, Sepoy Fauja Singh, who was part of the officer’s mess staff, went to collect firewood for the mess kitchen. Suddenly, a tigress jumped out from a thicket and pounced on him. Instinctively, he tried to fight her off with his bare hands. After a brief struggle, the tigress caught Fauja Singh’s turban in her mouth and thinking that she had got the kill, disappeared back into the thicket. Fauja Singh was badly mauled and he was evacuated to the military hospital immediately, but more to the point, he was extremely upset about the loss of his turban.More reports poured in about the tigress with four cubs, who had turned into a man eater, it seemed. She had killed two persons from a village nearby. True to the Indian Army tradition, this didn’t stop the training, which continued as per plan, and the test exercise was cleared with honours.At the end of the exercise Lt Col Shamsher Singh proposed to his Brigade
Commander, Brigadier Danny Misra, that since the tigress had turned into
a maneater and the area was used by the brigade for training, it would be
prudent to kill the tigress. Back in those days, shikar was allowed in the Army and a hobby for some. In that spirit, Brig Danny Misra agreed to the proposal, but with a rider.
“Shamsher,” he said. “Killing a tiger with rifles is too easy. Can the Sikhs do it with bayonets?” Never one to shy away from a challenge, Singh said, “So shall
it be, Sir!”The die was cast. Shamsher returned and briefed his unit. He prepped his
soldiers by telling them stories of how Hari Singh Nalwa, commander-in-chief of the Sikh Khalsa army, had once killed a tiger with his bare hands by catching hold of its tongue and choking it.It was decided that the unit would assault the general area where the tigress was suspected to have hidden in traditional infantry manner. Once the tigress attacked an individual, he must use the bayonet to counter attack it while the personnel on his flanks would turn inwards to attack the tigress with bayonets and finish the task. This drill was rehearsed to perfection. Next morning, two companies of 17 Sikh formed an assault line 200 yards long, with the Commanding Officer’s party in the centre.
Bayonets were fixed on the Enfield .303 rifles and the assault commenced.It was a surreal scene: bayonets glinted in the morning sun with soldiers of 17 Sikh shouting “Jo bole so nihal!”, out to kill a maneating tigress with only bayonets! On the far side of the suspected area, the Divisional Commander, General Dargalkar, and the Brig Danny Misra, sat on a machan with sporting rifles. Misra didn’t believe the tigress could be killed with bayonets. His plan was that the assault by 17 Sikh would drive the tigress towards the machan, where Gen Dargalkar and he would kill her.The movement of the assault line was laborious due to the broken terrain but after 20 minutes, the den of the tigress was located.She had fled, but her three cubs were found, captured alive and later presented to the Agra zoo. Fauja Singh’s turban was also found in the den.The assault line formed again and moved forward with regimental war cry.
After 10 minutes, the roar of the tigress was heard. Singh shouted to his
boys, “Tagde ho jao!” (“Gird up and get ready for action!”). And then, suddenly, the tigress leapt out of the thicket and attacked the assault line. Sepoy Sucha Singh was directly in front and he adopted the traditional bayonet fighting stance, meeting the tigress’ assault head on with his weapon. As she came at him, he plunged his bayonet into her chest. It got buried to the hilt, inside the tigress’ chest, but the momentum of her charge knocked Sucha Singh down.Both he and the tigress fell 10 yards forward. As per the rehearsed drill, the soldiers on the flanks turned inwards and pounced on the tigress, pinning
her down with their bayonets. It wasn’t necessary. Sucha Singh had already pierced her heart.It was then that the sound of a rifle shot was heard.
Shamsher was livid with anger, thinking one of his men had disobeyed orders. He
rushed to the scene and asked who had fired the shot. The company assured him no shot had been fired and the report had come from the direction of the
machan. Shamsher ordered the success signal be fired with the Very Light Pistol and 500 hundred voices joined him in the long jaikara of “Jo bole so nihal!‘.Then Shamsher rushed to Sucha Singh, who was badly mauled but on inquiry
about his wounds said, “Saab ji main tan theek haan, par woh sali sherni meri rifle lai gayee.” (“Sir, I am ok but the damn tigress has taken off with my rifle”). The loss of a weapon is a very serious lapse in the army! Sucha Singh was assured that the rifle has been recovered and that he was now nearly at par with the great Hari Singh Nalwa for having single-handedly killed a tigress. He was evacuated to the military hospital.A telegram was despatched to Fauja Singh: “Revenge taken! Tigress killed!
Turban recovered!” Sepoy Sucha Singh was immediately promoted to Lance
Naik and on that day, 17 Sikh was rechristened the Tiger Battalion.The bayonet of Sucha Singh had developed a 10-degree curve due to the force of the impact with the tigress. A most unusual occurrence, as bayonets are usually made of brittle metal designed to pierce and break when it hits a hard surface. Shamsher directed Sucha Singh’s bayonet must be kept as a trophy. The Quarter Master in his enthusiasm to get Sucha Singh his replacement mistakenly sent the bayonet back to the ordinance depot for replacement. Fortunately, it was located and brought right back to the unit. The bayonet, along with the skin of the tigress and news paper coverage of the event, still adorn the officers’ mess of 17 Sikh The Tiger Battalion.While Sucha Singh was being taken to the military military hospital, Shamsher went to the machan to report the success of the mission to Misra and Dargalkar, who were still on the machan.To his amusement and the embarrassment of the VIPs, Shamsher learnt that in the excitement of the whole action, one of the rifles from the VIP machan had
dropped to the ground. That was the rifle shot Shamsher had heard!Later, Misra along with Shamsher went to meet Sucha Singh in the hospital. The brigadier asked Sucha Singh, “Kya aapne hi sherni ko mara tha?” (“Are you
the one who killed the tigress?”) A peeved Sucha Singh replied, “Asli bayonet toh mainne hi mara tha, sir, par mari hui sherni par bad mein aur bhi maarte gaye. Aur mainne suna ki dar ke mare VIP machan se, kisi rifle nichhe gir kar fire ho gayee.” (“I’m the one who got her with the bayonet first, but others attacked the dead tigress too. And I heard that up in the VIP machan, someone got so scared that they dropped their rifle by mistake and fired it.”)Nine years later, Colonel Shamsher as the Centre Commandant of the Sikh Regimental Centre at Meerut Cantonment, was interviewing soldiers going on pension when he heard the familiar voice of Havaldar Sucha Singh. He reported that he was going on pension. Shamsher took a quick decision and directed the pension orders to be cancelled.Instead, Sucha Singh was promoted to the rank of Jemadar. There were objections from higher headquarters, but Shamsher had a simple reply:
“Sucha Singh is probably the only man in history to have killed a tigress with a bayonet. He deserves to be a JCO!”
Friday, May 17, 2019
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Realist movement was a movement that appeared just after the Romantic movement. This movement was spearheaded by Theodore Gericault and Eugene Delacroix. The romantic movement concentrated on paintings that pleased the eye. Gustave brought in the realist
The world of art and painting is as old as history. From the earliest time paintings and art have dominated the ethos of man. Thus there are ancient cave paintings from the prehistoric age to the modern art of the present era. One aspect that has dominated art is painting a woman in the nude. This is one of gods greatest gift and obviously painters have tried to do justice to this aspect, by painting women in the nude.
A look at the nude paintings of almost 2000 years and even more, one can see that 99% of them were devoid of human hair. Women were presented as porcelain models who had no hair. Thus the Greek and Roman paintings including from Egypt and India depicted women without hair. The famous paintings from the Greek era show the beautiful Greek goddesses as hairless beauties. Obviously this was something unreal and a new breed of painters in France in the 19th century took it upon themselves to bring about realism in their paintings.Oone of these painters is Gustave Coubert( 1819-77). Gustav was among a new breed of painters who advocated realist approach to art. The Realist movement in art is due a lot to him and Eduard Manet who in 1863 painted Olympia. This painting when displayed in the art show in Paris in 1863 needed two guards to protect it.
What was the Realist movement? It was a movement that appeared just after the Romantic movement. This movement was spearheaded by Theodore Gericault and Eugene Delacroix. The Romantic movement concentrated on paintings that pleased the eye. Gustave brought in the realist movement where he painted nudes, landscapes and still life as seen from the eyes of man. This obviously necessitated the painting of subjects that some considered vulgar. Gustave painted the harshness of life and he also painted women as he saw them complete with pubic hair. He brought into question the age old ethics of art.
In 1866 Gustave took on the church and prudery head on by oil- painting one of his most notorious paintings. Titled the L'Oringine du Monde ( Origin of the world). The painting is presently displayed in the Musee d'Orsay, Paris. The painting is a close up view of a woman who is nude and sleeping on a bed. The painting by Gustave is a part of what he believed-realism and can be termed as erotic. Gustave used a live model for this painting, a girl named Joanna Hiffernan. She earlier had a love affair with an American painter James Whistler, but after this painting Joanna and Whistler separated.
The 19th century was a revolutionary one as art took a U-turn. The new breed of painter began to paint slums and the poor as a part of the realist movement. But we must give credit to Gustave Coubert for starting this movement. He is no more but he struck an important blow for art and truth.
The painting L origine du Monde displayed in the Musee'Orsay, Paris by Gustave Couber
Thursday, May 9, 2019
Tuesday, May 7, 2019
Sunday, April 14, 2019
I have read the article forwarded by Admiral Stanley OLeary as well as his comments. I think whatever is stated is true and cannot be contested. This article mentions that a letter written by veterans to the President needs to be supported. I will, however, like to digress a little as comparisons are drawn with Russia, USA, and China. I don't think we measure up to these countries as they are global powers and we are not.
When we don't make any weaponry of any sophisticated value and rely only on imports, is not the sign of world power. We are of course the largest importer of arms. Historically no nation becomes a world power by just importing arms. This difference is important as the armed forces do not have the same clout as in Russia and China. I have been to Russia and have observed that the Russian officer is better in terms of perks and amenities compared to the civil service, that is because Russian influence in global affairs depends on the Russian armed force. I suppose the same with China but I am not sure.
The Indian top brass is squarely responsible for all the shortcomings likeNFU etc which are not sanctioned. The Chiefs have been pussy footed to present anything to the government and its a long tradition. Remember the COAS General Thapar accepted an order signed by a Jt secretary - MOD. Its all part of history as such the COAS who is really the only chief who has clout has always said: "yes sir". If NFU has not come it is again because of the top general staff. Many have told me that the Chiefs are not happy with NFU, parity with civil services be dammed. Similarly for reasons best known to them the Chiefs have put no pressure for OROP to be sanctioned.
Talking of great powers like Russia, China, USA is not relevant to our situation We can just look around us. Burma ( 30% seat in NA reserved for the military) and Thailand and now Indonesia the armed forces call the shots. Pakistan is our brethern having inherited the same British Indian army and it is THE STATE. If the armed forces in India are sidelined it is because the top brass feels that it's correct. I don't think there is any conviction of the COAS to press any point, but being an appointee by Mr. Modi and having superseded 2 senior generals I think he is beholden to the GOI, so nothing can be expected. But he is not the first and right from the time of the first Cin C this is going on. Maybe it has something to do with the Hindu ethos and Frank Moraes who wrote of the " meek and mild Hindu". But so are Buddhists, yet the army in Burma and Thailand is the real ruler.
My personal take is that nothing is going to happen. One thing is clear blaming the civil services is not correct because we ourselves want to play second fiddle to them.
Coming to the letter it's all hogwash, just to embarrass the Mood government. Throw it in the dustbin
Friday, April 12, 2019
Now look at our ancient history, India unlike the Greek states had no tradition of democracy. The king ruled by divine right and one can say people were Happy. The empires of Kanishka and Chandragupta are a testimony to this.
England had a long history of limiting the power of the king. They had the Magna Carta while in India it was autocracy all the way. It was not bad but then this is a fact. In fact, come to think of it the 200 years of the Raj were the most tranquil in the history of India. This was the period when the Hindus were given their rights and after 900 years got rid of the obnoxious effects of Muslim rule like Jizzia and conversion. So maybe democracy like in the UK is unsuited to India but now the clock cannot be put back.
Monday, April 8, 2019
Saturday, April 6, 2019
This a simple yet enigmatic answer. On the face of It BJP has made some inroads in urban areas but it's hold on agrarian society remains almost zero. Generally one can say that all BJP has in Tamil Nadu are some small enclaves and the masses are not enthused with BJP. There are many reasons for it. One of them is that BJP is viewed as a higher caste party bent on imposing Hindi language and North Indian culture. This is anathema to Tamil masses. The BJP philosophy also appears alien to Tamils. There is also no emotional cord with Ram temple though Tamils are predominantly Hindus. The BJP has the image of a party trying to dominate south with Aryan ethos. This is not acceptable to Tamils. BJP while decades back championed imposition of Hindi and this not forgotten by people. The average Tamil has little love for BJP and on its own the party cannot win a single seat in state or loksabha.
Sunday, March 31, 2019
This is very sad as we lost the battle to greatness because of a faulty priority by our first PM. In 1948 China did not even manufacture a bicycle but now they have produced a 5th generation fighter and launched a man in space. It’s about time people realized the reality of Indian military might, which is pretty hollow as we don’t manufacture anything of precision and have to rely on imports -the tap of which can be turned off any time.
One can remember that in the 1965 war the armies of both India and Pakistan ground to a halt as they were fighting with imported weaponry and the western powers turned off the tap of supply of further ammunition. The million dollar question is how does a country continue to fight when 99% of its sophisticated war machinery is imported. The blame for this is squarely on the political leadership that lacked a strategic horizon and the desire to dominate the world.
One can well realize the Indiahelplessnesses as even after the first demand in 2004 for the Rafale, 15 years down the line not a single plane has landed in India. What if we had built our own industry? A pipe dream?
Why can't the COAS accompanied by the other two chiefs meet the PM and present their views and the consequences?
Saturday, March 16, 2019
Basically its lack of political will. One will recollect that in 1948 China did not even manufacture a bicycle while India was much advanced with steel plant, aircraft, and a car factory. China has gone ahead and even launched a spaceman in orbit while Indian are still twiddling their thumbs. China has copied most Russian planes and they are none the worse for it. India, unfortunately, did not build up its military-economic complex and talked of peace leaving India way behind in great power status. The situation is that India can not even sort out Pakistan which is 1/5th the size of India. Neglect of the military industry has serious ramifications as India is dependent on foreign suppliers for its planes and guns. it cannot fight a sustained war as it produces almost zero military equipment. How India reached this sorry state is because of the Indian political leadership. Now to catch up to China is almost like a pipe dream and in the bargain gone forever is great power status which rests on military-economic- industrial capability.
49 Muslim worshipers were shot dead during attacks on mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. The country has previously been immune to this type of incident. The idyll is shattered as gunmen opened fire on a congregation of attending prayer sessions in a This was on Friday, a day considered holy by Muslims. The Sri Lanka cricket team on a tour of New Zealand had also visited the mosque before the shooting. CNN has reported that the in the mosque attacks has increased to 49 and police say one man has already been charged with murder in the wake of the terrorist attack.
Monday, February 11, 2019
It's a bit longish yet for the film's release but fans are already worked up about it. It should be an entertaining film as the story of the magic lamp, the genie and the boy Aladdin are folklore and known to all in the world.
There is a lovely princess also who looks more of one from India and that will be a double delight. All credit to Disney for bringing this wonderful tale on the screen for all and sundry.
Thursday, February 7, 2019
Wednesday, January 9, 2019
What is " Doctrine of Necessity" and its Sordid Connection with Pakistan
“Doctrine of necessity” is a legal term. This is a term used in constitutional law and is as old as history. What does it mean? It means that a government can resort to extra-constitutional authority in case there is a breakdown in law and order. The purpose is to restore order in a situation when anarchy rules. The Romans used this doctrine in the occupied lands. Later in the 13th century, the doctrine was given a legal cover by the jurist Henry de Bracton (1210-68).
Theory of Blackstone and Henry Bracton
Henry Bracton was perhaps the first to give a proper legal framework to this theory. He lived during the 13th century and was greatly influenced by the conditions in England at that time.
The doctrine was further revised by William Blackstone (1773-68) an English Jurist. Both jurists had a common thread that this doctrine was a necessity, in case there was a breakdown in law and order. The crucial point is “breakdown in law and order”. There is a related question as to who will decide this. The jurists did not amplify on this matter.
In the 20th century, the doctrine was extensively studied and commented upon by the English Jurist Sir Ivor Jennings( 1903-62)
‘Doctrine of Necessity’ has never been used in England. But it has been used in Germany by Hitler and now in Pakistan. Pakistan is one nation that has repeatedly upheld changes in Pakistan’s political environment by military coups under this doctrine. This makes sad reading.
Doctrine of Necessity and Pakistan
The Doctrine of Necessity has been known for over 2000 years, but it has been rarely invoked in modern history. The state of Pakistan has however relied on this doctrine to justify military coups and judicial political hangings like of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto by the army general Zia ul Haq.
The first time this doctrine was used in Pakistan was in 1954. The events are now well known. The then Governor General of Pakistan Ghulam Mohammed dismissed the constituent assembly. He took this unconstitutional step as he felt that the assembly did not represent the people of Pakistan. It was a partisan step and an appeal against the Governor General’s order was filed in the Sind High court.
The President of the Constituent Assembly Maulvi Tamizzuddin was the man who filed the appeal. It is on record that the Sind High Court ruled in favor of the petition filed by Maulvi Tamizzuddin. The Governor General went in appeal to the Chief Court of Pakistan (later the Supreme Court). The then Chief Justice Muhammed Munir seeing the wind blowing with the army breathing down his neck ruled in favor of the Governor General. Justice Munir relied on the doctrine of necessity as enunciated in Roman law and further enunciated by Ivor Jennings. This was a sad day for Pakistan.
This decision of Justice Munir became a precedent and on a number of occasions, the Supreme Court of Pakistan justified Military Coups. Thus military coups against elected governments by General Zia ul Haq and general Mushraff who overthrew the elected civilian governments were given legitimacy.
The Supreme Court of Pakistan also consented to the hanging of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Not something Pakistan should be proud of.
in 2009, the wheel turned full circle and Chief Justice Choudhry of Pakistan in a landmark judgment declared Martial Law as unconstitutional. This was after the exit of General Musharaff. I hope this ruling stands the test of time for the future.
All photos from wiki free