Guys did you know that what is the highest honor for a soldier in the Indian Armed Forces ? The highest honor for any soldier in the Indian Armed Forces is the Param Vir Chakra. It is the highest wartime gallantry award in India. In this article you will know everything about the highest honor of a soldier- The Param Vir Chakra.
Param Vir Chakra
The Param Vir Chakra is the highest military award awarded for the distinguished acts of valor during wartime. It is also India’s highest wartime gallantry award. The Param Vir Chakra literally means the “Wheel of the Ultimate Brave” and it is indeed given to the ultimate brave soldiers of the Indian Armed Forces. The award is granted for “most conspicuous bravery in the presence of the enemy”. The Param Vir Chakra has been awarded 21 times in the history of India. Out of the 21 Param Vir’s 14 were posthumous and 16 arose from actions in Indo-Pakistan conflicts.
Specifications for the Param Vir Chakra
The medal is a circular bronze disc 35 millimeters in diameter. On the front, the National Emblem of India appears in the center on a raised circle surrounded by four copies of the vajra. The vajra symbolizes the sacrifice of Rishi Dadhichi, who gave his bones to the gods to make the vajra to kill the demon Vritra. The medal is suspended from a straight-swiveling suspension bar. On the reverse, around a plain center, are two legends separated by lotus flowers. The words “Param Vir Chakra” are written in Hindi and English. A purple ribbon, 32 millimetres long, holds the Param Vir Chakra.
List of the 21 Param Vir Chakra Awardees
Major Somnath Sharma
Major Somnath Sharma, was the first recipient of the Param Vir Chakra (PVC). He was from the Kumaon Regiment. Fighting in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947-1948, Somnath Sharma was martyred in action on 3 November 1947 while repulsing Pakistani infiltrators near Srinagar Airport. For his gallantry and sacrifice during the Battle of Badgam, he was posthumously awarded the Param Vir Chakra.
Naik Jadunath Singh was the second recipient of the Param Vir Chakra (PVC). He was from the Rajput Regiment. took part in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947 as a member of the Indian Army. For an action on 6 February 1948 at Tain Dhar, to the north of Naushahra, Naik Singh was awarded the Param Vir Chakra.
Rama Raghoba Rane
Second Lieutenant Rama Raghoba Rane was the third recipient of the Param Vir Chakra (PVC). He was from the Bombay Sappers Regiment. Rane played a key role in the capture of Rajauri by Indian forces by being instrumental in clearing several roadblocks and minefields. His actions helped clear the way for advancing Indian tanks. He was awarded the Param Vir Chakra on 8 April 1948 for his gallantry.
Company Havildar Major Piru Singh was the fourth recipient of the Param Vir Chakra (PVC). He was from the Rajputana Rifles. In the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947, Singh was part of the leading section of a company that was assigned to capture a Pakistani post at Tithwal, in Jammu and Kashmir. Soon after their attack was launched, the company suffered heavy casualties. In time, Singh successfully occupied a Pakistani medium machine-gun post. But, by that time, the entire company lay dead or wounded. Singh was left alone to achieve the objective. He moved out and lobbed grenades at the next enemy post. Before moving to another trench, he received a bullet wound to the head.
Lance Naik Karam Singh was the fifth recipient of the Param Vir Chakra (PVC). He was from the Sikh Regiment. They also fought in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947, and was awarded the PVC for his role in saving a forward post at Richmar Gali, south of Tithwal. He was also one of the five soldiers chosen to raise the Indian flag for the first time after independence in 1947.
Gurbachan Singh Salaria
Captain Gurbachan Singh Salaria was the sixth recipient of the Param Vir Chakra (PVC). He was from the 1 Gorkha Rifles. Salaria was an alumnus of King George’s Royal Indian Military College and the National Defence Academy. He was the first NDA alumnus and is the only UN Peacekeeper to be awarded a Param Vir Chakra. During the Congo crisis, his duty and courage, and disregard for his own safety during the battle enabled him to be awarded the PVC.
Dhan Singh Thapa
Major Dhan Singh Thapa was the seventh recipient of the Param Vir Chakra (PVC). He was from the 8 Gorkha Rifles. During the Sino-Indian War, Major Thapa was commanding the 1st battalion of 8 Gorkha rifles defending the Srijap 1 post. Even after being surrounded with enemies Major Thapa and his men held the post and repelled three attacks. The survivors, including Thapa Magar, were taken as prisoners of war. For his gallant actions and his efforts to motivate his men under fire he was awarded the Param Vir Chakra. He was relieved from captivity after the war.
Subedar Joginder Singh was the eighth recipient of the Param Vir Chakra (PVC). He was from the Sikh Regiment. During the 1962 Sino-Indian War, he was commanding a platoon at the Bum La Pass in the North-East Frontier Agency. Though heavily outnumbered, he led his troops against a Chinese assault and defended his post until he was wounded and captured. Singh died from his injuries while in Chinese custody. He single-handedly killed more than 50 Chinese soldiers, and became a war hero within the Indian Armed forces.
Major Shaitan Singh was the ninth recipient of the Param Vir Chakra (PVC). He was from the Kumaon Regiment. During the 1962 Sino-Indian War, 13th Battalion of Kumaon Regiment was under the command of Singh. He was holding a position at Rezang La. In the morning hours of 18 November 1962, the Chinese attacked. After several unsuccessful attacks from the front, the Chinese attacked from the rear. The Indians fought until their last rounds. During the battle, Singh continuously moved from post to post reorganizing the defenses and boosting the morale of his men. As he moved between the posts without any cover, he was seriously wounded, and later succumbed to his injuries. For his actions Shaitan Singh was awarded the Param Vir Chakra.
Company Quarter Master Havildar Abdul Hamid was the tenth recipient of the Param Vir Chakra (PVC). He was from the Grenadiers regiment. During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, the 4 Grenadiers battalion was entrusted with a vital position before the village of Chima on the Khem Karan–Bhikhiwind line. At the Battle of Asal Uttar on 9–10 September 1965, Hamid destroyed eight Pakistani tanks and was killed destroying the ninth tank.
Lieutenant Colonel Ardeshir Tarapore was the eleventh recipient of the Param Vir Chakra (PVC). He was from the Poona Horse Regiment. During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, 17 Horse saw action in the Sialkot sector. Tarapore led the regiment in several tank battles between 11 and 16 September. Under his leadership the regiment destroyed sixty Pakistani tanks. He was killed in the battle at Butur-Dograndi on 16 September.
Lance Naik Albert Ekka was the twelfth recipient of the Param Vir Chakra (PVC). He was from the Brigade of the Guards Regiment. During the Indo-Pakistani war of 1971, Lance Naik Albert Ekka noticed an enemy light machine-gun (LMG) inflicting heavy casualties on his company. With complete disregard for his personal safety, he charged the enemy bunker, bayoneted two enemy soldiers and silenced the LMG. Though seriously wounded in this encounter, he continued to fight alongside his comrades. One enemy medium machine-gun (MMG) opened up from the second storey of a well-fortified building. Once again this gallant soldier despite his serious injury and the heavy volume of enemy fire. He crawled forward till he reached the building and lobbed a grenade into the bunker killing one enemy soldier and injuring the other. With outstanding courage and determination Lance Naik Albert Ekka entered the bunker and bayoneted the enemy soldier.
Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon
Flying Officer Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon was the first and only Indian Air Force officer to be awarded the Param Vir Chakra (PVC). He was from the No.18 Squadron of the Indian Air Force. He alone defended the Srinagar Air Base against a Pakistan Air Force (PAF) air raid during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. Flying Officer Sekhon’s remains as well as the exact location of the crash site of his aircraft are still unknown. His skill was later also praised in an article by Salim Baig Mirza, the pilot who shot him down. The bravery, flying skill and determination displayed by Flying Officer Sekhon, against odds of 1:6, earned him India’s highest wartime medal for gallantry, the Param Vir Chakra.
Second Lieutenant Arun Khetarpal was the Fourteenth Recipient of the Param Vir Chakra. He was from the Poona Horse Regiment. During the Battle of Basantar, Khetarpal rushed to meet the Pakistani armor and launched right into the Pakistani attack. With his troop, he was able to run over the enemy advance with his tanks. The commander of the second tank was killed in this attack. Alone in charge, Khetarpal continued his attack on the enemy strongholds. He attacked the incoming Pakistani troops and tanks, knocking out a Pakistani tank in the process. However Pakistani forces regrouped and counter-attacked. In the ensuing tank battle, Lt. Arun Khetarpal with his 2 remaining tanks fought off and destroyed 10 tanks before he was killed in action.
Hoshiar Singh Dahiya
Major Hoshiar Singh Dahiya was the fifteenth recipient of the Param Vir Chakra (PVC). He was from the Grenadiers regiment. Major Hoshiar Singh was commanding the left forward company and he was ordered to capture the enemy locality of Jarpal. On 17 December 1971 the enemy made an attack with a battalion supported by heavy artillery fire. On 17 December 1971 the enemy made another attack with a battalion supported by heavy artillery fire. He was seriously wounded in the shelling. When an enemy shell landed near the medium machine gun post injuring the crew and rendering it inoperative. Major Hoshiar Singh immediately rushed to the machine-gun pit and manned the gun inflicting heavy casualties on the enemy. The attack was successfully repulsed and the enemy retreated leaving behind 85 dead including their Commanding Officer and three other officers. Though seriously wounded, Major Hoshiar Singh refused to be evacuated till the ceasefire. Throughout this operation, Major Hoshiar Singh displayed most conspicuous gallantry, indomitable fighting spirit and leadership in the highest traditions of the Army.
Naib Subedar Bana Singh is the sixteenth recipient of the Param Vir Chakra (PVC). He was from the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry. He is one of the three living Param Vir Chakra’s awardees. In 1987, the Siachen area had been infiltrated by the Pakistani forces. Naib Subedar Bana Singh was posted in Siachen on 20 April 1987, as part of the 8th JAK LI regiment, which was given the task of capturing the Quaid Post. The 5-member team led by Nb Sub Bana Singh successfully captured the Quaid post on 26 June 1987. Nb Sub Bana Singh and his fellow soldiers, including Chuni Lal, climbed the steep 457 m high wall of ice. After reaching the top, Nb Sub Bana Singh found that there was a single Pakistani bunker. He lobbed a grenade into the bunker and closed the door, killing those inside. The two sides also got involved in a hand-to-hand combat, in which the Indian soldiers bayoneted some of the Pakistani soldiers outside the bunker. A few Pakistani soldiers jumped off the peak. Later, the Indians found six dead bodies of Pakistani soldiers.
Major Ramaswamy Pawameswaran was the seventeenth recipient of the Param Vir Chakra (PVC). He was from the Mahar Regiment. On 25 November 1987, when Major Ramaswamy Parameswaran was returning from a search operation in Sri Lanka, late at night, his column was ambushed by a group of militants which had five rifles. He encircled the militants from the rear and charged into them, taking them completely by surprise. During the hand-to-hand combat, a militant shot him in the chest. Major Parameswaran snatched the rifle from the militant and shot him dead. Gravely wounded, he continued to give orders and inspired his command till he died. Five militants were killed and three rifles and two rocket launchers were recovered and the ambush was cleared.
Manoj Kumar Pandey
Captain Manoj Kumar Pandey was the eighteenth recipient of the Param Vir Chakra (PVC). He was from the 11 Gorkha Rifles. During the Kargil War of 1999, ‘B’ Company of 1/11 GR was assigned the task to capture Khalubar top. Pandey was commanding a Platoon in this company. As the platoon approached its final objective, it came under heavy and intense enemy fire from the surrounding heights. The officer quickly moved his platoon to an advantageous position under intense enemy fire. He sent one section to clear the enemy position from the right. He himself proceeded to clear four other enemy positions on the left. Lieutenant Manoj Kumar Pandey was injured on the shoulder and legs by enemy fire while clearing the third position. Undaunted and without caring for his grievous injury, he led the assault on the fourth position urging his men and destroyed the same with a grenade, even as he got a fatal Medium Machine Gun burst on his forehead. It is this singular daredevil act of the officer, which provided the critical firm base for the companies, which finally led to capture of Khalubar.
Yogender Singh Yadav
Subedar Major and Honorary Captain Yogendra Singh Yadav is the nineteenth recipient of the Param Vir Chakra (PVC). He was from the The Grenadiers regiment. He is also the youngest person to get the Param Vir Chakra award. During the Kargil war of 1999, he was part of the Ghatak Force commando platoon tasked to capture three strategic bunkers on Tiger Hill. Yadav volunteered to lead the assault, climbed the cliff face, and installed ropes that would allow further assaults on the feature. Halfway up, machine gun and rocket fire came from an enemy bunker, killing the platoon commander and two others. In spite of being hit by multiple bullets in his groin and shoulder, Yadav climbed the remaining 18 m and reached the top. Though severely injured, he crawled to the first bunker and lobbed a grenade, killing four Pakistani soldiers. This gave the rest of the platoon the opportunity to climb up the cliff face bunker along with two of his fellow soldiers and engaged in hand-to-hand combat, killing four Pakistani soldiers. The platoon subsequently succeeded in capturing Tiger Hill. Though Yadav was hit by 12 bullets.
Subedar Major Sanjay Kumar is the twentieth recipient of the Param Vir Chakra (PVC). He was from the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles. He is one of the three living Param Vir Chakra’s awardees. During the Kargil War of 1999, he was a member of the 13th battalion of the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles. He was the leading scout of a team tasked to capture Area Flat Top. The area was held by Pakistani troops. The team was under machine gun fire from an enemy bunker, about 150 meters away. He realized the problem and the importance of that enemy bunker for the enemy. So, he crawled alone up the ledge and charged towards the enemy bunker. He took two bullets in his chest and forearm that left him bleeding profusely. He continued the charge towards the bunker. In hand-to-hand fighting, he killed three enemy soldiers. He then picked up an enemy machine gun and crept towards the second enemy bunker. The enemy soldiers, taken completely by surprise, were killed by him as they fled their post. Inspired by his act the rest of the platoon charged, assaulted the feature and captured Area Flat Top. Sanjay Kumar displayed conspicuous gallantry, cool courage and devotion to duty of an exceptionally high order in the face of the enemy.
Captain Vikram Batra is the 21st recipient of the Param Vir Chakra (PVR). He is the last person to be awarded the Param Vir Chakra. He was from the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles. During Operation Vijay, Captain Vikram Batra was tasked to attack Point 5140. Captain Batra reorganized his column and motivated his men to physically assault the enemy positions. Leading from the front, he in a daredevil assault, pounced on the enemy and killed four of them in a hand-to-hand fight. Captain Batra assaulted the enemy position along a narrow ridge and engaged the enemy in a fierce hand to hand fight and killed five enemy soldiers at point blank range. Despite sustaining grave injuries, he crawled towards the enemy and hurled grenades clearing the position with utter disregard to his personal safety, leading from the front, he rallied his men and pressed on the attack and achieved a near impossible military task in the face of heavy enemy fire. The officer succumbed to his injuries. Inspired by his daredevil act, his troops fell upon the enemy with vengeance, annihilated them and captured Point 4875.
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