Rifleman Jaswant Singh is considered the hero of Sino-India Warin 1962.The exemplary bravery shown by Jaswant Rawat was honored by building a memorial at the post where he fought the Chinese army.
The post which he held against the Chinese Army was named as Jaswant Garh. Another honor bestowed upon him is that he continues in the service even after death, he has been awarded promotions as if he is still serving the Nation.
Battle of Nuranang
This was the Chinese Army’s fourth assault, in the last charge as a final insult – they’d chopped off the hand of the Buddha Statue in Tawang and carried it away, but something was different this time.
The orders for the 4 Garhwal rifles were to retreat from their position but Rifleman Jaswant Singh, remained at his post and repulsed Chinese troops for three days from overrunning the post.It was the last phase of the war in November 1962, and due to a lack of resources, his company was asked to fall back. But, Jaswant Singh remained at his post. With the help of two local girls, Sela and Nura, Jaswant Singh set up weapons at three different spots and fired them non-stop for three days. Thinking a big contingent was firing at them, the Chinese Army stayed put.
As the time passed, the Chinese Army grew frustrated, as they knew no way to counter the purported attack of the Indian Army. They finally caught the man who was providing food to Jaswant and the two girls and interrogated him. The man spilled the beans. The Chinese then surrounded Jaswant Singh from all sides. Nura was captured and Sela died in a grenade burst. Jaswant Singh, realising he was about to be captured, shot himself.
The Chinese forces cutoff Jaswant Singh’s head and took it back to China as a war souvenir. After the war was over, the commander of the Chinese forces, impressed by the late Jaswant Singh’s show of bravery, returned his head along with a brass bust made of the soldier. It is now installed at the site of the battle. He was posthumously awarded Maha Vir Chakra for his bravery. Jaswant Singh’s display of valour, and his love for his nation has proved to be a great source of inspiration to Indian soldiers since.
The Official Citation MVC
In memory of RFN Jaswant Singh Rawat, MVC assisted by L/Nk Trilok Singh Negi and RFN Gopal Singh Gusain as part of Company 4th Battalion Garhwal Rifles on 17 Nov 1962, volunteered to silence an enemy MMG that had come close to their defenses and was firing accurately at the locality. That very day 4th Garhwal Rifles had beaten back two of the enemy attacks on their location. Jaswant Rawat and Gopal Gusain supported by the covering fire from Trilok Negi heroically closed within grenade throwing distance and destroyed the Chinese detachment of five men seizing the MMG. However, in the process of returning Jaswant Rawat and Trilok Negi were killed whereas Gopal Gusain though seriously injured came back with the captured weapon. The entire operation cost the Chinese 300 Dead and wounded with loss to Garhwal rifles being 2 dead and 8 wounded.
The 4 Garhwal Rifles was awarded battle honour Nuranang, the only battle honour awarded to any Army unit in the Sino-Indian war of 1962.
The Legend of Baba Jaswant and Jaswant Garh
Local people around Tawang area believe that he has become a saint and his spirit protects the area.The Indian army keeps at least half-a-dozen personnel here to take care of Rawat as if he is alive. He is served bed tea at 4.30 am, breakfast at 9 am and dinner at 7pm.
A shrine, memorial has been made at the place where he fought and the place is fondly called as Jaswant Garh. All Indian Army personnel passing by this route from General to a Jawan pay their respects here. Jaswant is treated as if he is alive, his boots shined, linen washed, towels changed. Soldiers who polish his shoes claim that they are often found covered with mud, a sign that he has been walking around at night.
Soldiers who polish his shoes claim that they are often found covered with mud, a sign that he has been walking around at night.
The Legend goes that convoys in blizzards have seen Jaswant directing the vehicles through the serpentine bends. He continues to receive his promotions on time even after his death. He even gets letters from people seeking his blessings and help in all types of problems.