Amazing Facts About The Rajputana Rifles Of Indian Army
Hello Defence Lovers, The Rajputana Rifles is the most senior rifle regiment of the Indian Army. It was originally raised in 1921 as part of the British Indian Army, when six previously existing regiments were amalgamated to form six battalions of the 6th Rajputana Rifles. In 1945 the numeral designation was dropped from the title and in 1947 the regiment was transferred to the newly independent Indian Army. The unspoken Rajput code of honour is that of valour and loyalty. The Rajput cult has never fallen short of stories of valour and sacrifice. In this article we have provided some amazing facts about the Rajputana Rifles which will make you swell with pride.
- The name Rajputana Rifles is derived from the Rajput a Hindu clan and the word Rajputana which was the old name of Rajasthan. It is based on the Sanskrit word Rajaputra meaning son of a king.
- The regiment’s origins lie in the 18th century when the East India Company (HEIC) recruited Rajputs to protect its operations.
- In January 1775, it raised its first local infantry units which included the 5th Battalion, Bombay Sepoys, which is considered to be the oldest rifle regiment of the Indian Army.
- The regiment has been part of various challenging and crucial operations, but the bravehearts of the rifle regiment have mainly been involved in cross-border conflicts with Pakistan.
- 2 Rajputana Rifles was the first of seven Indian Army units to receive an official citation for their bravery during the Kargil War in 1999.
- The list of honours earned by its brave soldiers is endless. Over the years, the regiment has received 41 Vir Chakras, 10, Maha Vir Chakras, 6 Victoria Crosses, 25 Shaurya Chakras, 1 Param Vir Chakra, 1 Ashoka Chakra, and 1 Padma Bhushan, among many other awards.
- Nearly, 80% of the Regiments strength is of Rajputs and Jats . Other’s recruited are Ahir, Sikh, Gurjar and Muslims.
- About 30,000 soldiers of Rajputana Rifles died in the First and Second World War.
- The Rajputana Museum in Delhi showcases the rich history of this unit. It is also rated as the finest military museum in India.
Motto & Battle Cry :
- Its motto is Veer Bhogya Vasundhara which means “The brave shall inherit the Earth”.
- With the traditional Rajasthani moustache as their trademark style and “Raja Ramchandra Ki Jai” as their battle-cry, the Rajputana Rifles has been serving the country since more than two centuries now.
- Their insignia is the katar, a Rajput weapon, and a bugle.
Bravery At Its Best :
- During the Kargil War of 1999, RR was called upon to capture Tololing Top, the highest peak in the Dras-Kargil sector that overlooked the Srinagar-Leh highway.
- The extreme rugged terrain of the peak claimed half of the total causalities in the entire Kargil war. Capturing this peak was not only highly challenging but also very crucial and a game-changer in the war.
- Led by Major Vivek Gupta, the teams went ahead determined to defeat the enemy or die in battle.
- Maj. Vivek Gupta managed to capture two challenging posts in a single day, before he fell down after a ruthless round of firing by the enemy.
- Another team of 10 officers of 2nd Rajputana Rifles were ordered to capture Point 4590 on Tololing Hill.
- Among them was Havildar Digendra Kumar. He was assigned the task of targeting the first and last of 11 Pakistani bunkers on the Hill.
- During the assault, he was shot in his left arm. But the brave soldier, determined to pull down the enemy, kept firing with his machine gun.
- He received 18 bullets on his armour. His fierce attack allowed his men to rush to the enemy bunkers and take them down.
- He is said to have killed 48 Pakistani soldiers single-handedly and was awarded the Mahavir Chakra for his bravery.
- On 20 June, Colonel Ravindra Nath sent a message on the radio to his brigade commander: “The objective given to my battalion has been achieved in full. We have captured Tololing sir.”
- The bravery and sacrifice of the jawans of the 2nd Rajputana Rifles was so exceptional, that they were the first among the 7 Indian Army units to receive an honorary citation by the army chief.