Naik Jadunath Singh Rathore was a soldier of the Indian Army who actively participated in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947 in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. Jadunath Singh was posthumously awarded the Param Vir Chakra for showing exemplary courage as he fearlessly faced the overwhelming odds and challenged the enemy head-on. He died during the battle with the Pakistani forces as he sustained grievous bullet wounds and later on succumbed to his injuries.
Naik Jadunath Singh Rathore was born on Tuesday, 21 November 1916 (age 31 years at the time of his death in 1948) in the Khajuri village of Shahjahanpur district in Uttar Pradesh. As a child, he studied till class 4th only at his village school. He had to leave his studies early due to the poor economic conditions of his family. After dropping out of his school, Jadunath Singh started helping his family with household chores and also started looking after farming as he came from a farmer’s family background. In his free time, he would often partake in wrestling in his village and as time passed he became a well-known wrestler in his village. He was also known to be a man of strong character and was immensely soft-spoken because of which he commanded respect among the villagers. A new page in the chapter of his life turned when on 21 November 1941 he was enlisted in the 7th Rajput Regiment of the British Indian Army at their regimental centre at Fatehgarh. Upon completion of the training, Jadunath Singh was posted to the 1st Battalion of the 7th Rajput and was sent to fight the Japanese on the Eastern Front.
Family & Caste
Naik Jadunath Singh Rathore belonged to a Rathore Rajput family.
His father’s name was Bir Bal Singh Rathore who was a farmer by profession.
His mother’s name was Jamuna Kanwar.
He resided at Village Khajuri, Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh – 242001, India
As a Sepoy during the 2nd World War
After completion of his military training, Jadunath Singh was deployed to the Eastern front to confront the advancing Japanese forces at the Arakan Provinces (now known as Rakhine State), Myanmar, in 1942. Jadunath Singh’s battalion fought the Japanese in the Mayu ranges and successfully forced the Japanese troops to withdraw and retreat to Donbaik. In early 1943, the Japanese regrouped and unleashed a massive counterattack upon the advancing Indian forces that cut off their escape route and split the units, after which the Indian units, including Jadunath’s unit, had to fight their way back to the allied lines. Soon after this, his unit captured the Akyab Islands from the hands of the Japanese, which was a strategically important island. His unit was also a part of the 2nd Indian Infantry Brigade, which was tasked with the defence of the partially occupied Andaman and Nicobar Islands but before the war could proceed any further, the Americans nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki as a result of which the Japanese Army surrendered its operations altogether.
A little background for the events that took place in 1947-48
The bitter memories of the India-Pakistan partition spilt over and took the form of a war in the Kashmir valley. In 1947, soon after gaining independence, Pakistani forces attacked Kashmir taking over the majority of the land as the state forces were no match for the advanced Pakistani military. It was then the ruler of Kashmir, Maharaja Hari Singh, asked for India’s help and to which India agreed but only if Kashmir became a part of India which was accepted by the Maharaja.
Proving his mettle during the Battle of Tain Dhar
It had been two years since the 2nd World War ended and by now Jadunath Singh had been promoted to the rank of a Naik. His unit was once again called for service. In the December of 1947, Pakistani forces captured a strategically important position at Jhangar in Kashmir. This area was so important as it directly overlooked the communication lines of the Indian Army and whomsoever controlled it, controlled the battle. Naik Jadunath’s regiment was a part of India’s 50 Parachute Brigade which was tasked to capture and secure Noushera from Pakistani forces. The army undertook several operations to stop the Pakistani advance on Indian positions. On 1 February 1948, owing to the ferocious Indian attack, the Pakistani forces had to retreat. But they only retreated to re-attack Indian positions and regain control of Noushera. On the morning of 6 February, 1948 at 6.40 am, the Pakistani forces launched a massive counterattack at Picquet number 2, being manned by 27 troops of the Rajput Regiment and was commanded by Naik Jadunath Singh. It was only because of his leadership and courage that just 27 men managed to thwart an offensive of the numerically strong enemy. By the end of the first attack, Naik Jadunath had lost 4 soldiers and the remaining were injured including Jadunath Singh who himself was injured in the right arm. His light machine gunner was injured as well, so Jadunath Singh jumped on the LMG to provide suppressing fire on the enemy which also motivated his men to attack despite being injured. His fire was so devastating that the enemy was forced to retreat once again. But by the time the second assault of the enemy was over, Jadunath had lost all of his men in action and now he was standing alone. He, all by himself prepared for the 3rd offensive of the enemy as he wanted to wait the enemy out till additional reinforcements of the 3rd Parachute Rajput Battalion could come in at Tain Dhar.
Naik Jadunath Singh Rathore was posthumously awarded the Param Vir Chakra (PVC) on 26 January 1950 for holding out the enemy’s organized offensive and securing the Tain Dhar position single-handedly.
- The Ship Corporation of India named one of its oil tankers after Naik Jadunath Singh Rathore, PVC to honour the brave soldier.
- The government named a sports stadium at his birthplace as Param Vir Chakra Naik Jadunath Singh Sports Stadium.
- To honour the martyr, the government has named a chowk at Lucknow after him.
- On 6 February 1978, the Army Postal Service Corps released a postal stamp to honour the brave martyred soldier.
Having lost all of his fellow soldiers and himself being wounded in the right arm, Jadunath Singh prepared for the 3rd wave of the enemy’s assault. As soon as the enemy launched its offensive, Naik Jadunath Singh moved out of the safety of his picquet and charged at the enemy holding his weapon and firing it. The enemy was caught off-guard and it surprised them as they were not expecting such a daredevilry from a lone soldier. The enemy in the state of confusion became disorganized and started retreating. In the process of the action, Naik Jadunath Singh received two gunshot wounds, one in the chest and another one in the head. Having sustained such injuries he collapsed and hence laid down his life while safeguarding his position.
- Jadunath Singh was a devotee of Lord Hanuman so just like him Jadunath Singh also never got married.
- Due to his devotion to Hanuman and his strong character, he was also called “Hanuman Bhagat Bal Brahmachari” by the villagers.
- During the 2nd World War, his unit, 1st Rajput was given Victoria Cross, Britain’s highest gallantry award, for showcasing bravery and courage.
- Naik Jadunath Singh Rathore is the second recipient of the coveted Param Vir Chakra and one of five recipients of the Param Vir Chakra during the Indo-Pak War of 1947-48.
- Every year on the 6th of February Noushera Day is celebrated to commemorate and honour the lives laid down by Naik Jadunath Singh Rathore and his fellow soldiers while fighting the enemy in 1948.