Category Archives: Shivaji

Bana Singh : a hero of our times

Bana Singh was born on 6 January 1949 and now lives in R.S.Pura near Jammu. He joined Indian Army’s Jammu & Kashmir Light Infantry (JAK LI) on 6 January 1969 After training at the High Altitude Training School along with his battalion at Gulmarg, he was posted in Siachen in April 1987. Pakistan had already occupied a vantage point called Quaid Post named after Mohammad Ali Jinnah. This is the most important and highest post in the area. From the top of this post the entire Saltoro range is visible, including other posts like the Amar and Sonam which get food and other materials by Indian helicopters. On April 18, 1987, the Pakistan army at Quaid post began firing at the Indian troops. A Junior commissioned Officer and five soldiers were killed at Sonam. It became necessary to gain control over the post for the safety of the men and supporting helicopters. It was therefore decided to recapture Quaid Post.

On 26th June 1987, Bana Singh got the green light to lead his platoon up the 90° slope with iced walls, after two previous attempts failed with heavy casualties. This is how he remembers it: “Though it was day time, because of the heavy snowing we could not say if it was day or night. The Pakistanis must have been knowing that something was going on because our troops were firing at them from the base camp (to divert their attention). When we reached the top, there was a single bunker. We had been trained for such a fight. I threw a grenade inside and closed the door. At the end, a total of six Pakistanis were killed. We brought back their bodies which were later handed over to the Pakistanis authorities during a flag meeting in Kargil. Some must have escaped towards the Pakistani side, perhaps over the cliff. I think that I have bayoneted three or four persons, I don’t remember now.”

For this act of valor Bana Singh was awarded Param Vir Chakra.and was presented the Param Vir Chakra on January 26 1988.The Quaid Post was renamed as Bana Post after its liberation by Bana Singh. Today some twenty years after liberating Quiad Post and earning a PVC, Bana Singh is sad man, because of the indifferent attitude of the J&K government who pays him paltry Rs 166 per month whereas neighboring state of Panjab, HP and Haryana pay much higher amounts to PVC winners. (in Punjab a PVC winner gets Rs 12,500 every month, in Haryana it is Rs 10,400 and in Himachal Pradesh it is Rs 10,000).

How can a nation retain its independence if it does not reward its defenders suitably? Does it behove a great country like India to treat one of its greatest present day heroes, one of the three living PVC recipients, so shabbily? This is why we have decided to bestow our first Shivaji-FACT award of Courage to Captain Bana Singh and are trying to raise money to hand him over as well a substantial prize money.

The Shivaji-FACT award of Courage, which will be handed over by HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on 12th March 2008 in Mumbai on the occasion of the opening of the Shivaji exhibition (see below), ” A Hero for Modern India”.

Venue P.L. Deshpande, Maharashtra Kala Academy, Prabhadevi, Mumbai
Date 12th March 2008.
Time: 4.30 pm.
4.30 pm – Arrival of Chief Guests His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Chief Minister Gujarat Shri Narendra Modiji, Shri Uddhav Thackerayji, Shri Gopinath Mundeji
4.40pm – His Holiness chants a mantra at the venue
4.45pm – His Holiness and Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modiji, Shri Uddhav Thackerayji and Shri Gopinath Mundeji light the lamp in turns to inaugurate the exhibition
4.45 to 5.00pm – the Chief guests view the exhibition.
5.00pm – Chief guests proceed to auditorium
5.05pm – Vande Mataram
5.10pm – Francois Gautier gives the welcome address
5.15pm- Film ‘Heros of Kargil’ to be screened
5.20 pm- All the Chief guests are requested to sit on the stage.
5.25pm- Shri Gopinath Munde will address the audience.
5.35pm – Shri Uddhav Thackerayji will address the audience
5.55pm- Hon Chief Minister Gujarat Shri Narendra Modiji will address the audience. Topic ” Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj- a Hero for Modern India”
6.10pm – His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji will address the audience Session will end with a guided meditation by His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji




Poor India ! What a way to start the millennium by surrendering to Islamic terrorism… For ten centuries, this sacred land has been raped and plundered by Muslim invaders who came from Afghanistan and beyond :Indians have been converted by force to Islam, their women raped, their children taken away as slaves, their men slaughtered… And India always took it meekly, as a lamb goes to the slaughter house – except for a lone Shivaji or two.

And when the Muslims invaders were spent, then came the European colonisers – and they too got India for a penny, which surrendered itself like a humble servant to its arrogant master, bar for the fight of a few braves Sikhs. And when the Europeans were gone, Nehru and Gandhism made sure that India remained the goody-goody little boy that it always was, by clipping the wings of its army, so that when the Chinese treacherously swooped down from Tibet, it was a cakewalk, a humiliation which still rankles nearly forty years later.

Is it different today ? No ! Small neighbours of hardly any consequence, such as Nepal or Bangladesh, lend their territories to enemies of India, without New Delhi doing anything, in the spirit of the old Nehruvian “Good Neighbourhood” policy. For three decades, Pakistan, like a Ghazni of modern times, has been able to send its agents murder and loot into Indian territory without the Government reacting, except to mouth a few empty threats.

Yet, six months ago, during the battle of Kargil, Indian army proved that when it is given a free hand by the bureaucrats and politicians, its soldiers and officers are amongst the best in the world, fighting in impossible conditions against an enemy better equipped and overlooking them. And for the first time in five hundred years, since the last great Hindu empire of Vijaynagar was razed by the Moghols, the Kshatriya Spirit was revived in India – and once more, what the Bhagavad Gita had preached became alive : that violence is sometimes necessary to protect one’s children women and borders; that Knowledge has to be preserved by Might in the true spirit of ahimsa…

But look at what happened when these modern Barbarians took over flight IC 814 : it is not the India of Arjuna, Shivaji, or the Rani of Jhansi who rose-up, but the meek India – the India of Macaulay’s children, of Nehru and LK Gujral, the India who always goes to be slaughtered head down, the India who for fifteen centuries has been conquered and plundered with such an ease. Instead of giving a free rein to the army, the only body which has shown that it has the courage and leadership to stand-up to terrorism, it was left to the bureaucrats, these arrogant men who think that wearing a tie and speaking polished English make them superior, to bungle the Amritsar episode, the only chance India had to overpower five men armed with a lone pistol (before the Taliban furnished them with more weapons) and to negotiate with the terrorists, after having opened the “friendly Taliban” avenue.

Friendly Talibans ? Even the hapless Indian reading his newspaper with his morning tea, knows that since Mohamed Ghazni nothing has changed : Hindus are still for the Afghans (and unfortunately for the Pakistanis too, who are converted Hindus) the Infidels against whom a merciless Jihad has to be fought until all are conquered or slaughtered. True, the odds against a military intervention in Kandahar were enormous : India’s planes would have had to bypass Pakistan and fly over the Himalayan ranges or Iran and the action would have put the lives of the passengers in great jeopardy. But such odds did not deter the Israelis 24 years ago from rescuing their nationals taken hostage by other Muslim terrorists in a country which was also hostile to Israel (the Uganda of infamous Idi Amin), nor the French two years ago to storm the Air France plane and killing the all the heavily armed Islamic hijackers.

And the saddest thing is that the name “India” evokes no respect today in the world. Small countries, such as Indonesia or Saudi Arabia, can harbour criminals wanted by India, or the Chinese keep threatening India all the time. The vacillating attitude of the Indian Government in giving political asylum to the Karmapa, again sent the wrong signals : are Indians actually “cowards”, as Gandhi once said ? Even Nehru granted immediately political asylum to the Dalai Lama in 1959, recalls Claude Arpi in his remarkable book analysing the China-Tibet-India triangle “The Fate of Tibet” (Har Anand). But look again at the Israelis: like the Indians, they were slaughtered for centuries; and during the Second World War, six million of them went to Hitler’s gas chambers without even a whimper. But after the war, when the new State of Israel was founded, its leaders decided that enough was enough : henceforth it will be “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”. Every time the sacred land of Israel was threatened, its army would steal the initiative by invading the enemy’s territory, earning Israel, a tiny nation surrounded by often hostile Arab countries, respect all over the world.

India is a much bigger and powerful nation than Israel. It is an ancient civilization, which in spite of fifteen centuries of Muslim conquests and European colonialism, still carries within herself a Knowledge which once roamed the shores of ancient Mesopotamia or Egypt, but which has today disappeared from a world ruled by the dogmas and intolerance of it two monotheist religions. But who will protect this Knowledge from the contemporary Barbarians ? Who will stand-up to Islamic terrorism and Chinese bullying ? Where is the Shivaji of modern India ?