“Pakistan can never defeat India”, this was said by the Italian when the Kargil war was going on.
The Sikh Regiment of the Indian Army is one of the highest decorated regiments. The regiment has 1652 gallantry awards in its name. The British Army even had decided to raise a UK Sikh infantry but were scrapped due to accusations by the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) that such a creation could be viewed as racist or sectarian. Prince Charles too was a supporter of the Sikh regiment.
The bravery of the Sikh regiment through the eyes of an Italian
Kulveer Singh Samra was on an official trip to Italy. When he switched on the BBC News in May 1999 morning, he heard an announcement that Indian Air Force had started an offensive on the Kargil peaks and there were fears of a full-fledged war with Pakistan. The infiltration by Pakistan has paved way for a full fledged war. Kulveer Samra and his friend began their tour visiting booths of major companies.
They stood front of an Italian stall owner who was stylish with his brown shoes and a red golf cap. The Italian by looking at these said that, “Pakistan can never defeat India”.
Samra said “Oh yes, of course, we have a bigger army”.
But immediately the Indian replied that it is not because Indian Army is bigger. Samra was surprised and questioned him back to find out the reason.
The Italian questioned Samra whether he know the Sikhs; Samra replied in surprise that he is a Sikh.
What the Italian’s next moment shocked Samra and his friend. Yes, the Italian got up from his seat, took off his red cap and said “Salute” in his strong Italian accent.
The Sikh regiment of the Indian Army is not only popular among the India’s neighbouring enemy nations but even Italians know its strength. Samra and his friend were surprised but the Italian explained them everything.
The Italian said that his grandfather was in Mussolini’s army in World War-II and they were on the verge of emerging victorious. But after a regiment arrival at the battle field, the entire scenario changed. The Italian soldiers started to shiver by just looking at these fierce warriors. They looked like ferocious animals and it was the “Sikh regiment”.
The fierce soldiers’ war-cry was so frightening that the Italian army trembled with fear. The regiment attacked with artillery and when they finished the artillery fire, they attacked with gun; when they finished their bullets, they fought with bayonets; when the bayonets were snatched, they fought with knives and finally when they were bleeding, they fought with bare hands.
The Italian was getting more and more excited when he was narrating the heroism of the Sikh regiment. The Sikhs changed the war scenario wherever they went and pushed the Italian soldiers on the back foot.
Finally the Italian’s Grandfather was captured and taken as the war prisoner to a place where even water was very scarce. The aggression in the face of the Sikh regiment was nowhere found now. In fact they were like the guardians of the prisoners. When food was scarce, prisoners were fed first by the Sikhs but the Sikhs slept empty stomach. The prisoners were treated with utmost respect by the Sikhs. So the Italian was advised by his grandfather to meet some Sikhs if he wanted to be a man.
So the Italian had come to India to meet the Sikhs, he roamed in the Punjab and attended several temples and interacted with many. But he wanted to see the Sikh regiment in action, so he attended the Parade in New Delhi. There he saw the Indian Army marching proudly, regiment after regiment. And finally there came the regiment which he was waiting for, the Sikh regiment.
The Sikhs marched like a storm across the road, so disciplined moving like one unit, yet looking gallant and brave. The Italian said that he saw the Germans’, Russians’ march-past but nothing could match the Sikh regiment.
Finally the Italian said “So, my friend, you see. Pakistan can never defeat India, as long as the Sikhs fight for India”.
Sikhs contribute only 2 % of India’s contribution but there are 10 % of Sikhs in the Indian Army. Sikh Regiment has secured 2 Param Vir Chakra, 14 Maha Vir Chakra and 68 Vir Chakras.