The strength of Indian soldiers was known to the world even before India got her Independence. Over one million Indian soldiers had participated in both the world wars and had proved the world that Indian soldiers are the most toughest to face. Nearly 62,000 Indian soldiers were martyred and another 67,000 Indians soldiers were wounded.
But after India got its Independence from the British, these soldiers were in a dilemma to opt between India and the newly formed Pakistan. Not just land and people were divided between the two nations but each and every property was divided. This was to the extent that even the soldiers were not spared.
Do you know how the 12 lakh Indian Army soldiers were divided?
Till date, you knew that the worst part of partition was the death of one million Hindus. But the horrible part of partition was that the division of 12 lakh Indian Army soldiers. It was agreed that the soldiers would be divided in the ratio 2:1. India would get 2/3 whereas Pakistan would get 1/3.
Now another mammoth task was how to divide the soldiers? Who would be sent to Pakistan and who would be retained in India? On July 1947, an official form was given to all the soldiers to either opt Indian Army or Pakistan Army.
Hindus and Sikhs opted for Indian Army!!!
The number of Muslims in the then Indian Army was nearly 30 percent and when the offer was presented to either opt Indian Army or Pakistan Army, the Hindus and Sikhs without hesitation joined the Indian Army. But after six years, Muslims came down to two per cent, according to the minister of state for defence of the time.
This makes it clear that majority of the Muslims joined the Pakistani Army. But the first Prime Minister of India Mr Jawaharlal Nehru was deeply hurt due to the fact that Muslims were very less in the Indian Army and every effort was made to increase the number of Muslim soldiers by the Nehru government. This shocking information was revealed in a book titled “Khaki and the Ethnic Violence in India” by Omar Khalidi.
Who were the Muslims who joined Indian Army after partition?
Another interesting thing was that even Jinnah didn’t want Hindus and Sikhs to be a part of Pakistani Army. Muslims were stuck as they were baffled whether to join the Pakistan-which was a Muslim country-or whether to stay in their ancestral property which was in India. The younger generations decided to join the newly formed Pakistan Army whereas the Muslim veterans decided to stay in the Indian Army.
How the members of the same family (Muslims) fought against each other?
The newly formed rogue nation started its first attempt to clinch Kashmir from India just few months after partition. It launched an attack on India on 22 October 1947 and it ended on 1 January 1949. In this war, the Muslims who had joined Pakistani Army ended up facing their own family members.