Param Vir Chakra
The Param Vir Chakra (PVC) is India’s highest military decoration, awarded for displaying distinguished acts of valour during wartime. Param Vir Chakra translates as the “Wheel of the Ultimate Brave”, and the award is granted for “most conspicuous bravery in the presence of the enemy”. The medal of the PVC was designed by Savitri Khanolkar, whose daughter’s brother-in-law, Major Somnath Sharma, was coincidentally awarded the first PVC.
The Param Vir Chakra series of graphic novels brings to readers real life tales of brave Indian Soldiers. These are the stories of men under fira, of the courageous Indian soldier inspired by his officers. While war is an extension of the politics of a nation, it ultimately falls to the lot of the soldier to face combat on the ground. Schooled in the culture of ‘Service before Self’, soldiers of the Indian Army take their challenges head-on, turning adversity into opportunity, overcoming impossible situations with a smile. While some of their deeds of valour are rewarded, many more need to be remembered.
What makes these men the way they are? This series of 21 graphic novels helps us understand better the Indian soldier and his degree of commitment to the Indian Army, and to the nation that he serves.
Following 8 graphic novels have already been published –
Read about some of these war heroes below –
Param Vir Chakra – Somnath Sharma
The very first recipient of the Param Vir Chakra, India’s highest gallantry award in the face of enemy, Major Somnath Sharma exemplified unwavering valour in the face of death. Undeterred by an injury, Major Sharma was instrumental in setting up defensive position in Badgam, a village about 8 miles south-east of Srinagar and stopped the raiders from reaching and taking control of the Srinagar airport in october 1947. Major Sharma played a pivotal role in foiling the enemy’s plan at the cost of his own life. Outnumbered by the raiders, he and his company stopped the raiders till reinforcements arrived to destroy the enemy. His leadership, courage, and personal example has inspired and will continue to motivate officers and men of the Indian Army.
Param Vir Chakra – Shaitan Singh
Major Shaitan Singh 13 Kumaon The battle of Rezang La, Ladakh, will long be remembered in the annals of military history because of the incredible heroism displayed by over a hundred Indian soldiers led by Major Shaitan Singh against overwhelming hordes of Chinese. While the Chinese were equipped with modern weapons, Indian troops were armed with the .303 single-action Lee Enfield rifle which was an obsolete and outmoded weapon from the Second World War. Notwithstanding the disadvantages of climate, terrain, and weapons, Major Shaitan Singh and ‘C’ Company went all out to defend Rezang La on 18 November 1962. Major Shaitan Singh’s leadership and courage inspired and motivated his men to face the enemy. A ceasefire to the Sino-Indian war was declared by the Chinese Army after this battle.
About the Author –
Major General Ian Cardozo was born in Mumbai and studied at St Xavier’s School and College. In July 1954, he joined the Joint Services Wing which later became the National Defence Academy. Here he was the first cadet to win the gold medal for being the best all-round cadet, and the silver medal for being first in order of merit. He was commissioned at the Indian Military Academy into the 1st Battalion the Fifth Gorkha Rifles (FF) in 1958 and was the first officer of the Army to be awarded the Sena Medal for gallantry on a patrol in NEFA in 1960. Wounded in the battle of Sylhet in Bangladesh in 1971, he overcame the handicap of losing a leg and became the first officer to be approved for command of an Infantry Battalion. He retired in 1993 from his appointment as Chief of Staff of a Corps in the East. Author of The Sinking of INS-Khukri: Survivor’s Stories and Param Vir: Our Heroes in Battle, he has worked with the Spastics Society of Northern India. At present he is working for persons with disability as Chairman of the Rehabilitation Council of India and is the Vice President of the War Wounded Foundation.
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