India, our motherland is secular country where every citizen of different caste ,creed and religion enjoyed equal rights and powers. Our Indian army consists of soldiers from different religion but they all are one as they follow one religion i.e. PATRIOTISM. Brigadier Mohammad Usman MVC (15 July 1912 – 3 July 1948) who was killed in the Indo- Pakistan war of 1947 had set an example of inclusive secularism he as a Muslim became a “symbol of” India’s “inclusive secularism”. He was later awarded the second highest military decoration for gallantry, the Maha Vir Chakra.
LIFE OF BRIGADIER USMAN
Brgadier Usman was born on July 15 ,1912 as the son of a police officer Mr Mohammad Farooq Khunambir and Mrs Jamilun Bibi and sibling of 3 sisters with 2 brothers in Bibipur in Mau district of present day Uttar Pradesh. His brother had also joined in army and possessed the rank of Brigadier. He was inherent with courage at a young age. Brig Usman passed out from Sandhurst on 01 February 1934, along with ten other Indians. It was the last course at Sandhurst to which Indians were admitted since subsequent batches joined the Indian Military Academy, which opened in Dehradun in the same year.
- As his first posting, he was posted to the 5th battalion of the 10th Baluch Regiment (5/10 Baluch) on the 19 March 1935. Later he promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 30th April 1936 and Captain on 31 August 1941
- He had also served as acting Major in The London Gazette in Burma and also commanded the 14th battalion of the 10th Baluch Regiment (14/10 Baluch) from April 1945 to April 1946.
- At the time of partition, Pakistani Army pressurized him to join Pakistani Army and promised him to offer Pakistan Army Chief post. But he refused.
- When the Baluch Regiment was allotted to Pakistan, Brigader Usman was transferred to The Dogra Regiment.
Brigadier Usman signed an order to the “Comrades of 50 (I) Para Brigade”. It read:
“Time’s come for the capture of Jhangar. It is not an easy task, but I have complete faith in you all as you recapture the lost ground and retrieve the honour of our arm . We must not fall, we must not fail. Forward friends, fearless we go to Jhangar. I expects everyone to do their duty. Jai Hind.”
INDO-PAK WAR: 03 JULY 1948
Pakistan sent tribal irregulars to Jammu and Kashmir in an attempt to capture it and accede it to Pakistan which forced India for war. Brigadier then commanding the 77th Parachute Brigade, was sent to command the 50th Parachute Brigade, which was deployed at Jhangar in December 1947. Pakistani forces captured Jhangar. Brig Usman to recapture Jhangar repulsed fierce attacks on Nowshera and Jhangar.
While defending Nowshera Pakistani had around 2000 casualties (about 1000 dead and 1000 wounded) whereas Indian forces suffered only 33 dead and 102 wounded. Brigadier Usman got nickname Lion of Nowshera.
The enemy was eventually driven from this area, and Jhangar was recaptured But Pakistan still sent their forces to recaptured Jhangar which was once again subjected to heavy artillery ,bombardment. Brigadier Usman destroyed all recapture attempts of enemy. During defence of Jahangar he was killed by an enemy 25-pounder shell.
His last words were ‘I am dying but let not the territory we were fighting for fall for the enemy”. For his inspiring leadership and great courage, he was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra posthumously.
To pay Tribute to “the highest ranking military commander till date” that time Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and his Cabinet colleagues attended his funeral.
He was given state funeral of a martyr. Brigadier Usman was awarded the Indian military honour Maha Vir Chakra posthumously.
A man of simple taste and a teetotaller, Usman remained a bachelor throughout his life. He used to donate a large part of his salary to support poor children and pay for their education. Brig Usman was indeed an epitome of valour, a great patriot and nationalist.
Upender Sood a film director has produced a film on the life of Brigadier Usman.
- Memorial was built to honour Brig Mohd Usman at Naushera, where veterans gather on the anniversary of his death.
- The funeral of Brig Usman was attended by our first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, our first Governor General Lord Mountbatten and thousands of civilians.
- A memorial at Jhangar has been built on the same rock, on which the shell which took Brig Usman’s life, had landed.
- Brigadier Usman is buried in a grave in the campus of Jamia Milia in New Delhi.
- A housing project in Lucknow has been named after Brig Usman in his honour.
Our soldiers know only one religion Patriotism. The actions of Brigadier Mohd. Usman has proved that Patriotism is and will be the last religion.
TRISHUL DEFENCE ACADEMY
ALLAHABAD | BAREILLY|DEHRADUN |GWALIOR| RANCHI|
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