Kuldip Singh Chandpuri
Kuldip Singh Chandpuri
22 November 1940 |
Montgomery, India Punjab, British India
|Allegiance||Republic of India|
|Years of service||1962-?|
|Battles/wars||Indo-Pakistan War of 1965
Indo-Pakistan War of 1971
Battle of Longewala
|Awards|| Maha Vir Chakra
Vishisht Seva Medal
Brigadier Kuldip Singh MVC, VSM (born 22 November 1940) is a retired officer in the Indian Army. He is known for his heroic leadership in the famous Battle of Longewala, for which he was awarded Maha Vir Chakra by the Government of India.
Kuldip Singh Chandpuri was born into a Gurjar Sikh family on 22 November 1940 at Montgomery in the Punjab region of undivided India. His family then moved to their native village, Chandpur Rurki in Balachaur. He was an active member of the NCC and cleared the NCC examination when he graduated from the Government College, Hoshiarpur in 1962.
Chandpuri was recruited into the Indian Army in 1962, and commissioned from Officers Training Academy in 1963 into the 23rd Battalion of The Punjab Regiment, which is one of the oldest and highly decorated units of the Indian army. He took part in the 1965 war in the western sector. After the war, he served in the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) at Gaza (Egypt) for a year. He also served twice as an instructor at the prestigious Infantry School, Mhow (MP) where the elite of the Indian army are imparted instructions and combat training.
Battle of Longewala
Kuldip Singh Chandpuri held the rank of major in the Indian Army's 23rd Battalion, Punjab Regiment when the Pakistani army attacked the Longewala post in the state of Rajasthan, India, early in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. Chandpuri and his company of 120 soldiers, defended the post, in spite of considerable odds, against the 2000-3000 strong assault force of the 51st Infantry Brigade, backed by the 22nd Armored Regiment. Chandpuri and his company held the Pakistanis at bay for a full night until the Indian Air Force arrived in the morning.
Chandpuri inspired his men, moving from bunker to bunker, encouraging them to beat back the enemy until reinforcements arrived. Kuldip Singh Chandpuri and his men inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy, and forced them to retreat, leaving behind twelve tanks. For his conspicuous gallantry and leadership, Chandpuri was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra (MVC) by the Indian Army.
Major Kuldip Singh Chandpuri retired from the army as a brigadier.
Maha Vir Chakra Citation
The citation for Chandpuri's Maha Vir Chakra award reads as follows:
Gazette Notification: 18 Pres/72,12-2-72
Operation: 1971 Cactus Lily
Date of Award: 05 Dec 1971
Citation: Major Kuldip Singh Chandpuri was commanding a company battalion of the Punjab Regiment occupying a defended locality in the Rajasthan Sector. On the 5th December 1971, in the early hours of the morning the enemy launched a massive attack on this locality with infantry and tanks. Major Chandpuri exhibited dynamic leadership in holding his command intact and steadfast.
Showing exceptional courage and determination, he inspired his men moving from bunker to bunker, encouraging them in beating back the enemy till reinforcements arrived. In this heroic defence, he inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy and forced them to retreat leaving behind twelve tanks.
In this action, Major Kuldip Singh Chandpuri displayed conspicuous gallantry, inspiring leadership and exceptional devotion to duty in keeping with the highest traditions of the Indian Army.
In popular culture
- Border, a 1997 Bollywood film directed by J.P.Dutta was an adaptation of the real-life battle, with Major Chandpuri being portrayed by Bollywood actor Sunny Deol.
- "Brig Kuldip Singh Chandpuri, MVC, VSM (retd)". The War Decorated India. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "In Conversation with: Brig Kuldip Singh Chandpuri". The Asian Connections. 3 May 2012. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "The real-life hero who inspired 'Border'". Rediff. 22 November 2010.
- News from Tribune, India
- Picture, Kuldip Singh Chandpuri (3rd from left) with his company
- MVC citations, Sikh Personalities
- News item from India Today
- News item from Gulf News
- Laungewala News Item from The Tribune - 28 July 8