Kuldip Singh Chandpuri
Kuldip Singh Chandpuri
|Born||22 November 1940|
Montgomery, Punjab, British India (now in Pakistan)
|Died||17 November 2018 (aged 77)|
Mohali, Punjab, India
|Allegiance||Republic of India|
|Years of service||1962-1996|
|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 Chandpuri MVC, VSM (22 November 1940 – 17 November 2018) was a decorated Indian Army officer. He is known for his leadership in the Battle of Longewala during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, for which he was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra, the second highest Indian military decoration, by the Indian government. The 1997 Hindi film Border was based on the battle, with his role played by Sunny Deol. He was a councillor in the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation from 2006 to 2011.
Kuldip Singh Chandpuri was born on 22 November 1940 in Montgomery, Punjab, British India (now in Punjab, Pakistan). His Gurjar 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 the third generation in his family who have served in the Indian Army as officers. Both his younger uncles were flying officers in the Indian Air Force. Chandpuri was the only child of his parents.
In 1963 Chandpuri commissioned from the Officers Training Academy, Chennai into the 23rd battalion, Punjab Regiment (23 Punjab), which is one of the oldest and most highly decorated regiments of the Indian Army. He took part in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 in the western sector. After the war, he served in the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) in Gaza (Egypt) for a year. He also served twice as an instructor at the prestigious Infantry School in Mhow, Madhya Pradesh.
Battle of Longewala
Kuldip Singh Chandpuri was a major in 23 Punjab when the Pakistan Army attacked the Longewala post in 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 Pakistani 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 to provide air support in the morning.
Chandpuri inspired his men, moving from bunker to bunker, encouraging them to beat back the enemy until reinforcements arrived. 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 government of India.
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 of the Punjab Regiment occupying a defended locality in the Rajasthan Sector. On 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 Hindi film directed by J.P.Dutta was an adaptation of the real-life battle, with Major Chandpuri being portrayed by Hindi film actor Sunny Deol.
Military Awards and Decorations
- "Brigadier Kuldip Singh Chandpuri: the heroic 'Border' man who defied Pakistani tanks". The Economic Times. 17 November 2018. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
- "Brig Kuldip Singh Chandpuri, MVC, VSM (retd)". The War Decorated India. Archived from the original on 29 April 2014. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "1971 war hero Kuldip Singh Chandpuri, who inspired Border movie, dies". India Today. 17 November 2018. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
- "Hero of Battle of Longewala, Brigadier Kuldip Singh Chandpuri, dies". The Indian Express. 17 November 2018. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
- "In Conversation with: Brig Kuldip Singh Chandpuri". The Asian Connections. 3 May 2012. Archived from the original on 2013-10-20. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-04-30. Retrieved 2014-11-09.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "The real-life hero who inspired 'Border'". Rediff. 22 November 2010. Archived from the original on 25 July 2012.
- "Sunny Deol pays tribute to the 1971 war hero Brigadier Kuldeep Singh Chandpuri". The Indian Express. 17 November 2018. Retrieved 17 November 2018.