Kuldip Singh Chandpuri
Kuldip Singh Chandpuri
22 November 1940|
Montgomery, Punjab, British India (now in Pakistan)
|Allegiance||Republic of India|
|Years of service||1962-?|
Indo-Pakistan War of 1965|
Indo-Pakistan War of 1971
Battle of Longewala
Maha Vir Chakra|
Vishisht Seva Medal
Brigadier Kuldip Singh Chandpuri 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 (as Major Kuldip Singh), for which he was awarded Maha Vir Chakra by the Government of India.
Kuldip Singh Chandpuri was born 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. Kuldeep Singh is the third generation of officers to serve in the army. Both his younger uncles were pilot officers in the Indian Air Force. Chandpuri is the only child of his parents.
Chandpuri was recruited into the Indian Army in 1962, and commissioned from Officers Training Academy, Chennai 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 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 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 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.
- "Brig Kuldip Singh Chandpuri, MVC, VSM (retd)". The War Decorated India. Archived from the original on 29 April 2014. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "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.
- "The real-life hero who inspired 'Border'". Rediff. 22 November 2010. Archived from the original on 25 July 2012.