Sikh Regiment

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Sikh Regiment
The Regiment Sikh Regiment Battle Insignia.jpg
Cap badge of the Sikh Regiment
Active1 August 1846–Present
CountryIndia India
Branch Indian Army
TypeLine Infantry
RoleInfantry
Size19 battalions
Motto(s)Nischay Kar Apni Jeet Karon (With determination, I will be triumphant).
War CryBole So Nihal, Sat Sri Akal (one will be blessed eternally who says that God is the ultimate)
AnniversariesSeptember 12
Decorations
Commanders
Colonel of
the Regiment
Lt. Gen. Sanjay Kumar Jha[2]
Insignia
Regimental InsigniaLion, symbolic of the name (Singh) every Sikh carries, ringed by a chakra
Men of the Loodiaah (Ludhiana) Sikh Regiment during Second Opium War in China, Circa_1860

The Sikh Regiment is an infantry regiment of the Indian Army that recruits from the Sikh community. It is the most highly decorated regiment of the Indian Army and in 1979, the 1st battalion was the Commonwealth's most decorated battalion with 245 pre-independence and 82 post-independence gallantry awards, when it was transformed into the 4th battalion, Mechanised Infantry Regiment.[3][4][5] The first battalion of the regiment was officially raised just before the annexation of the Sikh Empire on August 1 1846, by the British East India Company. Currently, the Sikh Regimental Centre is located in Ramgarh Cantonment, Jharkhand. The Centre was earlier located in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh.

The modern Sikh Regiment traces its roots directly from the 11th Sikh Regiment of the British Indian Army. When transferred to the Indian Army like its sister regiments, the numeral prefix (in the case of the Sikh Regiment, 11) was removed and extra battalions were raised, transferred or disbanded to meet army needs. With a humble beginning of two battalions, today the fraternity has grown to a regiment of 19 regular infantry and two reserve battalions strong.

Recruitment[edit]

Enlisted soldiers are strictly recruited from the Sikh community from Punjab and the surrounding states. They trained internally by the regiment, in which they tend to spend most of their careers. Officers, however, can come from all regions and communities in India and tend to leave the regiment subject to promotion. The war cry of regiment, taken from Sikh scriptures, is Jo Bole So Nihal, Sat Sri Akal. [a]

In a departure from the single class composition, the 13th battalion was raised with multiple class composition: a company each of Jat Sikhs, Dogras, Garhwalis ,Yadavs from adjoining areas and South Indians. However these units were reverted to their original class composition later.[citation needed]

Units[edit]

  • 2nd Battalion
  • 3rd Battalion
  • 4th Battalion
  • 5th Battalion
  • 6th Battalion
  • 7th Battalion
  • 8th Battalion
  • 10th Battalion
  • 11th Battalion
  • 13th Battalion
  • 14th Battalion
  • 16th Battalion
  • 17th Battalion
  • 18th Battalion
  • 19th Battalion
  • 20th Battalion
  • 21st Battalion
  • 22nd Battalion
  • 23rd Battalion
  • 24th battalion
  • 124 Infantry Battalion Territorial Army (Sikh)
  • 152 Infantry Battalion Territorial Army (Sikh)
  • 167 Infantry Battalion Territorial Army (Sikh) (Home and Hearth)

Others:

Awards and citations[edit]

The Museum of the Regimental Centre displays a record of the Sikh Regiment in four halls viz.,

  • The Religious/motivational Hall,
  • The Hall of Heritage,
  • The Regimental Glory Hall
  • The Peripheral Gallery.

With regards to the Kargil War, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) made a special instant award of "Unit Citation" to the 8th battalion for their meritorious and gallant performance in the isolation of Tiger Hill, which facilitated the capture of Tiger Hill top and Helmet and India Gate, features to the West of Tiger Hill top, on night 07/8 July 1999, in Dras.

In all, the regiment has to its credit 1652 gallantry awards and honours including:

In addition it has also earned:

  • 73 battle honours
  • 38 theatre honours besides five COAS Unit Citations, including
    • the one bestowed upon 8 Sikh during the 1999 Kargil episode
    • and two "Bravest of the Brave" citations.

Battle honours and theatre honours[edit]

Battle honours[edit]

Pre-Independence
World War I
French postcard depicting the arrival of 15th Sikh Regiment in France during World War I. The postcard reads, "Gentlemen of India marching to chasten the German hooligans".
Inter-War years
  • North West Frontier 1918-19, 5 & 35 Sikh (SRC)
  • Afghanistan 1919, 2 & 35 Sikh (SRC)
  • Palestine 1921, 5 & 35 Sikh (SRC)
Second World War
A Sikh soldier with the flag of Nazi Germany after German surrender during World War II
Post-Independence
  • Srinagar 1947, 1 Sikh
  • Tithwal 1948, 1 Sikh
  • Raja Picquet 1965, 2 Sikh
  • Burki 1965, 4 Sikh
  • Op Hill 1965, 7 Sikh
  • Siramani 1971, 4 Sikh
  • Poonch 1971, 6 Sikh
  • Purbat Ali 1971, 10 Sikh
  • Tiger Hill 1999, 8 Sikh

Theatre honours[edit]

Pre-Independence
  • North Africa 1940-43, 2 & 4 Sikh
  • Abyssinia 1940-41, 4 Sikh
  • Iraq 1941, 3 Sikh
  • North Africa 1941-42, 3 Sikh
  • Malaya 1941-42, 5 Sikh
  • Burma 1942-45, 1 Sikh
  • Italy 1943-45, 2 & 4 Sikh
  • Greece 1944-45, 2 Sikh
Post-Independence
  • Jammu & Kashmir 1947-48, 1, 5, 7 & 16 Sikh
  • Jammu & Kashmir 1965, 2, 3 & 7 Sikh
  • Punjab 1965, 4 Sikh
  • Sindh 1971, 10 Sikh
  • Punjab 1971, 2 Sikh
  • East Pakistan 1971, 4 Sikh
  • Jammu & Kashmir 1971, 5 & 6 Sikh
  • Kargil 1999, 8 Sikh

Operation Blue Star[edit]

About 5000 Indian soldiers, some belonging to the regiment, mutinied after the storming of the Golden Temple by the Indian Army as part of Operation Blue Star in 1984. The Sikh Regiment's 9th battalion was disbanded after a large number of its troops mutinied.[6]

British Army Sikh Regiment[edit]

Advanced plans by the British Army to raise a Sikh infantry regiment that would recruit from the UK's Sikh community were scrapped due to accusations by the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) that such a creation could be viewed as racist or sectarian. The plan had many supporters, including Prince Charles.[7]

Gallantry awards[edit]

Indian Order of Merit

21 Sikh Regiment soldiers were posthumously awarded the Indian Order of Merit for their actions in the Battle of Saragarhi in 1897:[8][9]

  • Hav. Ishar Singh
  • Nk. Lal Singh
  • L/Nk. Chanda Singh
  • Sep. Sundar Singh
  • Sep. Ram Singh
  • Sep. Uttar Singh
  • Sep. Sahib Singh
  • Sep. Hira Singh
  • Sep. Daya Singh
  • Sep. Jivan Singh
  • Sep. Bhola Singh
  • Sep. Narayan Singh
  • Sep. Gurmukh Singh
  • Sep. Jivan Singh
  • Sep. Gurmukh Singh
  • Sep. Ram Singh
  • Sep. Bhagwan Singh
  • Sep. Bhagwan Singh
  • Sep. Buta Singh
  • Sep. Jivan Singh
  • Sep. Nand Singh
Victoria Cross
Param Vir Chakra
Ashok Chakra
  • Sub. Surinder Singh, 3 Sikh
  • Hav. Bachittar Singh
  • Nk. Gurnam Singh
  • L/Nk. Sundar Singh
  • Capt. Jasbir Singh Raina
  • Hav. Joginder Singh
Maha Vir Chakra
Vir Chakra
  • Lt. Gen. Harbaksh Singh
Padma Vibhushan
Padma Bhushan
  • Lt. Gen. Harbaksh Singh

Alliances[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ English: One will be blessed eternally who says that God is the ultimate truth

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  2. ^ http://www.dailypioneer.com/state-editions/dehradun/lt-gen-sanjay-kumar-jha-is-head-of-ima.html
  3. ^ [ Defence review|http://mod.nic.in/samachar/18/html/ch8.htm ]
  4. ^ [Sikh review|"Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-18. Retrieved 2010-11-02. ]
  5. ^ [ Global security |http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/india/army-equipment-mech.htm ]
  6. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/1984/07/02/world/general-promises-to-punish-sikh-mutineers.html
  7. ^ "UK Sikh regiment". Telegraph.co.uk. Archived from the original on November 18, 2007. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  8. ^ "No. 26937". The London Gazette. 11 February 1898. p. 863.
  9. ^ Regimental numbers from photo of Saragarhi memorial plaque

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]