It is often said that one who dies for the country will remain immortal. ‘Amar Jawan’ is the term associated with soldiers who sacrifice their lives to the nation. Here is an interesting story of a soldier by name Harbhajan Singh served Indian army until 1967 and is believed to protect the Indian soldiers and the border even after his accidental death!
The Inside Story
Harbhajan Singh was born in Punjab in the year 1941, joined Indian army in the year in 1956 and served with the 14 Rajput Regiment. In the year 1967, he met with an accident and slipped in a glacier and died when leading a herd of mules carrying supplies at Nathu-La pass.
Though his body was recovered three days later and cremated with National honors people of Nathu-La pass aren’t ready to believe that he is dead! Reason being he is believed to wake up soldiers on duty at this post and give them alert message about expected enemy attacks! After his death, he came in the dreams of a soldier and asked him to construct a shrine in his name. As a result of today, Nathu-La Pass has a shrine built in name of Baba Harbhajan Singh.
Dime a dozen Stories of Harbhajan Singh waking up soldiers in the night and giving them instructions to patrol the border is common among the troops in this region. Interestingly Indian Army has also accepted that Baba Harbhajan Singh is alive and he was given regular promotions and until he retired with Honorary Captain post. Till his retirement every year on 11th September, a train carrying ‘his’ belongings used to depart for his hometown accompanied with fellow soldiers, and reach his home with the belief he is going on vacation. Even the Chinese troops during flag meet pay their respect to Baba Harbhajan Singh! He has been considered as Holy Saint by people in the region and Indian soldiers respect him as ‘Baba’
The following quote is seen in a banner placed near the temple built for Baba Harbhajan Singh, which is truly the mantra every Indian Soldier recite:
“Oh Lord Shiva Grant me the boon, that I will never deviate from doing the good deed, That I shall not fear when I go into combat And with determination, I will be victorious. That I may teach myself this greed alone, to learn only Thy praises. And when the last days of my life come I may die in the might of battlefield”
Friends, in reality, whether Baba Harbhajan Singh’s spirit exists or not, but the spirit with which millions of Indian soldiers are fighting it out to protect our borders definitely gets a morale boost with such a belief.