Lt General Hanut Singh, MVC
A fighter who ruled on the hearts of opponents, Hanut Singh Rathore was a former Lt General of the Indian Army born on July 6th, 1933. Brave Hanut Singh has inherited great courage and gentleness in character from Rajasthan.
In the early days of his life, he attended the Colonel Brown Cambridge School in Dehradun and then went on to join the Joint Wings Academy in 1949. He was the commander of the 47 Infantry Brigade. It was established to develop a brigade to support the battalions and was posted across a river. It was during the Indo-Pak war of 1971 where Hanut Singh rose to prominence. There were repeated attacks by Pakistan, but Hanut Singh moved from one wing to another and transpired his men to repulse the armour attack. He went on to destroy 48 tanks of the enemy and was referred as the Hero of Basantar.
He was brilliant in his studies and took up the history of Rajput as his main hobby. He was a bachelor and his commitment to soldiering and soldiers was something that was extraordinary. He was introduced to Shaiv Bal Asharam during his service. Towards the retirement stages of his life he lived there in Dehradun and took Samadhi (that is yoga, meditation) he was cremated in Haridwar.
Hanut Singh was famous as Guru in his regiment. He never married and was always tempted towards an aesthetic living. Inspired by him, most officers of the regiment too didn’t marry.
If there is one word to describe the great man the word would be “Solider”. He is a symbol of courage both on the physical and mental front. Though he could not retire at the highest rank, he reached to the position of Lieutenant. To understand him one must have a clear idea about the early days of his life.
When General V.N. Sharma, who was appointed as the armoured corps as COAS, Hanut Singh was the top choice of being appointed the Army commander but was sidelined. Having a more than perfect record, there was no chance that he would have been overlooked for the post. When this information reached him via a junior who too was feeling sorry, the reply that he got from the great man was simply amazing. He was of the opinion that it was the Indian army which needed to feel sorry. If they did not want him it was not his loss and theirs. During the operation of Brass-tacks when the Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi called him, he was in the midst of a meditation and the operator was requested to convey the message to him. It was that then the Prime Minister realised that he was a hard taskmaster and the best man suited to the job. His religious bent of mind was not suitable to be the head of the army and for this reason, a junior to him was chosen.
He had different shades of personality, and most of them were known to his close associates. He was a level-headed person, who went out of the way to help his friends. Contrary to the wider school of thought, he had many admirers among the opposite sex.
This son of Rajasthan lead Pune Horse regiment in 1965 and 1971 during Indo-Pak war and did contributed in major destruction to their army. The opponent team was so impressed by Hanut Singh’s skills that they titled the unit Faqkr-e-Hind, which is first in the history of Indian Army by opponents.
Lt. General Hanut Singh was awarded Mahaveer Chakra.