Monday, November 9, 2009

First Param Vir Chakra Award - Major Somnath Sharma

Param Vir Chakra is the highest award for gallantry in India. It is awarded to those who have displayed conspicuous bravery or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice in the presence of enemies in war on land or air or water. Param Vir Chakra was established on 26th January, 1950, when India was declared Republic. Param Vir in Hindi means Bravest of the Brave.

The first Param Vir Chakra was awarded to Major Somnath Sharma for his bravery in Kashmir operations in 1947. He died while evicting the Pakistani infiltrators and raiders from Srinagar Airport during the Indo-Pakistan war in 1947-48 in Kashmir. Major Somnath lead a small team of men and sustained enemies from three directions and stopped them from invading the Srinagar Airport. His bravery was truely impeccable and unmatchable. His last words to his higher officials before he died was - "The enemies are only 50 yards from us. We are heavily outnumbered. We are under devastating fire. I shall not withdraw an inch but will fight to our last man and our last round". He is a true hero and makes us feel proud to be Indians.

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