"For 19 Years I Dreamt Of Serving The Indian Army": Kargil War Martyr's Son Who Joined Father's Battalion
As children, many of us have dreamt of following our father’s footsteps once we grow up. On the night of June 12, 1999, Hitesh Kumar was only six-years-old when his father, a lance naik in the 2nd Battalion of Rajputana Rifles was killed in Tololing, in Kargil. Upon hearing the news of his father’s demise, a young Hitesh decided that he would grow up and join the Indian Army.
Today, after 19 odd years, Hitesh has achieved what he had dreamt as a child. After successfully passing out from the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun, he has been commissioned in the Indian Army as a lieutenant.
To add to it, Hitesh will also be serving in the same battalion as his father. Times Of India reported that right after the passing out parade, Hitesh paid tribute to his father, Bachan Singh, at the memorial built in lance naik Bachan Singh’s memory in the Civil Lines area of Muzaffarnagar.
A Tough Childhood
Life was very difficult for the family ever since Bachan Singh was martyred. However, his wife Kamesh Bala soldiered on, dedicating her life to the task of raising two sons.
Talking to Times Of India, the mother said, “It has been a difficult life since Bachan was martyred. I dedicated my life to raising my two sons. Today I am proud that Hitesh was commissioned into the Army. His younger brother, Hemant, is also preparing to join the Army. There is nothing more I could ask for.”
Hitesh told the daily, “For 19 years, I dreamt of joining the Army. It became my mother’s dream too. Now I want to serve my country with pride and honesty.”
The 2nd Battalion of the Rajputana Rifles, one of the senior-most rifle regiments in the Indian Army, won Tololing, marking India’s first success at Kargil.
Bachan Singh was shot in the head and died on the battlefield at Tololing. On the very same day 17 others also died fighting, said Rishipal Singh, who was in Bachan’s battalion, to Times of India.
According to official Indian government figures, the three-week-long Kargil war killed 527 Indian Army Soldiers and left many injured.