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Brigadier Rattan Kaul

Brigadier Rattan Kaul

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Brigadier Rattan Kaul was born in Srinagar and had his initial schooling there. After Military Training he was commissioned in 5 Royal Gorkha Rifles [Frontier Force]. Soon, barely nineteen, he was deployed on J&K Border in Mendhar Sector from 1963 to 66. He participated in 1965 war against Pakistan and had many brushes with the enemy including a direct hit of Napalm Bombs on his bunker by Pakistani Sabre Jets, burning his senior officer sharing the same bunker. In 1967, he was offered a lateral shift to IAS, which he declined. In Nagaland he, in a daring raid, caught Secretary to Mao Angami (Underground President of Nagaland and in news these days) from his hideout.

During Bangladesh War in 1971, he led his troops in a Khukri assault on 20/21 November, 1971, annihilating a complete Company of Pakistani Troops of 31 Punjab. On 8 December, he with his unit troops of approx 400 men landed by helicopters amidst over 2000 troops of Pakistani’s defending Bangladesh town of Sylhet, This was first ever such heliborne operation behind enemy lines by Indian Army. The unit broke the spine and resistance of the Pakistani troops, resulting in their surrender on 16 December, much before the main surrender at Dacca on 17 December, 1971. He was, however, seriously injured in this battle and remained in hospital for about 10 months.

In 1974, he was amongst top ten, second in order of merit, to be selected for Staff College, a year long professional course at Wellington. Apart from foreign assignment with his battalion, he has served in all corners of the country and held prestigious assignments. In his pioneering professional work in North Sikkim heights (1700 Feet AMSL), he on a mission was nearly buried in a snow avalanche. He commanded a brigade (over 2500 troops) during militancy in Punjab. Though approved for promotion to the next rank of Major General, he left Army early, in 1966, to side step into Industry and served as Vice President, Birlas. Soldier to the boot he has been awarded 14 medals for distinguished service and bravery. Also, he was decorated with COAS award for exceptional work in Punjab, where he is also remembered for his pioneer civic action projects in Khem Karan Sector.

An HRD, Management, Defence Analyst, he has been Instructor in Army’s prestigious institutes (War College, Infantry School), visiting lecturer to Airforce, Naval Officers College, IMS Indore (now IIM, Indore). A renowned Defence Analyst, writer with four books to his credit and plethora of articles on Military History, Defence, Politics, Anecdotes, Poetry etc. He has many research papers on Army and now on Kashmir to his credit. Two of these, pertaining to Kashmir; Goddess Sharda at Shardi and Aryan Saraswat Brahmins of Kashmir have been well received and are on the world wide internet also. He was the one to bring the photograph of Sharda Temple at Shardi in Pakistan in 2004 for the first time in more than 70 years and share it with the community and Goddess Sharda’s worshippers in India. This effort of his is as spring board to get this temple on the list of world heritage monument, even though it is now in Pakistan.

For the last few years his articles on way of life in Kashmir have a spark of his memoirs, personal thoughts and of values and heritage. He is proud of his lineage from great Kashmiri Historian Narain Kaul (17th / 18th Century) and his sixth descendant Bhawani Kaul (1790 - 1867 AD), a noted Administrator and writer during Dogra Rule.
Date: 19.02.2009 00:32
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