“Woh kehte hai subah ka khana Jaisalmer mein karenge, dopahar ka khana jodhpur mein karenge or raat ka khana delhi mein karenge; lekin aaj hum unka naashta karenge. Guru maharaj ne kaha hai ek khalsa sawa lakh ke barabar hota hai aaj unki baat sach kar dikhane ka waqt aa gaya hai”. I am sure we all remember this famous dialogue by Sunny Deol (who played the character of Maj. Kuldip Singh Chandpuri) from the epic movie Border (1997). This movie was based on the Battle of Longewala which took place in 60’s in the Thar Desert of the Rajasthan state of India.
During my recent Jaisalmer cycling trip, I got a chance to witness the battleground where the Indian army not only valiantly protected its post but also managed to inflict heavy losses on the Pakistani army. By the end of the war, the Pakistanis had lost nearly 200 soldiers, loss of 30+ tanks and 500 additional vehicles.
One could see endless sand dunes with hardly any vegetation. Once you get closer to the border area (civilians cannot go beyond the Longewala check post) you can see couple of tanks, and other war vehicles that were used in the war.
Another interesting story that is related to the war is about the famous Tanot Mata temple. It was said that during the war, Pakistani army fired nearly 3000 bombs out of which 450 bombs fell into the temple premises. Not even a singly bomb exploded which fell in the premises. Even today, few bombs are kept in the temple for display. Isn’t it something unbelievable?
We all know that war is very bad having disastrous effects not just on the armies of the countries fighting the war but also on the civilians of the nations. Having said that, I’d like to quote another dialogue from the same movie by Sunil Shetty, “Hum Toh Kisi Doosre Ki Dharti Par Nazar Bhi Nahi Dalte Lekin Itne Nalayak Baache Bhi Nahi Hai
Ki Koi Hamari Dharti Maa Par Nazar Daale Aur Hum Chup Chap Dekhte Rahe…….!”
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