Zorawar Chand Bakhshi
Lieutenant General Zorawar Chand Bakshi (Z.C. Bakshi) PVSM, MVC, VrC, VSM (21 October 1921 – 24 May 2018) was a General of the Indian Army, most known as one of the commanders of Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 (Operation Ablaze). He also has the distinction of being "India's most decorated General".
Zorawar Chand Bakshi
|Born||21 October 1921|
Gulyana, Punjab, British India
|Died||24 May 2018(aged 96)|
|Allegiance|| British India|
|Service/|| British Indian Army|
|Years of service||1943—1979|
|Unit||5 Gorkha Rifles (Frontier Force)|
10th Baluch Regiment
|Commands held||II Corps|
26 Infantry Division
8 Mountain Division
68 Infantry Brigade
2/5 Gorkha Rifles (Frontier Force)
|Battles/wars||World War II|
Indo-Pakistan War of 1965
Indo-Pakistan War of 1971
|Awards|| Param Vishisht Seva Medal|
Maha Vir Chakra
Vishisht Seva Medal
Family and early lifeEdit
Bakshi's father, Bahadur Bakshi Lal Chand Lau, a Mohyal, was a decorated soldier in the British Indian Army and held the OBI. His family belonged to the village of Gulyana, Tehsil Gujarkhan Rawalpindi District. As with many other non-Muslims of that region, his family had to shift to India after the independence of Pakistan. Prior to the partition, he graduated from Rawalpindi's Gordon College in 1942.
Military career and major awardsEdit
He was commissioned into the Baloch Regiment of the Indian Army in 1943. Later he also did a course at Royal College of Defence Studies (RCDS), UK. His first major battle was against the Japanese in Burma in World War II, where he earned a Mention in Despatches for overcoming a heavily fortified Japanese position. After the liberation of Burma, he participated in the operations to liberate Malaysia from Japanese control, earning a fast-track promotion to the rank of a Major for his role.
Upon the Partition of India in 1947, he was transferred to the 5th Gorkha Rifles regiment of the Indian Army. In the Indo Pakistani War of 1947-1948, he was awarded a Vir Chakra for his bravery in July 1948. Soon afterward he was awarded the MacGregor Medal in 1949. In the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, he was instrumental in the capture of the Haji Pir Pass from the Pakistani Forces, for which he was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra. In the early 1960s he led his battalion in a United Nations Operation to undo the secession of the province of Katanga from Congo, in the process earning a Vishisht Seva Medal. In 1969-1970, he led successful counter-insurgency operations in pockets of North East India, and was promoted to major-general on 23 November 1970. During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 he was instrumental in the capture of territory in what is now referred to as the crucial Chicken-Neck Sector, for which he was awarded the Param Vishisht Seva Medal. On 7 September 1974, he was appointed Military Secretary with the acting rank of lieutenant-general. On 15 December 1976, he was granted an extension of service past his statutory retirement age to 1 January 1979.
He is popularly known as "Zoru" in the Indian Army.
Military Awards and DecorationsEdit
- "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)". The Gazette of India. 22 July 1967. p. 558.
- Pratik, Pawan. "Indo-Pakistani War of 1965: Golden Jubilee Commemoration". Official Website of Indian Army. Retrieved 2015-11-05.
- Ian Cardozo (2005). The Indian Army: A Brief History. Centre for Armed Forces Historical Research, United Service Institution of India. ISBN 978-81-902097-0-0.
- "Lt Gen Zorawar Chand Bakshi, PVSM, MVC, VrC, VSM (retd)". The War Decorated India & Trust. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
- V K Singh (2005). Leadership in the Indian Army: Biographies of Twelve Soldiers. SAGE Publications. pp. 329–. ISBN 978-0-7619-3322-9.
- Kai Friese (10 July 2014). "The Mask of Zoru". GQIndia magazine. Retrieved 2015-11-05.
- B. Chakravorty (1995). Stories of Heroism: PVC & MVC Winners. Allied Publishers. pp. 102–103. ISBN 978-81-7023-516-3.
- The Army Quarterly and Defence Journal. West of England Press. 1983. p. 175.
- Sri Nandan Prasad; Dharm Pal (1987). Operations in Jammu & Kashmir, 1947-48. History Division, Ministry of Defence, Government of India. p. 398.
- Rachna Bisht (2015). 1965: Stories from the Second Indo-Pakistan War. Penguin Books Limited. pp. 17–18. ISBN 978-93-5214-129-6.
- "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)". The Gazette of India. 12 June 1971. p. 686.
- "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)". The Gazette of India. 14 December 1974. p. 1385.
- "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)". The Gazette of India. 21 May 1977. p. 596.