Lt. Gen. Harbaksh Singh – A Tribute
Gurcharanjit Singh Lamba, editor, ‘Sant Sipahi’
16 November, 1999
With the final march past of the legendary Lt. General Harbaksh Singh, VC, PVSM,PB,PV who commanded not only the columns but the hearts of the people in uniform or otherwise, has now got himself a prime place in the glittering pages of the Indian history.
The general got himself in the Indian Army in 1939, though immediately thereafter the political leadership spearheading the independence movement gave a call for boycott of the recruitment to the armed forces. The presence of a large number of entrants of that time from Punjab in the Indian Army thus proved only one point that but for the presence in large number of these soldiers during the 1947 and 1965 war with Pakistan the result would have been catastrophic.
During the 1965 Indo-Pak War the determined strategy and action plan of this war hero created legends and got him applause not only from friends but secret admiration from foes also. His war dispatches published later were sold and read more in
He recalled that his strategy was too simple that the enemy tank may penetrate deep inside but have to have the support of the soft vehicles. To prevent this he had a determined plan not to allow any Paki vehicle on the road. And he proved right too.
Recalling his contribution and determination, Lt. Gen. B. M. Kaul in his book Confrontation with
“Government should by now be aware that in the midst of this grim crisis on 10 September Army Chief Chaudhuri asked Harbaksh Singh whether our forward positions should not be readjusted and established behind the
The historians will evaluate the contribution of the great General, but since the Punjab was the battle field one thing is too sure that but for this action of the general of the Sikh regiment the Punjab and Punjabis would have got an unprecedented blow, the parallel of which is found in the chapters of invaders in the history.
Writing about this part of history Sirdar Kapur Singh in Sikhism & Politics published by SGPC says,
“In the Indo-Pakistan conflict of 1965, it is now know, that but for the obduracy of a certain Sikh General it had almost been decided to abandon the entire
In the interview the General said very emphatically, “I had absolute confidence that I will not allow them to enter
The contribution of the General to the nation is so great that certain concerned quarters made specific suggestions to the honour General Harbaksh Singh during the forthcoming tercentenary celebrations of the Khalsa. It is no exaggeration that his contribution for this Nation and especially for the Punjab is no less than that of Banda Bahadur or Hari Singh Nalua, but that was not to be and no body even cared to invite him for the celebrations. This morning when I rang up an Akali activist and told him about the sad demise of the general, the question was, “Who was General Harbaksh Singh?”.