THE 9th  GORKHA RIFLES

It was a matter of great honour for me to have been asked by the 9th Gorkha Rifles to take on the task of writing the third volume of their regimental history, covering post Independence period of a little over five decades. All through my service I had had no link with any of the Gorkha Regiments other than through personal friends made during courses or service together under the same formation. The general impression that I had formed of the ‘Gorkhas’ as a result of this distant view was that they tended to be rather ‘parochial’ in their outlook. The faith that the Regiment had reposed in me - a ‘non Gorkha’ – therefore appeared most flattering. It, nevertheless, added immensely to the challenge that is generally involved in carrying out such a task.

Although I could not claim lineage to any of the Gorkha Regiments, I was not totally alien to the Gorkhas as such. In 1962 I got transferred from the Punjab Regiment to the Jammu & Kashmir Rifles (JAK RIF) that has had a proportion of Gorkhas in two of its battalions since the State Force days. Fortunately I was posted to one of the battalions of JAK RIF, which has a class composition of Gorkhas and Dogras in the ratio of 50:50. Even more fortunately I was put in command of one of the Gorkha companies, which I went on to command successfully for three years – the diverseness of command involved in the switch over from Sikh troops to Gorkhas notwithstanding.

Every effort has been made to avoid pitfalls that could make a regimental history dull and drab. For one, even as the need for highlighting the achievements of the Regiment, as an all-important and chief motivating factor, is duly recognised, the temptation to indulge in exaggerations, or unbearable self-praise, has been scrupulously avoided so as not to allow the credibility base of these events to get eroded. Secondly, so as to maintain the continuity and the natural flow of the narrative the Regimental history has been presented not as an isolated account but with reference to the context of the national security scenario and the activity of the Army as a whole.

Prelude