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Brigadier Mohammad Usman, The Lion Of Naushera

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By Author: Rahul Sharma
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Any young and fearless soul, dreaming to defend their motherland, won’t let a single opportunity pass unnoticed to join Indian Army Recruitment 2019. And if you too are made of the material as they are, then you sure have started your training to excel in the recruitment process. So to help you keep your motivation up all times, here is a tale of bravery, that roars of valor, sacrifice, and service with each word its told or spoken with. It also helps us understand the meaning behind the Indian Army’s motto: Service Before Self.

Nation First
Born in the pre-independence era, on July 15, 1912, the Lt. Brigadier’s rise was almost meteoric among the ranks of the army because of his active duty, and he was soon promoted to the rank of Captain on 31 August 1941. Mohammad Usman’s love for nation and sense of selfless services towards it came to public long before he was in the defense of Jhangar. Shortly after Indo-Pak partition, Pakistan’s Armed Forces tried to lure the brigadier with the fancy offer of becoming future “Pakistan Army Chief”. But Brigadier Usman rejected the same, becoming an example of his motherland’s "inclusive secularism". But his glory moment soon came when Pakistan declared a war on India in 1947.

The Battle of Naushera
Usman was sent to command 50th Parachute Brigade deployed at Jhangar, Kashmir in December of 1947. In a battle in which the brigade was heavily outnumbered, Pakistani forces took the area out of India’s hand. Then and there, Usman vowed to recapture the lost land.

In February 1948, he launched a fierce attack on the two of the most strategically important location of J&K, Naushera, and Jhangar. In a battle which left Indian forces with 32 martyrs and 102 wounded personnel, the rival received a heavy casualty of 1000 dead and 1000 wounded soldiers. This battle earned two things for Mohammad Usman. First was a title, “Lion of Nowshera”. And second, a bounty of Rs. 50,000 on his head, announced by the Pak forces in frustration of losing against this chivalrous War hero.

Finally, on July 3, 1948, the lion attained martyrdom after he was hit by the enemy’s 25-pounder shell. He was only 35 years old. Brigadier Mohammad Usman was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra posthumously. He was the highest ranking military commander to lay his life in the battlefield till that point of time.

In Media
The acclaimed Indian screenwriter-Director Khwaja Ahmad Abbas, while working as a journalist at that time, wrote on this death “[...] Brigadier Usman's brave example will be an abiding source of inspiration for Free India".

Directors Ranjan Kumar Singh and Upendra Sood, directors at Mediamen, a group of young journalists, shot a 50-min long documentary titled “Naushera Ka Sher”. The documentary covers Brigadier's life from college to his death.

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