INFANTRY DAY 2023
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Picture Courtesy: livemint
Context: 77th Infantry Day was observed on October 27 to honour the courageous landing of the 1st Battalion of the Sikh Regiment at Srinagar airfield on October 27, 1947.
About Infantry Day
- Infantry Day is observed on October 27 every year in India to commemorate the contributions of the Infantry, the largest fighting arm of the Indian Army.
- The significance of this day lies in the historical events that took place in 1947. On October 26, 1947, the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, Hari Singh, signed the instrument of accession, making the princely state a part of the Indian Union.
- Subsequently, a Battalion of the Sikh Regiment reached the Srinagar air base to confront tribal invaders, who were supported by Pakistan.
- Before the Indian troops arrived, Pakistan's regular soldiers, disguised as volunteers from the tribal areas of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), had already entered Jammu and Kashmir with the intention of forcibly occupying the state and integrating it with Pakistan.
- Indian troops were called to action on October 27, following the Maharaja's accession.
- The 77th Infantry Day was celebrated recently with various events organized by the Indian Army, including marathons and campaigns, in different parts of the country.
- The day serves as a tribute to the Infantry and a reminder of their pivotal role in the defense of Jammu and Kashmir in 1947.
- Since India's independence, the infantry has played a pivotal role in safeguarding the nation's sovereignty, triumphing in wars against China in 1962, Pakistan in 1947-48, 1965, 1971, and the Kargil conflict in 1999.
- The infantry's unwavering commitment has also been evident in various operations, including counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism efforts in North and North East India, as well as operations like Op BLUE STAR and Op RAKSHAK in Punjab, Op PAWAN in Sri Lanka, and more recently, Op SNOW LEOPARD in Eastern Ladakh.
Q. What were the historical, political, and constitutional factors that led to the integration of Jammu and Kashmir into India, and how has this integration shaped the region's socio-political landscape in the years that followed?