Army chief's village churns out soldiers, now celebrates his success

Army chief's village churns out soldiers, now celebrates his success

 On a day when General Dalbir Singh Suhag took over as the new Army chief, his native nondescript village in Haryana’s Jhajjar district rejoiced its feat as a ‘village of soldiers’.

This back-of-the-beyond sleepy village, Bishan, has produced hundreds of Army officers, Junior Commissioned Officers (JCO) and other soldiers till date.

Every second house in the village takes pride of having at least one person serving the nation in the armed forces.

There are many families in the village, like the one of the current Army chief, which have been serving the armed forces for generations. Young boys going to school in the village have grown up with a passion to join the National Defence Academy (NDA). 

Today was a special moment. The village celebrated the rise of another son, Gen Suhag. His parents, 84-year-old Ramphal, a retired JCO and mother Ishri Devi, have been staying in this village for years.

Moment of pride

For them, it’s a moment of pride and celebration. Gen Suhag’s grandfather and great grandfather too had served in the Army. 

The village has a tradition to excel when it comes to the olive green. The Sword of Honour in 2013 for overall excellent performance in all fields was earned by 21-year-old Siddhant Suhag who hails from this Bishan village in Haryana. Siddhant’s father Hoshiyar Singh is a serving junior warrant officer in the Air Force.

Another son of the soil Lieutenant Vikash kumar, who was presented a gold medal for standing first in the overall Order of Merit in the same IMA course, is also from the chief’s village.

One part of Gen Suhag’s parent’s house in the village is full of medals and trophies won by the Army chief when he was a school going kid. Gen Suhag’s 80-year-old mother Ishri Devi said his son is very fond of a sweet dish locally called “churma.”

Special dish for son

As both left for New Delhi for the coronation, Ishri Devi made the dish in ‘desi ghee’ for his son to relish.  Like other village lads, Dalbir studied in the village government school till Class IV, before he got enrolled in the military school in Chittorgarh where he studied till he joined the NDA.

Retired Armoured Corps officer Colonel RC Kapoor told Deccan Herald it’s because of villages like Bishan that Haryana today proudly enjoys its feat of sending a relatively high number of officers to the Army.

Of the 636 cadets of the recent 2014 batch which passed out of the IMA in June, there were 62 cadets of from Haryana, second only to Uttar Pradesh, which is far bigger in size and population. Punjab, once considered the sword arm of the nation, has lost this tag to Haryana. This year’s pass out batch of the IMA had only 30 officers from Punjab.