Saturday, December 26, 2009

Horse Endurance Championship Rajasthan

The 2nd International Invitational Endurance Championship was held at Dundlod, in the Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan, this month. Indian and international riders participated as members of teams or as individuals. In the photo from Flickr, Francesca Kelly is mounted on her Marwari horse Gajraj, with other riders carrying team flags at the opening ceremony on 8th December.

The endurance race was 81km in length, and to qualify for international races horses have to complete it with an average speed of 16km per hour. Every 20km the horses were checked by veterinarians. The Indian Army teams from Saharanpur, mounted on thoroughbred horses, won gold and silver. A team from the Chattisgarh Police were supposed to participate (mounted on thoroughbreds) but could not attend. The bronze was taken by Team Britain mounted on Marwari horses; teams and individuals from the US, UK, Italy, Russia, Sri Lanka, and France also participated. They were provided with Marwari horses from the stables of Rawal Devendra Singh of Nawalgarh and Kanwar Raghuvendra Singh of Dundlod (below right), who is also Secretary General of the Indigenous Horse Society of India (IHSI).

On the occasion India's indigenous horse breeds received recognition from the postal department, which released four stamps commemorating the Marwari (Rajasthan State), Kathiawari (Gujarat State), Zanskari (Ladakh region of J&K State), and Manipuri (Manipur State) breeds. Apart from the endurance championships, riders from the Dundlod stables exhibited traditional Indian equestrian skills in tent pegging, jumping, dressage, and dance. The six-day event was organised by the Indigenous Horse Society of India and the Rajasthan Equestrian Association, and was held at the Royal Equestrian Polo Centre Dundlod, owned by Kanwar Raghuvendra Singh of Dundlod. There has been little coverage in the media for this equestrian sporting event, which ended on December 12, and the photos and information provided here is from wildlife photographer Satyendra Kumar Tiwari's blog and other offline sources. Read More......

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Pakistan Army Surrenders

Video of the first, and perhaps only, public surrender in modern military history. 26,400 Pakistan Army soldiers in Dhaka, today the capital of Bangladesh, but then the capital of East Pakistan surrendered to only 3000 Indian troops. These were from the 101st Communication Zone (from their HQ in Guwahati), along with elements of IV Corps (HQ Agartala) commanded by the brilliant Lt. General Sagat Singh who thrust select units like a dagger on Dhaka using heliborne operations.

In the video above Sagat Singh can be seen standing to the right of Major-General Gandharv Singh Nagra, GOC of the 101 Communication Zone, as the latter addresses the Pakistani POWs. In all 90,000 Pakistanis surrendered all over Bangladesh making it the biggest surrender since WWII. In addition the Pakistanis had raised irregular units of Razakars, comprising Urdu-speaking Islamists and Punjabi and Bihari Muslims in East Pakistan, which had been engaged in horrific mass killings and rapes of the Bengali Muslims and Hindus. Units of the Pakistani army spearheaded the senseless butchery, leading to the genocide of 3 million Bengali Hindus and Muslims, and driving an estimated 10 million refugees into India.

In retaliation the Bangladeshi liberation fighters took revenge on the Pakistani Razakars and soldiers, as shown in the video above. Other videos related to the Liberation of Bangladesh and the 1971 Indo-Pak War, on the Indian Army History thread at BRF. Read More......