Param Vir Chakra: The Highest Military Decoration of India

Param Vir Chakra
Param Vir Chakra
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Param Vir Chakra is the highest gallantry award in India which is awarded for the highest valor before enemy to the bravest of brave soldiers in action. This is a rare military decoration, and so for it is awarded to 21 bravest soldiers of India. Out of the 21 soldiers, 20 were from Indian Army, while one was a fighter pilot from Indian Air Force. Compare this number with the recipients Mahavir Chakra, the second highest military decorations. The number of Mahavir Chakra winners is 155.
Param Vir Chakra is equivalent ofVictoria Cross in United Kingdom,Medal of Honor in United States,Hero of the Russian Federation in Russia and Order of Blue Sky and White Sun in Republic of China. It is also equivalent toNishan-E-Haider of Pakistan and Bir Shresto of Bangla Desh.

Some Facts about Param Vir Chakra

The medal is a circular disc made from Bronze. The medal was designed by Savitri Khanolkar, originally Eva Yuonne Linda Maday-de-Maros, a Hungarian-Russian, who was married to Vikram Khanolkar, an Indian Army Officer.
Param Vir Chakra was first awarded to Major Somnath Sharmaposthumously for evicting enemy from Srinagar Airport during the first war between India and Pakistan in 1947.
All the recipients of Param Vir Chakra are either non - commissioned soldiers or commissioned officers up to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. The only Air Force man to receiver this award was a Flying Officer. No one from Indian navy has received this award.
The Grenadiers Regiment and the Gurkha Rifles are recipients of 3 Param Vir Chakras each, the highest number of this award to a single regiment. The regiments which received 2 Param Vir Chakras are: Jammu & Kashmir Rifles,Poona Horse, Sikh Regiment and Kumaon Regiment.
5 Param Vir Chakra were awarded in 1947-48 India-Pakistan war, 1 in 1961 Civil war in Congo, 3 in 1962 India-China war, 2 in 1965 India-Pakistan War, 4 in 1971 India-Pakistan War, 2 in 1987 (one in an action in Sri Lanka and another in an action in Jammu and Kasmir) and 4 in 1999 Kargil war between India and Pakistan.
14 of the 21 Param Vir Chakra were awarded posthumously.
The recipients of Param Vira Chakra belong to different religions, namely Hindu,Sikh, Muslim, Christian and Parasi.

The Recipients of Param Vir Chakra

Here is the list of all the recipients of Param Vir Chakra:
1. Major Som Nath Sharma
2. Lance Naik Karam Singh
3. Second Lieutenant Rama Raghoba Rane
4. Naik Jadu Nath Singh
5. Company Havildar Major Piru Singh Shekhawat
6. Captain Gurbachan Singh Salaria
7. Major Dhan Singh Thapa
8. Subedar Joginder Singh
9. Major Shaitan Singh
10. Company Quarter Master Havildar Abdul Hamid
11. Lieutenant-Colonel Ardeshir Burzorji Tarapore
12. Lance Naik Albert Ekka
13. Flying Officer Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon
14. Second Lieutenant Arun Khetarpal
15. Major Hoshiar Singh
16. Naib Subedar Bana Singh
17. Major Ramaswamy Parameshwaran
18. Captain Manoj Kumar Pandey
19. Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav
20. Rifleman Sanjay Kumar
21. Captain Vikram Batra

On Postage Stamps

A postage stamp depicting the picture of Param Vir Chakrea Medal was issued by India post in 1976. The value of the stamp was 25 Paise. In year 2000, five stamps were issued on the occasion of 50th year of Republic of India, each valued 3 Rupees depicting portraits of recipients of gallantry awards, out of which 4 stamps were dedicated to winners of Param Vir Chakra. The brave soldiers on the stamps were: Lance Naik Karam Singh, Lance Naik Albert Ekka, Company Quarter Master Havildar Abdul Hameed and Flying Officer Niramal Jit Singh Shekhawat.

On Television

In 1988 a TV serial Param vir Chakra was telecasted on Doordarshan. The serial was produced and directed by Chetan Anand, a renowned producer and director of Hindi films, who had previously directed the two great war movies Haqeekat andHindustan ki Kasam. In Param Vir Chakra Serial, renowned actors of films and stage performed various characters, including the great actor Nasaruddin Shah as Havildar Abdul Hamid.