Havaldar Major Yashvir Singh Tomar

Havaldar Major Yashvir Singh Tomar

No Tears: Yashvir's father says his grandsons too will serve the Indian army

2 Rajputana Rifles 
The Tomar Way 
Mission: Atop Tololing, he charged an enemy bunker and threw 18 grenades. He was found dead later, rifle in hand. 

In Sirsili they do not weep, even silently, for their dead. They smile instead. It is not easy, but in this Rajput village in Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh, where pride and honour comes before death and defeat, Girwar Singh Tomar, 70, is following tradition. He's completed the last rites of his eldest son, Havaldar Major Yashvir Singh Tomar. The youngest, Harbir of 2 Jat Regiment, is there in the high passes. All that the senior Tomar, smiling wanly, will say is, "Tradition does not allow our menfolk to come back defeated from the battlefront. They must do or die." 

Such are the ways of the Tomars. On June 12, there were 11 of them from Charlie company of 90 men whose mission was to capture Tololing Top, a crucial, well-defended peak. Lt Praveen Tomar, 23, the youngest of them, remembers what a sombre Yashvir had said: "Sahib, gyarah ja rahe hain aur gyarah jeet kar hee lautenge (Sir, 11 Tomars are going; 11 will return only after victory)." It was a brutal night and a third of the company was dead and injured. At 2:30 a.m. with desperation setting in, Yashvir collected all the grenades of his men and charged the deadly bunker holding up victory. He got there and tossed 18 grenades and silenced the bunker. When they found Yashvir he lay still, shot in the head and chest, grenade in one hand, assault rifle in the other. Tololing Top had fallen. It is one of the most daring actions of the war. Tomars of Charlie company found victory and returned -- only they were one short. 

Yashvir's sons Uday, 11, and Pankaj, 10, don't cry. At home from the Army School in Meerut where they study, they already see no other life but the army. For a Tomar, there is no other way.

CourtesyThe India Today

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