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Bihar Regiment

The Bihar Regiment was formed in 1941 by regularising the 11th (Territorial) Battalion, 19th Hyderabad Regiment, and raising new battalions. The Biharis were not considered good soldier material by the British after 1857 since the Hindu Rajputs and Brahmans of Bihar, who were widely recruited in the old Bengal Army, had taken a very prominent part in the Sepoy Rebellion. The Biharis were recruited once again after a long time as infantry soldiers only in the Second World War, because the manpower reserves of Punjab etc could not keep pace with the extremely heavy demands of the Burma Front.

The Bihar Regiment is reported to consist half of the Adivasis [Scheduled Tribe]. The word 'Adivasi' means 'original inhabitants' in Sanskrit, and therefore the term means the indigenous people of India. Some 67.76 million or 8.08 per cent of the population of India have been designated as 'Scheduled Tribes' (STs) - generally referred to as Adivasis. The term 'STs' indicates those communities specified by the President of India under Article 342 of the Constitution of India. 'Geographical isolation, distinctive culture, primitivity [sic], shyness and economic backwardness [sic]' are some of the criteria considered. Adivasis in India share many of the characteristics of other indigenous peoples of the world. However, a vital distinction of the Adivasis of the Indian subcontinent is their opposition to the caste system. As punishment for Adivasi resistance to British rule, "The Criminal Tribes Act" was passed by the British Government in 1871 arbitrarily stigmatizing groups such as the Adivasis (who were perceived as most hostile to British interests) as congenital criminals.

On 15 December 1971 a Seaborne expedition was launched against Cox Bazar after reports of had reached Army HQ that some Pakistani troops were escaping into Burma that way. The Task force consisted of the HQ of 2 Artillery Brigade, the 1st Battalion, 3 Gorkha Rifles Regiment , 11 Bn, Bihar Regiment and troops of support services.

Pakistan sponsored intruders crossed the L.O.C. in Kargil and entered the Indian Territory. "Operation Vijay" was launched by Indian Army to flush out intruders from the Indian Territory More than 10,000 Jawans and Officers serving in Bihar Regiment Center and other regiments were on the war front. In an exceptionally well planned operation in the Batalik Sector, the courageous soldiers of the Bihar Regiment, in a fierce fight with the Pakistan Army, captured Point 4268 and Jubar Ridge on night 06/07 July 99. 7th July 1999 is a red letter day for us when it was announced that Jawans of Bihar Regiment Center pushed back intruders from Jubar Hills and point 4268 in Kuker Thang area in Batalik sector.

Shri Birsa Munda is a legendary figure in the history of the Indian struggle for freedom. He is well known as an early advocate and exponent of tribal rights and as an indomitable fighter against foreign rule and oppression. One of the lesser known aspects of the fight against British rule is that tribal uprisings constituted an important part of the defiance of the colonial regime. Birsa Munda rose from the lowest rank of peasants to mobilise people against the appropriation of tribal land and disintegration of their way of life, economy, and culture by the colonial system. He fought against British rule, suffered imprisonment and subsequently became a martyr. Through his struggle he became a cult figure, a part of the folklore and was even deified by the people as 'Dharti Abba' or 'Birsa Bhagwan'. The Bihar Regiment of the Indian Army invokes his name in one of their battle cries -- Birsa Munda Ki Jai (Victory to Birsa Munda).

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Page last modified: 11-07-2011 15:37:32 ZULU