Name Zorawar Bakhshi
Awards PVSM, MVC,VrC, VSM
|Rank Lieutenant General|
Service/branch Indian Army
|Born October 21, 1921 (age 94)
Gulyana, Punjab, British India (1921-10-21) |
Battles/wars Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 Operation Gibraltar
Battles and wars Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, Operation Gibraltar
Lieutenant General Zorawar Chand Bakshi (Z.C. Bakshi) PVSM, MVC, VrC, VSM (born October 21, 1921) is a retired General of the Indian Army, most known as one of the commanders of Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 (Operation Ablaze). He also has the distinction of being "India's most decorated General"
Family and early life
Bakhshi's father, Bahadur Bakshi Lal Chand Lau, a Mohyal, was a decorated soldier in the British Indian Army and held the OBI. His family belonged to the village of Gulyana, Tehsil Gujarkhan Rawalpindi District. As with many other non-Muslims of that region, his family had to shift to India after the independence of Pakistan. Prior to the partition, he graduated from Rawalpindi's Gordon College in 1942.
Military career and major awards
He was commissioned into the Baloch Regiment of the Indian Army in 1943. Later he also did a course at Royal College of Defence Studies (RCDS), UK. His first major battle was against the Japanese in Burma in World War II, where he earned a Mention in Despatches for overcoming a heavily fortified Japanese position. After the liberation of Burma, he participated in the operations to liberate Malaysia from Japanese control, earning a fast-track promotion to the rank of a Major for his role.
Upon the Partition of India in 1947, he was transferred to the 5th Gorkha Rifles regiment of the Indian Army. In the Indo Pakistani War of 1947-1948, he was awarded a Vir Chakra for his bravery in July 1948. Soon afterward he was awarded the MacGregor Medal in 1949. In the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, he was instrumental in the capture of the Haji Pir Pass from the Pakistani Forces, for which he was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra. In the early 1960s he led his battalion in a United Nations Operation to undo the secession of the province of Katanga from Congo, in the process earning a Vishisht Seva Medal. In 1969-1970, he led successful counter-insurgency operations in pockets of North East India. During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 he was instrumental in the capture of territory in what is now referred to as the crucial Chicken-Neck Sector, for which he was awarded the Param Vishisht Seva Medal. He is popularly known as "Zoru" in the Indian Army.