Remembering Mansa’s naib subedar Nand Singh — lone winner of the twin bravery awards of Victoria Cross and Maha Vir Chakra — on the eve of 68 years of his martyrdom, his daughter, Amarjeet Kaur (68), regrets that the state government has forgotten his family and village.
She is the only child of the naib subedar. His wife, Joginder Kaur, passed away in 2001. In 1944, as jemadar in the British Indian army, Nand Singh of Bahadurpur village near Bareta received its highest military honour —Victoria Cross — for showing bravery against the Japanese forces on the Arakan front in Burma during World War-2. On December 12, 1947, he laid down his life fighting Pakistani intruders in Jammu and Kashmir.
“After my father died, my uncles from Bareta forced my mother to move to Sangrur. I was born in the same year. They then forced us to shift to Patiala, where I received my education and got married. They grabbed the 60 acres given to my father for his bravery, and no one even from the defence services came to our help,” said the martyr’s daughter, who now stays in SAS Nagar, and whom HT contacted after a commemoration event on Friday.
The state government has named a polytechnic, a bus stand, and even a street after the martyr but not looked after any. District defence services welfare director brigadier Jatinder Singh Arora on Friday attended a programme at Nand Singh’s village but no one from the district administration was present. Asked to explain, deputy commissioner Isha Kalia said: “I am not aware of any such event to remember Nand Singh.”
The villager of the Bahadurpur are surprised that the state government did not care to send a representative to the commemoration event organised a year before the assembly elections. “The last commemoration was in 2011,” said Baldev Sharma of Bareta.