Brigadier Rajinder Singh: India’s Unsung War Hero

In the face of Pakistani tribal invasion of Jammu and Kashmir Maharaja Hari Singh acceded to India on 26th October 1947 and entrusted Brigadier Rajinder Singh to defend Kashmir being run over by the Pakistan backed militia.

Ayushman Singh Jamwal | Oct 27, 2017

Seventy years ago, on this day, an Indian army commander held a closed-door meeting with the then ruler of Jammu and Kashmir.

Pakistan had pushed into Kashmir thousands of militiamen who, guided by Pakistani soldiers, were wrecking havoc in the valley. It was in this context that this emergency meet was being held.

Brigadier Rajinder Singh saluted Maharaja Hari Singh and walked out of the room. “Save the state till the last man and the last bullet” is what Brigadier Singh was famously told by the king. Many may have heard or read this quote somewhere, now let us tell you the story behind this quote.

On October 22, 1947, a force of over 5000 Pakistani troops besieged J&K. Brigadier Rajinder rushed to the town of Muzzafarabad with his men to prevent the onslaught.


Many may not know the significance of October 26. But it was on this day in 1947 that Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession to India to save his state, which was under siege from Pakistan led offensive.

The accord mobilised the Indian army to repel the invaders, just weeks after Independence. Four days after he saluted the Maharaja, Brigadier Rajinder, who hailed from the Duggar in Jammu, died fighting Pakistani forces and marauders.



On October 22, 1947, a force of over 5000 Pakistani troops besieged J&K after Maharaja Hari Singh declared independence. Brigadier Rajinder rushed to the town of Muzzafarabad with his men to prevent the onslaught.




Meanwhile a mutiny was reported from 4th J&K Battalion, whose Muslim soldiers had turned against their Dogra brethren, even killing their commanding officer Lt Colonel Narayan Singh ignoring concerns expressed about his own safety.

Brigadier Rajinder Singh was given the order by my father and he just saluted and walked away. Dr Karan Singh
After taking control of Muzaffarabad, the road to Srinagar was open to the Pak led offensive and there seemed to be no challenge to them. The Pakistani marauders committed loot, rape, murder and arson in a bid to ‘purge’ the land, having full faith that the dominant Muslim community would rally to their cause.

A view of a desolated village in Baramulla after the Pakistani militiamen the onslaught.


His state being under siege, Maharaja Hari Singh ordered Brigadier Rajinder Singh, who served as the Chief of Army Staff of Jammu and Kashmir, to defend the state “till the last man and the last bullet.”

Maharaja Hari Singh’s son Dr Karan Singh tells CNN News18 that he still remembers the day the order was given. In fact, he was present in the room when Maharaja Hari Singh gave that historic command. “It was a worrying situation,” he says. “Brigadier Rajinder Singh was given the order by my father and he just saluted and walked away.”