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Martyred Soldier Who Continues to Guard India's Eastern Borders 'Indefinitely' Was Born Today in 1941

By: Prakash Adhikary


Last Updated: May 13, 2019, 20:23 IST

Martyred Soldier Who Continues to Guard India's Eastern Borders 'Indefinitely' Was Born Today in 1941

Depicting Baba Harbhajan Singh’s real life, Bhuvan Bam has documented a short film named ‘Plus Minus’ in 2018.

While mortals can be consigned to flames, the same can't be said about immortals. The story of Baba Harbhajan Singh seems to fall in the second category.

As tangible as his death in 1968 on duty in Sikkim, equally intangible is his continued "presence" — deployed on duty at the Nathula border between India and China in East Sikkim.

Captain Harbhajan Singh, born ‘today’ in 1941 in Punjab, died at the age of 27 at Nathula.

Titled ‘Baba’ by both the Indian and Chinese armies who diligently worship him, Singh, continues to relentlessly serve the nation, before and after death. On a lot of occasions, soldiers seemed to have witnessed Baba visiting military camps and his post.

The Baba is also said to issue warnings to soldiers of any attack at least three days in advance. It is believed that he’s still guarding the international borders of the two countries.

Many say the Army is on "high alert" when the Baba is on leave. Even during customary flag meetings between the Indian and Chinese armies, the latter sets aside a chair for him.

It might not be logically acceptable by everyone, but the soldiers, who have "sensed his presence", claimed to have found crumpled bedsheet and muddy shoes in his assigned room in the morning.

Singh's room is cleaned every morning and every month, he draws a major’s salary. He’s still allotted two months' leave annually when a team of soldiers 'accompany him' to his hometown.

A berth in the train is reserved in his name and is left empty for the entire journey. Every year, on 11 September, his belongings are sent back to his hometown by the train that departs from New Jalpaiguri station, West Bengal.

Considering him to be the ‘Hero of Nathula’, a temple has been dedicated in his name, which today has three rooms, the Baba’s office, a store room and living room. In the living room, every item of his need has been neatly kept. It has his bed, shoes, slippers, water bottle, ironed uniform, an umbrella and basically everything that he could possibly need.

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    A short film, titled 'Plus Minus' documenting Singh’s life was made by Bhuvan Bam in 2018.

    At times, the lines between mysticism and reality are blurred and the Baba's 'presence' along the eastern borders hold true to many.

    first published:May 13, 2019, 20:11 IST
    last updated:May 13, 2019, 20:23 IST