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An Inspiring Story of Captain Mulla…

  • Hiral Patel
  • October 27, 2016
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“Indian Army” – When we utter these two words, our heads get down with respect and gratitude to their sacrifice and nobility. Their love for the nation and will to serve the country is unmatched. From the icy glaciers of Siachen to the scorched lands of Rajasthan, they guard as their family all day and night without complaining.

Since 1947, India has faced wars, civil unrests, militancy, cross-border terrorism and other external attacks; our soldiers have proved their mettle in every situation.

There are many stories of sacrifice, bravery and valour which are a testament to their greatness. The story of Captain Mahendra Nath Mulla will fill you with pride and inspire all to the core.

“Captains Don’t Abandon Their Ships, No Matter What”, these are the lines of India’s old military tradition- that’s the level of responsibility a Captain is bestowed with. Captain Mulla teaches us not only how to live, but how to die.

The story of Captain Mahendra Nath Mulla is a perfect example of exemplary courage, determination, devotion to duty, and welfare of the personnel under his command.

Captain Mahendra Nath Mulla’s act of heroism is engraved in the records of Indian Navy with golden words. The recipient of the posthumous award Maha Vir Chakra, served his country and sacrificed his life for it. Captain Mahendra Nath Mulla was an officer of the Indian Navy and the captain of the INS Khukri, who died when his ship was sunk during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. Mulla gave away his own life-saving jacket to a sailor and tried to save as many lives as he could- he chose to stand by 18 officers and 176 sailors who went down with the sinking ship.

During the 1971 war, he was commanding a task force of two ships. The task force was assigned to hunt and destroy enemy submarines in the North Arabian Sea.

The Indian Naval radio detection equipment identified a submarine in the vicinity of Diu harbour on December 3, 1971, then Khukri along with two other ships Kirpan and Kuthar were dispatched to hunt down the submarine.

On December 9, 1971, Pakistani submarine PNS Hangoor fired torpedoes at INS Khukri. As a result the ship sank within minutes, taking 176 sailors and 18 officers, and the ship’s captain, to their watery graves in the Arabian Sea.

During the last minutes of his life, Mulla showed extraordinary courage, helping save as many of his men as he could and not abandoning his vessel. Injured, and with his head bleeding, he went down with his ship.

He was the first captain of independent India’s navy to go down with his ship, and hopefully the last. One such man is enough to bring honour to an entire nation for a lifetime.

Captain Mulla’s story brings into focus the outstanding character qualities of a man that sets him apart from other mortals. The principles and values which he stood and lived for need to be taken on board by all of us so that we can become better citizens of this great country.

 

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