Belagavi: The Maratha Light Infantry Regiment, one of the oldest regiments of the Indian Army with a proud and rich history spanning over 250 years, is celebrating its XVIIth post-War Re-union at The Maratha Light Infantry Regimental Centre, Belgaum from October 15 to October 17.
The theme of the celebrations is ‘Synergy’ highlighting the operational bonhomie and camaraderie amongst all affiliated units of not only the Indian Army but also with sister services to include Indian Air Force, Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard.
General Manoj Pande, AVSM, VSM, ADC, SM, Chief of the Army Staff will grace this historic and important occasion. Other prominent senior officers will include Gen J.J. Singh, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, ADC (Retd), former Chief of the Army Staff and former Governor of Arunachal Pradesh & Honorary Colonel of the Regiment, Lieutenant General Ajai Singh, AVSM, Commander-in-Chief, Andaman and Nicobar Command, Maj Gen K Narayanan, AVSM, SM, Joint Secretary (Army & TA), Government of India, Ministry of Defence, Department of Military Affairs and Colonel of the Regiment and 10 Lieutenant Generals(serving & retired) and 19 Major Generals (serving & retired) and Royal family of Kolhapur and Thanjavur. Large number of serving and retired Officers, Junior Commissioned Officers and Other Ranks of The Maratha Light Infantry Regiment are expected to join this mega event to share their experiences and memories.
It traces its lineage to the Bombay Sepoys, raised in 1768, making it the most senior Light Infantry Regiment in the Indian Army. The history of The Maratha Light Infantry is, in essence, the brilliant saga of the heroic exploits of all those gallant men whose service and sacrifice constitute some of the brilliant chapters in the annals of the Indian Army.
The true fighting qualities of the Marathas were adequately displayed during the First World War (1914-1918) wherein during the long-drawn Mesopotamian Campaign, Marathas Battalions covered themselves with glory. The Second World War also saw the Marathas at the forefront in almost every theatre of operations, be it the jungles of South East Asia, deserts of North Africa and the mountains and ravines of Europe and so on. Since its raising, the Regiment has been honoured with 52 Battle honours, 12 Theatre Honours, 28 Gallantry Awards including 02 Victoria Cross, 05 Ashoka Chakra, 02 Padma Bhushan, 31 Param Vishist Seva Medal, 05 Mahavir Chakra, 15 Kirti Chakra, 02 Padma Shri, 44 Vir Chakra, 65 Shaurya Chakra and 421 Sena Medal for various acts of valour and bravery.A The Regiment has also shown its mettle in sports and adventure activities where its sportsmen have won medals, including one Arjuna Award, in National and international sports arena like Olympics, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and other World Championships.
Furthermore, to honor the contribution of the martyred soldiers, Veer Naris/Next of Kins of martyred soldiers are being invited to grace the occasion.
A Commemoration Parade symbolising the ‘Synergy’ amongst all three services will be the first major event as a curtain raiser. Seven contingents from The Maratha Light Infantry Regimental Centre, Bombay Engineer Group,34 Medium Regiment, 36 Medium Regiment, INS Mumbai, 20 Squadron Indian Air Force being represented by Airmen Training School, Sambra and Indian Coast Guard Air station (Daman) will march smartly to the tunes of Military Silver Band from the Regimental Centre.
The glorious history of The Maratha Regiment will be showcased through Maratha Pageant which will display the acts of Valour and Bravery of Maratha Troops post independence drawing parallels with the gallant acts during Chatrapati Shivaji’s era. Further, a scintillating performance of Folk Dances during the Cultural Fest showcasing the Diversity of Maratha Regiment from its Recruiting Areas has also been planned.
The celebration will culminate with solemn pledge by all ranks, including veterans to strive for achieving glory for the Regiment in all spheres of activities.