Hanut Singh (soldier)


Hanut Singh Rathore[1][2]

Born(1933-07-06)6 July 1933
Jasol, Rajasthan, Jodhpur State
Died10 April 2015(2015-04-10) (aged 81)
Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India
Allegiance India
Service/branch Indian Army
Years of service1952-1991[5][6]
RankLieutenant General of the Indian Army.svg Lieutenant General
Service numberIC-6126[3][7]
UnitThe Poona Horse
Commands held

Lt. Gen. Hanut Singh Rathore,[1][2] PVSM, MVC (6 July 1933 – 10 April 2015) was a General Officer in the Indian Army. He was decorated with the Maha Vir Chakra for his role in the Battle of Basantar in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.[8]

Early life

Hanut was born in Jasol in a Rathore Rajput family[9] in Pachpadra, Barmer District, to Lt Col Arjun Singh, who had served in the Jodhpur Lancers, and later commanded the Kachhawa Horse.[10] He attended the Colonel Brown Cambridge School in Dehradun and joined the 1st course of the Joint Services Wing, where he was in the Baker squadron.[5][11][12]

Military career

Upon graduating from the Indian Military Academy in December 1952, he chose to join the Armoured Corps, and was commissioned into The Poona Horse.[10][13]

He did not participate in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 as he was posted as the Brigade Major of the 66th Brigade.[5][4]

Hanut is widely known for his command of The Poona Horse in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, during the Battle of Basantar. For his conduct during the battle, he was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra.

Maha Vir Chakra

The citation for the Maha Vir Chakra reads as follows:[14][15]

Gazette Notification: 18 Pres/72,12-2-72

Operation: 1971 Cactus Lily Date of Award: 16 Dec 1971



(IC-6126), 17 HORSE

Lieutenant Colonel Hanut Singh was commanding 17 Horse in Shakargarh Sector of the Western Front. On 16 December 1971, his regiment was inducted into the Basantar River bridgehead and took up positions ahead of the infantry. The enemy launched a number of armoured attacks in strength on 16 and 17 December. Undeterred by enemy medium artillery and tank fire, Lieutenant Colonel Hanut Singh moved from one threatened sector to another with utter disregard for his personal safety. His presence and cool courage inspired his men to remain steadfast and perform commendable acts of gallantry.

Second Lieutenant Arun Khetarpal, also from Hanut's regiment, was posthumously awarded the Param Vir Chakra for the same battle.[16]

Hanut was promoted to Major general on 8 April 1983,[17] and to Lieutenant General on 30 December 1985.[18] He subsequently commanded II Corps during Operation Brasstacks, when India almost went to war with Pakistan.[19]

He is the only indian soldier whose bravery and valour was appreciated by Pakistan by giving him the title Fakhr-e-Hind after 1971 war.[20]


Upon retirement, he chose to live in Dehradun, dedicating his life to meditation. He passed away on 11 April 2015.[19] The Indian Army announced plans for the construction of a war memorial in his memory, which will come up in Jasol.[21]

Military Awards

Param Vishisht Seva Medal ribbon.svg Maha Vir Chakra ribbon.svg IND Samar Seva Star Ribbon.svg
IND Paschimi Star Ribbon.svg IND Raksha Medal Ribbon.svg IND Sangram Medal Ribbon.svg IND Sainya Seva Medal Ribbon.svg
IND 25th Anniversary Independence medal.svg IND 30 Years Long Service Ribbon.svg IND 20YearsServiceMedalRibbon.svg IND 9YearsServiceMedalRibbon.svg
Param Vishisht Seva Medal Maha Vir Chakra Samar Seva Medal
Paschimi Star Raksha Medal Sangram Medal Sainya Seva Medal
25th Anniversary of Independence Medal 30 Years Long Service Medal 20 Years Long Service Medal 9 Years Long Service Medal


  1. ^ a b "Lt-Gen Hanut Singh Rathore dies while in meditation".
  2. ^ a b "Anger, as Dehradun civic body seals the ashram of Lt Gen Hanut Singh Rathore, hero of battle of Basantar".
  3. ^ a b c Maj Gen Raj Mehta. "'Huntie' was special" (PDF). Center for Land Warfare Studies. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  4. ^ a b Hamid Hussain. "Goodbye Gurudev: Lieutenant General Hanut Singh". Bangladesh Defence Journal. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  5. ^ a b c "veekay's history book: Biography - Lieut. General Hanut Singh, PVSM, MVC". 4 October 2012.
  6. ^ Staff Reporter (12 April 2015). "Lt. Gen. Hanut Singh, a 1971 war hero, passes away". The Hindu – via www.thehindu.com.
  7. ^ "Lt Gen Hanut Singh, PVSM, MVC (retd)". The War Decorated India Trust. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  8. ^ "Lt-Gen Hanut Singh Rathore dies while in meditation".
  9. ^ "Lt Gen. Hanut Singh — bold commander who led from front in 1971, but was never made Army chief". 13 April 2020.
  10. ^ a b Lt Gen Kamal Davar. "Lt Gen Hanut Singh: A legend merges into the Eternal". South Asia Monitor. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  11. ^ Maj Gen Raj Mehta. "A VISIONARY CAVALIER : Lt Gen Hanut Singh, PVSM, MVC". South Asia Defence & Strategic Review. Aakash Media. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  12. ^ Surinder Singh. "GEN HANUT of PH : "Fakhr-e-Hind"". Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  13. ^ Maroof Raza. "Lt. Gen. HANUT SINGH- A PERSONAL TRIBUTE". Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  14. ^ "HANUT SINGH | Gallantry Awards". gallantryawards.gov.in.
  15. ^ "Mahavir Chakra (MVC), Awardee: Lt Gen Hanut Singh, PVSM, MVC (retd) @ TWDI". twdi.in.
  16. ^ "ARUN KHETARPAL". Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  17. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)". The Gazette of India. 14 July 1984. p. 1144.
  18. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)". The Gazette of India. 10 January 1987. p. 57.
  19. ^ a b "1971 war hero Hanut Singh passes away". 12 April 2015. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  20. ^ Ansari, Zoyena Shams (15 August 2018). "Dehradun: 1971 Indo-Pak hero Hanut Singh's memorial sealed, triggers protest".
  21. ^ "War memorial in memory of Lt Gen Hanut Singh soon". The Times of India. Retrieved 15 February 2018.

Further reading

  • Leadership in the Indian Army (Biographies of Twelve Soldiers) by Maj. Gen. V.K.Singh, Sage Publications India Pvt.Ltd.

External links