Gura Slathia (Jammu) A village in Jammu is proud of its martial links and it's even made it to the Limca Book of records because it boasts of so many Army men.
The Army is never out of the mind of villagers of Gura Slathia. The retired read sainik welfare journals, shops have fauji names and there are memorials everywhere. Here every household has a link with the defence forces.
Retired Sq Ldr CS Slathia, a resident of Gura Slathia, says, “This perhaps the first village in India where 99 per cent Rajputs and most of them in armed forces. There are 60 officers at present, has had a member in armed forces and a house where there are three generals.”
And retired Major Mahatma Singh is a proud man. That's because his sons are a rare trio. They have all made it to the Army general ranks. One retired recently, another is a General Officer Commanding in the Eastern division and the third is a GOC at the Southern headquarters. Believe it or not, the brothers even made it to the Limca Book of Records in 2007.
Retired Subedar Jagdish Singh says, “We have fought for Rulers like Zorawar Singh. Our ancestors have fought battles in Chsusul Gilgit Ladakh. Our ancestors have fought there and died. These memorials are authenticated by JAK rifles. No one can challenge their sacrifice.”
But the times are changing. The younger generations are not joining the armed forces in droves.
A resident of Guar Slathia Veer Partap Singh says, “We do not want to live away from home. Also we want the job which is morning to evening.”
Defence forces have a long-standing tradition here almost like a religion. Even though generation next might be diluting this a bit this village of warriors stills stands apart.