‘Against All Odds’ salutes Battle of Longewala hero played by Sunny Deol on screen
Chandigarh : The book, ‘Against All Odds’, is the real story of the courage, grit and determination of the Longewala battle in which 120 Indian Army soldiers defended the post of Longewala (or Laungewala) in the western sector on the night of December 4-5, 1971, against a formidable enemy onslaught of nearly 60 tanks and more than 3,000 Pakistani Infantry Brigade.It is an official biography of Brigadier Kuldip Singh Chandpuri, the hero of the Indian Army, who was of a Major rank at that time, and led the 23rd Alpha Company of the Punjab regiment at Longewala in Rajasthan.The feat of Brigadier Chandpuri and his men was featured in Bollywood blockbuster ‘Border’ which was released in 1997. His role was played by actor Sunny Deol. The movie won accolades across all sections of society.Commemorating 50 years of the 1971 Indo-Pak war, the book ‘Against All Odds’ is a salute to the bravery of soldiers of Longewala who defended the crucial post against all odds.Written by Gurjot Singh Kaler, Punjab Superintendent of Police, the book highlights the valiant role of Major Chandpuri and his 120 Indian soldiers who courageously fought against the huge enemy onslaught by the Pakistani military and stood victorious in defending the honour, respect and integrity of the motherland.Longewala was, thus, a decisive battle.This book is different from the J.P. Dutta-directed movie ‘Border’.’Against All Odds’, not only depicts the battle of Longewala but is an official biography which truly depicts the life story of the hero of Longewala, Brigadier Chandpuri, that will inspire the coming generations to live a life of courage, grit and determination.It took around three and a half years to do research and the most interesting highlight of the book is that it captures the imagination of the readers as it has been written in a lucid, clear and understandable manner in the form of an engrossing conversation between the author and the protagonist of the plot.It has a total of nine chapters and some rare photographs of Brigadier Chandpuri that were never in the public domain before, Kaler, a young police officer with a literary mind, told IANS.
The book traces the journey of Major Chandpuri, right from his birth till his final adieu from the world. It also addresses various issues related to the battle of Longewala which have never been heard before.The book was recently unveiled in the Kapil Sharma Show by actor Sunny Deol and it was also showcased at the battle site of Longewala on December 5.Kaler, who has previously worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, shared his own long association with the family and the lessons he picked up from Brigadier Chandpuri, who was imbued with a great sense of humour.He mentioned how Brigadier Chandpuri not only refused many political offers and even the offer from the Canadian Army to join their forces during his stint in Gaza as part of UN forces.The best prayer and service to the god is to serve his creation was the motto of Brigadier Chandpuri, who believed in serving the needy and downtrodden instead of going to the gurdwaras, Kaler added.Paying a heartfelt tribute to the battle of Longewala, the book has been published by Ferntree and marketed and distributed by Smart Books India.
A decorated war veteran, Brigadier Chandpuri died in a private hospital in Mohali near Chandigarh on November 17, 2018. He was 77 and is survived by his wife and three sons.He was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra (MVC) for the heroic stand-off and forcing the enemy to retreat. He was born on November 22, 1940.The MVC citation read: “Major Kuldip Singh Chandpuri was commanding a company of the Punjab regiment occupying a defended locality in the Rajasthan sector. On December 5, 1971, in the early hours of the morning the enemy launched a massive attack on this locality with infantry and tanks. Major Chandpuri exhibited dynamic leadership in holding his command intact and steadfast.”Showing exceptional courage and determination, he inspired his men moving from bunker to bunker, encouraging them in beating back the enemy till reinforcements arrived. In this heroic defence, he inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy and forced them to retreat leaving behind twelve tanks.”In this action, Major Kuldip Singh Chandpuri displayed conspicuous gallantry, inspiring leadership and exceptional devotion to duty in keeping with the highest traditions of the Indian Army.”A soft-spoken but firm man, Brigadier Chandpuri settled in Chandigarh’s Sector-33 after retiring from the Indian Army, remaining active socially.The famous photograph of his soldiers dancing atop vanquished Pakistani tanks after the battle of Longewala was won, adorned the wall in a big frame in the living room of his house.