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Battle of Rezang La and the Ahir Regiment demand

  • IAS NEXT, Lucknow
  • 26, Mar 2022
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Members of the Ahir community have been demanding an Ahir Regiment in the Indian Army.


  • The Ahirwal region includes the southern Haryana districts of Rewari, Mahendragarh, and Gurgaon, and is associated with Rao Tula Ram, the Ahir hero of the revolt of 1857.
  • The community was brought into national limelight after the story of the bravery of the Ahir troops of Haryana in theBattle of Rezang La in 1962 was widely known.
  • The region has traditionally contributed soldiers to the Indian Army in large numbers.

What’s the demand?

Members of the community have long argued that the Ahirs deserve a full-fledged Infantry Regiment named after them, not just two battalions in the Kumaon Regiment and a fixed percentage in other regiments.

What has been the Army’s response to the demand?

The Army has rejected the demand for any new class or caste based regiment. It has said that while the older regiments based on castes and regions like the Dogra Regiment, Sikh Regiment, Rajput Regiment, and Punjab Regiment will continue, no new demands on the lines of an Ahir Regiment, Himachal Regiment, Kalinga Regiment, Gujarat Regiment or any tribal regiment would be entertained.


November 18 this year marked the 59th anniversary of the Battle of Rezang La. A memorial was inaugurated on the occasion.

Where is Rezang La?

Rezang La is a mountain pass on the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh.

It is located between village of Chushul and the Spanggur Lake that stretches across both Indian and Chinese territories.

It had also been the site of a heroic battle on 18 November 1962.

About the battle:

  • Troops from the 13 Kumaon Regiment defeated several waves of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in 1962.
  • Despite being heavily outnumbered, soldiers of the regiment fought to the last man standing, under freezing temperatures, and with limited ammunition.

Significance of the region:

Rezang La is vital for the defence of the crucially important Chushul. Any invader reaching there would have had a free run to Leh.