Not a week passes when someone or other is not paying tribute to this man. I noticed it when someone joked about it
The jokes are more than true if we see social media exaggeration and blabbering on him, which can annoy. even the sanest of people to confuse that yesterday was the actual anniversary of Abdul Hamid who destroyed 3 tanks or 7 tanks according to military personnel and analysts and 9,10,20,25,50 and none knows how many tanks according to media personnel. The death and achievements of martyrs should be respected in as-is basis rather than exaggeration which makes people dig up old graves which may sound insult to the martyrs.
I don’t want to dig out old graves but I am sorry, I need to because for a vast majority of stupid idiots the name of Abdul Hamid is an excuse to deny the misdeeds of misogynists who happen to be his coreligionists and question the patriotism of those who didn’t second the belief system of Abdul Hamid. I have to show the facts behind everything and debunk the myths associated with this chapter.
There are many stories on Abdul Hamid, the best one is that in the line of the character played by Sunil Shetty in Border movie, Hamid had transported a mine into the ‘nearly indestructible’ Patton Tank and exploded himself along with the tank- being the first suicide bomber. Common sense is gangraped when the same story is stretched to give Havildar Abdul Hamid the credit to have destroyed 9 tanks (same way because no other way was possible to destroy the indestructible).
The Patton Tanks were no ‘indestructible’ in nature as the American PR agencies has propagated certainly to hold their supremacist agenda on action since the failed attempt to take credit for liberating Europe from the Nazis. Gaining a global market for the tanks was another aim of this PR. However these tanks had poorly performed in all the battles in 70s. In Vietnam this didn’t stand the American expectations, in 1973 it didn’t stand Israeli expectations and in 1971 Indo-Pakistan tank battles Pakistani Army became a strategic joke.
Having said that there is no question of any such daring suicide bombing attempts that is required to destroy such tanks. If the journalists spreading out such nonsensical stories had little sense of military facts and warfare or warcraft, they could understand that unless in urban combat, enemy infantry can hardly reach the tanks dodging the gunners and infantries in open battle fields like Asal Uttar or Longewala which had its difference with some ruined French city or Stalingrad.
Lets dig into Abdul Hamid’s martyrdom and achievement. It is the mediapersons in their opinionated news with no substantial documents, who keep on increasing the wrath of Abdul Hamid on enemies. The least number of tanks destroyed by Abdul Hamid according to media persons is 9 and it can be seen to have been fetched upto as long as 50.
However researches by military historians find that he destroyed 3 or 7 tanks. RD Paloskar in his book “The Grenadiers- A Tradition of Valor” (Pg 337-338) and KC Praval in his book “Indian Army After Independence” (Pg 380-381) has written that Abdul Hamid destroyed 3 tanks. However Major General Cardozo in his book “Param Veer” has credited Abdul Hamid with knocking out 7 tanks.
If we concentrate on the exact way of his martyrdom, we know that he used a Recoilless (RCL) gun mounted on a jeep to attack the tanks. Recall the action of Sudesh Berry in Border Movie as he rode on a jeep with an RCL gun mounted on it and rampaged against the enemy lines. In such encounters the role of the jeep drivers as well as the gunners are equally important. If the driver lacks the maneuvering skills, the gunner will be just a sitting duck for the enemies. When the combo knocked down 3 tanks, (or 7 tanks) the enemies concentrated on them, and it was just the beginning of the battle which Indian tanks were yet to retaliate, the jeep became the first Indian casualty, the enemies showered fire on it and the jeep was destroyed along with its driver and gunner.
We all have remembered Abdul Hamid and we all have carefully forgotten or lacked to bother to know who the highly maneuvering driver was!
According to military historian Zaloga Steve in his book “M47 & M48 Patton Tanks” Indians suffered the casualty of 10 tanks while 100 Pakistani tanks were destroyed according to various books written by various military researchers like Peter, Wilson, Prabhakar, Jaques, Tony etc. Why the hell we don’t have the names or any intention to know who destroyed the rest of 97 or 93 tanks?
Because we didn’t have any single fighter knocking 3 tanks? Who knows? Did we bother unless they were “Abdul Hamid”? In the Battle India had 135 tanks while Pakistan had 264 tanks, so calculate the ratio of engagements which is around 1:2 and ratio of casualty which is 1:10, one can easily apply Pigeonhole Principles and realize that there must be several who killed multiple targets but since they were neither Abdul nor Hamid, none bothers to remember them.
Is it a typical minority appeasement and blabbering that we tend to exaggerate Abdul Hamid, make movies on Kuldeep Singh Chandpuri and show Indian Army in highly miserable way which was not, to exaggerate his heroics at the cost of the respect of Indian Army’s image and history of preparedness in a defensive position. We can make movies to give him the sole credit by neglecting other commanders who yielded the destruction of 34 tanks but we have no idea of Tank Battle of Bantasar in which under the sole leadership of the then Colonel Hanut Singh Rajput (later Lt. gen) who marched into highly risky and mined terrains and rivers into Pakistan by destroying 48 tanks. We exaggerate a lot and ignore more.
Abdul Hamid is a hero, but so are others, don’t neglect them. Abdul Hami’d heroism is being used to abuse the nationalists by self acclaimed secularists to portray that all that the nationalists have to say about Islamic fanaticism and terrorism is false. Why? Look at Abdul Hamid. Strangely the community which doesn’t want a terrorist tag for millions of terrorists, are quick to self certify patriotism due to the nationalism of a single individual followed by abusing the communities which provided millions of martyrs.
Exaggeration does no good, because if you constantly start shouting on Abdul Hamid, don’t get offended when someone says that only because there is a single Abdul Hamid, he is remembered and visible while there are millions others so the name of a particular one isn’t remembered. Bitter truth!