The Chamar Regiment, Disbanded in 1946: Needs to be Revived

M G Singh By M G Singh, 12th Mar 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/q65s9b22/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>History

The Indian army is a caste based army. The Chamar regiment was a backward caste regiment and disbanded in 1946

A Backward Regiment

The Chamar’s are classified as a backward community. They constitute about 50 million Indians and have a history of being warlike. Basically Chamar’s are cobblers and belong to the lower castes. The Indian army, in particular the Infantry battalions are mostly caste based. Thus we have the Sikh, Jat, Gurkha, Rajput, Dogra, Maratha, Mahar and Punjab regiments. All the regiments are from the higher castes except the Sikh Light Infantry regiments which are the scheduled caste Sikhs often referred to as Mazhabi Sikhs.

Caste Based Regiments

The Caste based Armies have the stamp of the British rulers and were created during the hey day of British rule and conform to the British interpretation of the Martial races. But that is beside the point as the British who were a shrewd judge of Character also created a fighting regiment from the lower castes. This is the Chamar regiment.

During the Second World War the British were looking to expand their recruitment policy as more men were needed to fight the Japanese Imperial Army. At the same time they kept the concept of the Martial race in the backdrop.

The Chamar Regiment

The British High command opted to have a Chamar regiment and history records that the 1st Chamar regiment was created in 1943. Among the Officers who became famous from this regiment are General Joginder Singh and Field Marshal Ayub Khan. It must be understood that the officer cadre of the regiments was not exclusive to that cast and could be from any caste and religion. This is followed even now.

Chamar Regiment in World War II

The Chamar regiment was thrown into battle as a part of 15 Corps which was commanded by lieutenant General Alexander Frank Christison. The Chamar regiment fought well and was part of the Japanese defeat in the battles of Kohima and the Arakan campaign. The Chamar regiment was part of the 268 Indian brigade which was commanded by Brigadier Dyer.

The Chamar regiment along with 15 Corps helped lift the siege of Kohima and followed up with battles with the Imperial army in the 2nd and 3rd Arakan. The 3rd Arakan campaign led to the capture of Rangoon in May 1945. The roll of honor at the War Memorial in Rangoon lists the Chamar regiment. No greater honor can be more than this, as it is an acknowledgement that the Chamar regiment fought bravely and helped drive the Imperial army from Rangoon.

However after the dropping of the Atomic bombs and the surrender of Japan many troops became redundant and were demobilized. In 1946 the Chamar regiment was disbanded due to economic reasons.

Last Word

The question that we must all ask is whether this regiment can be reconstituted. With a plethora of regiments based on caste, it will be a good gesture to re-incorporate the Chamar regiment. This will make the Indian Army more broad-based. As the British had constituted the Chamar regiment, it will only be carrying on what the British did and we accepted. Hence there is certainly a case for reviving the Chamar Regiment.

Tags

Battle In Burma, Chamar Regiment, Indian Army, World War Ii

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author avatar M G Singh
A man who spent his early years in Air Force. An avid writer with over 6000 articles and 60 short stories published.Two novels on the anvil for publication.

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Comments

author avatar Mikey.
12th Mar 2012 (#)

We are all equal in the eyes of god.Every person regardless of color race religion or creed.Has the right to be respected and treated so.Every person should have the right to defend their country.I enjoyed your page well done Madan.

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author avatar M G Singh
19th Mar 2012 (#)

Thank you Mikey

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author avatar Jules Castillo
13th Mar 2012 (#)

you always write great articles on history...things that we can't learn from schools here

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author avatar M G Singh
19th Mar 2012 (#)

Thanks Cowboynextdoor

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author avatar Denise O
14th Mar 2012 (#)

This is my, learn something new article for the day. Thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar M G Singh
19th Mar 2012 (#)

Thank you Denise

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author avatar Satish Kumar Gautam
14th Jan 2013 (#)

I was not aware of such regiment. We could also be the part of pride if this could be revived. We would be able to prove that we are also braviour. It is good information which is not included in History. Our history is buried. One we will prove what we are. Can I know about you. What are you? What do you do? Where do live.

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author avatar Dr.Hariom
23rd Feb 2015 (#)

Chamar regiment should be Re-constructed

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author avatar Suryavanshi subhash chander
4th Mar 2015 (#)

this is not real true...The reason of this Regiment is not Economicaly...the true story is that ...this Regiment murge in I.N.A. Under Neta ji Subhash chander bose. so..their deshbhakti the main reason of their Disband..Jo Angrejo ko sehan nahi hua...

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author avatar Bk.bhatia
27th Mar 2015 (#)

my father in chmar regiment since1942 to 1945 .so i am happy that my father in chmar reg.

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author avatar Bk.bhatia
27th Mar 2015 (#)

i profi you

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author avatar DIWANCHAND KANWAL
25th Apr 2016 (#)

B K Bhatia sir can I have your contact

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author avatar Bk.bhatia
27th Mar 2015 (#)

my mobile.09425035675

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author avatar DIWANCHAND KANWAL
25th Apr 2016 (#)

Is there any proof that this regiment merged in INA ? if its true then its a matter of proud for us as I also belong to this community, I am advocate sir.

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author avatar DIWANCHAND KANWAL
25th Apr 2016 (#)

My mobile.9999107636

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author avatar DIWANCHAND KANWAL
25th Apr 2016 (#)

BK Bhatia sir ,I have noticed Ur mob

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author avatar DIWANCHAND KANWAL
25th Apr 2016 (#)

This regiment must be reconstructed.
Our MP's must takeup this issue.

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