Table of Contents
The Param Vir Chakra, a very rare honour is India’s highest military decoration. It is awarded for the most conspicuous bravery and acts of valour performed on land, sea or sky. It has been awarded only 21 times, 14 of which were awarded posthumously. The chapter manifests the story of this award’s creation and the brave act of one such Indian flying officer.
Designed by Savitribai Khanolkar, the simple in appearance bronze medal has a swivel mounting and plain purple ribbon. On one side is the national emblem surrounded by four replicas of “Indra’s Vajra’ and the other side has the words Param Vir Chakra engraved in Hindi and English with two lotus flowers in between.
According to a legend, many years ago a demon stole all the world’s water. Some extraordinary weapon was required to defeat this demon and save the dying innocents. Sage Dadhichi had this extraordinary power in his bones and being the noble man he was, he sacrificed himself and gave his bones to save the world. Thus, with his bones, the Indravajra was designed and the demon was vanquished.
Flying Officer Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon
The Indian military acquires its strength and might from the sacrifice of the bravest of the brave—the Param Vir Chakra holders just as the Indravajra did from the bones of sage Dadhichi. On 14thDecember 1971, Srinagar Airfield was attacked by six sabre aircrafts. Flying officer Nirmal Sekhon who was on duty that fateful hour was unable to take off immediately because of dust raised by another aircraft.
However, as soon as he could, Nirmal Sekhon took off in his Gnat fighter and began combating with the enemies. There was firing from both ends and Sekhon managed to damage two aircrafts of the enemy, causing them to flee. The town of Srinagar was saved. Unfortunately, the brave hero’s aircraft crashed and he was killed.
In the face of certain death, flying officer Sekhon demonstrated exceptional flying skill and resolve. Above and beyond the call of duty, he displayed unrivalled gallantry. Salute to Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon, the bravest of the brave.