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The Chamar Regiment
Active 1943-1946[1]
Country British India
Branch  Indian Army
Type Infantry
Garrison/HQ Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh
Engagements Battle of Kohima

The Chamar Regiment was an infantry regiment formed by the British during World War II. Raised on 1 March 1943, the regiment was initially assigned to the 268th Indian Infantry Brigade, which was part of 43rd Armoured Division in July 1943 and when the division was broken up to form the 44th Armoured Division the Chamar Regiment was included in the new division.[2] During this time the regiment did not take part in any fighting.[citation needed]

Later, the Chamar Regiment became part of 23rd Indian Infantry Division. In mid-1944, the regiment's 1st Battalion was committed to the Burma Campaign to fight against Imperial Japanese Army in Nagaland.[3] The fighting lasted over three months, during which time the regiment took part in the Battle of Kohima.

During the war, the British Indian Empire pitted the Chamar Regiment against the Indian National Army, headed by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. Many Indian Prisoners of War joined Netaji; the most prominent member from the Chamar Regiment was Captain Mohan Lal Kureel.[4]

In 1946, the regiment personnel's undisciplined behaviour led to its disbanding by the British government.[5] Since then, many Dalit and non-Dalit leaders like Chandrasekhar Azad Ravan,[6] RJD leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh,[7] Congress lawmaker Udit Raj,[8] and Rajesh Bagha, the Chairman of Punjab S.C Commission,[9] have suggested that the Chamar Regiment be re-raised.[citation needed]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. https://hindi.news18.com/news/delhi/story-of-chamar-regiment-army-day-british-army-ina-dlop-1654131.html
  2. 44 Armoured Division. Order of Battle. http://www.ordersofbattle.com/UnitData.aspx?UniX=6180&Tab=Uhi. 
  3. "चमार रेजीमेंट ने क्यों किया था ब्रिटिश आर्मी और अंग्रेजों से विद्रोह...!". 2019-01-15. https://hindi.news18.com/news/delhi/story-of-chamar-regiment-army-day-british-army-ina-dlop-1654131.html. 
  4. "SC Commission Asks Defence Secretary Why 'Chamar Regiment' Shouldn't be reinstated". https://www.news18.com/news/india/sc-commission-asks-defence-secretary-why-chamar-regiment-shouldnt-be-reinstated-1355131.html. 
  5. Roy, Kaushik (2016). "Indian society and the soldier: will the twain ever meet?". In Pant, Harsh V.. Handbook of Indian Defence Policy: Themes, structures and doctrines. Routledge. p. 67. ISBN 978-1138939608. https://books.google.co.in/books?id=9xG4CwAAQBAJ&pg=PA67&dq=#v=onepage&q&f=false. Retrieved 15 October 2019. "The Martial Race theory disdained the low castes as lacking in warrior spirit. During World War II, the British Government of India experimented with raising a chamar8 battalion. The chamars were hereditary low-caste leather workers. Soon, the British government disbanded the chamar regiment, citing cases of indiscipline among its personnel. In 1970, when Babu Jagjivan Ram (himself, a chamar) became the defence minister, he attempted to raise the chamar regiment. However, COAS Sam Manekshaw (later, Field Marshal) resisted this move and was successful in killing this project (Kadian 1990: 39)." 
  6. दास, अशोक (2017-11-16). "चमार रेजीमेंट को लेकर चंद्रशेखर रावण का बड़ा बयान" (in en-US). http://www.dalitdastak.com/chandrasekhar-ravan-demand-to-restore-chamar-regiment/. 
  7. "RJD man Raghuvansh calls for reviving Chamar Regiment - Indian Express". http://archive.indianexpress.com/news/rjd-man-raghuvansh-calls-for-reviving-chamar-regiment/759232/. 
  8. "5. The Indian National Army". Women Against the Raj. ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute Singapore. 2008-12-31. pp. 44–59. ISBN 9789812308108. https://doi.org/10.1355/9789812308108-009. 
  9. "Reviving the ‘Chamar Regiment’ – Taking India Backwards? – Hill Post" (in en-US). https://hillpost.in/2017/11/reviving-the-chamar-regiment-taking-india-backwards/109712/. 

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