The Gorkha Regiment has a long and rich history in the Indian Army. Gorkha Soldiers not only served in the British Indian Army before the war of independence but also helped in winning many important battles. Since independence, the number of Gorkha Soldiers in the Indian Army kept increasing every year and the result is that today the Indian Army has a total of 7 Gorkha Regiments with a total of 39 Battalions. Along with this, many battalions of Gorkhas are also attached with Rashtriya Rifles. The first Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, fondly called Sam Bahadur – ‘Sam The Brave’, was a Gurkha. But now for the last 3 years not a single Gorkha has been recruited in the Indian Army. Why so ? What is the main reason behind this? In this Blog , we will know the Actual Reason that Why no Gorkhas have been recruited in Indian Army since 2020 ?
Gorkhas in Indian Army :
Table of Contents
Everyone has a Heritage that is uniquely theirs, bound in Racial, National, Family and Individual Traditions.
Same is the case with the Gorkha Regiment who have been a part of the Indian Army since 1815. How intertwined is the history of the Gurkha Regiment, which came into existence under the British East India Company in 1815 after the Anglo-Nepalese War of 1814–16, and since then has been associated with the Indian Army and India. Their motto, “Kafar Hunu Bhanda Marnu Ramro” (Better to die than to be a coward), reflects their unyielding resolve to defend their nation and uphold their honor. The relationship between the Gorkhas and the Indian Army is one of mutual respect and admiration. Gorkha soldiers take immense pride in their role as protectors of the nation, and the Indian Army recognizes and honors their sacrifices through various awards and accolades. This bond is a testament to the shared values of courage, integrity, and selflessness.
No Gorkha in Indian Army :-
It is said that ‘India-Nepal’s relationship is the relationship of “Beti-Roti” but now there is something wrong in this relationship.
In fact, no Gorkha has been recruited in the Indian Army for the last 3 years. In August 2022, the government of Nepal stopped the recruitment of Nepalese Gurkhas for the army’s 43-battalion strong Gurkha regiment under the Agneepath scheme, claiming that it violated the 1947 tripartite agreement signed between the two countries and the UK.
Read More about Gorkha Regiment in Indian Army .
What is Tri-Partite Agreement between India-Nepal & UK ?
According to this agreement – Nepali Gorkhas who will be recruited in Indian Army and British Army should not be considered as Mercenary but as their Native Soldiers. Second, their pay and perks should be the same as that of Native Soldiers and lastly, their recruitment should not pose any threat to the security and sovereignty of Nepal.
According to this agreement from 1947, the Indian Army and the British Army started recruiting Gorkha Soldiers, where on one hand the number of Gorkha Soldiers in the Indian Army started increasing, while in the British Army this number has reduced to just one Regiment.
Fallout of Gorkhas in Indian Army : Reason Behind it –
Agnipath Scheme is the only reason for non-recruitment of Gorkha Soldiers in the Indian Army. When this scheme was launched last year, its objective was to make the Indian Armed Forces more young. There were many protests against this scheme in India too.
Actually, according to this scheme, only 25% of the selected candidates will be given permanent jobs and the remaining 75% will be fired. The Nepali government considers this rule to be a violation of the tripartite agreement of 1947.
According to the Nepali government, neither they were asked for any advice nor informed before making changes in the Army recruitment process. However, Nepal is concerned that the 75 percent soldiers who will be released after four years of service could pose a threat to the country’s security as they would be without jobs or pensions after undergoing military training.
Other Big Reasons :-
Another big reason behind this is the pensions given to Retired Soldiers. Take a look at the total pension amount of Gorkh in Nepal, which is around $600 million for 1,40,000 retired soldiers. Proudly serving in the famous Gurkha Regiment of the Indian Army, ex-servicemen say it means a lot to them. In fact, the pension amount is more than Nepal’s entire defense budget, which stood at $450 million in 2023.
In such a situation, no Gorkha Soldier has been recruited in the Indian Army for the last 3 years and now it has become a worrying issue because since the year 2021, about 12 thousand Nepali Gorkha Soldiers have retired.
Is China Recruiting Nepali Gurkhas in their Army ?
This highlights another point which is based on some reports that China has proposed to induct Gurkhas into the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Although in the past, such proposals have been sent to Nepal, but this was never considered, which is very clear in the context of historical Indo-Nepal relations. But many reports suggest that due to Communist Government in Nepal, their stand may change. However, this is not possible because it requires the support of two-thirds of the Nepali Parliament.
How this Issue Can be Solved ?
In My opinion both India and Nepal should sit and think carefully on this because it is harming both the countries. In the past, whether the Army Chief of Nepal has come to India, the Army Chief of India has gone to Nepal or the Prime Minister of Nepal has come to India, till now no solution has been found.
It is important to remember that “Gorkha Soldiers have won us many wars and 60% of every Gorkha battalion consists of Gorkha Soldiers only.”
Just like the candidates under Agnipath Scheme are being given reservation in Paramilitary Forces, similarly some provision should be made for Gorkha Soldiers as well and I have full hope that this problem will definitely be solved and soon again the recruitment of Gorkha Soldiers in the Indian Army will start happening.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s):-
1. What is the Gurkha Regiment in the Indian Army? The Gurkha Regiment is a group of military units within the Indian Army that consists of soldiers from the Gorkha community, known for their bravery and dedication to duty.
2. Where do Gurkha soldiers come from? Gurkha soldiers primarily come from the hilly regions of Nepal, as well as some parts of India, such as Darjeeling, Sikkim, and Himachal Pradesh.
3. What is the history of the Gurkha Regiment? The history of the Gurkha Regiment dates back to the early 19th century when the British East India Company first recognized the valor and combat skills of Gorkha soldiers and started enlisting them.
4. What is the significance of the Kukri knife for Gurkha soldiers? The Kukri knife is an iconic symbol for Gurkha soldiers. It holds cultural and practical importance, serving as both a tool and a representation of their bravery and readiness for battle.
5. How are Gurkha soldiers selected and trained? Gurkha soldiers are selected through a rigorous recruitment process that tests their physical fitness, mental aptitude, and willingness to serve. Once selected, they undergo specialized training to prepare them for various roles within the Indian Army.
6. What is the motto of the Gurkha Regiment? The motto of the Gurkha Regiment is “Kafar Hunu Bhanda Marnu Ramro,” which translates to “Better to die than to be a coward.” This motto reflects their unwavering courage and commitment to duty.
7. What are some notable battles or conflicts where Gurkha soldiers have distinguished themselves? Gurkha soldiers have played crucial roles in various conflicts, including World Wars I and II, the Kargil War, and numerous peacekeeping missions, showcasing their bravery and valor on the battlefield.