21 Kesaris: The Untold Story of the Battle of Saragarhi
On 12 September 1897, 21 soldiers of 36th Sikh regiment stood undeterred as they guarded the post of Saragarhi against the onslaught of almost 10,000 Afghan tribesmen – a battle for the ages that ended in them laying down their lives in a final hand-to-hand combat. The unparalleled heroics of these 21 men have, however, been long forgotten by history. What led to the Battle of Saragarhi? What was the socio-political scenario at the time? Who were these tribesmen and why did they attack an outpost in such great numbers? Who were the 21 soldiers and how were they able to keep the enemy at bay against all odds? Based on colonial era records and information provided by the 4th Sikh battalion, the legatee unit of 36th Sikhs, 21 Kesaris attempts to answer these questions while paying homage to the brave soldiers who defended the 'kesari' flag – depicting their Khalsa heritage – with their last breaths.