The Officer Who Literally Lived & Died on the Lines of Immortal Verses of Bharatiyar “Fear I have Not, Fear I have not”

There is a video in which Mukund and Arshea, his daughter, have sung a song of Subramanya Bharatiyar “Achamillai, Achamillai” meaning, “Fear I have not, fear I have not, Even if the entire sky breaks, And falls on my head Even if they judge me as the worst,
Fear I have not, fear I have not.” Truly, Mukund Varadarajan lived and died on the lines of immortal verses of Bharatiyar.

Major Mukund Varadarajan was born on 12 April 1983 to R.Varadarajan and Geetha and had two sisters Swetha and Nithya. Maj Mukund married his longtime friend Indhu Rebecca Varghese on 28 August 2009 and had a daughter Ashreya born on 17 March 2011. He received his Bachelor of Commerce from Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Viswa Mahavidyalaya at Enathur and a diploma in journalism from the Madras Christian College, Tambaram. His grandfather and two of his uncles also served in the army and that motivated Maj Mukund to join the army. He cherished this desire right from his tender age of 6 years.

Major Mukund worked in a call centre for a month before passing the SSB, though I encouraged him to study MBA,” recalled his father. He was an alumnus of Officers Training Academy and was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Rajput Regiment (22 Rajput) in 2006. He served at the Infantry School in Mhow, Madhya Pradesh and was also a part of United Nations Mission in Lebanon. In December 2012, he was deputed to the 44th Battalion of the Rashtriya Rifles and posted in the Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir.

During 2014, Maj Mukund’s unit was deployed in Shopian district of J & K and was engaged in counterinsurgency operations on a regular basis. On 25 Apr 2014, information was received from the intelligence sources about the presence of some hardcore terrorists in Kaajipathri village in Shopian district. It was decided to launch an operation to flush out the terrorists under the leadership of Major Mukund Varadarajan. As planned Maj Mukund swung into action along with his troops and cordoned off the suspected area. The intelligence information also suggested that the same terrorists were responsible for killing election officials 24 hours earlier with the intention of disrupting the electoral process in the valley.

The heavily armed terrorists opened fire at the assault team on being challenged. Maj Mukund in a swift action shot and killed one terrorist, simultaneously directing the fire of his troops. During the heavy exchange of fire, Maj Mukund got seriously injured but with total disregard to his injuries, he crawled forward and shot one more terrorist down. He showed remarkable courage and leadership despite bleeding profusely and continued to direct his troops. However, Maj Mukund succumbed to his injuries and was martyred.

For his brave actions during the operation, he was posthumously awarded the Ashok Chakra, India’s highest peacetime gallantry award in 2014, for displaying valor beyond the call of duty. The citation by the Government of India during the declaration of the Ashok Chakra read: “During the operation, before attaining martyrdom, Major Mukund displayed exemplary leadership skills, raw courage, planning and swift action, which culminated in the elimination of the three top ranked Hizbul Mujaheddin terrorists”.  The bust of late Major Mukund Varadarajan was unveiled at the Officers Training Academy (OTA) on June 1, 2015 by the late Major’s wife Indu in the presence of his parents and Lieutenant General Ravindra Pratap Singh Sahi, Commandant, OTA among others. “There lived a man who loved me with all his heart……There lived a man who fathered my child……..There lived a man who believed in integrity…..There lived a man who loved his profession…There lived a man who never feigned to be a hero….There lived a man who was my soul….There lived a man with a heart full of generosity….There lived a man who revealed all to me….There lived a man who loved me with his life….But… now I wait … for he is with god…I know for sure…One day I will meet him…. I know for sure…And he will give me that warm strong hug of his… I know for sure…And I will not complain that I can’t breathe…You can hug me…. Hug me all you want…” This poem was penned by Indu Mukund, as a Eulogy to her late husband Mukund Varadarajan who died in a battle, protecting the country. Written on the night she heard of his death, her love poem will leave anyone teary-eyed.

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