Saturday, May 15, 2010

Captain Mahendra Nath Mulla

(I will write some posts regarding my vacation beginning this coming Wednesday. In my opinion, today's post is more important than my vacation posts.)

Today is Captain Mahendra Nath Mulla’s birthday. He was born on May 15, 1926 in Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh. If he was alive today, he would be celebrating his 84th birthday.

He was commissioned in the Indian Navy in 1948. During the 1971 Indo-Pakistan War (or as someone might call “Bangladesh Liberation War”) he was Commander of INS Khukri. The ship had 18 officers and 176 sailors. His responsibility was to locate and destroy a Pakistani submarine in the Arabian Sea. On the December 9, 1971 night, INS Khukri was hit by torpedoes fired by a Pakistani submarine and sank.

Captain Mulla was calm and quiet. He asked his crew to abandon the ship. He organized the evacuation of the ship’s crew in an orderly manner. There was no confusion and no panic due to the Captain's calm transmitting itself to his men.
All the crew members were evacuated from the ship.

Finally his turn to leave the ship. There is an old tradition. Captains don’t abandon their ships. The ship was about to fully go under the water. The evacuated crew begged and cried for him to abandon the ship. He smiled at them. But refused to abandon his ship. He waved at them. Lighted a cigarette. Took a chair and sat on the ship’s bridge. Within a few minutes, Captain Mulla is gone under the water along with his ship, INS Khukri.

His action and behavior and the example he set have been in keeping with highest tradition of the Indian Military.

He was awarded Maha Vir Chakra posthumously for displaying conspicuous gallantry and dedication to duty.

Let us remember Captain Mahendra Nath Mulla today.

25 comments:

  1. why they say..captains dont abandon the ship..what is the point in loosing a precious life?

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  2. True Hero!! I often wonder what makes such men.. What must go through their minds during those last few minutes of life. Hats Off. Its no small feat.

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  3. Wonderful. I salute the hero and may god bless his soul!

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  4. hmmm, if he wouldn't have abandoned the ship full of crews then it would have made sense; but now abandoning a sinking ship is foolishness..he could have served for the nation for a few more years right? all his training and everything is gone!

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  5. It needs tough mind to take that decision. But would have been better if he had abandoned the ship and escaped. Would have served the country that way for few more years.

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  6. Thanks for your comments Samvedna. I don’t know how far this is true. I am told that if a ship sinks, the captain believes it is due to his mismanagement and to die with the ship would ensure a glorious end rather than facing ignominy and humiliation.

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  7. Thanks for your comments Lostworld. Capt. Mulls is indeed a true hero.

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  8. Thanks for your comments Numerounity. May God bless his soul.

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  9. Thanks for your comments Neha. We don't know what went through his mind while making that decision.

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  10. Thanks for your comments Insignia. Yes, it needs tough mind to take that decision. However, we do not know what went through his mind during that panic hour.

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  11. a panic hour for him - certainly not! he sat on the chair smoking and smiling and waving..he very well knew what he was doing..I wish he should have kept his bravery for future fights!

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  12. Thanks for your comments Neha. May be he was "calm and collected" outside.

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  13. What I like about this post he helped others move to safety , a true captain indeed.

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  14. Thanks for your comments Chitra. He was a true Captain indeed.

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  15. this is how people got us our freedom, our safety and our democracy ...

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  16. I have heard the line 'Captains don't abandon their ship' But he must have been an experienced man and we/our nation, lost his services. He could have planned something to hurt the Pakistanis.

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  17. Its men like him who are rmeembered for times to come .. while others loose ..

    we should salute all the hero's they seldom come by ...

    I know a lot of people have said he shud have left the ship or done this and that .. BUT EXCUSE ME EVERYONE.. its because of this that we are remembering him.. if he had left the ship this post would not be there..

    Plus its the tradition right or wrong.. thats what separates the MEN from BOYS.... he made it to the rank he was not stupid...

    Its the same as asking Bhagat singh why did he surrender to the police when he could have run away ..

    ITS THE TRADITION the COURAGE.. no wonder our country is in the state it is now ... WE lack such men of honour... and Courage ...

    When such men again get born in our country .. we will again have a florishing country ..

    SO salute him ...

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  18. Thanks for your comments Sulagna. You are absolutely right.

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  19. Thanks for your comments Nazish.

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  20. Thanks for your comments Sandhya. Probably he thought what he was doing was honorable.

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  21. Thanks for your comments Bikram. You are absolutely right. Had he left the ship nobody would remember him. He was upholding the tradition. He was also very courageous.

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  22. Another great post. Thanks as always SG.

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  23. Thanks for your comments PeerlessBluff. I am glad you liked this post.

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  24. Dear Captain Mahendranath Mulla, how can we Indians ever express our gratitude to you.
    India is a land of many fearless and great war heroes but you are the tallest war hero that ever lived.
    Some day i hope i to visit the memorial in Diu which stands in mute testimony to your supreme sacrifice.
    Jai Hind.

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