Major Saravanan - A Saga of Extreme Bravery


The Name “Saravanan” is a customary common name as and when you come across men from Tamil Nadu before 29th may 1999, until, the hero of this article, Major Captain Saravanan lost his precious life while combating and killing four Pakistani intruders in the Line of Control during the Kargil War. 

He was possibly the first Indian martyr to have been killed in the Kargil war. Major Saravanan was born on 10th August 1972 in the island of Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu. He did his schooling from Kendriya Vidyalayas at GAYA and later completed his graduation from ST JOSEPH College TRICHY in the year 1992. 

It’s not that easy to decide about your future when you have kids of your age group around you telling that they want to become a cricketer, Software Engineer, An IAS, A doctor, a lawyer and what not? But Saravanan was an exceptional kid who showed deviance from the rest. Having been born to an Lt.Colonel it would have been insane if Saravanan had chosen something else as his career rather than joining the most prestigious Indian Army; it was no wonder that the Army Blood was innate in Saravanan. 

His father Lt Colonel Adi Mariappan, AMC, while serving in SriLanka in Op Pawan, had died in a road accident in Bangalore on 19 June 1989. Major M Saravanan was survived by Mrs A Mariappan, his mother, and two sisters. The elder one, Chitra, is a doctor whereas the younger one Revathi is a Computer Engineer. 

After serving with the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka for a couple of years, Lieutenant Colonel A Mariappan (Major Saravanan's Father) was finally returning home. But he could not make it to his family. En route, he died in a road accident in Bangalore. His oldest son, Sarvanan, was only 17. 

"After college he tried to get into the National Defence Academy and landed up in the Officers Training Academy," says his closest friend Amalraj. He graduated from the OTA in 1995 and joined the First Bihar regiment as a lieutenant. After joining the Army he had served at places like TAMILPUR, COOCH BEHAR and BHUTAN before moving to Kargil. He was made captain the following year and major in 1999. 

They were a bunch of three friends—Saravanan, Karthik and Amalraj. A few years before Saravanan’s death, they had made a trip to Kanyakumari. On the way, their bus driver fell asleep on the wheel and crashed headlong into an incoming lorry. "Seven people died on the spot and many were injured. We students were in a shock. But not Saravanan, he was cool. He went about checking the dead. Then he helped the injured into passing vehicles and took them to hospital. It was his army background that made him react to an emergency so calmly and resolutely." Amalraj is an IPS officer now and the superintendent of police in the Theni district of Tamil Nadu. 

The 27-year-old officer Saravanan, as a Major in the Indian Army fall defending the peaks of Batalik in the Kargil war. When you spell out the name “Major Saravanan (INDIAN ARMY)” aloud, it will bring you boundless joy and a spirit that could ignite your minds with some positive vibration.

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