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Gentleman's Military Interest Club
Brian Wolfe

India's Op (Operation) Parakram Medal

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Hello Everyone,

In 2001 India and Pakistan started to amass a great number of troops along their mutual border. India deployed over 500,000 troops in this operation with 528 casualties and 1,533 non-fatal casualties according to "Medals and Decorations of Inpependent India" by Edward S. Haynes and Rana T.S. Chhina, Manohar Publishing, see Pg. 115.

The obverse shows a map of India and the reverse the state emblem. This is unusual, with the exception of the Op Vijay Medal, as the state emblem is usually found on the obverse. I don't know why the policy changed for these two medals and if anyone can shed some light on this please do so. Perhaps because these medals were awarded for an "operation" rather than an out and out armed conflict may have had something to do with the policy?

Pakistan issued a medal called the Tamgha-i-Ishiqial 2001/2002 or the "Escallation Medal 2001/2002" for the build up on their side of the border. I believe I have posted this earlier.

I hope you like my new addition.

Regards

Brian

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Here is the reverse. This medal is in mint condition and it is like trying to photograph a mirror, the glare was killing me. I finally turned off the spot lights and used the room light only without any flash to get this image so that you can see it. This is why the strange tint to the photo.

Regards

Brian

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I know nothing of Indian medals, but this one is a looker. So this was awarded to about 500,000 personnel?

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Nice one. Looks like the official strike, but these are not made by the mint :( but, rather, by several private manufacturers. Some day, it may be poissible to sort out who made what. So far as I know only medals to officers are named (like the OP Vijay star and medal) and this is very sad. But with regiments naming their own medals (in all degrees of quality and in multiple languages) who knows what will surface.

Still seeking both a named specimen and a group with this, but most of the recipients are still in service. Soon . . . .

Having been in India at the time of this deployment (and a very tense time it was!) and having talked with the folks who designed this one (and the OP Vijay star and m3edal) I think it is fair to say that the desiign process (to say nothing of the deployment) was a very political undertaking, carried out (the medal design, that is) by a clueless crowd who, however well-interntioned, were absolutely ignorant of India's phaleristic history and conventions. At best, this should have been a clasp to the Special Duty Medal, but . . . :bamnger: .

Yes, would estimate 500K more or less total awards.

Many were cranked out by enterprising military tailors and the "variability" would make a strong person weep. Also, the unbalanced ribbon leads to chaos (to put it delicately) in the way ribbon bars and, I presume, medal mountings have been executed.

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Award critaria OP PARAKRAM MEDAL

NOTIFICATION

New Delhi, the 20th August, 2001

No. 116-Press/2001 - The President is pleased to institute a medal for recognition of the services of Armed Forces personnel and civilians in the 'OP PRAKRAM' in 2001; and in this behalf, ordain and establish the following ordinance:

Firstly - The medal shall be styled and designated the "OP PRAKRAM" (hereafter referred to as the medal ).

Secondly - The medal shall be circular in shape, made of cupro - nicked , 35 mm in diameter and fitted to a plain horizontal bar with standard fittings. It shall have embossed on its obverse the Jai Stambh and the inscription "OPERATION PRAKRAM' embossed both in English and Hindi along the rim. On its reverse it shall have State Emblem embossed in a circle. A sealed pattern of the medal shall be deposited and kept.

Thirdly - The medal shall be worn suspended from the left breast by a silk ribbon 32 mm in width having three equal parts of Blue, Olive Green and Sand colour, starting left to right. Blue and Olive Green parts shall be separated by a white stripe 2' mm in width. Olive Green and Sand colour parts shall be separated by a red stripe of 2 mm in width.

Fourthly - Awarded to the all categories of personnel who were born on the effective strength of the Army, Navy and Air Forces and were mobilized / deployed / involved in planning and conduct of operations at various Headquarters in support of 'OP PRAKRAM'.

  • All ranks of the Para Military Forces, Central Police Forces, Railway Protection Force, J&K State Police Forces, Home Guards, civil defence organization and any other organization as specified by Government who were deployed in operational areas under Army's operational control or any other personnel of such organization deployed in areas as may be specified by the Government, who assisting in implementing coordination and conduct etc of operation.

  • All personnel on the effective strength of the Coast Guard who were operationally deployed at sea or were part of of the operational planning at various Headquarters.

  • Civilians of either sex serving regularly or temporarily under the orders/directions or supervision of the above mentioned forces in operation areas.

  • Civilians deployed for Local Naval Defence, War Watching Organizations, Naval control of Shipping and Examination Services.

Fifthly - The qualifying areas for the purpose of this medal shall be as follows:-

Army - All formation units/regiments and sub units which were mobilized and deployed in support of OP PARAKRAM, and also all ranks posted at various headquarters including Army Headquarters involved in planning and conduct of mobilization/deployment.

Navy-All personnel from ships, submarines , aircraft , coast batteries and coastal defence forces , War Watching, Naval Control of Shipping, Examination Services, including Coast Guard units that were deployed at sea in the Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal including the Andaman Sea and involved with operational activities of OP PRAKRAM.This includes all personal ashore at Naval Headquarters, Command Headquarters, Flag Officer Maharashtra Area and Flag Officer Goa Area Headquarters, Naval Officer-in-Charge staff that were actually involved with operational, logistics and administrative planning of OP PRAKRAM.

Air Force -All Wings / Forward Base Supply Units / Stations, Squadrons and sub units which were mobilized and deployed in support of OP PARAKRAM in Western Air Command, South Western Air Command and Central Air Command and elements of Maintenance Command deployed / mobilized in support of Western Air Command, South Western Air Command Central Air Command as also all ranks posted to various Headquarters including Air Headquarters involved in planning and conduct of mobilization / deployment.

Sixthly - Conditions of Eligibility

  • A person who has completed aggregate service of 180 days in qualifying area. The qualifying period for the Medal will not count towards any other medal instituted for that area for same spell of service.

  • Personnel of Army Aviation Corps, Naval Air Squadrons, air crew of Air Force, ejection crew of Air Dispatch units and personnel borne of the effective strength of Air Maintenance Battalions / Coast Guard Air Squadron who have carried out a minimum of five operational sorties of twenty hours of operational flying in /over the qualifying area.

  • All recipients of gallantry series of awards during OP PARAKRAM irrespective of the time limit or a person who died in service or was evacuated as a result of wounds or other disabilities attributable to service in the qualifying area irrespective of time limit or number of operational sorties or, number of operational flying hours shall be eligible for this medal.

  • All Naval / Coast Guard personnel on board Naval, Coast Guard, merchant ships and crafts under the operational control of the Indian Navy who have completed an aggregate service of 180 days in the qualifying area or have undertaken an aggregate of five armed patrol sorties in qualifying area.

Seventhly -It shall be the competent for the President to cancel and annul the award of medal to any person, and also to restore it subsequently.

Eighthly - It shall be competent for the Government to frame such instructions as may be necessary to carry out these ordinances.

Edited by Taz

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Yes, the Gazette of India publishes all these notifications. I have them all on file and Rana and I referenced all of them in our book.

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Here is the reverse. This medal is in mint condition and it is like trying to photograph a mirror, the glare was killing me. I finally turned off the spot lights and used the room light only without any flash to get this image so that you can see it. This is why the strange tint to the photo.

Regards

Brian

Brian,

The ribbon is the other way, with the sand stripe on the right.

Rgds

Sushil

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Brian,

The ribbon is the other way, with the sand stripe on the right.

Rgds

Sushil

The ribbon is blue, narrow white, green, narrow red, sand.

It is often reversed. But Brian has it right.

The map is the obverse, rather than the national emblem. Backwards from what it should be, but you need to remember who made the medal (BJP).

Edited by Ed_Haynes

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