Major Sanjay Baduni

Service No: IC-43521

Date of Birth : Jan 21, 1962

Place of Birth : Dehradun, (U'khand)

Service: Army

Last Rank : Major

Unit : 25 RR/ 136 Fd Regt

Arm/Regt : The Regiment of Artillery

Operation: CI & IS Ops

Date of Martyrdom : Aug 24, 1995

Major Sanjay Baduni

Major Sanjay Baduni was born on 21st January 1962 in Dehradun. Maj Baduni was the grandson of a freedom fighter and nationalism was in his blood. Right from his childhood Maj Baduni was passionate about Armed Forces and had a dream to don military uniform. His dream came true when he got selected to join the Army and passed out of the prestigious  IMA in 1985.

 

Maj Baduni got commissioned into the Regiment of Artillery and fell in love with his job. He was a proud gunner, as soldiers from Artillery are called and a committed soldier. Everyone who knew him, remembers him as a gentle soul and a caring human being. Maj Baduni had a heart of gold, full of love and was always ready to help others.By 1995, Maj Baduni had put in around ten years of service and had served in various field areas with challenging terrain and operational conditions. After serving for few years with his parent unit, he was later deputed to serve with 25 RR battalion deployed in J&K.

 

Doda Operation : 24 Aug 1995

 

During 1995, Maj Sanjay Baduni was serving with 25 Rashtriya Rifles battalion, deployed in J&K for anti-terrorist operations. His unit was deployed in Doda sector which was a terrorist-infested area with challenging situations arising on a daily basis. On 24th August 1995, his unit had received credible information from intelligence sources about the presence of terrorists in Dhara village in their area of responsibility. A decision was taken to launch a search and destroy operation to take on the terrorists under the leadership of Maj Baduni.

 

Maj Baduni swung into action and launched the operation in Dhara village to bust the terrorist hideout. He along with his troops cordoned off the suspected area and got ready to implement their operational plan. The terrorists were hiding in a house to take the cover of civilians. Maj Baduni decided against blowing up the house as there were 2 small children inside. On being challenged, one terrorist tried escaping from the back door and was noticed by Maj Baduni. Maj Baduni chased him and fired at him while on the run. However during the exchange of fire, Maj Baduni got hit by bullets on his foot & neck.

 

Maj Baduni later succumbed to his injuries and was martyred displaying bravery and leadership of very high order. This brave soldier made the supreme sacrifice protecting his motherland, cherishing his dream to go wrapped in a Tri-Colour. Maj Sanjay Baduni is survived by his wife Smt Kamal Baduni and two daughters, Snigdha and Kanishka.

Tribute by his wife Mrs Kamal Baduni :

 

In my family, 21 Jan was always a day full of celebrations, Pooja and feasting till 1995, as it was Sanjay’s birthday. After 1995, this day is a quite & sad day. At times people don’t even speak about it and maintain an awkward silence. But to me, this day is still a special day. It may be surprising to know that I along with my daughters still celebrate our wedding anniversary on 14th Jan & my husband’s birthday on 21st Jan. On our 25th Wedding anniversary in 2015, my daughters & my sisters-in-law brought a cake and we celebrated the day with music & dance.

 

To many it might not make sense but to me Sanjay’s memories matter & will remain with me forever. I make sure that I make some donation on these days. My take on life is very different, as I believe in celebrating people & their memories. On my insistence, my youngest sister-in-law, Preeti still sends Rakhee for me on Raksha Bandhan. I believe in preserving relationships and celebrating each and every person who connects with me. This is not understood by many, but I surround myself with happiness and positivity. I have had many tough years after Sanjay’s martyrdom and learnt that if you want to live life, you only need to make a choice for yourself. My old parents & in-laws keep looking at our faces and I always try to wear a smile for them.

 

Ours was an arranged marriage, both my father & father-in-law were very good friends and it was like ‘Dosti rishte main badal gaye’. I being a Mumbai girl had no knowledge of defence services and their lives, so when we got engaged I was not sure of my decision. After few meetings, I fell in love with him for his simplicity, genuineness and caring attitude. I got ready to leave my budding career of a software programmer and rosy city life for him. He was such a doting husband that everyone around us refused to believe that ours was not a love marriage. Whenever anyone asked about our marriage, he would say that it was an arranged engagement and a love marriage. We were married for five and half years with our own share of sweet and sour journey with courses, postings, friends and two lovely daughters. Sanjay played every role wonderfully as he was a loving son, a caring brother, a doting husband, a protective father & a true gunner.

 

He came for his last leave on 20th May 1995 and made sure he stays for my birthday on 4th June. One day during that time when he was ironing his uniform, his mother said that she did not like it as it kept her son away from her. A die hard soldier at heart, Sanjay was very upset and explained the value of that olive green uniform to his mother, who had temporarily got carried away by the love for her son. He had a lot of compassion for the people in the Kashmir valley specially the children. He attained Martyrdom on 24th August 1995 during a fierce gun-battle in a counter insurgency operation in J & K.

 

Life after Sanjay was not easy. It’s been 22 & half years but to me and my daughters he is still present with us. I always feel that he is on a field posting without any leaves. Whenever I am challenged with difficult situation, there is an angel coming to rescue. That’s the time I look up and try to find my guiding star, my beloved husband, Major Sanjay Baduni.

 

Mrs Kamal Baduni

Tribute by his daughter Snigdha Baduni :

 

I was only three years old when my father made the supreme sacrifice for our nation. Though I was too young that time to have distinct memories of him, but my mother and other family members ensured that my sister and I grow up knowing who our father was. My father was a brave and committed soldier but was a wonderful human being too. He was a perfect family man who truly cared for his wife and two little daughters.

 

During his last counter-insurgency operation when he attained martyrdom, he decided against blowing up a house to save two young children, who he believed could have been his own daughters. My father, at the cost of his life upheld the values; an Indian soldier always stands for. I remember being my daddy’s girl, though he was physically present only for the first three years of my life. I have grown up believing that he is always looking down on his little girls, ensuring that we meet all our goals and overcome all challenges. He is our guardian angel and we couldn’t be more proud to call ourselves “Daughters of a Martyr”. He has always been our guiding light and a source of strength and continues to live in his family— through his mother’s stories, wife’s eyes and daughters’ smiles!

 

Today as we commemorate my father’s birth anniversary, I salute not only brave soldiers like him, but also their equally brave families, who through their personal loss have contributed in protecting the honour of our country.

 

Jai Hind!

Snigdha Baduni

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54 Comments
  • Maheep Singh Tomar

    2021at10:04 am Reply

    Sanjay, my coursemate and both of us from Alamein Coy, shared happy memorable times during training at IMA. We did not meet post commissioning. He was a gentle soul, quiet, shy and with a very calm demeanor. An excellent human being who will always be remembered with great fondness. I salute you bro – Om Shanti

  • Col Sanjay Singh

    2021at7:39 pm Reply

    A tribute to Sanjay Baduni.
    He took each day in stride, never really complaining. This amazing man, inside and out, was a wonderful friend to me. One of his beliefs in life was the importance of being authentic and that’s what clicked between us. We both also believed firmly that peace was essential for a joyful life and we sometimes wondered whether our decision to join army was right. He was temperamentally a bit shy and I hope he forgives me for the times I embarrassed him by publically singing songs in Paltan Bazar during liberties we got from IMA. The moment I even started humming, he would swiftly gallop two paces ahead with his face reddening and leaving me guessing whether I had set my decibels too loud. He loved his coursemates coming over to his house during IMA days. I distinctly remember glow on his face when we all would gather at his house and eat anything and everything available there. Last time I met him was in Mhow in 1994 where both of us had gone for some course. I still remember the day when Kamal cooked fish in a makeshift kitchen and we all relished it no end. During this course, I had lent him a transistor which he returned with portion of its cover accidently melted by a candle. Until today, I have retained this transistor for the memories of him attached with it. Last communication I received from him was in the form of a New Year card in 1995 from Kashmir in which he had also mentioned how badly he missed his family. I particularly remember this as I found that footnote little unusual in a greeting card but perhaps he could not have resisted sharing his feelings with me. An avid reader, he often boasted that he could finish thickest of novels in a day. In IMA, he made me read ‘Bourne Identity’ which is one of those very few novels I would have read completely until today. Truly, sometimes I envied his vast knowledge of English and tremendous vocabulary. Sanjay certainly made my world a better place. My dear friend, I will miss you and your ever-smiling face. You are one of my heroes. May you rest in the peace you so richly deserve…

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