Dhanuri village of Rajasthan has a special claim to fame - it’s home to the largest number of soldiers who gave their lives for the nation and a village where soldiering is the way of life.
At present 600 men from this single Muslim village are serving in the Indian defense forces, mainly Army, while there are 270 pensioners.
Soldiers come from every family of this prosperous-looking Muslim in the Malsisar subdivision, about 15 kilometers away from the Jhunjhunu district headquarters of Rajasthan. Most of the families here belong to Kayamkhani Muslims.
It has a population of approximately 6500. Dhanuri is also known as “Adarsh Sainik Village” (Model Sainik village) and is a major recruitment center of the Indian Army in the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan.
The people are proud of their soldiers some of whom come from four generations.
A signboard on the way to village Dhanuri
Dying for their country is considered a matter of pride. The mothers here tell the stories of real-life heroes to their children in lullabies.
Jhunjhunu district of Shekhawati has a special identity for its brave men and women not only in Rajasthan but in the entire country.
The record of Dhanuri village may surprise you. There are soldiers in every other house here. 18 sons of Dhanuri village have sacrificed their lives for the country.
The sons of this place also fought bravely in the wars between India and Pakistan in 1965, 1971, and 1999 (Kargil). That is why even today the entire army of Pakistan is afraid of the village Dhanuri.
The secondary school of village Dhanuri has been named Major MH Khan Government Model Secondary School after Major Mahmood Hasan Khan, who was martyred in the 1971 war against Pakistan.
A Panaromic view of the village
The tradition of naming schools after martyrs in Rajasthan started from Dhanuri village itself. The school was named in 72 days after the martyrdom of Major MH Khan.
The sons of the soil have fought bravery not only in the wars between India and Pakistan but also in the First and Second World Wars.
Dhanuri's sons Karim Baksh Khan, Karim Khan, and Azimuddin Khan were martyred in the First World War, and Taj Mohammad Khan and Imam Ali Khan were martyred in the Second World War.
In Dhanuri village with about 1500 houses 90 percent of the population is Kayamkhanis
Mohammad Hussain Khan, a former soldier of Dhanuri village, says that there are about 600 soldiers from the village currently serving the Indian Army and other defense forces.
School named after a Martyr
Mohd. Ilyas Khan, One of the martyrs, had eight brothers out of whom seven joined the army and served the country.
Ilyas Khan was martyred in the 1962 war. His brothers were Subedar Nisar Ahmed Khan, Sarwar Khan, Captain Niaz Mohammad Khan, Mohd. Iqbal Khan, Shabbir Ali Khan and Abdul Aziz Khan.
Apart from this, Shaheed Qutubuddin Khan's son Captain Moinuddin Khan, his son Colonel Jamil Khan, and Jamil Khan's son are currently in the army at the rank of Lieutenant. Their five generations are serving the country.
Apart from this, Sattar Khan, son of Brigadier Ahmed Ali Khan of the village, and his brother Nisar Khan are in the Indian Army. Sattar Khan's sons Ghaffar Khan and Jabbar Khan and Nisar Khan's son Irsad Khan are serving in the army.
Major Mahmood Hasan Khan, Jafar Ali Khan, and Qutbuddin Khan of Dhanuri were martyred in the Indo-Pak war of 1971.
A plaque bearing names of local sons of the soil in trhe village
A memorial to honour the martyrs of village Dhanuri is under construction
Hamid Khan, the senior Urdu teacher of Dhanuri village, says that the Kayamkhani War Memorial Martyr memorial is being built by the community. This memorial will remind future generations of the glory of their forefathers in defending their country.
He says almost 80 percent of its work has been completed The memorial is spread across 300 square meters on Malsisar-Rajgarh Road in Dhanuri village.
Bhamashah Master Arshad Ali had donated land for this.
The Martyrs' Memorial being built in the village
The Martyrs' Memorial will have an Ashok Pillar, Motivation Hall, and 30-foot-high tricolor, The names of martyrs of the Kayamkhani community from across the state and their heroic stories will be mentioned.
The place will also have colorful lights and fountains.
Hamid Khan says that there are many educational institutions and two government hospitals in the village. The village is connected to the capital Jaipur through a highway in which the roadway service is available.
Besides soldiers, the village also boasts 60 government teachers.