Not many are aware of the fact that Indians played a very significant role in bringing the Korean war (1950-1953) to an end. While we get terrified watching the brutalities of war in movies, the MASH (Mobile Army Surgical Hospital) unit back then, did something extraordinary to save lives. However, it is a pity that we don’t find much about them due to our ignorance.
Members of the 60th Para Field Ambulance, these medics were also parachutists, who jumped into combat alongside the fighting infantry and their courage was superlative, as mentioned in a Korean blog.
But thanks to South Korea and India- as both the countries have recognized their efforts and agreed to build a Korean War memorial in New Delhi. There are Korean War memorials in several countries including, the UK (London), the US (Washington, DC) and this time India too will be added on this list.
While talking to NDTV, Shin Bong-kil, South Korea’s envoy said, that the local government has allotted a separate place for the memorial and that the project will be completed by the end of 2019.
While attending the seminar ‘Emerging Korea-India Relations: Convergence of India’s Act East Policy and Korea’s New Southern Policy’ by city-based think-tank Vivekananda International Foundation, he said to the reporters, “We need some sort of a design and South Korea would be happy to fund it.”
During the war, India had sent medical and custodian forces and there is an association of Korean War veterans in India, and in total sixteen countries had sent combatant forces during the War, he said.
In July, South Korean President Moon Jae-in visited India to elevate special strategic ties with India and take them to “new heights” said the enjoy in an early address. Adding to this Shin said, “He visited India at a time when Seoul had declared the New Southern Policy in an attempt to expand South Korea’s diplomatic horizons, beyond the four major powers.”
Saving hundreds of wounded people, these medics treated around 200,000 people that included 2,300 field medical operations. Further, they also trained local Korean doctors and nurses during the war. There is also an Indian stamp that features the event and the contribution of these brave men.
The courage and dedication of these men have changed the fate of Korea and their sacrifices should always stay at the core of our hearts.