The Indian Territorial Army is celebrating its 67th anniversary on October 9. The 67th ‘Territorial Army Day’ was celebrated with a splendid parade that unfolded at the Army Parade Ground at Delhi Cantonment, Delhi on Sunday morning. The parade witnessed a magnificent display of marching by columns of the TA battalions who were smartly attired in their regimental uniform.
It is noteworthy that the Indian Territorial Army was formally raised by the first Indian Governor General Shri C Rajagopalachari on 09 Oct 1949.
So let us look into what role does the Indian Territorial Army play in the defence set up of the country.
Indian Territorial Army
Role: The Indian Territorial Army famously called the ‘Citizen’s Army’ is part of the Indian Army and its present role is to relieve the Regular Army from static duties and assist civil administration in dealing with natural calamities and maintenance of essential services in situations where life of the communities is affected or the security of the country is threatened.
Strength and Structure: Presently the Territorial Army has strength of approximately 40000 persons comprising of Departmental TA units such as Railway, IOC and ONGC units and the non-Departmental TA units of Infantry Battalion (TA) and Ecological Battalion (TA) affiliated to various Infantry regiments.
History: The Territorial Army was raised by the Britishers in 1920 through Indian Territorial Act of 1920 and it was organised into two wings namely - ‘The Auxiliary Force’ for Europeans & Anglo-Indians and ‘The Indian Territorial Force’ for Indian Volunteers.
After Independence Territorial Army Act was passed in 1948 and the Territorial Army was formally raised by the first Indian Governor General Shri C Rajagopalachari on 09 Oct 1949.
The Territorial Army initially had various types of units such as Armed Regt (TA), Infantry Battalion (TA), Air Defence (TA), Med Regt (TA), Engineers Field Park Coy (TA), Signal Regiment (TA), EME Workshop (TA), Coast Battery (TA), ASC GT Company (TA), ASC Composite Platoon (TA), AMC Field Ambulance (TA), by 1972 these units had either been disbanded or converted to Regular Army except Infantry Bn (TA).
Read more about Indian 'Special Forces': Garud (Air), MARCOS (Navy), Para Commandos (Army), Rashtriya Rifles (BSF & Army)
Operational Engagements: The TA units were actively involved in 1962, 1965 and 1971 operations.
The “Terriers” have also taken part in OP-PAWAN in Sri Lanka, OP RAKSHAK in Punjab & J&K, OP RHINO and OP BAJRANG in North East in the most active manner.
Departmental units have come to the aid of the civil authorities during Industrial unrest and natural calamities, most famous being earthquake in Latoor (Maharastra), Uttarkashi in Garhwal Himalaya and the Super Cyclone in Orissa.
The Ecological units have played a pivotal role in stalling environmental degradation by planting close to 2.5 crore trees over 20,000 hectare of land in Mussoori Hills & Pithoragarh (UP), Bikaner & Jaisalmer (Rajasthan), Assam and ravines of Chambal in Madhya Pradesh.
Notable Personalities who have donned the TA Uniform
The Indian Territorial Army is celebrating its 67th anniversary on October 9. The Indian Territorial Army was formally raised by the first Indian Governor General Shri C Rajagopalachari on 09 Oct 1949. Many industrialists, politicians and eminent personalities from Bollywood and the sporting arena have been conferred with the honorary rank in the TA.