The Bhati Family of Kuchela

The Bhati Jadaun clan of Kuchela were a hardworking and proud lot. Most of them took to soldiering and agriculture. The soldiers out-did the agriculturists, in the long run. The reason was that India , especially the Northern Province or Uttar Pradesh of India, being very fertile, was easy game for the agriculturists who, became lazy and idle. The soldiers, on the other hand, rose to every occasion and shone in many spheres. The most illustrious family, that really stood taller than the rest was, the family of THAKUR GOKUL SINGH the Zamindar of Kuchela. His son MAHARAJ SINGH was captured by the British when he was unjustly and erroneously framed in a train dacoity case during the days of the Indian Mutiny of 1857. His devoted wife, managed to fight the court case and had him released after putting in a herculean effort. During the case, she walked 120 kilometers or so all the way to Agra and then walked back, alongwith her two sons NIRPAT SINGH and GIRDHARI SINGH, in tow. Unfortunately, the case left them in dire straits and the two sons grew up fending for themselves. They set out to find their fortune. Unfortunately, all that they could manage for themselves was a job as the Coachwaan or the Footboard Riders in the court of the Dewan Sahib of Oel which was a small state or Riyasat in U.P. under the patronage of the British. The two brothers refused to be so employed and finally were offered a job as Sowars or mounted soldiers in the Gwalior State Army. Being of royal blood and endowed with the true Bhati grit and determination; these two brothers worked their way up through the rank and file, to become Captains in the Gwalior Army. Both of them were excellent horsmasters and horsemen and had no equal in the martial arts of Swordsmanship, Marksmanship and Cavaliership. There are many stories about these two great warriors that are still doing the rounds of Kuchela hamlets and the local region. The younger brother GIRDHARI SINGH, who was posted closer to the king MADHAV RAO SCINDIA (the first); won his favour through many heroic deeds done by him on many an occasion and rose to the rank of Colonel. He was later also awarded the ‘Order of British India’ and ‘Order of the British Empire’ and bestowed with the title of Sardar Bahadur, Muzzaffar Jung Bahadur. He was also appointed as the Quarter Master General of the Gwalior Army. Realizing that his elder brother would now have to salute him; he persuaded his elder brother NIRPAT SINGH to quit service prematurely and look after the estate at Kuchela.

The two also bought lands at Nakodi in Gwalior District and the entire village of Chhauda, a village near Kampoo, which is a suburb of Gwalior town. A large spread of land was also bought by them at Chanderi in the State of Madhya Pradesh.


KESHAV SINGH died in his teens. He was a great shikari. RAGHUNATH SINGH’s son Kr RANJIT SINGH joined the Indian Army and rose to the rank of a Colonel in the Corps of Engineers (Bombay Sappers). Kr RANJIT SINGH and his wife UMA SINGH had two daughters, viz, RITU BATI and ADEETI BHATI; both of whom, became Management Consultants.

HARNATH SINGH was one of the few Gwalior State Cadets to receive army officers training at the Indian Military Academy, Dehra Dun, U.P., India, from where he passed out in 1939. He joined the Gwalior Army (as Adjutant of 1st Gwalior Lancers and was later the Commandant of 3rd Gwalior Lancers until it was disbanded after India gained independence from British rule. HARNATH SINGH fought the Second World War with this cavalry unit in Burma and received a shell wound in the arm. He was awarded the ‘Order of the British Empire’ and ‘Member of the British Empire’ awards. He later transferred to the Indian Army as a Major of 18th King Edward VII’s Own Cavalry. He was also appointed as Military Secretary to Shri Pattabhi Sitarammaiyah and Shri Hari Vinayak Pataskar, both, Governers of Madhya Pradesh. Major HARNATH SINGH started a school (in the name of his late wife Subira Dev), for the underprivileged youth of the area. It is named The Subira Devi Memorial School and has classes upto 10th Class. It is purely a private institution and runs without any aid from the government. It has attracted students and staff from all castes and communities, transcending barriers of caste and divisive forves. It is a living example of national integration and pride of the Village of Kuchela. With the help of his son and grandsons, relatives and friends, a whole lot of children enjoy the benefit of scholarships in this school.

His son HARISH CHANDRA SINGH, vsm, was commissioned as an Officer in his father’s Regiment, The 18th King Edward VII’s Own Cavalry. He commanded the 68 Armoured Regiment, rose to the rank of Brigadier and raised The 12 Sector, Rashtriya Rifles in Kashmir Valley. He was awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal by President of India, for distinguished service in the Kashmir Valley where he established many unbeatable records in Counter Insurgency Operations. JAYSHRI SINGH, the wife of HARISH CHANDRA SINGH has had enormous educational and organizational qualification and experience. She has been actively associated in bringing up the standard of Subira Devi Memorial School, to its present enviable state and has made it the best-run institution, in its category, in the area.

YADUNATH SINGH, the eldest of the brothers, earned a King’s Commision from Sandhurst, UK, and came, to join the Indian Army as an Officer in the 4th Battalion, the Kumaon Regiment which he later commanded. He was appointed Colonel of the Kumaon Regiment, The Rajput Regiment and The Corps of the Military Police. He also commaded 26 Infantry Division and retired as a Major General. He helped Shri Vinobha Bhave (a Gandhian), in his efforts to make the Dacoits of Madhya Pradesh surrender. He succeeded in a big way. Dacoit Lokmanya was one of the main surrenderees. Later he was appointed as the Honorary Chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Public Service Commission. He was also the Military Secretary to Dr RAJENDRA PRASAD, The President of India. He was decorated with the award of the Mahavir Chakra for his heroic acts of gallantry during the Liberation of Kashmir in 1947. His daughter MALA married a lawyer Dr ADARSH SEIN ANAND, who rose to become the Chief Justice of India and Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission. They had three daughters, SHABNAM, MUNISHA and JYOTIKA. The daughters of the remaining two brothers; RAGHUNATH SINGH called VEERA, and HARNATH SINGH, called PRARTHNA and BHAVANA, as also their children and cousins, did exceedingly well in their own spheres. They married into affluent and influential families of repute. Presently RANJIT SINGH, HARISH CHANDRA SINGH, their sisters and their children, are keeping the flag of this family flying high.

The torch bearers of this great family are Kr RAHUL SINGH and Kr VISHAL SINGH. Both are the sons of HARISH CHANDRA SINGH. While Kr RAHUL SINGH is a Software Engineer, his wife Kunwarani SHILPA SINGH is a Creative Director of Graphics Designing. His younger brother is Kr VISHAL SINGH, who is a M.B.A. from Cornell University and is a Management Consultant.