Indian Army has a host of Special Forces that are among the best in the world. MARCOS, Garud Commando Force, Para Commandos, Ghatak Force, COBRA, National Security Guard, Special Frontier Force, and Force One are some of the Indian Special Forces that rank amongst the best in the world. It is said that after the Second World War, the need for highly trained soldiers was realized and thus, the Special Forces were born. While we have so many to write and talk about each of these Indian Special Forces, in this article, we will focus and talk about only one, that is Para Commandos.
Indian Army’s Paratrooper Special Forces Unit was first used in the World War II. But it was India’s war with Pakistan in 1965 when they were converted into a special unit called the Para Commandos.
Para Commandos are part of the highly-trained Parachute Regiment of the Indian Army and are the largest part of the Special Forces of India.
The parachute units of the Indian Army are among the oldest airborne units in the world. It was these same commandos who recently carried out the surgical strike on the terrorist in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. They are the first forces to fire back on the enemy and mow easy battlegrounds for the frontline forces to come and take over.
India’s Para commandos go through the most grueling commando training regimes in the world.
Only the most physically fit, mentally robust, intelligent, and highly motivated soldiers are inducted in the fleet of Para Commandos. This is because the nature of the operations they perform is extremely fatal. The forces are kept at the optimum level of operational efficiency and physical fitness. They even have to free fall from belligerent heights of as much as 33,500 feet, apart from daily 20km runs with 60km baggage and man-to-man assault practices. They are also highly trained in terrain and environment warfare and deep sea diving. These forces are also trained to survive in the harshest wilderness by eating plants, bugs and making tools, keeping warm, etc.
But do you know that the Indian Army’s Para Commandos are also called as Glass Eaters? Do you know why?
Those hellish and brutal training gives the Para Commandos an edge over regular forces not only physically but also mentally. Though to the world they are known as the Para Commandos, it is said that those who fear them call them the ‘Glass Eaters’. Glass eating tradition is a ritual of the Para Commandos that fosters their sense of absolute fearlessness and superiority. This tradition is said to be such that upon successfully completing the hellish training, soldiers are inducted as a Maroon Beret. But before they are handed the badge, the soldiers have to down a Patiala peg of rum, bite off and chew the rim of the glass and then swallow it.
This unknown glass eating tradition of the Para Commandos was brought forth by a blog post written by a retired Special Forces Para Commando where he recalls the time when he was asked to eat glass and how he did it.