PARA-SF. The Maroon Beret. The soldiers who are trained up to the level, one cannot even imagine. It literally gives us Goosebumps when we see them in the Parade. Such is the Aura them that, whenever they are seen in Uniform, A salute comes out without a second thought. These are the forces behind the 2016 Surgical Strike and Operation Ginger
The training of this PARA SF is said to be one of the toughest training in the world. It is said that about 2% of them are only able to clear the training and complete the toughest task just to earn A Maroon Beret. A soldier takes pride in himself wearing it.
The Para Beret is Maroon in color as it’s said that the Green Army Beret is turned Red by blood and then it’s earned and so is the story of ‘Balidaan’. The badge of sacrifice, meaning the person who wears it owes his blood to the nation.
We won’t be discussing the training here but we will discuss a ritual or one can even say the tradition which is followed by them. This is called the Glass Eating Ritual.
When a JAWAN completes its 90 Day training after which they have groomed mentally and physically to break any barrier, they are made to push the boundaries of human behavior and they are made to learn to take all the pain till their threshold can be reached. He earns the Maroon Beret.
After which he is given a “Patiyala Peg” (For those who done know, it is the drink of size measured from Index to pinky finger in front of glass) of Rum (or sometimes other as well) and are told to finish it. For a normal person, it would finish when even the last drop is sent through the throat. But these are not normal people.
Here, the drink is only considered finished when he bites the rim of the glass, takes a piece of it, and gulps it down the throat. This shows that they have surpassed normal Human Behaviour and are now Special. Glass eating tradition is a ritual of the Para Commandos that fosters their sense of absolute fearlessness and superiority.
For those who are thinking of Medical conditions, I would say, they don’t directly swallow it. Glass is normally silica (Sand) so they bite the rim, chew it until it becomes the powder, and then swallow it.
Many of them claim the ritual is not true and term it as insanity. The SF-Jawan has also written a blog describing this incident. Along with this Discovery Channel has made the Video out of it which you can see here.
Due to this, they are also known as the Glass Eaters. It’s just a tradition to eat but PARA-SF does it religiously.