in ,

Meet Mastana, the Goat who is a Hawaldar in the Indian Army

The inclusiveness of the Indian Army is legendary. For people who routinely look death square in the eye, it matters little what colour you are or where you’re from.

Turns out, though, that this camaraderie is also occasionally extended to non-human members.

This is the story of Mastana, a goat that holds the rank of hawaldar in the Indian Army.

During the 1965 India-Pakistan war, a Indian battalion was trapped in an area that they found out was full of land mines. When they started to pray to Jwala Devi — a fire goddess — a goat appeared, seemingly from nowhere, and skipped through the mine-filled land to reach safely on the other side.

Thus a path was forged for the soldiers, who were able to escape the mine-trap.

They believed the goat to be a messenger from the goddess. They named it Mastana and took it with them.

When Mastana died, they replaced him with another buck, and so it has continued — a long line of Mastanas that goes back to ’65.

Partner Story
#MGChangemakers - Episode 2: THE 21-YEAR JOURNEY OF CHANGE | Driving India Into Future

Live Now #MGChangemakers Episode 2 : Touched by poverty, untouchability and atrocities against Musahar- the Mahadalit community of Bihar, Padma Shri Sudha Varghese decided to dedicate her life for their upliftment. Watch the video to learn about her inspirational journey & how she is ‘Driving India Into The Future’. #MGChangemakers powered by MG Motor India and supported by United Nations India. Show your support by donating now:

Posted by TheBetterIndia on Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Every goat Mastana is automatically promoted to hawaldar.

mastana goat indian army
A photo of Mastana looking pleased with himself.
Photo credit: Roli Pathak

Like this story? Or have something to share? Write to us:, or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter (@thebetterindia).