July 26 is “Kargil Victory Day”. The day was declared as Vijay Diwas and the way in which the Indian Armed Forces fought the war and tried to ensure that it did not escalate into a nuclear conflict was acclaimed world over. The Kargil War was started on May 3, 1999, and ended on July 26, 1999, in which the Indian Army got the victory.
The Nation hopefully remembers the 400 plus martyrs for laying down their lives in the service of their Nation, in the true spirit of laying down their today for our tomorrows. Kargil Vijay Diwas is a special occasion for the people of Ladakh. Kargil war took place in the Kargil-Drass sector Ladakh of Jammu and Kashmir. It has been 17 years since the Kargil War but the memory of the bloodshed remains fresh in the minds of the brave soldiers, who responded to the call of duty and defended the country’s borders, and their families.
Kargil Vijay Diwas has been named after the success of Operation Vijay. Kargil Vijay Diwas is celebrated on this day to pave the honour of the martyred soldiers in the war. As India celebrates Kargil Diwas and pays homage to martyrs of the war, it is time to recall the significant role of airpower that actually tilted the balance in Operation Vijay. The Kargil War will always be remembered for its strategic and tactical surprises, the self-imposed national strategy of restraint in keeping the war limited to Kargil-Siachen sectors and the swiftly executed tri-services military strategy and plans.
It is both a pride inducing moment and a prick in the hearts of the soldiers who valiantly fought for our nation. As India prepares to hold a memorial service for the martyrs, there are certain facts that we must all know about the historic day. With its significant war footage, Kargil was the first Indo-Pak War that impacted public opinion through mass media coverage. Every patriotic Indian’s heart swells with pride at the bravery of our jawans in evicting Pakistani Northern Light Infantry and a few terrorists from the inhospitable Kargil heights. One hopes India’s strategic planners have built-in and have planned for more robust scenario’s to face inevitable, future threats. Kashmiri Pandits all over the world are grateful to these warriors and brave sons of the land for defending the Kashmiri Pandit homeland “MAEJ KASHEER” (MOTHER KASHMIR). There is an old saying in Punjabi’s Army Jine Jeet Nahi Wekhi Usay Jeetna Kaun Sikhayega”. Loosely translated it means that if one has not seen victory, how can you teach ‘em to win a war. It’s both pride and pain for the soldiers as the nation celebrates the anniversary of the war victory against Pakistan. India continuously stepped up attack against Pakistan and ended up recapturing two key positions in Batalic sector.
The Kargil War will always be remembered for the determination and daring junior leadership and the raw courage of our jawans. Youth and students should draw inspiration from soldiers of the Indian Army who laid down their lives in the Kargil War in 1999 while safeguarding the country.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)