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Monday, July 26, 2010

Remembering Kargil and the martyrs who gave their today for our tomorrow

This is a day to remember some most important persons of contemporary BHARAT. They'd promised their families they'd come back soon. They more than kept their word. Went as mere men. Came back as heroes in coffins. "THEY GAVE THEIR TODAY FOR OUR TOMORROW".

” Median age 19 to 35.The grim-faced army officers receiving the coffins, draped in the tricolour, the carriage to the army parade ground, the set-jawed shok shastra farewell salute by steely soldiers. The silent sorrow of upraised guns, slowly brought, barrel downward, to the ground, left arm tautly extended to the right before retracting, the holding of palm to chest, the sudden dropping of head, the 30-second hushed silence, then the regulation rajnigandha and marigold wreaths from the army and air chiefs, the general officer commanding, fellow officers, the battalion, before the body escorted by a comrade begins its last journey home. Wreathed in white, the colour of the pure; kesariya, the colour and insignia of the brave. Now across mountains, now across rivers, plains.

The lines of pain criss-cross(ed) the entire nation. All that are things of the past; emotional knee-jerk reaction of the Nation; after passage of merely 11 years the feelings sound only empty rhetoric, looking at what the Nation did in return. If you are not able to make out what this is all about. The fault lies not in us.
Come 26th July – I have been sharing with my friends my thoughts – rather anguish on the Nation having a short time memory in not remembering their heroes – those who gave their lives for our tomorrow. Sadly after the initial euphoria died down, there were celebrations in part by some nationalist minded citizens, the Govt. did nothing nor were there any headlines in the Press about Kargil and the 550 odd martyrs.
11 years now on 26th July 1999, Kargil War officially came to an end. Lt. Gen. NC Vij announced complete eviction of Pak intruders. Kargil Conflict is much more than an armed conflict between Our Nation and intruding Pakistan army that took place in May till July 1999. Though the exact date could not be specified, in May 99, the Indian army discovered large scale infiltration by Pak soldiers across the LOC in Indian territory in the desolate Kargil sector. The operation zones of Drass and Kargil are coldest places on earth next only to Siberia. As has been after the War, a review committee was formed and the Committee submitted its report in record time. How much of it stands implemented is anybody’s guess.

The operations to evict the mountain tops of the intruders is ever etched in the living memory of patriotic citizens as ‘Operation Vijay’. But how much the Nation remember its WAR HEROES ? Slowly, the newspapers were also not allotting any space in their first page and memory was getting restricted to Nationalist minded citizens. It was a war waged on the roof of the world – hence plains of the Nations could only understand the bare politics of power and diplomacy without understanding the crude ways of war.
The conflict took place in a place which part of Baltistan district of Ladakh, , a sparsely populated region with diverse linguistic, ethnic and religious groups, living in isolated valleys separated by some of the world's highest mountains. The town of Kargil is located 205 km (120 miles) from Srinagar where winters are very long and chilly with temperatures often dropping to −48 °C (−54 °F). Kargil is also just 173 km (108 mi) from the Pakistani-controlled town of Skardu, which was capable of providing logistical and artillery support to Pakistani combatants.
During the winter season, due to extreme cold in the mountainous areas of Kashmir, it was a common practice for both the Indian and Pakistan Armies to abandon some forward posts on their respective sides of the LOC and to reduce patrolling of areas that may be avenues of infiltration. When weather conditions became less severe, forward posts would be reoccupied and patrolling resumed. But during Feb 1999 Pak Army sent their regiments covertly and intruded many Indian areas. The Indian Army though strategically much disadvantaged fought valiantly for reoccupation of the places .

Immediately after 1999, Tiger Hill & Pt 5140 became household names but how many of us still remember them still ?? The then DG of Military operations proclaimed - July 26, 1999 as KARGIL DIWAS in commemoration of those who laid down their lives for the sake of the country. A Total 537 soldiers sacrificed their lives to give the country a pride victory.

Param Vir Chakra, the Nation’s highest military decoration was conferred on Four who were instrumental in Kargil victory. Param Vir means Bravest of the Brave and Captain Manoj Kumar Pandey, Granedier Yogendra Singh Yadav, Rifleman Sanjay Kumar and Captain Vikram Batra richly deserve this honour.
It is quite unfortunate that there were no official remembrance / celebrations of the sacrifices for few years and the Govt was busy negotiating peace talks with the friendly neighbouring state again.

Mere celebrations would never be enough. The Govt. should ensure that such an incident is never repeated and it has the responsibility to secure better the life for the family members of martyrs of our home land and provide extra care of the highest order for the wounded soldiers. The Govt. should also ensure that there are no POW suffering in any Pak camps.
It is worth knowing the entire list of those who sacrificed their future for us. BUT let us atleast recall the names of the Param Vir Chakra winners :
Captain Vikram Batra IC 57556 – 12 JAK Rifles
Lt. Manoj Kumar Pandey, IC 56959 – 1/11 GR
Grenadier Yogender Singh Yadav – 2690572 – 18 Grenadiers
Rifleman Sanjay Kumar – 13760533 – 13 JAK Rifles.

JAI JAWAN. LONG LIVE THE NATION. The entire Nation would proudly and sincerely say to the Army and its Jawan : You have given your blood for our MEAJ BHARAT (MOTHER INDIA) - We will always remember you

With regards - S Sampathkumar

PS : It is quite unfortunate to repeat. The fact of life is that the papers & newschannels were concentrating on something else. Before posting, I checked the headlines and here is what the media covered as prime news. Seemingly, there was not much coverage in the newspapers. Nation has not forgotten its warriors totally but Press has other important burning issues.

At Drass Sector in Jammu & Kashmir, two day celebrations to commemorate the victory began with a briefing on Operation Vijay at Umbala View Point, followed by a friendly polo between Ladakh locals and Ladakh Scouts Regimental Cetre teams. Ceremonial functions such as wreath laying, candle light vigil, Sainik Sammelan – would be held today.
On Sunday Bangloreans flocked to the National Military Memorial (NMM) site near Indira Gandhi musical fountain. The large gathering paid homage to Kargil martyrs.
In Panchkula. rich tributes were paid to the Kargil War martyrs at Major Sandeep Sankhla Memorial in Sector 2. Members of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement also took out a candle march on the occasion. Brig Kiran Krishan (retd), coordinator of IESM, meanwhile, demanded that ex-servicemen be given one-rank, one-pension.
The prominent news sites of the Nation gave their front space for news such as :

Encounter between Maoists and Security forces at Jharkhand ; Naidu for debate on rights of lower riparian states ; Shah arrested, sent to judicial custody. ; Parliament session set for confrontation ; £500-million arms deal on Cameron's wish-list for India ; Kashmir breathes normal for a day; Test series on a razor's edge ; Sri Lanka needs a 2-0 result to displace India from the top ; Congress MLAs back Reddys in Karnataka ; Praful Patel says no job, wage cuts in Air India ; Ranjitha’s complaint credible – Hockey India


  1. The Nation has not totally forgotten; the Govt., bureaucracy and politicians have other things to do. For the patriotic citizens, such incidents live in their heart and remembered with fervour - Gopal

  2. Thanks for reminding. Paying homage to those great souls who sacrificed themselves for us - Kumar

  3. i will say only one thing.. and that is u r sent by god for us.. we all love u alot..... u r the real angels.. made by god's own hand.... love you alot.....

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