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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Kargil Diwas - Remembering the martyrs of Kargil

We have National Holidays and We celebrate important days for the Nation including The Independence Day (Aug 15th) and Republic Day (26th Jan) – we recall the birth and death days of important National leaders.

Today is more important than most of them… 26th July…. The Kargil Diwas..  in very many countries, Victory day is a much celebrated day commemorating the victory in an important  battle for the honour of the Nation. 

We read about so many things and persons – why don’t we think of including the real life heroics of people like :  Captain Anuj Nayyar, Captain Amol Kalia, Captain Manoj Pande, Captain P.V.Vikram, Captain Vikram Batra, Deputy Commander Sukhbir Singh Yadav, Driver-Soldier Gopinath Moharana,  Flight Engineer Raj Kishore Sahoo, Grenadiar Amardeep, Grenadiar Bajinder Singh Naik Surjeet Singh, Naik Subedar Lal Chand, Naik Vikram Singh, Naik Yoginder Singh, Rifleman Ansuya Prasad Dhayani, Rifleman Bachan Singh, Subedar Sumer Singh Rathore, Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja, Squadron Leader Rajiv Pundir, Squadron Leader Lal Singh, Squadron Leader Ojha, Zrfn Man Singh,  Kaushal Yadav in the history books of the school curriculum.  The list is illustrative and infact 527 heroes who sacrificed their future for protecting the honour of the Nation….. yes these are some of the names of Indian jawans and officers who made the supreme sacrifice in the battle field of Kargil. 

Kargil Vijay Diwas, is the day  named after the success of Operation Vijay. On this day, 26 July 1999, India successfully took command of the high outposts which had been lost to Pakistani intruders. The Kargil war was fought for more than 60 days, ended on 26 July.  This did result in the loss of lives but not the honour of the Nation.  In remembrance of those heroes  who defeated Pakistan in the 1999 war, this day is to be  celebrated in the Kargil - Dras sector and the national capital New Delhi, where the Prime Minister of India, pays homage to the soldiers at Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate every year.  Years back functions were also organized all over the nation to commemorate the contribution of the Armed forces – do we remember them still !!!!!

We tend to complain for simple things – the life of army men who are protecting the borders providing us the comfort of life is never easy.  They live and survive under most strenuous circumstances with little or no comfort. There is the ice clad Himalayas which would be scenic to a tourist but life out there is extremely difficult.  There are army posts in high glaciers where they would have no companion for kilo meters – some even turn lunatics due to loneliness – there would be gusty winds and chilling temperature.  The terrain of the Kargil and surrounding regions of the LOC is inhospitable in the best of times. Some of the characteristics of the region are jagged heights of up to 18,000 feet and harsh gusts of wind and temperatures plunging to about -60 degrees Celsius in the winter. The battle of Kargil was not fought on land but on the  high altitude peaks and ridgelines most of which are over 16000 ft.; in regions which are dry and extremely cold, snow covered and not the place where humans can survive.  Due to the extreme weather conditions, the armies of either side reportedly were not occupying posts between Sept to April. 

The 1999 Kargil War took place between May 8, when Pakistani forces and Kashmiri militants were detected atop the Kargil ridges and July 14 when both sides had essentially ceased their military operations. It is believed that the planning for the operation, by Pakistan, may have occurred about as early as the autumn of 1998. The spring and summer incursion of Pakistan-backed armed forces into territory on the Indian side of the line of control around Kargil in the state of Jammu and Kashmir and the Indian military campaign to repel the intrusion left 527 Indian soldiers dead and more than thousand wounded.

July 26, 1999 will remain written in gold in the annals of Indian history as a day when the determined Indian forces achieved a glorious victory over the retreating Pakistani army.  It was on this day that the Indian victory over Pakistan was complete. True to its character despite having to pay a heavy price for fighting a war within its territory, the Indian forces allowed the Pakistanis to return across the Line of Control (LoC). It was a gesture which depicted the great Indian tradition of forgiving even the enemy.  There were reports that Pak had chosen to torture and kill the Indian prisoners of War (PoWs), rather than handing them over safely as was done by India through the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

WAR is never to be craved for, it causes innumerable and irreparable losses to both the warring sides.  But no Nation can afford to forget the sacrifices of its warriors.   Kargil has lessons for both, India and Pakistan.   The peaks of Tololing and Tiger Hill once reverberated in Indian news – seemingly shadowed now.  India would remain a peace loving Nation having good relationship with its neighbours but should remember that there are military adventurist army driven Nations who have the propensity to engage in conflicts notwithstanding any episodic peace rhetoric.

The Nation needs to remain prepared and strong militarily and in terms of civil defence measures but should not never get buoyed by war calls.  

Today, is the time, we remember the martyrs of Kargil.  Jai Jawan, Jai Hind

S. Sampathkumar.

I don’t want to write this but :

Today gleaned through some National newspapers in the morning and the headlines read :

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 “  The Hindu”
Government considering law on right to service delivery
Distribution of title deeds to settler farmers to be expedited »
Manmohan, Chidambaram aware of dilution of shares by Swan, Unitech: Raja
Norway killer sourced crusader badge from Varanasi
No compromise on demand for statehood for Telengana : Keshava Rao
Yeddyurappa: I'll abide by party directive
 ‘Pottu' Suresh detained under Goondas Act

26th July 2011 Page 1  -Times of India
2G case: Raja defends himself, seeks to drag in Manmohan, PC
Urban womens average income doubles in 10 yrs
India looks to boost fighter jet strength
Hotel maid goes public, says she wants Strauss-Kahn jailed
Country bombs found at three locations in city
To target Cong on graft, BJP decides to dump Yeddyurappa
President Patil makes her wealth details public
Veerapandi Arumugam in police custody for 3 days

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