The Kargil Vijay Diwas – A Day To Pay Tribute To The Brave Sons of “Bharat Mata” 

The Kargil Vijay Diwas, also known as the Kargil Victory Day marks the celebration of India’s strategic victory against the Pakistani forces, who infiltrated into the Kargil region of Kashmir in May 1999, leading to an armed dispute between the two neighbouring countries.

The Kargil Vijay Diwas, also known as the Kargil Victory Day is an annual observance in India which marks the celebration of India’s Victory against the Pakistani militants during the Kargil War in the year of 1999. The day honours and pays its heartfelt tribute to the brave sons of the Bharat Mata who sacrificed their lives to protect the dignity and integrity of their motherland! 26th July, 2023 marks the 24th anniversary of Kargil War. 

The History of Kargil War of 1999 – A tale of determination, courage and valour

The Kargil conflict between the neighbouring countries of India and Pakistan manifested itself in the form of an armed battle when the Pakistani militants crossed the LOC, the Line Of Control and stepped inside the Kargil district of Jammu and Kashmir ( now part of the Ladakh Union Territory). The prime aim of the Pakistani troops was to gain control of the military and civilian movements around the Kargil region of Kashmir. The Indian Armed Forces, on the other hand, initially mistook these large troops as “Jihadist” , but as certain incidents uncovered in the Kargil region, the Indian Army realised that these “troops” are none other than the Pakistani militants who are trying to gain control over strategic heights in the region. Responding to the aggression, the Indian Armed Forces together launched “Operation Vijay” , with the aim of regaining control of the occupied territory of India along the Line Of Control. The Kargil War began on 03rd May, 1999, with the support of the Indian Airforce’s  airstrike under the name of “Operation Safed Sagar” on May, 26, 1999, with the aim of pushing out the intruders from the Indian soil. The Kargil War continued for approximately three months, from May, 1999 to July 1999, during which the Indian Armed Forces fought bravely with their enemies to gain back the occupied regions. The war finally came to an end on July 26,1999, with the seizure of “Tiger Hill”.

While Pakistan lost to India, the Indian Armed Forces lost 527 of its valiant hearts in this battle, among whom were Captain Vikram Batra , who famously said, “Yeh Dil Maange More! “, Lieutenant Manoj Kumar Pandey, who was posthumously awarded with the Param Vir Chakra, India’s highest military honour! 

The Kargil War of 1999 was not only a test of military might, but also shows the unity of the Indian Nation. The entire country stood together during the tough times in support of the armed forces, and extended a helping hand to the families of the brave soldiers who were fighting relentlessly on the frontlines to protect our motherland. 

As the saying goes, “ Sleep peacefully at your homes, as the Indian Army is guarding the frontiers “. 

The Kargil War Of 1999 – Significance And Importance

On the day of 26th July, 1999, the Indian Armed Forces finally reclaimed all the Indian posts in Kargil along the LOC and announced it’s victory against the Pakistani troops! Since then, Indians observe July 26 as the Kargil Vijay Diwas to pay tribute and honour to the brave soldiers of India who sacrificed their lives to protect our country. Captain Vikram Batra, Lt Manoj Kumar Pandey, Major Rajesh Singh Adhikari, Major Vivek Gupta and others were among the 527 brave soldiers who gave their lives for the country.

Several events are organized on the different parts of our country to pay homage and tribute to our valiant heroes for their acts of bravery and sacrifice. The main ceremony is observed every year on 26th July at the Kargil War Memorial in Drass. 

The Kargil War holds important significance in the lives of Indians. It showed that India is a nation which always stands for its peace and harmony, but is also powerful enough to come forward and fight to protect its national sovereignty and integrity. The Kargil Victory Day is a day of celebration and pride for the Indians. The day is celebrated every year to acknowledge the sacrifices made by our Armed Forces to protect our country from intruders. 

Kargil Vijay Diwas 2023 – Honouring The True Heroes Of The Indian Nation 

This year, on the occasion of the auspicious Kargil Vijay Diwas, a special two-day-long celebration has been organized on July 25 and July 26 to remember the sacrifices made by our nation’s true heroes. The celebration was graced by the presence of our respected Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh, who will serve the occasion as the chief guest. Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi paid tribute to the martyred soldiers of the Kargil War of 1999. Taking to Twitter, PM Modi said, “Kargil Vijay Diwas brings to the fore the heroic saga of those wonderful brave hearts of India, who will always remain an inspiration for the countrymen. On this special day, I bow down and salute him from the bottom of my heart. Long live India!”

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh laid wreath at the Kargil War Memorial in Drass to pay his tribute to the soldiers who lost their lives in the war. Singh also paid a visit to the “Hut Of Remembrance” museum which was established to commemorate the fallen soldiers. 

Army chief General Manoj Pande, Indian Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Anil Chauhan and Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari also laid wreath at the war memorial to pay their tributes.

Four MIG 29 aircraft and three Cheetal helicopters of Army Aviation flew past Kargil War Memorial showering flower petals on the 24th anniversary of the war.

The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath  too paid homage to the soldiers of the Kargil War of 1999.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge tweeted, “Greetings to the valiant soldiers of our Armed Forces, their families and to all the fellow Indians on #KargilVijayDiwas. Salutations to the martyrdom of our Bravehearts who made the supreme sacrifice defending our motherland in the Kargil War. Their unflinching courage and valour shall inspire generations.”

External Affairs minister S Jaishankar and Parliamentary affairs minister Prahlad Joshi also paid tribute to the soldiers.

On Tuesday evening, several people offered their tribute at the Kargil War Memorial along with the Army chief as well as current and former top army officials. To pay homage to the soldiers who lost their lives during ‘Operation Vijay’, 559 lamps were lit — each for a soldier — at the Veer Bhoomi. 

The main ceremony was attended by the several public along with military dignitaries, Veer Naris, Veer Matas, War Heroes of Kargil and the families of the martyred soldiers. The Ladakh Scouts Regimental Centre Fusion Band commenced the celebrations, also known as Shaurya Sandhya, with patriotic songs.

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