Why Celebrating Kargil Vijay Diwas Is Important For Every Indian

Celebrated on 26 July every year, Kargil Vijay Diwas honors the heroes of the Kargil War. Operation Vijay, launched by mobilizing 200,000 Indian soldiers of the Indian army and air force, to repulse Pakistani intrusion into the Indian border of Kargil – Dras gained success on this day. The Kargil war was fought for more than 60 days and hundreds of Indian soldiers sacrificed their lives to protect the Kargil border. People pay their respects to the war heroes at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate every year and many functions are organized in the Kargil-Dras sector and other parts of India.

The historical perspective

 Kargil War

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In May, 1999 Pakistani Intrusion was reported by local shepherds. What was thought to be an incursion into the Indian border by militants turned out to be a well-planned offensive by the Pakistan army to gain control of the only road link between Srinagar and Leh. They had captured strategic locations within the Indian border. The Indian Armed Forces had the difficult task of uprooting the Pakistani army from India. The Indian soldiers rose to the occasion and displayed their bravery and military acumen in the 73 day war. The Indian Air Force co-ordinated with the army to defeat the infiltrators. The entire operation was executed by staying within the LOC. The armed forces gained control of all the Pakistan invaded peaks, the last on 26th July. The victorious Indian army displayed great finesse during Operation Vijay. 527 gallant Indian soldiers lost their lives in this war, and 1363 were seriously wounded . As a sign of gratitude to these slain warriors, Kargil Vijay Diwas is observed on 26th July every year, to remind every Indian citizen that a soldier is a national asset to whom the motto “Nation Before Self” is dearer than life itself.

How do they celebrate it?

Kargil War Memorial

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Several events are planned at army centers around the country to mark Kargil Vijay Diwas. Soldiers pay their respects to their colleagues who laid down their lives in the line of duty, and those who were tortured to death by the Pakistani army. The three army chiefs lay wreaths at the Amar Jawan Jyoti in New Delhi as a solemn mark of respected to the martyrs of the war. Wreaths laying ceremonies are held at the “Ashwamedh Shaurya Stal” in Nagroth. Army bands pay tribute by sounding the bugle. Candles are lit at the Kargil War Memorial. The Western Command celebrates it in Chandigarh with a wreath laying ceremony. The next of kin of the martyrs and award winners are felicitated. Schools around the country remember the supreme sacrifice of the soldiers by watching documentaries on the war and enacting plays.

Special Programs held around the world or in a region

Kargil Vijay Diwas

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The primary celebrations start in Dras where Army personnel pay their respects by means of floral and musical tributes. The Northern Command chief initiates the proceedings. In the capital, the Defence Minister, along with the three army chiefs pay homage to the courageous soldiers at the Amar Jawan Jyoti Memorial. Veterans of the war and the families of the martyred soldiers hold of place of honor in the memorial salute and celebrations. Various events, such as a marathon in 2015, are organized. In the evening, pipe and brass band displays are held, followed by a beating retreat ceremony. At the Kargil War Memorial, people of all faiths and religions offer prayers for the brave soldiers.

How people prepare for it

‘samadhis’ of soldiers B.K. Sudhir and G.Sharath

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Soldiers from all parts of the country were involved in Operation Vijay. The ‘samadhis’ of  soldiers B.K. Sudhir and G.Sharath are honored with wreaths and a two-minute silence is observed. People from different walks of life gathered together to honor the two heroes.

Every Indian must be proud of the exemplary courage, indomitable spirit and irrepressible valor displayed by the Indian soldiers in the Kargil War. Soldiers are the nameless heroes who think nothing of self-sacrifice for the greater good. Kargil Vijay Diwas is significant to all Indians as a day to remember our brave heroes who guard our borders with dedication and courage.

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