Kargil Vij:ay Diwas 2020: Every year on July 26, India remembers the Kargil War heroes
India will observe the 21st anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas on July 26. Named after the successful 'Operation Vijay', Kargil Vijay Diwas is a day when the country pays homage to the Kargil War heroes and celebrates victory over Pakistan in the Kargil War. 'Operation Vijay' was the name given to India's limited war against Pakistan after the neighbouring country occupied the high outposts in Jammu and Kashmir's Kargil in 1999.
On July 26, 1999, India successfully regained command over all the high outposts. The Kargil War was fought for more than 60 days.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that he will speak to the people of the country in his 'Mann Ki Baat' on July 26. Last year, PM Modi had said that the day should be remembered for the "courage, bravery and dedication" shown by the soldiers who took part in Operation Vijay.
Under 'Operation Vijay', the Indian government had mobilized two lakh troops. In the Kargil War, 527 soldiers from the Indian Armed Forces sacrificed their lives. The Kargil War Memorial, built by the Indian Army, is located in Dras, about five kilometre from the Tiger Hill.
India, on July 7, remembered Captain Vikram Batra, the Kargil War hero, on his 21st death anniversary. Captain Vikram Batra sacrificed his life fighting Pakistani forces during the Kargil War. At the age of 24, Captain Batra became the face of the Indian soldier at Kargil, whose words reverberate even today - 'Yeh Dil Maange More..' The soldier took the advertising slogan and elevated it to a motto for life.
Another Kargil War hero, Captain K Nachiketa, was captured by the soldiers of the Pakistani Northern Light Infantry during the Kargil War. He was brutally beaten and tortured. The fighter pilot had been assigned the task of hitting Pakistani posts in Kargil at altitudes in excess of 17,000 feet.
Eight days after he was captured and after intense efforts made by the government of India to secure his release, Captain Nachiketa was handed over to the Red Cross, which brought him back to India. He was greeted by the then President KR Narayanan and former Prime Minister Vajpayee.
For most, this would have been enough to call it a day. But Captain Nachiketa is clearly made of sterner stuff. He could not return to fighter flying because of an injury to his back when he ejected over Kargil but he was able to enter the Indian Air Force's transport fleet and continues to fly giant Il-76 transports.