In the summer of 1999, footage from the corrode-filled, lonely Kargil battlefields was the first broadcast into our living rooms – it was the nation’s first conflict to air in prime time. Nearly two decades passed, but has the War continued to exist only in the Memorial at Drass, forgotten behind blankets of snow? Or did it impact lives in ways that their families never looked the same? What is the impact the war left on the hearts of those who lived to tell the story? How has popular culture celebrated it? Here is a look back:
To commemorate India’s victory in the Kargil War of 1999, Kargil Vijay Diwas is observed on July 26 each year. High-altitude battles throughout the war displayed the bravery of our nation’s soldiers, and Kargil Vijay Diwas is honoured annually to remember their sacrifice. In order to mark 23 years since India’s triumph over the territory, we track down how social media is celebrating Kargil Divas.
Kargil War 1999
Commander Ramanamurthy B (Retd.), Indian Army, took to Twitter to share his story. Having served in the Madras Regiment for 21 years, he currently works at Zen as a Subject Matter Expert for infantry weapons.
Although the Kargil War was a success for India, Ramanamurthy’s town thought that he was not alive. Since telephonic communications were unavailable at that time, he communicated via satellite phone that he was not dead, relieving his family members. After retiring he joined Zen’s defence company. Likewise, The Indian Army’s DFR P. Gopal Reddy, a retired general, also served in the Armoured Corps. He is employed by Zen as a Tank Simulators Subject Matter Expert.
There have been numerous conflicts in South Asia since British authority ended there in 1947. Since their inception, Pakistan and India, two significant South Asian nations, have been at war with one another issue.
When soldiers on leave volunteered to return to their units during the Kargil War, putting the safety of the Nation before anything else, they were living examples of the “Chetwode Motto.”
“It’s been 23 years since I left my parents’ home for further studies and life has shown me lots of ups and downs. Had travelled with army personnel when the Kargil war still going on. So many stories to tell, all in my heart and mind,” tweeted @akhaware, who, according to his bio, loves to freeze the moments around him in real-time, through photography.
Another tweet talked about an expedition team which visited a government school at the Khardung village in order to lend its ear to the children narrating the stories of the Kargil war soldiers. It read, “Sura Soi Sappers Cycling expedition team visited Khardung Govt School, where they interacted with children and narrated stories of Kargil War Heroes. A painting competition was also organised by the team in the school.”
On the anniversary of their passings, others remembered Captain Vikram Batra and Anuj Nayyar. In the Kargil conflict, they gave their lives in order to save our homeland. Their heroic tale of selflessness and devotion to duty will always be remembered. A lot of these stories have been immortalised in form of films such as Shershaah, Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl, Lakshaya, LOC and so on.
Suggested Reading: Female Army Officer Who Served In Kargil War Shares Shares Her Story
Every year we pay tribute to the courage of the soldiers who put the call of the duty above everything else and to that of their families, who lost their loved ones but never lost their dignity. While it is important to show respect, in a world where war is everywhere commemorating our war heroes acts as a reminder of what a war costs. While no one can bring the dead back it is important to remind ourselves why we should not route for war.