Celebrating 21 years of victory in the Kargil War
July 26, 2020 marks the 21st anniversary of the Kargil Vijay Diwas. On this day, India became successful in its military operation named ‘Operation Vijay’ in Kargil. Operation Vijay’s objective was to reclaim the India occupied territory – Tiger Hill – which was invaded by the Pakistani troops. Kargil Vijay Diwas is a day that reminds us of our soldiers’ gallantry and devotion for the nation.
The Kargil War at a glance:
- The war lasted for a total of three months, extending from May to July of 1999 in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kargil district.
- In the midst of rising tension between neighbours, the flashpoint occured when Pakistani soldiers disguised as militants infiltrated into India and occupied the Kargil region, stationing themselves at Tiger Hill situated in Drass-Kargil area of Ladakh.
- Positioning themselves at the higher location gave the Pakistani troops a strategically advantageous position during the war.
- Indian army in response to this infiltration launched “Operation Vijay” to reclaim its territory .
- On July 26, 1999 after almost three months of fighting, the Indian army won the war against the Pakistani troops. But the victory came at a cost, with the death toll on the Indian side being 527 and around 450 on the Pakistani side.
- After the war the government of Pakistan initially denied its involvement claiming that all the people at the border were ‘Kashmiri rebels’. However, it later awarded its soldiers medals for the Kargil war, which cleared the air about their involvement.
- To this day, The Kargil War remains the only instance where two countries with nuclear capabilities engaged in direct, confrontational warfare.
- Some of the noteworthy films inspired by the Kargil war are Border, Lakshya, L.O.C Kargil, Mausam, and Tango Charlie.
|Param Vir Chakra||Grenadier||Yogendra Singh Yadav||18 Grenadiers|
|Param Vir Chakra||Lieutenant||Manoj Kumar Pandey||1/11 Gorkha Rifles|
|Param Vir Chakra||Captain||Vikram Batra||13 JAK Rifles|
|Param Vir Chakra||Rifleman||Sanjay Kumar||13 JAK Rifles|
|Mahavir Chakra||Captain||Anuj Nayyar||17 Jat|
|Mahavir Chakra||Major||Rajesh Singh Adhikari||18 Grenadiers|
|Mahavir Chakra||Captain||Gurjinder Singh Suri||12 Bihar|
|Mahavir Chakra||Lieutenant||Balwan Singh||18 Grenadiers|
|Mahavir Chakra||Naik||Imliakum Ao||2 Naga|
|Mahavir Chakra||Captain||Keishing Clifford Nongrum||12 JAK LI|
|Mahavir Chakra||Captain||Neikezhakuo Kenguruse||2 Rajputana Rifles|
|Mahavir Chakra||Major||Padmapani Acharya||2 Rajputana Rifles|
|Mahavir Chakra||Major||Sonam Wangchuk||Ladakh Scouts|
|Mahavir Chakra||Major||Vivek Gupta||2 Rajputana Rifles|
What is the Param Vir Chakra?
The Param Vir Chakra (PVC) is the highest gallantry award for officers and other enlisted personnel of all military branches of India. It is awarded for the highest degree of valour in the presence of the enemy. Introduced on January 26, 1950, this award may also be given posthumously.
Derived from Sanskrit, the phrase ‘Param Vir Chakra’ translates to ‘Wheel (or Cross) of the Ultimate Brave’.
A recipient of the PVC, can be awarded the same a second time if they happen to perform an act of bravery again. For every such additional act of bravery, an additional Bar shall be added, it may also be awarded posthumously.
The PVC is the equivalent award of the Medal of Honour in the United States, and the Victoria Cross in the United Kingdom.
One amongst the luminous recipients of this honour was Flying Officer Nirmal Jiit Singh Sekhon, who was awarded the Param Vir Chakra posthumously in 1971. He is the lone Indian Air Force officer to have been honoured with the Param Vir Chakra till date. All the other recipients are from the Indian Army.
Source: India Book – A Reference Annual
What is the Maha Vir Chakra?
The Maha Vir Chakra is awarded for acts of conspicuous gallantry in the presence of the enemy whether on land, at sea or in the air.
The following categories of persons are eligible for the Maha Vir Chakra:
- Officers and men and women of all ranks of the Naval, Military and Air Forces, of any of the Reserve Forces, of the Territorial Army, Militia and of any other lawfully constituted Armed Forces.
- Matrons, sisters, nurses and the staff of the Nursing Services and other services pertaining to hospitals and nursing, and civilians of either sex serving regularly or temporarily under the supervision of any of the above-mentioned forces.
Source: Gallantry Awards
The Indian Army is the pride of our country and Kargil Vijay Diwas is one such day that reminds us of the grit and valour of the brave soldiers who fought and even sacrificed themselves to uphold and safeguard the integrity of the entire nation. We salute the Indian Army for their courage and acknowledge our everlasting debt to them. Jai Hind.
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