22nd Kargil Vijay Divas: Operation Vijay And The Brave Soldiers
Today marked the 22nd Kargil Vijay Divas in India. July 26 is celebrated as the Kargil Vijay Diwas to commemorate the victory of Operation Vijay in India since 1999.
According to the history, the "Operation Vijay" was launched by the Indian Army to recapture the Indian territories from Pakistani intruders in the Kargil-Drass sector in 1999.
Each year, the anniversary of this operation is celebrated across the nation to show respect and gratitude to the brave soldiers of India who laid down their lives to re-capture all positions that had been seized by the Pakistan Army.
The famous Kargil War took place between May 3 and July 26 in 1999, in the Kargil district of Kashmir and along the Line of Control (LOC).
Although India eventually won the war by regaining control of all the previously held territory, re-establishing the status quo ante-bellum, the 60-day long war resulted in the loss of several lives on both India and Pakistan.
A host of events and functions are organised all over the country to commemorate and honour the contributions of the great Kargil War heroes who laid down their lives to safeguard our country.
Here are few things that we must always remember about the great victory of India over Pakistan in 1999.
- The Kargil war was fought in 1999 between India and Pakistan in Kargil, Ladakh. In order to clear the Kargil sector of infiltration by Pakistani soldiers and Kashmiri militants on the Indian side of LOC, India launched 'Operation Vijay'.
2. This Kargil war of 1999 with Pakistan after 1971 had led to the formation of Bangladesh as a separate country.
3. The war took place despite the two nations signing the Shimla Agreement that stated that no armed conflict shall take place on the said boundary.
4. As India witnessed television grabs of its army men in Kargil fighting Pakistan, 'Operation Vijay' was termed successful on this day 22 years ago when India won a decisive victory. However, PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee declared the operation successful on July 14 and the operation was officially declared closed on July 26, 1999.
5. The Indian Air Force's operation, Safed Sagar, was a major part of the Kargil war. It used air power at the height of 32,000 feet for the first time. From identifying the Pakistani troops and Mujahideens to interdiction, all the actions were performed well by the pilots and engineers despite just one week of training.
6. Reports also said that Kargil is one of the most recent and infamous examples of high-altitude warfare i.e wars that are fought on mountainous terrain. Such wars are considered more dangerous due to the rough terrain and natural habitat.
7. It was the first war between the two nuclear countries which was widely covered in the media.
8. India lost more than 500 military men on the Kargil territory while reports from Pakistan stated that more than 3000 of their soldiers, mujahideens and infiltrates died.
9. The Kargil War memorial wall in Dras which was built by the Indian Army has inscriptions of all the Indian soldiers who lost their lives in the war. The Memorial also has a museum with documents, recordings and pictures of the Indian soldiers that fought the Kargil War of 1999.