Bangaloreans will definitely recall those dangerous days of 1999, when Pakistan Army clandestinely occupied some extremely sensitive areas in Kargil region of Ladakh, overlooking the strategic Srinagar-Leh road, threatening to choke the Army garrisons in Ladakh and Siachin sector into surrendering/ vacating those areas.
The country thereafter watched with bated breath, as TV reporters brought the valiant counterattacks by our valiant soldiers into our homes through extensive TV coverage. Precariously working their way up along steep slopes, well-covered by murderous machine gun fire, our soldiers did not let down their countrymen’s expectations.
Slowly, but surely, the operations progressed till the last Pakistani soldier had either been killed or evicted from the area. The day of this success is 26 July 1999, which is referred to as the ‘Kargil Vijay Divas’.
In this battle, 527 of our soldiers died, and 1363 were seriously injured. But they delivered on what the motherland tasked them for.
Bangaloreans also know that first ever War Memorial called ‘National Military Memorial’ is coming up on Chowdaiah Road next to Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain near Raj Bhavan. For past four years, we the Ex-service Men community, have been attempting to popularise the concept of the citizenry’s commemoration of valour. The theme is that the citizenry rather than just the Faujis, should actually be commemorating/ celebrating the achievements of the sons of the soil who perform valorously in defense of the motherland but did not come back from the battle field.
So, we feel that there is a need to spread awareness about our brave soldiers, in schools, colleges, clubs etc. India has plenty of these. One can even name them, say Kargil- Shaurya; 65 Ops-Asal Uttar, 62 ops – Balidaan, and 71- Vijay. These are landmark days in the life of our country, when our Armed Forces toiled to preserve territorial integrity and unity of India.
Now, what can you do to commemorate the valour of our martyrs? Yes, you can plan get together at convenient places like, schools, colleges, work places, clubs or even gather at National Military Memorial to offer silent prayer, lay wreath at the feet of unknown soldier, listen to retired soldiers/airmen/sailors who took part in a particular battle, or simply light a candle? It is your country, your Armed Forces and they were your brethren who laid down their lives for your welfare.
If you want any help, there are many ex-service men to step forward.
I Love My India