[dropcap]M[/dropcap]any army men and soldiers gave away their lives in the Kargil War of 1999 to uphold Indian’s defence against Pakistan’s splinter shower. To them, duty for their country was always on the top of their priority list. The months of May-July in 1999 saw Indians losing sons, fathers and brothers at the battlefield in Kargil.
To honour the brave hearts who sacrificed their lives for their country, the whole nation unites on July 26 for Kargil Vijay Diwas and pays respect to them. It has been 19 years since the bloodbath during the Kargil war, scarred our memories but the tales of bravery have always been the motivator for our forces and the citizens.
On the occasion of Kargil Diwas, here are some anecdotes from the martyrs’ families that reflect their unconditional love for the country.
Captain Vikram Batra
Referred to as Sher Shah for his fearless attitude, Captain Vikram Batra was posthumously awarded the Param Vir Chakra. He rose to the situation for his country while displaying unparalleled courage on the front.
He had plans of marrying his girlfriend, Dimple Cheema, once he came back from war.
During an interview with Quint, Dimple expressed her undying love for the man who shaped her life.
“Not a single day in the past 17 years, have I felt detached from you. It feels as if you are away on a posting. I feel so proud when people talk about your accomplishments. But along with that there is some regret in the corner of my heart. You should have been here, sharing, listening to the stories of your brave deeds, of how you are inspiration to the youth of today. I know in my heart that we are going to meet again, it’s just a matter of time.”
Lance Naik Nirmal Singh
Singh’s wife Jaswinder Kaur, shared the ultimate sacrifice of her husband, only 5 years after their marriage. Naik left behind a son, who was 3 at the time and his uniform, which has been a source of hope for the family since then.
‘‘It (his uniform) was his honour and is now my constant companion. I wash it and iron it regularly and hold it whenever I look for some direction. A true soldier’s uniform is like a lighthouse for me. I’ve treaded on the path of bringing up my son to be a true soldier’s son.”
Captain Vijayant Thapar
At the young age of 22, when most of us perplexed about the motive of our lives, Thapar had already sacrificed his life for his motherland. His act of bravery brought immense pride to his family, which has a legacy dating back to three generations.
In 2016, his father, Colonel (retired) Vijendra Thapar climbed 16,000 feet to fulfill his last wish to sit on the mountain rock where his son was martyred, fearlessly fighting against the Pakistani infiltrators.
Vijendra believes that his son will be an inspiration to young to the Army aspirants for years to come.
“Young men like Vijayant did what the nation expected of them – their duty. Actually, the war at Kargil brought the best in the Indian nation – those like Capt. Vijayant, who fought bravely and fell honourably to redeem India’s sanctity and the countrymen who showered their love and their support for the brave hearts. We, of course, feel proud of what he has done, but losing a young son is painful and we go through it every day of our life.”
Captain Anuj Nayyar
The 24-year-old jawan didn’t have a second thought before laying his life on the battlefront, in pursuit of his nation’s victory.
Owing to his marksmanship, his team achieved major advantage for India with the capturing of Tiger Hill, following which the enemy forces withdraw from the battle. He was posthumously awarded the Mahavir Chakra.
While talking to his Deccan Herald, his father shared the memories of his son which shows that Nayyar was had reached the epitome of the fearlessness way back in his childhood days.
“When Anuj was in Std X, he met with a severe accident where the muscles of his leg were torn completely from the knee to the toe. As a 16-year old, he went through 22 stitches without anesthesia. He told me that ‘pain lies in the brain not in the leg.”
Major Rajesh Singh Adhikari
Major Adhikari left for the border with his held just after 10 months of his marriage in service of his country. One of the last letters from the Major to his wife stressed on the possibility of him not coming back from the battlefield. His wife, Kiran, was pregnant at the time and wrote back to him but this was the letter that the soldier thought of reading once he had successfully completed his duty.
The letter which Adhikari missed out on read:
“It doesn’t matter if I deliver a baby girl or a boy, if you come back I shall be happy and if you don’t I shall be proud to be a martyr’s wife, but one thing I would want to promise you via this letter that I shall not just show them Kargil but will also ensure they too become a soldier like you.”