We salute all our men and women in uniform on this #KargilVijayDiwas… These are people who seem to be made of a different mould than the rest of us; who’s commitment to the nation and its people, determination to protect us and to sacrifice their all for our territorial integrity… it is uncommon and it is the stuff that heroes are made of. The conviction to guard our borders with everything that they have, in the harshest of conditions, put them in a league of truly extraordinary individuals and never was this more in evidence than during the Kargil War.

The heroes a nation looks up to

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The Kargil War threw up heroes such as Capt. Vikram Batra, Lt. Manoj Kumar Pandey, Grenadier Yogender Singh Yadav, Rifleman Sanjay Kumar and so many others; some who paid with their lives for the freedom we enjoy today, and others who managed to triumph over death itself.

The fauji – an Indian first and last

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Nothing deterred these soldiers who worked in tandem with others of different faiths and different regions. Differences in culture, language and background become completely immaterial when the fauji works towards protecting an idea; an ideal.

Complete commitment, utter clarity

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It was the mission that mattered. All else was secondary. This clarity of thought and purpose was what gave these extraordinary men their astonishing courage and phenomenal strength to literally achieve the heroic heights that they did.

He inspired a generation

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Capt Vikram Batra was the quintessential Kargil Hero; who died on the battlefield and someone who personified the determination, the guts and glory that went into winning this covert/overt war fought against a shadowy enemy.

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When he said “Yeh dil maange more” an entire generation sat up to take notice of the constant sacrifices that are made defending our borders.

The cruelest of conditions

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It was a war fought in the cruelest of conditions, against an entrenched enemy in the most treacherous of terrains where most operations were conducted uphill, often by scaling sheer ice and rock faces with the enemy having a bird’s eye advantage.

Against all odds


These were victories won against all odds; by sheer grit, determination and a never say die spirit. Is it any wonder that this war; particularly the Battle of Tololing and the recapture of Tiger Hill inspired so many films such as Lakshya, L.O.C. and others?

Doing whatever needs to be done

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It was never easy. The danger was always extreme, but what had to be done had to be done.

The worst of disasters

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The Indian Army, Navy and Air Force rise to the occasion regardless of the type of threat we face; natural or manmade  –flood, earth quake, tsunami, landslide – and are always willing to risk their own lives for the sake of others.

Selflessness and honour

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There were no incentives for what they did. They did what they did because they believed it was the right thing to do.

These words encapsulate it all


Kyaa log the wo deewaane

Kyaa log the wo abhimaani

Jo shahid hue hain unki

Zaraa yaad karo qurbaani

This article is a part of a series on the brave hearts of the Kargil War – these are heroes India has either forgotten about or has never heard of. This series is our tribute to our country’s men and women in for of Kargil Vijay Divas (26 July)