… and yet another anniversary of the success of Operation Vijay, of the Kargil fame comes around, on 26 July, 2013. (Trivia: there are
26 errrm… 24…spokes on the Ashoka Chakra which graces the middle of our Tiranga 🙂 – Thank you Hrishikesh for the correction!)While there is jubilation of the success of our Soldiers’ feat in hostile territory in even more hostile conditions, there is a sombre sense of loss, of a deep deep R.E.S.P.E.C.T. for them, and a sense of betrayal at the ineptitude of the Government Machinery back then, and even now, as episode after similar episode flares.
Looking at the trailers of D-Day (I presume it has something to do with the militant nature of our response, and therefore good film material, seeing that it may never come to reality :/), I wonder at how we almost came to head-on conflict before it was scuttled away. There were rumours aplenty, and hope had risen, though, definitely, definitively, violence is never the answer. However, the urge to kick some ass, sorely tries the patient Indian’s patience no end. And yet we have silent, silenced leaders leading us into God only knows what!
Fourteen years on, I think of those times when the mountains were in all of our homes, through the highly televised goings on, and wonder, has our patriotic fervour dimmed a bit? Are we back to blather and more blather?
I have a class of young teenagers who were perhaps born the year Operation Vijay took place. They have NO idea, till they are involved in the activity of making class presentations, through displays and decorations, about the significance of this day.
Still I am glad there is an opportunity for them to find out. Even if it be a sort of wager with others.
Something, anything at all, will be learned. At least the faces of Capt. Vikram Batra, Lt. Manoj Pandey, Grenadier Yoginder Singh Yadav and Rifleman Sanjay Kumar will egg them on. And they will find within them a sense of belonging with those who did, and dared, and dreamed and selflessly kept our faith in them.
Salutes, O Heroes.
The Param Vir Chakra Awardees, of Operation Vijay:
Lt. Manoj Pandey
Capt Vikram Batra (of the ‘Yeh Dil Mange More’ cry)
Grenadier Yoginder Singh Yadav (look out for him, marching ahead of the Parade on Republic Day 🙂 )
Rifleman Sanjay Kumar
And closer home, very very close to home, a martyr whose family is known to us, at school –
Lt. Col. Viswanathan
(Both his children have been part of our School. Anjali and Akshay. Anjali is now a qualified Engineer (from NUS, Singapore), and on her first job 🙂 Akshay starts his integrated MSc. in Photonics sometime now 🙂 )
A sort of compilation of the bare essentials regarding all of them has been compiled into this document, that you can download and read, if you wish, and share it wherever you’d like to:
(click on the link above and it will download – do let me know of any erroneous facts there – all of it has been sourced from the internet)
Our deepest gratitude to the soldiers, and indeed their families. We can never thank them enough.
25 July, 2013, for 26 July, 2013 (Vijay Diwas, 1999)