Kargil Vijay Diwas, named after the successful Operation Vijay, is celebrated in India on 26 July. On this date in 1999 India successfully took command of the high outposts which had been lost to Pakistan. The Kargil war was fought for more than 60 days, ended on 26 July and resulted in loss of life on both the sides. The war ended with India regaining control of all the previously held territory, hence re-establishing the status quo ante bellum. Kargil Vijay Diwas is celebrated on 26 July every year in honour of the Kargil War’s Heroes. This day is celebrated in the Kargil–Dras sector and the national capital New Delhi, where the Prime Minister of India pays homage to the soldiers at Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate every year. Functions are also organized all over the country to commemorate the contributions of the armed forces
Kargil Vijay Diwas History
After the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, there had been a long period with relatively few direct armed conflicts involving the military forces of the two neighbours – not with standing the efforts of both nations to control the Siachen Glacier by establishing military outposts on the surrounding mountains ridges and the resulting military skirmishes in the 1980s. During the 1990s, however, escalating tensions and conflict due to separatist activities in Kashmir, as well as the conducting of nuclear tests by both countries in 1998, led to an increasingly belligerent atmosphere.
In an attempt to defuse the situation, both countries signed the Lahore Declaration in February 1999, promising to provide a peaceful and bilateral solution to the Kashmir conflict. During the winter of 1998–1999, some elements of the Pakistani Armed Forces were covertly training and sending Pakistani troops and paramilitary forces,into territory on the Indian side of the line of control (LOC). The infiltration was code named “Operation Badr”. The aim of the Pakistani incursion was to sever the link between Kashmir and Ladakh and cause Indian forces to withdraw from the Siachen Glacier, thus forcing India to negotiate a settlement of the broader Kashmir dispute. Pakistan also believed that any tension in the region would internationalize the Kashmir issue, helping it to secure a speedy resolution. Yet another goal may have been to boost the morale of the decade-long rebellion in Indian State of Kashmir by taking a proactive role.
Initially, with little knowledge of the nature or extent of the infiltration, the Indian troops in the area assumed that the infiltrators were jihadis and declared that they would evict them within a few days. Subsequent discovery of infiltration elsewhere along the LOC, along with the difference in tactics employed by the infiltrators, caused the Indian army to realize that the plan of attack was on a much bigger scale. The total area seized by the ingress is generally accepted to between 130 km² – 200 km².
The Government of India responded with Operation Vijay, a mobilization of 200,000 Indian troops. The war came to an official end on July 26, 1999, thus marking it as Kargil Vijay Diwas.
527 soldiers from Indian Armed Forces lost their lives during the war.
“Let us salute to all our soldiers who are brave and protect us all throughout the day and night. Let us remember their fights and toil on this day.”
“Freedom in mind. Faith in words. Pride in our hearts. Memories of our souls” Kargil vijay diwas
21 years ago on July 26, Indian army reclaimed all the posts in Kargil under Operation Vijay. We remember and salute the brave soldiers for their courage and determination on Kargil Vijay Diwas 2020.