Every anecdote of the long battle of Kargil is filled with the might and valour of the Indian Army. Every year, on the 26th of July, the Kargil Vijay Diwas is observed throughout the nation.
However, very few people are aware that the current Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, visited Kargil during the conflict to speak with the soldiers and pay tribute to the Indian Army.
During that time, he was in charge of Himachal Pradesh and the General Secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Prem Kumar Dhumal, former chief minister of Himachal Pradesh, still gets emotional as he recounts the Kargil Yatra incident.
While narrating the incident to the Statesman, The former Chief Minister said, “On July 2, 1999, the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee went to the border ignoring all security threats.” He patted all the jawans who were fighting for the country. During that time, Narendra Modi was in Shimla. He was then in-charge of Himachal Pradesh. When we heard about Atal ji, we discussed it, and we also made plans. We reached Srinagar on July 4th by helicopter, carrying medical and other necessary items for the soldiers. We were scheduled to visit Kargil on July 5th. Dr. Farooq Abdullah was excited that the Chief Minister of another state had agreed to go to the border in the midst of a fight. When we reached Kargil, there was still shelling.
He recalled one of the heart-tugging incidents, saying that at that time, he met a family. They were three brothers. I was talking to my elder brother. He said that the middle brother was martyred and that the youngest one had gone to join the army. I went into shock for a moment. I offered him Rs 5 lakh, but he returned Rs 2.5 lakh, saying many more families needed that too.
Narrating one episode with Modi in the Srinager camp where all the injured soldiers were admitted, he said that we were meeting all the soldiers one after another and giving fruits and sundries to everyone. Everyone was taking them in their hands. Then we reached a bed where the soldier did not take any of them . We thought maybe he was upset or very much in pain. We went ahead. Just then, an officer came running. He told us that the soldier did not have arms and legs; he lost both in the blast and then we went back to the same soldier.
52 brave soldiers from Himachal Pradesh attained martyrdom in the Kargil war. Kargil Vijay Diwas is a very important day for all Indians. In 1999, the Kargil War broke out between the armies of India and Pakistan, lasting approximately 60 days and ending on July 26th. India won the war. Kargil Vijay Diwas is celebrated to pay respect to the Indian soldiers who were martyred in this war.
While going on and on with incident after incident, the Former CM said that there are a numerous number of events which took place with us and stunned us as normal citizens of this country. While unfolding one more example of the Indian Army’s courage and strength, he described that, while we were going from one camp to another medical camp, we were asking about the health and medications of the soilders and how difficult and painful this would be for them. Then in between, one of the soliders replied, “There is no pain , because yesterday we won Tiger Hill, sir. Now there is no pain.”