As the 20th anniversary of the success of the Kargil war — that started in May and ended in July of the year 1999 — is being celebrated across the country, here are some key points that helped India win the key battle against its neighbour Pakistan.
Win at Tiger Hill
The capture of Tiger Hill proved to be extremely fruitful, not just in terms of army movement but also for the rest of the people across the country as they saw the entire movement being televised live through media channels.
After over 7 hours of scaling the high peak in complete darkness, the Indian Army managed to engage with the Pakistani soldiers and fight back to recapture the peak. This action took the opposition by surprise and helped the Indian Army recapture the post.
Soon enough, Tololing peak and the surrounding ridges that overlooked the vital Leh-Srinagar highway were also recaptured. By 8 July, the army had moved its might to the Batalik heights which Pakistan had occupied in the hope of severing Leh from the Valley.
"The recapture of Pt 4875 was pivotal during Operation VIJAY and 13 JAK RIF had achieved the impossible during this battle. No one can forget Captain Vikram Batra who had decimated the enemy through his heroic acts and the famous 'Dil Maange More' which had the entire nation fall in admiration of this war icon," the defence ministry said in a release.
"Another battle which had aroused national fervour was the battle of Tiger Hill in which the troops of 18 Grenadiers had valiantly fought and evicted a well-entrenched enemy playing havoc on them. It was sheer resilience and determination of these bravehearts who were undeterred by the enemy firepower and were willing to go the extra mile to dislodge the enemy from their positions," the release read.
Coordination by the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force — Vajpayee's win
Then prime minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee deployed the air force to help win the Kargil war. Unbeknown to most, the navy also had a major role in helping to recapture the peaks and roads that were taken by the opposition army, militants and infiltrators. The country allowed the use of air power to demoralise infiltrators and inflict damage to bunkers and tents occupied by them.
India also moved its naval forces near Karachi to threaten Pakistan with a blockade. US's army, that was present nearby, also moved out of the way to help the Indian Navy. Safed Sagar, the Indian Air Force's operation, was also a major part of the Kargil war.
The media and live telecast were also the reasons for the great victory at Kargil. India realised that international attention to Kashmir is an advantage to some extent. Kargil was India’s first televised war, and the country made use of the media to garner a favourable response, both domestic and international.
The role of the media in shaping domestic and international opinion regarding Kargil is evident in the headlines of major Indian newspapers printed during the time. Such narratives helped strengthen not only the international pressure on Pakistan, but also build confidence within the nation to help win the war.
Commemorating 20 years of the Kargil War, the Indian Air Force has turned its Gwalior airbase into a conflict theatre, with a dramatic re-enactment of some of the milestones of the operation in 1999.
A number of events have been planned by the Indian Army in Delhi and Dras in Jammu and Kashmir next month to mark the 20th anniversary of the Kargil Vijay Diwas, officials said. The anniversary celebrations for this year will be spread over three days from 25 to 27 July.
The celebrations in the national capital begun on 14 July with the illumination of a "victory flame" at the National War Memorial, which would then be taken through 11 towns and cities to finally reach Dras, an official had said.
Updated Date: Jul 26, 2019 07:37:58 IST