People from all over India came together to remember and honour the sacrifices of our Armed Forces on the occasion of Kargil Vijay Diwas today.
Members in both Houses of Parliament, whether from the government or opposition, began the day’s proceedings with a moment of silence to pay respect to the soldiers and martyrs who fought to repel a Pakistani incursion in Ladakh 24 years ago.
President Droupadi Murmu said all the countrymen remember the victory achieved by the extraordinary valour of the country's armed forces on the occasion.
"Today, on the glorious occasion of Kargil Vijay Diwas, all the countrymen remember the victory achieved by the extraordinary valor of our armed forces. On behalf of a grateful nation, I pay tribute and bow to the memory of the fighters who paved the way for victory by sacrificing their lives to protect the country. Their heroic stories will always inspire generations to come. Jai Hind!," Murmu tweeted in Hindi.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also paid tributes to soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice for India's victory in the 1999 Kargil war.
Kargil Vijay Diwas brings to the fore the bravery of India's unparalleled warriors who will always remain a source of inspiration to the people of the country, the prime minister said in a tweet in Hindi.
During a two-day commemoration event in Ladakh's Drass, Indian Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande interacted with veterans, 'Veer Naris', gallantry award recipients and locals and conveyed his gratitude on the eve of the 24th anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas.
On July 26, 1999, the Indian Army had announced the successful culmination of ‘Operation Vijay’, declaring victory after a nearly three-month-long battle at the icy heights of Kargil, including super-high-altitude locations, such as Tololing and Tiger Hill.
"On the eve of #KargilVijayDiwas 2023, General Manoj Pande #COAS interacted with #Veterans, #VeerNaris, Gallantry Award Winners and Awam of #Dras and #Kargil and conveyed his gratitude. A mesmerising display of military bands and cultural performances showcasing the rich and diverse culture of #Ladakh was also showcased during the event. #IndianArmy," the Army tweeted.
Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh visited the Kargil War Memorial in Drass and paid tributes to soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the 1999 war.
Singh laid a wreath at the memorial. He also visited the tombstones near the memorial placed in memory of the fallen soldiers.
“I salute our brave sons who put nation first and sacrificed their lives during Kargil war,” the Defence Minister said.
The Kargil War saw soldiers of the Indian armed forces fight in the most challenging terrain under harsh weather conditions leading to the defeat of the enemy in Drass, Kargil and Batalik sectors.
The Indian National Congress also paid tributes to the soldiers, with party chief Mallikarjun Kharge saying their unflinching courage and valour shall inspire generations.
"Salutations to the martyrdom of our bravehearts who made the supreme sacrifice defending our motherland in the Kargil War. We are proud of them. Their unflinching courage and valour shall inspire generations," Kharge said in a tweet.
Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi also paid tributes to the Kargil heroes.
"On Kargil Vijay Diwas, salutations to all the brave soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice while protecting India's border. The country will always be indebted to them," Gandhi tweeted in Hindi.
The Congress said Kargil Vijay Diwas is a symbol of the amazing valour and determination of the brave sons of the country.
"It was on this day that the bravehearts of Mother India had hoisted the tricolour after driving the enemies out of Kargil on the strength of their indomitable courage," the party said in a tweet in Hindi.
"The whole country is proud of the heroes dedicated to protecting the motherland," the Congress said.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath paid tribute to the soldiers who died during the Kargil war at an event organised by the Kargil Shaheed Smriti Vatika in Lucknow. He tweeted, “Hearty congratulations to all the people of the state on 'Kargil Vijay Diwas', a great symbol of Indian Army's unmatched valour, incredible efficiency, unwavering discipline and the lofty spirit of Nation First! Hundreds of salutes to all the immortal sons of Mother India who sacrificed their everything in the service of the nation!”
The Kargil War was fought in the summer of 1999 against Pakistan regular forces, who had infiltrated and occupied winter vacated posts on the Indian side of the Line of Control (LoC), violating an unwritten agreement. The operation cost the Indian Army 527 lives, in whose memory the commemorative function is held every year.