Jammu, Jul 26: General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) Northern Command, Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi on the occasion of Kargil Vijay Diwas said that the armed forces have exhibited unparalleled selfless devotion to duty, sacrifice, valour whenever called upon and the forces are ready to offer supreme sacrifices if needed to protect the nation.
Addressing a ceremonial press conference in Drass, GoC-in-C of Northern Command Lt General Upendra Dwivedi said, “The entire nation is bowing down to the valour and victory of the Indian Army. Through Kargil Vijay Diwas, we remember their sacrifices with a sense of gratitude.”
Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi added that every soldier of Indian Armed forces will stand steadfast in his ‘Dharma’ of protecting the nation and if need be, make the supreme sacrifice beyond the call of duty.
The Kargil “Vijay Diwas” (victory day) is celebrated every year to commemorate India’s spectacular victory over Pakistan on this day in 1999.
“Kargil Vijay Diwas commemoration is our way of remembering and reliving the saga of heroism and sacrifices that stand apart as a lesson to each citizen and motivate youth to achieve the greater good,” the northern Army Commander said.
“My similar message to the citizens of the country is every soldier of Indian Armed forces will stand steadfast in his ‘Dharma’ of protecting the nation and if need be make the supreme sacrifice beyond the call of duty,” he added.
Lt Gen Dwivedi also urged the youth to take inspiration from this legacy and the deeds of the brave hearts be retold through stories so as to inspire future generations of the country.
He maintained that since Independence whenever called upon, the Indian armed forces have exhibited unparalleled, selfless devotion to duty, sacrifice and valour.
“Needless to say, the nation too is deeply indebted to the sacrifices made by our brave hearts,” he said.
The northern army commander said in 1999, the infiltrators including the Pakistan regulars had occupied certain ridge lines on this side of Line of Control and evicting these heavily armed infiltrators from the defensive positions became a national priority.
“It was then that the brave hearts of the Indian Armed forces responded with alacrity and unique characteristic of nation before self. Braving unprecedented hardships, overcoming hazardous of near impossible terrain and surpassing the challenges of climatic conditions, Indian Armed forces accomplished the task,” he said.
Earlier, the main event was held at Kargil War Memorial, Dras wherein Feroz Ahmed Khan, Chief Executive Councillor Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, Kargil was the Chief Guest. The major events of the celebrations included the conduct of cycle rallies, one from Siachen to Kargil War Memorial and second from Delhi to Dras (a joint rally initiative by Indian Air Force and Indian Army), two motorcycle expeditions, one flagged off by the Vice Chief of Army Staff from Delhi to Dras, while the second from Turtuk to Dras, an ultra-marathon run by Sufiya from Siachen to Dras and mountain expedition by Bachendri Pal and team (who summited 37 passes from Arunachal Pradesh and reached Dras).
‘Kargil Victory Flame’ was moved through the entire area of Northern Command finally reaching Dras.
These events culminated at Kargil War Memorial paving way to a grand ceremony, with multiple cultural and ceremonial programmes paying homage to the fallen brave hearts.
The final commemorative event at the Kargil War Memorial commenced with the flagging in of ‘Kargil Vijay Diwas Motor Cycle Rally’ and the ‘Victory MotorCycle Rally’ which had commenced from the National War Memorial, New Delhi on 18 July 2022 and Turtuk on 20 July 2022, respectively.
This was followed up by wreath laying by Air Marshal Shreekumar Prabhakaran, AOC-in-C, Western Air Command, Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi, GOC-in-C, Northern Command, Lt Gen Anindya Sen Gupta, GOC, 14 Corps and other military dignitaries.
The day concluded with a team of brave Sikh soldiers giving a scintillating display of ‘Gatka’, a martial arts form with its roots in Punjab. The soldiers performing this art form are part of a battalion that had taken active part in the Kargil War and they had come all the way from Andaman & Nicobar Islands to be a part of the event.
Commemoration of the Kargil War is not merely a revisit to the war account but showcasing of the indomitable spirit, unflinching dedication and selfless service displayed by soldiers. Each story of the war is a saga of honour, courage and sacrifice which is an example to the youth of the entire Nation to emulate and strive to make this Nation stronger. It is also about sharing with the Nation and World at large as to what ‘Being a Soldier’ means.