They Died For Us To Live
On the 11th anniversary of Kargil 'victory', Ashik Kalam wonders if we have done justice to our heroes.
On Jul 26, 2010


Today we celebrate yet another 'Kargil Victory Day'. On the 11th anniversary of that much-celebrated victory over Pakistan is it not high time we pondered- 'Did we really win Kargil?'
Several young lives were laid down at the border so that we could go to sleep at night peacefully and wake up the next day, alive. As we celebrate the 11th anniversary of the monumental victory, is it not time we asked ourselves a few questions: "Have we treated our war heroes with due respect or did they lose their lives in vain?"
Is not our patriotism limited to cheering for our national cricket team and the surge of blood in our veins when an Indian soldier is reported killed by our enemies? We celebrate our heroes, we take pride on their sacrifices- but do we do anything more than that?

Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav, despite being shot at several times and in very hostile terrain, did not give up and fought several enemy soldiers with his bare hands and along with his comrades was instrumental in the capture of 'Tiger Hills'. The capture of the strategic Tiger Hills ultimately paved the way for the Indian victory. Yogendra Singh Yadav was awarded the Param Vir Chakra, India's highest gallantry award, for his exemplary act of bravery which was far beyond what the call of duty demanded.

Yogendra Singh Yadav was lucky to have come out alive.

But what about those who lost their lives? No honours can bring them back or console their families who will forever mourn.
Capt. Saurabh Kalia and five of his sepoys, Arjun Ram, Bhanwar Lal Bagaria, Bhika Ram, Moola Ram and Naresh Singh, of 4 Jat Regiment, were the first to report the Pakistani intrusion on Indian soil. They were taken captive by the Pak troops on May 15,1999. Several weeks later, on June 9, their bodies, mutilated beyond recognition, were handed over to the Indian authorities.  

Capt. Saurabh Kaliya, at the time of his death was just 22, an age when most Indians don't think beyond what movie to watch for the weekend. Kaliya was one of the 527 Indian soldiers killed in the Kargil War; most of the killed were young officers who had just been commissioned.

Can the bereaved father drown his sorrows in pride? It has been 11 years since his son laid down his life for his motherland; NK Kalia is still fighting for justice. He has written several letters to the top brass of the changing Governments at the Centre--to get the heinous act committed by the Pak troops to be declared a war crime by the UN.
To highlight the plight of the war victims, Saurabh Kalia's father has started an online signature campaign (http://www.petitiononline.com/LtKalia/petition.html)
In a letter to the Indian and Pakistan governments and the public, NK Kalia said: "Sacrificing oneself for the nation is an honour every soldier would love to do but no parents, army or nation can accept what happened to these brave sons of India. I am afraid every parent would think twice to send their wards in the armed forces if we all fall short of our duty of safeguarding the prisoners of war and let them meet the fate of Lt. Saurabh Kalia."
Saurabh Kalia
Capt. Saurabh Kaliya

The least our government can do to show their gratitude to the brave soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the nation is to put pressure on the International community and the Pakistan government to bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice. The first step to this could be getting the act declared a war crime by the UN.
Let us say no to violence but why say no to justice? That too justice for someone who sacrificed himself for his motherland.
We called ourselves a resilient community after the Mumbai terrorist attacks. We tolerate everything and do nothing to prevent a repeat of the same incident from happening. Every time a tragedy occurs, promises are made, solutions are offered and that is the end of it.
It is time we showed the world that resilience is not about bearing everything silently, it is also about making sure that such incidents do not happen again.

Though the Indian government has failed to deliver justice and has forgotten the atrocities meted out on our heroes, let us salute those proud sons of India who died so that we could live.


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Ashik, i read many articles which show the concern over our brave soldiers, but you made the difference by writing it in a different angle. Nice article buddy keep it up. Expecting more from you. Good day
Richy , on Jul 27, 2010 10:44:25 AM
Nice one,do keep posting articles of the same stature..
Jose Davis, on Jul 27, 2010 11:44:58 AM
Thanks Ricky and Jose.
Ashik, on Jul 27, 2010 07:25:14 PM
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