“India is a cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and great grandmother of tradition. Our most valuable and most artistic materials in the history are treasured in India”
Those were the words spoken by renowned English author who was mesmerized by the diversified culture, heritage and glorious history of India. The largest democracy in the world has free spirit, futuristic ideas and teeming prosperity. The land that has been looted by goons umpteen number of times but is still touted to be one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The land that has given birth to Indian revolutionarieslike Bhagat Singh, Chandra Shekhar Azad, Ram Prasad Bismil and scientists like Homi Bhabha, Vikram Sarabhai and APJ Abdul Kalam.
There have been plethora of unsung heroes of India who have had significant contribution in safeguarding it’s interests. But, very few people know about them. The reason behind this is the lack of awareness among people. Besides that, Indian media always shows news that sells and not the news that spreads knowledge. In today’s day and age the news that is being showcased is just for raking high TRPs and not for spreading awareness. Today the news of the celebrities occupy the shows on primetime and news on unsung heroes of Indiaonly gets showcased on Vijay Diwas, Independence Day and Republic Day. The fact that these heroes don’t get their due recognition saddens me the most. So, here I am going to share stories of such unsung heroes of India.
Who is a hero?
People think that hero is someone who they see on the silver screen every time they watch movies or web series. Hero is the one who saves the heroine from the goons. He is the one who woos the heroine and convinces her to marry him. Are you also one among them? If you are, let me tell you one thing there are people who are working day and night on the borders of the nation. There are people who are ready to happily sacrifice their lives so that the we can remain safe. There are people who have provided their selfless services in the midst of the pandemic. These people have put their lives in danger. Aren’t these people the real heroes? Isn’t the one who fights with utmost grit, dedication and valor for nation’s safety a hero? Isn’t the one keeps nation’s interests above his own, a hero? Yes, indeed they are the true heroes. They are the unsung heroes.These are the people who deserve recognition.
Stories of these people can inspire Indian youth to work for the betterment of the country.
What makes a person a hero?
People don’t become hero in a day. It takes blood, sweat and tears to become a hero. People who want to serve the nation never think of being revered by people. They just do their duty with utmost sincerity, dedication and honesty. Their only aim is to safeguard nation’s interests. Heroes are the people who go beyond the call of their duty. Hero doesn’t necessarily have to fly or jump off the buildings to save people. Heroes are people who rescue people from buildings that catch fire, people who give selfless treatment to the ailing people, people who are ready to happily sacrifice their lives for safety of their nation. For becoming hero, one needs to keep nation’s interests above their own. Heroes can only see what they want to achieve and nothing else. Heroes are the people who are ready to walk an extra mile for the helping people who are in need. These people don’t work for their selfish motives they work for uplifting people. To become a hero, one needs to work for betterment of people not for getting recognized. Let’s have a look at stories of some of these heroes.
Heroes of Kargil War
The Kargil war was fought between neighboring countries- India and Pakistan. The war started in May when infiltrators entered the Indian territory. The war went on for three months and ended with India’s victory. Lot of Indian soldiers lost their lives in the war. Vijay Diwas is the day when Indian leaders pay homage to the fallen soldiers of Kargil War. Many people have either forgotten or aren’t aware about their stories. So, let’s have a look at stories of some of those soldiers. To know more about other such heroes- refer to- War heroes of India
SherShah of Kargil: Captain Vikram Batra.(PVC)
Captain Vikram Batra was born on 9thSeptember 1974 in Himachal Pradesh. He has spent his entire childhood in town of Palampur. He was third child of his parents. Captain was immensely popular in his school. He was good in academics as well as co-curricular activities. He also got conferred with the honor of Best NCC Cadet of North India. His patriotism and urge to do something for the nation made him join the armed forces. Interestingly he had been selected for a job in merchant navy in Hongkong but he rejected the proposal as he wanted to part of Indian Army. After clearing the entrance exam, he joined Indian Military Academy. In the academy, he got commissioned as Lieutenant. His first posting was in the town of Sopore, Baramullah District, Jammu and Kashmir.
In 1999, when the Captain had just completed a Commando Course, Pakistan had waged war against India. He had come home to celebrate the festival of Holi with his family in his hometown. Whilst his stay at his home, he went to a café to have a cup of coffee with his friend. They were having a conversation where his friend told him that he will have to go whenever they call him.
To which he replied,
“Don’t worry, I will either come back after hoisting the Indian flag or return wrapped in it, but will come back for sure.”
These words of the Captain brought chills down his friend’s spine. Couple of days later, Captain received orders to move to Kargil. Days after receiving the order, he was told to capture point 5140. He tasted his first fruits of success after capturing point 5140. Couple of days later, he was ordered to go to another point to capture it. His next operation was one of the most tedious ones. On the night of July 7, Vikram and his battalion began climbing the hill. The enemy got to know that Captain was is coming, after which they intensified their attack. Captain, along with his friend, Anuj Nayyar went on for hand-to-hand combat. The mission was going to be aborted, but a fellow member of Captain’s team got injured. Captain went to rescue him. Under heavy fire, he managed to kill five soldiers of Pakistan’s Army in the way of reaching to the injured soldier. He had just reached and was lunging to carry his friend, when he was hit by a bullet in his chest. Vikram was promoted the post of Captain on that fateful day. He was conferred with India’s highest military honor, Param Vir Chakra, posthumously. Captain’s grit, determination, valor and strength made him one of the greatest army officers of the nation.
Captain Anuj Nayyar (MVC)
Captain Anuj Nayyar was born on 28thAugust 1975 in the town of Delhi. His father was a professor in Delhi School of Economics. His mother worked as librarian in South Campus library of Delhi University. His finished his schooling from Army Public School in Delhi. He was among the best students of his school. He graduated from NDA (National Defense Academy) in1997. He got his first posting in 17thBattalion of Jat regiment.
Captain’s unit was deployed near LOC. In 1999, the units deployed near LOC got to know about the infiltration by Pakistani’s military force. His first mission was to capture point 4875, which also known as Pimple 2 and is located on the western side of Tiger Hill. The eviction of the Pakistani troops from 4875 was crucial to capture Tiger Hill. Captain was ordered to fight against the Pakistan’s troops without aerial support of Indian Airforce. In the nascent stage of the mission, the commander got severely injured and had to be evacuated. Anuj was immediately promoted to the post of Captain. Pakistan’s Army had put bunkers on the point 4875. Captain’s team was able to locate four of them. Captain went on for hand-to-hand combat with Pakistan’s troops. Captain was successfully able to destroy three bunkers but when he went on to destroy the last bunker, he got hit by grenade. But, he still managed to destroy the last bunker before succumbing to his injuries. None of the soldiers of Captain’s unit survived the battle. Captain was conferred with country’s second highest military honor, Maha Vir Chakra, posthumously.
First Martyr of Kargil War: Capt. Saurabh Kalia
Capt. Saurabh Kalia was born on 29thJune 1976, in the town of Amritsar, Punjab. He completed his schooling from a school in Palampur, Himachal Pradesh. He then completed his graduation from Himachal Pradesh Agricultural University. He gave the entrance exam for joining the armed forces. He passed the exam with flying colors and got commissioned in 4thBattalion of Jat regiment in 1999. In the first week of May 1999, the areas near Kargil were being inspected, so if the snow had retreated enough the positions could be re-occupied. Kalia, who at that time, held the position of Lieutenant got to know about the infiltration of Pakistani militants. On 15 May 1999, Kalia, along with five other soldiers went to protected the infiltrated areas. Soon after they got there, they got engaged in firefighting with the Pakistani militants. But, unfortunately lack of ammunition led to a failed attempt at killing those militants. Kalia and his men were held captive by the Pakistani troops. After their capture, Indian Army got to know about the infiltration at Kargil.
Kalia and his men were held captive from 15thmay to 7thJune, 1999. There bodies were handed over to India on 9thJune. When the bodies were sent for post-mortem, they were in terrible condition. Through the report, Indian government came to know that they had marks of cigarette on their bodies, their ear drums were pierced with hot iron rods, their genitals were cut and their had been punctured before being removed. They were brutally tortured and assaulted before being assassinated. More than 20 years have passed by, Captain father is still fighting so that his son can get justice. The day Captain and his men were assaulted, humanity had died with him.
Squadron leader Ajay Ahuja, (VC)
Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja was born on 22ndMay in 1963, in the town of Kota, Rajasthan. After completing his schooling, he later got enrolled in NDA(National Defense Academy). After graduating from NDA he was posted as fighter pilot in Indian Air Force. He used to fly MiG-23 and variants of MiG-21. In 1997, he had shifted his base to Bhatinda. There his was commissioned as Commander of Squadron No.17, Golden arrows.
During the inception of Kargil war, he was part of operation Safed Sagar. Just as he was about to take flight, he was informed that Flight Lieutenant Nachiketa had ejected himself due to engine breakdown. He decided to find out his fellow officer. He fought against all the odds to locate the crashed plane and the missing officer. When he found out the location of plane and officer, he sent the information to mission control room.
But, unfortunately during this time, his plane gets attacked by Stinger missile. Due to this attack, engine breaks down, due to which officer decides to eject. But when he tried to eject himself, he failed miserably. The Pakistan’s troop took leverage of miserable condition of the officer. They took him to Pakistan and tortured him . He remained there as Prisoner of war. On 29thMay 1999, his body was handed over to Indian Army. He was conferred with Vir Chakra, posthumously for his valor, undying strength and determination.
Major Rajesh Singh Adhikari (MVC)
Major was born on 25thDecember 1970, in town of Nainital, Uttarakhand. After completing his schooling and graduation, he got commissioned into IMA(Indian Military Academy) at the tender age of 23. After working for 5 years in various areas, he got deployed in Jammu and Kashmir during the Kargil War. Owing to infiltration of Pakistani militants in the valley, Indian army was ordered to launch an attack on the infiltrators. The first such attack took place in Tololing. Then after Operation Vijay was launched after Captain Saurabh Kalia goes missing. On 30 May 1999, Major was ordered to capture Tololing. Major was leading the team that was trying to capture bunkers at Tololing. While doing so, he got hit by two mutually supporting bunkers. He immediately took the rocket launcher and went on with one-to-one combat with bunker and killed two infiltrators.
Thereafter he got his Medium Machine Gun and started attacking. Despite of getting severely injured, he kept on fighting. Despite of getting the order to evacuate himself, he engaged himself in the fight with the militants. He destroyed the second bunker and captured point 4590 at the Tololing. Major, unfortunately got succumbed to his injuries and took his last breath after winning the first battle of Kargil war, the battle of Tololing. Major was conffered with the second most prestigious gallantry award, MahaVir Chakra, posthumously.
Major M. Shravanan
Major M. Shravanan was born on 10 August 1972, in town of Rameshwaram, TamilNadu. He was son of army officer Lt.Col Adi Marriappan. His father was a doctor of the armed forces who had died in an accident. He was part of Indian Peace Keeping Force during Operation Pawan in Srilanka. Major Shravanan during his graduation, got enrolled in NCC(National Cadet Corps). He was a C- Certificate holder in NCC. He got commissioned in OTA (officers training academy), Chennai. His posting was kept at different places before the Kargil war broke out. During the war, he was told to capture point 4268 in Jubar Ridge, which is situated on the western side of Batalik Sector. This sector was the second highest point after Siachen.
After two failed attempts, he launched attack for the third time. This time was went for frontal attack. He killed two militants by firing a rocket launcher, but while doing so, got hit by shrapnel. His commanding officer told him to fall back, but he refused to do so. He went on to kill two more Pakistani Soldiers. He was the first to reach the top after killing the militants. But when he reached there, he got hit by bullet. His unit captured the point after a couple of days. But, Major’s body was recovered after 37 days of his death. He was the first officer to get martyred after the inception of Operation Vijay. His body was brought in the aircraft with tri-colored drape on it. He was conferred with VirChakra posthumously. The award was given to his mother by then president KR Narayanan.