It has been 14 years since the Kargil war, but the memory of the bloodshed remains fresh in the minds of the brave soldiers, who responded to the call of duty and defended the country’s borders, and their families.
Colonel Vijay Bakshi is one such war hero who put his duty ahead of himself and his family. Serving in the third battalion of the Punjab Regiment, Colonel Bakshi and his men were the first to report infiltration from across the border in 1999. The Army launched Operation Vijay to clear the region of infiltrators.
It is to honour the success of this operation and the sacrifice of all the soldiers that July 26 is celebrated as Kargil Vijay Diwas, said a spokesperson of the Flags of Honour Foundation (FOH), a non-profit organisation, which organised a walkathon in Bangalore on Friday to mark the day.
Fighting chiefly in the Batalik sector, Colonel Bakshi was among those who survived the war but saw the martyrdom of their fellow soldiers.
Life for Suman Bakshi, his wife, has not been a bed of roses. When the war broke out, Ms. Suman was in Kargil. “I was there with my children and we stayed in the bunker for one whole day as there was bombing and shelling everywhere. We were taken away from Kargil at night when the firing ceased,” she recounted while speaking to The Hindu.
However, she does not complain. “When the going gets tough, the tough get going,” she said. “I respect the Army ethos and I am proud of it even if it has meant raising my family alone for so many years,” she said. Ms. Suman, who is also a daughter of an Army man, finds her husband to be cut out for the life of an Army man. A tough man with no room for sentiments or emotions, Colonel Bakshi believes in the Bhagavad Gita verse which calls upon people to do their duty without attachment to results.
Colonel Bakshi, who serves in Bangalore now, gave a motivational speech to around 300 youth, who participated in the walkathon from Freedom Park to National Military Memorial.