Brave officers and Jawans of the Indian Army were engaging the Pakistani enemy in a do or die struggle to dislodge those intruders from the territory of Bharat in Kargil in 1999. The enemy had stealthily occupied the dominating heights of hill tops like Tiger Hills, Tololing and various hill features in Kaksar and so on. The wily and cunning Regular Army personnel gave the appearance of irregular non-state agents to avoid being dubbed as an aggressor. They were well entrenched and well provided for in respect of weapons, ammunition, rations and dry fruits like almonds, raisins, dried grapes etc. Dislodging them was an uphill task.
Initially the Indian infantry had no artillery and air support. The senior commanders had misjudged the strength, and motive of the enemy. The brigade commander of the area in his bravado just said that the Paki intruders were few in numbers and within a couple of days they will be killed or driven away from the Indian territory. “CHADHDI KALA” was his parting byte to the electronic and print media journalists who quizzed him about the border situation.
INDIAN CASUALTIES WERE ALARMING
Our Young Officers and Jawans were just given summary situation brief and ordered to climb up the hill features and dislodge the enemy. It was a major mistake on the part of the senior commanders who did not appreciate the battle situation in an objective manner. They had little intelligence information about the enemy’s weapons, numbers and tactics. Their mistake was a big a blunder as that of the General of the British Army who had ordered the charge of the Light Brigade where six hundred cavalry officers and men rode into the valley of death facing cannon fire in the Crimean War. They knew that the orders were wrong but like good disciplined cavalry soldiers they carried out the orders and not many survived. Lord Tennyson had written about them ” Theirs not to reason why, but to do and die; rode into the valley of death, rode the six hundred”
The Indian casualties in the Kargil war at the initial stages were alarming. Nevertheless, the officers and men of the Infantry obeyed wrong orders given under political and public pressure and laid down their lives for the cause of the country. How appropriate the lines are for the brave dead:
“ How else can a man die better,
Than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his forefathers
And the temples of his gods.”
For the non-English knowing Jawans the rendering into Hindi runs thus:
“ Is-se Achhi Mrityu aur kahan,
Jab Veer Yvodha Home Ho Gaye
Apne Poorvajon Ki Chita-bhasm
Aur Dev Mandiron Ki Raksha Mein.”
Nevertheless an intervention by Yogeshwar Shri Krishna was a sine-qua-non for raising the sagging morale of our fighting forces. Before climbing up the enemy bullet ridden mountainous pathless terrain, the officers and Jawans visited the makeshift temples in tents where the Regimental Pundit narrated the factual stories of Yogeshwar Shri Krishna raising the low morale of the Commander-in-Chief of the Pandav Army, Arjun by his psychological discourses. Krishna Ji capped it up with the memorable lines:
“ Tasmad Uttishth Kaunteya, Yudhai Krit NISHCHAYAH.”
Yogeshwar Shri Krishna exhorted the famous archer, Arjun, saying that if he died he would find an open entry into Heaven. If he won the battle, the entire Earthly pleasures would be his to enjoy. Therefore, arise, O Kunti Putra and fight the battle with Determination.
The officers and Jawans of the Indian Army deeply involved into the battles of the Kargil war now faced the enemy with resoluteness and decimated the invading forces. Mind is the Man. Yogeshwar Shri Krishna’s exhortations to Arjuna were equally applicable to the Indian Army personnel who were up against heavy odds. Once that Determination to annihilate the Paki invaders was generated through the words of Yogeshwar Shri Krishna, there was no looking back and no retreat. It was just an onward march to wipe out the Paki intruders of their regular army.
The morale of the Paki fighting machine and their senior officers and politicians was so low that they refused to receive the dead bodies of their own kith and kin slain by the brave soldiers of Bharat. When the public pressure in Pakistan mounted on the ruling class of politicians they came down on their knees to beg for the return of the dead bodies of those Paki officers who were politically well connected. In the best traditions of the Indian Army, the rest of the slain Paki soldiers were buried with honour as per the Islamic rituals.
How did the savage Pakis behave with Capt Saurabh Kalia and other Jawans of the Jat Regiment when they mutilated their dead bodies -, gouged their eyes and let them rot before handing over to the Indian Army. It was indeed a disgraceful conduct of the Pakistan Army who care little for the age-old traditions of the martial men all over the world. Those savages mutilate the bodies of soldiers who died fighting. Shower Shame on the Paki Generals and soldiers for their cowardly behavior.
Our officers and men are aware of Yogeshwar Shri Krishna’a sayings:
“ NA DAINYAM NA PALAYNAM”
Never beg for mercy of the enemy and Never run away from battle. Indeed this life is a saga of daily battles and we have to win them day after day.
The closing words of the Gita are: “ YATO DHARMAS TATO JAYAH”
Wherever the behavior of an individual or a body of men or women is as per the dictates of the DHARM, there is bound to be Victory. Indeed a laudable close to the great Gita that the Supreme Court of India has adopted as its Credo. The Indian Army too behaved like an Army of a cultured country and that is why the ultimate victory was that of the brave officers and Jawans of Bharat. Let us tread on the path shown by Yogeshwar Shri Krishna in our day to day life and also while waging war with an enemy country to defend our motherland BHARAT.