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On a clear, cloudless night we see millions of stars. People believe that the men who die in a battlefield for the cause of protecting the country transform into stars after achieving martyrdom. Whether it is a reality or a myth we don’t know, but one thing we are certain that these brave hearts who laid their lives for their country definitely become stars for their countrymen. These are the special stars, which shine brighter than the stars in the sky.
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Shaheed Capt. Vikram Batra, Shaheed Lt. Manoj Pandey, and many other officers and soldiers who laid down their life to safeguard our borders are such stars. It was during the summer of 1999, Place of action was Kargil. Indian army had a daunting task of recapturing the bunkers from the infiltrators. and our army was on the back foot as the enemy was huge in numbers and at the advantageous positions i.e. at the top of the mountains, but our soldiers were not short of bravery.
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Capt. Batra laid down his life while saving life of his subordinate, whereas Lt. Pandey sacrificed his life while clearing the bunker area in Batalik Sector for the promise which he made to his commanding officer Col. Lalit Rai. Both of these officers posthumously got Param Vir Chakra, India’s highest gallantry award of war time.
How many of us remember these real stars? We remember birthdays, marriage anniversaries and several other minute details of our favorite celebrities, because of the glamour attached to them. Most of us remember the number of runs Sachin scored in his international career, or the number of movies Shahrukh Khan has done in his career till now, but do we remember the count of our soldiers who martyred in Kargil war? I guess none of us or may be few of us exactly know this answer.
As per official data India lost 537 soldiers during this war and 1363 wounded.
Government should also play active role in making youth know about these brave heroes. Stories of their bravery should be included in the text books, so that coming generations should know the sacrifice which these warriors made for keeping the sovereignty of this country intact.
The cloud of glamour overshadows the deeds of the brave soldiers. But one thing we should never forget that clouds cannot prevent stars from shining.