Kargil: India's first televised war, says Advani

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New Delhi, Mar 30 (UNI) Kargil was India's first war with television accessible to Indian homes, said Leader of the Opposition L K Advani in his memoirs 'My Country, My Life'.

This enabled much of what was happening on the battlefield to be watched by people across the country, he added.

''The mood of national unity, solidarity and self-confidence witnessed was truly unprecedented,'' the former Deputy Prime Minister said.

He also said there was no Hindu-Muslim tension anywhere in India during the Kargil War in 1999.

''The martyrs belonged to all castes, creeds and regions of the country, and were a source of inspiration to one and all.'' Paying glowing tribute to the relatives of the soldiers, Mr Advani said the fortitude of the near and dear ones of the martyrs was no less inspiring.

The BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate said victory in the Kargil War was one of the finest hours in the annals of India's armed forces.

Defending India on the highest battlefield in the world with temperatures dipping to even below minus 15 degrees Celsius, accentuated further by the wind chill factor and forbidding terrain, was extremely challenging, he added.

Initially, Mr Advani said Pakistani attackers had a relative locational advantage since they had occupied the heights from where they could observe Indian soldiers in their line of sight.

As such, the Indian Army had to mount many frontal assaults, which often resulted in a hand-to-hand combat with the enemy.

''In spite of all these odds, our armed forces, displaying indomitable spirit, grit and determination, evicted every single enemy soldier from our territory and regained every inch of land from Pakistani occupation.

''Finally, after 74 days, 'Operation Vijay' became vijayi (triumphant) on July 26, 1999, which is celebrated each year as Kargil Victory Day,'' Mr Advani said.

UNI AG AKJ AS1736

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