War is never good. Only an evil person would welcome it. In an ideal world disputes between nations should be solved through dialogue. Is there any dispute greater than the value of human life itself? Hold this thought.

In the face of aggression, we have a right to defend ourselves. The Kargil war ‘99 was imposed upon us. Earlier in the year, our Prime Minister went over to Pakistan and signed the Lahore Declaration calling on both sides to resolve everything through dialogue.

How naive we were. At the very same time Musharraf and gang where arming the Pakistani infantry and terrorists to invade Kashmir. Cowards. They didn’t even have the guts to wear their uniform.

Caught by surprise, our Jawans fought back. From Kerala to Kohima to Kuch, each and every one of them fought on the hills of Kashmir and Ladakh as one. Many laid down their lives. Young officers, just out of the IMA lead from the front.

I was in my final year of college, I felt so useless listening to macroeconomics lectures when young boys my age where engaged in hand to hand combat at 17,000 ft. On that day I swore, come what may, I will make my life worth what they fought and died for.

They’d promised their families they’d come back soon. They more than kept their word. Went as mere men. Came back as heroes. In coffins. Over a 530 of them at last count. Median age 19 to 35.The grim-faced army officers receiving the coffins, draped in the tricolour, the carriage to the army parade ground, the set-jawed shok shastra farewell salute by steely soldiers.

The silent sorrow of upraised guns, slowly brought, barrel downward, to the ground, left arm tautly extended to the right before retracking, the holding of palm to chest, the sudden dropping of head, the 30-second hushed silence, then the regulation rajnigandha and marigold wreaths from the army and air chiefs, the general officer commanding, fellow officers, the battalion, before the body escorted by a comrade begins its last journey home. Wreathed in white, the colour of the pure; kesariya, the colour and insignia of the brave. Now across mountains, now across rivers, plains. The lines of pain criss-cross the entire nation.

Today, is Kargil Vijay Diwas. A day to honour the brave men, fortunate enough to give their lives for India. Jai Hind!