New Delhi: As India celebrates 20 years of Kargil Vijay Diwas today (July 26), in memory of the jawans who lost their lives in the 1999 war against Pakistan, it is important to know that the day was not celebrated until 2009.

The war ended in 1999. But the then Congress-led government failed to remember the martyrs, until MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar raised it in the Parliament in July 2009.

Chandrashekhar took to Twitter on Thursday (July 25) asking, “Did u know 2004-2009 Cong led UPA did not celebrate or honor #KargilVijayDiwas on July26 till I insistd in #Parliament #ServingOurNation (sic).”

The then defence minister AK Antony reinstated the celebrations of Kargil Vijay Diwas after constant attempts were made by Rajya Sabha MP Chandrasekhar to fix a date for the Kargil victory celebrations. Antony then started the practice of the defence minister visiting the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate in New Delhi. The first celebrations were held in 2009, five years after the UPA came to power. Based on records, the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee celebrated Vijay Diwas during his tenure. He did this through the traditional wreath-laying ceremony at the India Gate. But when the UPA came to power, though they had the precedent of the celebration, they chose to ignore it for five long years.

Chandashekhar’s letter to Antony in 2009 began by saying, "I draw the attention of the Hon’ble members to the 10th anniversary of the victory of the men and women of our armed forces over our enemies at Kargil — on the 26th July.” He also mentioned in the letter that as Indians, it is our duty to remember the sacrifice and duty of these men and women. Here is the detailed letter written by Chandrasekhar in this regard.

After making several requests, Antony replied to Chandrashekhar’s letter by saying, "Keeping in view the precedence and honour of martyrs a homage ceremony will be organised (first time it was organised in 2009) also this year at Amar Jawan Jyothi on July 26, 2010.”
 

Chandrasekhar took to Twitter today to share the highlight of Kargil Vijay Diwas when he met with the “men in uniform”.