UPA didn’t celebrate Kargil Vijay Divas from 2004-09 apparently because it was ‘BJP’s war’

On 26th July 1999, India came out victorious in the Kargil conflict by recapturing all the Indian posts in Kargil sector, which had been illegally occupied by the Pakistani army. This was considered a major victory for the Indian Army and since then 26th July has been annually celebrated as the Kargil Vijay Diwas.

But as it turns out, the erstwhile UPA government was not very enthused by the victory and as claimed by Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the government did not officially celebrate it from 2004-2009 i.e. during the UPA-1 tenure.

Incidentally in 2009, the Congress party’s MP Rashid Alvi was quoted as saying that he saw no reason to celebrate the Kargil victory. According to the report, Alvi stated that Kargil wasn’t a thing to be celebrated as the war was fought on our own territory. He further stated that it was the NDA which may only celebrate it (the war was fought when NDA was in power).

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The government might have continued not celebrating it, had it not been for the efforts of MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar. On 21st July 2009, he had written to the Secretary General of the Rajya Sabha to seek permission of the Chairman for mentioning the Kargil Vijay Diwas as a matter of public importance in the Upper House on 23rd July.

In the accompanying text he drew the attention of the Honourable Members to the 10th anniversary of the Kargil victory. He stated that the day represented not just the victory of the country, it also represented the inspirational sense of duty and sacrifice by the thousands of men and women of the armed forces.

He then appealed to the Ministry of Defence and the Government of India to memorialise the day and celebrate it every year. He also appealed to his colleagues to stop making a mockery of it by opposing it on the grounds of it being a ‘BJP war or something’.

His efforts bore fruits when in 2010 he received a letter from the then Defence Minister AK Antony, who in view of the precedence and to honour the martyrs, stated that a homage ceremony would also be organised that year at the Amar Jawan Jyoti:

Two days after today, Mr. Chandrashekhar will introduce a resolution in Parliament seeking Parliament’s support to declare Pakistan a terror state, which he believes will be a homage to the soliders who sacrificed their lives for the nation.

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