Rahul Gandhi visits Kargil: Read how Congress insulted war heroes

Rahul Gandhi visits Kargil: Read how Congress insulted war heroes


Rahul Gandhi, who is presently undertaking a tour of the Union Territory of Ladakh, is scheduled to deliver a public address on 25th August 2023. The location for this rally is the Kargil region, which is gearing up for upcoming elections. The upcoming elections for the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) in Kargil are slated to take place. In these elections, the National Conference (NC) and the Congress will be joining forces as allies in the contest. Rahul Gandhi is reaching Kargil on 24th August 2023.

Kargil is more known to people because of the 1999 Kargil War. At this time, it can be recalled what Congress has said about the war earlier. Congress has not only meant the Kargil war’s win a victory to be celebrated only by the NDA, it also refused to celebrate the Kargil Vijay Divas when it was in the government during the UPA-1 years 2004 to 2009. Besides, Congress leaders also called it a BJP war during the 1999 general elections. Congress leader Sonia Gandhi also made hues and cries over an inquiry of the war first and then over the members of the inquiry committee. Here is a brief account of the stand Congress took about the Kargil War.

Congress accused the Indian government of prolonging the war for political advantages

In 1999, the Congress party cited a news article published in The Guardian to support its claim that the Vajpayee government – which was in power at the time of the Kargil war – had reached an agreement with the Pakistan government regarding the Kargil conflict nearly three weeks prior to the cessation of hostilities. The Congress alleged that, according to The Guardian’s report, even after the agreement had been reached, the Vajpayee government prolonged the conflict for political advantages, at the expense of the lives of Indian soldiers.

Despite its vigorous attempts to depict India’s resounding military victory over Pakistan and its unparalleled diplomatic achievements in the Kargil conflict as a “loss” and a “failure,” the Congress party failed to persuade any Indian newspaper or media outlet to portray India as the defeated party and Pakistan as the triumphant one. Therefore, the Congress resorted to relying on a report derived from Pakistan’s then Information Minister, Mushahid Hussain’s dubious propaganda and published in The Guardian, as a means to criticise the Vajpayee government. A detailed account of this incident and its background was described by Kanchan Gupta in an article he wrote in 1999.

Congress politicised the Kargil War issue by demanding a Rajya Sabha session

Sonia Gandhi and her party Congress also demanded that an emergency session of the Rajya Sabha be held when the war was going on. To support her claim, she said that Jawaharlal Nehru had called a similar session in 1962 when India was facing China in a war. While raising her demand, she told the media, “If Panditji could call a session then, why can’t a session be called now? We need to discuss Kargil.” Nevertheless, the Congress party refrained from participating in the all-party meetings convened by the Prime Minister to deliberate on the Kargil conflict.

Congress called India’s victory in the Kargil War a defeat and asked for an inquiry

The Congress party called for an investigation into the government’s perceived “failure” during the Kargil war. When confronted with the fact that the Indian Army had emerged victorious in the Kargil war, associates of Sonia Gandhi responded by saying, “The army may have won, but the government has lost.”

When the government established a committee to examine all facets of the Kargil conflict, the Congress criticised the inquiry by raising doubts about the credibility of the individuals entrusted with the task of conducting the investigation.

Congress disrespected the heroes of the Kargil War for years after coming to power

For years, since the Congress government came to power in 2004, the party refused to celebrate Kargil war heroes. In 2017, Rajeev Chandrashekhar, BJP MP posted a tweet in which he shared a letter dated July 2009 asking the Congress party in power to remember the sacrifices of the soldiers during the Kargil War.

In the letter, he reminded the Congress Party about the sacrifices of the soldiers. He said, “I believe the actions of the men and women of our armed forces in that conflict and every other conflict deserve our respects and salutes. I appeal to the Ministry of Defense and Government to memorialize this day and celebrate it every year.”

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

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 an homage ceremony would also be organised that year at the Amar Jawan Jyoti.

Congress leader called the Kargil War a BJP war

MP Rashid Alvi, in 2009, said that there is no reason India should celebrate Kargil Vijay Diwas as it was fought in our territory. Only the National Democratic Alliance may celebrate it as it was its war (and not India’s). The attitude of the Congress government towards the fallen soldiers was painful not only for the families of the soldiers but also for every patriotic Indian.

Congress’ former MoS Home Affairs forgot when the Kargil War was fought

At the time when Congress MP Rashid Alvi said that the Kargil war was an “NDA war” to celebrate and that there was no need for Congress to celebrate, former minister of state for home Sri Prakash Jaiswal couldn’t even remember when the Kargil war was fought and won. Asked about Vijay Diwas, he wanted to know when the day was celebrated.

Siddaramaiah’s Congress government in Karnataka showed apathy towards Kargil war hero

In 2018, the then-Karnataka government led by Congress and its associates under CM Siddaramaiah failed to recognize the importance of a Kargil war hero. Col MB Ravindranath took his last breath at the age of 59 in Bangalore. The then Commanding Officer of 2 Rajputana Rifles, Col Ravindranath was famously known for taking back the Tololing Top from the Pakistani aggressors during the 1999 Kargil war. The government of India awarded him Vir Chakra.

Siddaramaiah government’s apathy over his death miffed everyone. While his government provided full state honours to late journalist Gauri Lankesh during her funeral, not even a single government official came for Col Ravindranath’s funeral.

Kamal Nath’s Congress government in Madhya Pradesh omitted the Kargil War from the college syllabus

MVM Science College stands as one of Bhopal’s long-standing educational institutions, offering a curriculum that includes a program on Military Studies. Following the Congress party’s assumption of power in Madhya Pradesh in 2018, when Kamal Nath became the chief minister, the sections dedicated to the Kargil War were eliminated from the syllabus for the academic year 2019-20. The BJP claimed that these chapters were removed under the influence of the Congress government, alleging that the intention was to suppress the narrative of the heroic victory against the enemy during Atal Behari Vajpayee’s leadership.

As Rahul Gandhi plans to visit Kargil and hold a public meeting and deliver a speech there, it should be noted that however patriotic he may sound while praising the armed forces or sympathising with the people of Ladakh, his family and his party both have a long record of questioning the valour of the Indian Army and the opposing the Indian state’s official stand in the middle of the war just for the sake of politicising the issue.


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