Bengaluru: India is celebrating 20 years of Kargil Vijay Diwas as sacrifices of the jawans who lost their lives in the 1999 war against Pakistan are remembered fondly. But did you know Kargil Vijay Diwas was not celebrated until 2009?

Though the war ended in 1999, the martyrs were never remembered by the then Congress-led government, until MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar raised it in the Parliament in July 2009.

“Did u know 2004-2009 Cong led UPA did not celebrate or honor #KargilVijayDiwas on July26 till I insistd in #Parliament #ServingOurNation (sic),” Chandrasekhar tweeted on


After constant attempts of Rajya Sabha MP Chandrasekhar to fix a date for the Kargil victory celebrations, the then defence minister AK Antony finally reinstated the celebrations of Kargil Vijay Diwas and started the practice of the defence minister visiting the Amar Jawan Jyoti at the India Gate in Delhi. In 2009, five years after the UPA came to power, the first celebrations were held, thanks to Chandrasekhar.

However, there are records that Vijay Diwas was celebrated by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee during his tenure, through the traditional wreath-laying at the India Gate. So when the UPA came to power, they had the precedent of the celebration — which they chose to ignore for five long years.

Back then in 2009, Chandrasekhar had written to the Antony, "I draw the attention of the honourable 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.

At last after making several requests, Antony confirmed that, "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.”