How Tololing was Recaptured; A Tribute to Kargil War Heroes by Aditya Bakshi
Soldiers are born warriors. And they are made too. They put the country before everything else. They are bereft of what we enjoy as common citizens. They have a family. Every time they meet, they leave with a promise that they shall come back soon. Hope is what their family banks upon. Time and again, while many live up to this hope, many come back in coffins as heroes and martyrs. In war, fighting naxals, and countering terrorists at the border! Survivors breathe with renewed zest to defend our motherland and further weave sagas of heroism. And the legacy of warriorhood continues!
May to July 1999, Kargil War! Every true Indian will experience goose bumps at the very utterance of this phrase. What started with Pakistani intrusion in Kargil reported by local shepherds on 3rd May resulted in continuous conflict and war until it came to an end on 26 July with Indian Army announcing complete eviction of the Pakistani intruders. Aditya Bakshi in his documentary film Turning Point at Tololing realistically revives the memory of this war through use of advanced animation techniques.
Three major phases of the Kargil war was witnessed. The first was the infiltration of Pakistani forces into Indian Kashmir and their occupation of strategic locations. This enabled the enemy forces to be within range of the first primary national highway in Jammu and Kashmir – NH1, for its artillery fire. The second phase was discovery of this infiltration by Indian security forces followed by mobilization of forces to check it. The third and final phase involved major battles by Indian and Pakistani forces. Indian Army recaptured the territories held by Pakistani forces. India won the war and Pakistan withdrew its forces from the Indian territories. This war saw the winning strategies of our armed forces being put to action. It saw the martyrdom of many of our soldiers.
Turning Point at Tololing by Aditya Bakshi and Aditya Horizons Productions LLP transports the viewers to the actual war! Through path breaking use of 2D/3D animation and VFX effects, this touching documentary depicts battle scenes realistically. This is unprecedented in Indian War Documentaries. This documentary film by Aditya Bakshi is the 5th part of a series on The Famous Battles of India.
The war story in the film is narrated by Maj Gen GD Bakshi. This heartwarming documentary of bravery and sacrifice will be aired on Epic channel on the eve of Kargil Vijay Diwas on 26th July.
In the words of GD Bakshi, “Tololing was a decisive turning point that changed the whole course of operations in the Kargil War. Before that we had no victory. After this we knew no defeat and there was simply no looking back. In 1999 we had been taken by complete surprise. Our initial estimate was that there were just a handful of terrorists on these heights. Hence in the beginning we launched hasty and uncoordinated attacks without acclimatizing the troops or mustering adequate artillery support. We suffered heavily. 18 Grenadiers was one of the units that paid a very steep price.”
“However these probing attacks helped us fix the enemy and ascertain his strength and dispositions. We realized with a shock that there were five battalions of Pakistan’s Northern Light Infantry Regiment in these gaps. Finally a fresh Division – the 8th Mountain division was brought in.”
“2 Raj Rif, led by the legendary Col M B Ravindranath Vrc was to spearhead the attack on Tololing. A120 guns were massed for this attack. The fierce pounding shattered the Pakistani morale and left them dazed and disoriented. 2 Raj Rif attacked from two directions. The initial attack drew all the enemy attention away from the South East Spur. It was a fiercely fought battle but yard by bloody yard – 2 Raj Rif fought their way up to Tololing Top and drove out the Pakistanis.”
“The Pakistanis launched a number of counter attacks but could not dislodge the determined attackers. By first light on 13 Jun1999 Col Ravindranath gave the success signal to his Brigade HQ. It was his fortieth birthday. The nation owes a great deal to 2 RAJ RIF and its intrepid Commanding Officer.”
“Col Ravindranath passed away recently, un-mourned and unsung – forgotten by a thankless nation – that lionises its soldiers and heroes only in times of war and forgets them in peace.”
Colonel Magod Basappa Ravindranath was one of India’s greatest war heroes, who played an instrumental role in bringing victory for India in one of the toughest battles of the Kargil War. Right from his first posting in Arunachal Pradesh to serving Jammu and Kashmir on three different occasions to his final venture in the 1999 Kargil War, Col Ravindranath exhibited exemplary courage.
As Commanding Officer of the 2 Rajputana Rifles, Col Ravindranath was at the forefront of operations to recapture Tololing point that had fallen under control of Pakistani forces. The battle at this point lasted three weeks. It was one of the toughest battles ever fought by the Indian Army. A number of Indian soldiers attained martyrdom until Tololing point was recaptured.
According to Indian official figures, 527 of our jawans attained martyrdom in the Kargil war. 1,363 soldiers were wounded and one soldier was taken as prisoner of war. While one fighter jet crashed, one helicopter and one fighter jet were shot down. As per Indian claims, around 1200 Pakistani soldiers died in this war and over 1000 wounded. 249 dead bodies of Pakistani soldiers were recovered in the Indian territory.
Col Ravindranath’s paramount bravery in the Kargil war won him a Vir Chakra in 1999. Among other warriors who were awarded Vir Chakra were Captain Haneef-u-ddin (posthumous) of 11 Rajputana Rifles, Major Mariappan Saravanan (posthumous) of 1 Bihar, Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja (posthumous) of Indian Air Force, and Havildar Chuni Lal of 8 JAK LI. Havildar Chuni Lal was also awarded Sena Medal for gallantry and posthumously awarded Ashoka Chakra as a Naib Subedar. Param Vir Chakra awardees were Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav of 18 Grenadiers, Lieutenant Manoj Kumar Pandey (posthumous) of 1/11 Gorkha Rifles, Captain Vikram Batra (posthumous) of 13 JAK Rifles, and Rifleman Sanjay Kumar of 13 JAK Rifles. Amongst Maha Vir Chakra awardees were Captain Anuj Nayyar (posthumous) of 17 JAT Regiment and Major Rajesh Singh Adhikari (posthumous) of 18 Grenadiers.
Turning Point at Tololing by Aditya Bakshi and Aditya Horizons Productions LLP is a tribute to Col Ravindranath and all the soldiers who fought bravely against the enemy Pakistani forces in Kargil War. The film is a homage to all martyred in the war.
My India My Glory salutes the endeavor of Aditya Bakshi and Aditya Horizons Productions LLP in portraying the efforts of the brave sons of the soil. Vande Mataram! Jai Hind!!