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A Kargil War Hero Nobody Ever Wrote About
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IDR News Network | Date:15 Jun , 2019 64 Comments

First Published on: http://akkarbakkar.com/

It was a tough decision to write this but I have nothing to hide. The more I stare at his name plate stuck neatly on to my notice board, the more angry I get for how easily you have forgotten him. The letters in white engraved onto the black plate say — C B DWIVEDI in capital letters — in English and in Hindi. Every year I come across multiple articles on the ‘Heroes of the Kargil war’ and not once have I found his name there. Trust me, I’ve waited with patience for over 16 years. He’s the reason I picked up journalism, he’s the reason I want to make a difference without expecting anything in return from the world. So his story will be told, today, by me.

I still fail to understand how he sounded so carefree in his letters amidst all that chaos during the Kargil war.

Because his life wasn’t a waste and you better thank him for the life you’re living.

Army is a profession. Actually, it’s more than that. It’s a way of life. It’s like giving a job to somebody worth a million rupees, and telling him that — “Hey you might just die tomorrow”. Even for a million bucks, you may not find many takers. It takes a lot to choose ‘army’ as a profession. Once in the academy, you also get a chance to choose a fighting arm or any other. So it takes a lot to CHOOSE to be on the front and take the bullet for your countrymen. Yes, my father did exactly that. He picked up Artillery.

He served the Indian army for 18 years; today you can become a Col in that much time. I wonder what post he would be at today if he was around. Maj. C.B. Dwivedi, an officer who didn’t have time to sleep a wink during war never forgot to write a letter to his family, faking his well-being oh-so-perfectly, even during war. His last letter to my mother went something like this:

“Dear Bhawna,

Sweet Kiss.

[…]

A lot of news shown on TV is true but a lot of it is false. So don’t believe in it completely, just believe in God. […]”

This was two days before he sacrificed his life for the country. Daddy was a complete family man and our mother was the boss of the house. But it’s him who had spoilt her. Even when he would call from Srinagar, he would say “chota baby kahaan hai” and we would call mummy quickly. Doesn’t mean he wasn’t a doting father. He used to plan his leaves around our exams. We were so dependent upon him that my sister didn’t know how to as little as prepare for her exams without him.

I still fail to understand how he sounded so carefree in his letters amidst all that chaos during the Kargil war. I remember him calling us from the Satellite phone and talking about the bad weather in the background. I’m yet to come across a selfless man as him. Seriously. The day I find him, I’ll marry him.

The Kargil conflict was indeed a shocker for all of us. It was the most unexpected war in Indian history. My mother, my sister and I had just gone to see daddy in our summer vacation and the surprise was — we only got 12 hours with him.

Not all units are employed during every war. During the Kargil war, Artillery and Infantry were employed majorly. Gunners belong to artillery. And Maj C.B. Dwivedi was a proud Gunner. He would sit bravely at the top of the artillery gun (a weapon that’s big enough to be a tank), fearlessly facing the enemy, throwing reigns of fire at them from dusk till dawn. Yes this is how the Kargil war was fought — at night, when the world was sleeping peacefully, the Indian army was on duty.

Early morning of 14th May 1999, I still remember, was when 315 Field Regiment (Kargil) was deployed to Drass. The Kargil conflict was indeed a shocker for all of us. It was the most unexpected war in Indian history. My mother, my sister and I had just gone to see daddy in our summer vacation and the surprise was — we only got 12 hours with him. He mentioned that in one of his letters to my mom, where he says:

“Even though the meeting was short, only twelve hours, it was really nice seeing you. I’ll see you guys soon.”

The harsh truth is we never saw him again, had we known those were the last twelve hours we were spending with him, we would’ve done so much more instead of just eating lunch and dinner with him in the mess. My father was a true romantic, a true comedian, a true chef sometimes, a true father but before all of this, he was a true soldier. His jawans loved him for he was the one motivating factor they had in their life during war. Until he was behind 315, the unit suffered only two casualties during the Kargil war.

315 was the first artillery unit to be inducted into the war zone. Daddy was the officiating Second in Command during that time. Operation Vijay (the Kargil conflict) was a tough war, mainly because of lack of information, the underprepared army and the strategic positioning of the cowards who had intruded into our land disguised as civilians.

With the responsibility of infantry units over their shoulders, 315 often faced two choices at night — either you stop firing and wait till morning in your bunkers/tents or keep firing and protect the infantry units. My father mostly chose the former.

The first day the regiment arrived at the base camp in Drass, there was a reign of fire that fell upon them. As my uncle (Col Upadhyay, who spent every second with my father in his last days) recalls, the unit had no idea where the enemies were sitting. He remembers saying the following lines to daddy that night:

“Sir, we’re in big trouble.”

There was absolutely no information about the positioning of the enemies, the army was sent to the war zone blindly. With Tololing on one side and Tiger Hill and Point 4875 on the other, they had some massive planning to do.

Daddy’s unit, 315 field regiment, was responsible for supporting operations for 1 Naga, 8 Sikh, 17 Jat and 16 Grenadiers that went on to finally capture Tololing, Point 5140, Black Tooth, Tiger Hill, Point 4875 (Gun Hill), Mahar Ridge and Sando Top in Drass — Mushkoh Valley. My father as Second in Command was responsible for complete survey for artillery units to come in, he used to take off every morning to look for empty spaces around highways in order to park the vehicles and artillery units coming in. He was also responsible for proper communication to bring in ammunition, coordination for firing, and war survey and dumping plans. The time between 14th-31st May were the toughest days for the unit, they had to fire at one place and quickly move on to another location, this was an ongoing process in those days.

The only free time daddy had was spent on staring at the map and devising plans for their next move. But he still wrote letters. He never forgot doing that.

With the responsibility of infantry units over their shoulders, 315 often faced two choices at night — either you stop firing and wait till morning in your bunkers/tents or keep firing and protect the infantry units. My father mostly chose the former. The artillery didn’t even have bunkers, they were staying in tents. And Gunners don’t have much choice to hide when they are firing because they are sitting right at the top of their artillery guns facing the enemy, looking at them eye-to-eye. That’s where my daddy sat. Right at the top. Fearlessly.

Daddy was the only 2 IC in that time who was single-handedly overlooking so many operations in that terrifying war zone.

Even Indian aircrafts were shot down during this time, this is when Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja lost his life on May 27th 1999, which was the biggest blow to Indian army. But what had to be done had to be done.

I remember we — my sister and I — had seen daddy commanding an Operation in Udi once (I don’t remember the year) — and we couldn’t stop laughing. He was far far away and had allowed us to sit on top of a hill and look at him at work. He was walking around with his hands crossed backwards, like a true soldier with his back straight commanding the soldiers. We kept giggling saying, “Daddy is just taking a walk ordering people around.”

We were too young to understand what a terrific leader he was. That day, he came back because the enemy had waved the white flag (to declare peace). He was always a winner.

It was the evening of July 2nd 1999, when 315 was hit by yet another dilemma — to continue firing or to stop firing but the infantry units (18 Grenadier and 8 Sikh) would’ve been in serious danger had they stopped. Daddy again chose the former, he rushed out of his tent and motivated his boys to keep firing, to keep at it. He knew how difficult it would be to get through this but he had to make the tough choice. It was either protecting himself or protecting a whole unit — he chose the latter. It’s the madness in a soldier’s blood that most of us will never understand. He was mad.

He sat at the gunner’s position and continued firing facing the enemies, just when a shell landed right next to him. He was hit on his arm. He realised that. But, what he didn’t realize was that some of them had pierced his arm and entered his body from the sides. In the heat of war, a soldier doesn’t feel his pain. Maybe, that was the reason. As a result, he suffered a lot of internal bleeding but kept thinking it’s just his arm.

In this shelling, he and four of the other gunners suffered fatal injuries while the Gun Position officer and the Troop leader suffered from non-fatal ones.

Our world came shattering down with the news on the 2nd of July 1999, we were a young bunch of kids to him, including my mother, she was only 34 then.

Daddy was the only 2 IC in that time who was single-handedly overlooking so many operations in that terrifying war zone. The day used to start at 2.30 am for 315, when they moved around in the hills on their vehicles with the headlights switched off. Such was the danger they were exposed to. The heroes of 315 brought home the victory and received an honorary title as well but could never get the well-deserved appreciation from the country, from the people who were probably sleeping quietly in their homes because they were risking their life at that point. They were the backbone of the war and so were never remembered again.

Tiger Hill was the last stop for the Indian army, my father could not see the tri-colour flag flying high but I’m sure he could sense the victory from wherever he was at the time. He was a huge part of it and no media can take that away from him.

Our world came shattering down with the news on the 2nd of July 1999, we were a young bunch of kids to him, including my mother, she was only 34 then. But, his spirit in some way picked us up every time we fell. It’s been 16 years to that day.

As my mother, my sister and I await the invitation from the government to celebrate Vijay Diwas in Drass some day with them, I want to salute every one of them because of who India is alive today.

My father, my hero, I salute you.

Diksha Dwivedi

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64 thoughts on “A Kargil War Hero Nobody Ever Wrote About

  1. Dear Diksha Dwivedi!

    My blessings to you for the narration of the story of a true warrior of my country! We are always proud of our army dear! Please take this as our true feelings from me and many of my fellow Indians! We will also make sure that none of the sacrifices made by our soldiers shall go in vain! We will live Bharat ke liye and shall die for Bharat!

    Dear Diksha! Please don’t mind the then media! As a true Bharathiya, the greatest tribute that we can pay to such martyrs, is to live a life of love, truth and honesty!!! If only, love percolates every sphere of our activity, shall we become worthy of the great legacy! And this is what we all shall do and this is all we can do for their sacrifices and all the sacrifices of all the martyrs of our holy land! I can promise that, I will continue to live the life of a true soldier in spirit!

    In service of Bharath!

  2. Diksha, you have written so well that the story comes live. I am sure you’re father was a terrific man and a true war hero. The country such as ours have a habit of ignoring some of those who actually built the victory with their own bodies. My gratitude to the ultimate sacrifice he made and best wishes. Dr. Ravi

  3. Ma’am, like your father most probably there are many unnamed martyrs,their families and their unknown stories. Why don’t we have a platform where one could share their part of life, their reality.
    Regards
    Shubham

  4. Dear Dhiksha,

    I chose to read your letter. Am proud of you for doing so and so articulately.
    Am a pastor… A christian priest. Its my heartfelt prayer that God Almighty’s favor nd blessings rest upon your mom you nd yiur sister.
    Blessings.
    Pr. George

  5. उनका बलिदान महान था
    और उनकी जैसे मौत सबको नहीं मिलती
    कहना आसान है महसूस करना कठिन.
    उनकी आत्मा को शान्ति मिले ऐसे दुआ करता हीं
    अशोक पचौरी, Roorkee से.

  6. War is a funny business, some say, w/o realising that it is the most serious situation in life because there are, firstly, “no runners up in it” & secondly & more importantly, the country’s sovereignty is at stake which is guarded by gallant men who will willingly risk their lives. Maj Diwedi, was amongst one such gallant men, who “Gave his today for our tomorrow” to safeguard the sovereignty of his country as did the 4 fellow gunners on that fateful 2 Jul 1999. These brave sons of India are the “unsung” heroes, who uphold the highest traditions of the country, Army, their Regt & unit & last but most important of all, the families they head or are a part of. The nation may forget them but the families will forever keep them in their hearts, with pride on their faces. The hurt of the loss will be hidden & felt in solitude in privacy . The martyrs are legend & legacy for these brave families too & their source of morale booster whenever low in spirits because nothing can equal the deed of “sacrificing one self for the country”, it ranks as the top choice for the soldiers’ life in the Services. Such gallant soldiers are worshiped in the units & are the inspirational force of that unit. Such is our ethos which my belief is that it will continue so for ages.

  7. Very nice article and thank for writing about him.

    Please correct the word former to read later in the par 15 text of which is reroduced below.:-
    “With the responsibility of infantry units over their shoulders, 315 often faced two choices at night — either you stop firing and wait till morning in your bunkers/tents or keep firing and protect the infantry units. My father mostly chose the former .”

  8. My heart is heavy after reading the article and can feel the pain of missing the presence of such an ideal human. Cannot express my feelings any more except wishing that god should shower his grace on your family.

  9. Salute to the unsung hero…it’s only because of them that we live peacefully here. A truly touching narative Diksha..i know as a daughter you want acknowledgement..but iam sure your father or the thousand others never even thought about the accolades and laurels. They would have only dreamt of seeing the tricolour flying at the top. Jai hind.

  10. Respected Dikshaji,
    I salute Major CB Dwivedi from the bottom of my heart for his valour and courage and also for protecting all of us.We will always remember him.

    Regards,
    Abhinav

  11. A very graphic and moving account by a devoted daughter. It will bring tears to the eyes of even the most hardened readers. There are many such unsung heroes in all operations, but it hurts the surviving family to discover this harsh reality. Diksha, you have done your Daddy proud. I salute Maj Dwivedi and his team of 315 Field Regiment who selflessly fought the Kargil War and helped make it a success.

  12. I have no words. He undoubtedly was a hero and he has left a good legacy behind, Great Children. He still lives through you. God Take care of him wherever he is.
    Jai Hind

  13. A soldier never dies, every drop of every soldier’s blood becomes the glory of victory. I believe some unsung truth and stories are background music, which makes songs more beautiful and heard by few true music lovers only. I salute Martyr Maj Dwivedi and his team for their unforgetton job. It is truly said, “Thousands of geniuses live and die undiscovered either by themselves or by others. -Mark Twain”
    Thank you very much Diksha for sharing this masterpiece because it really open so many new angles to view any war zone and their consequences. God blesses you and your family members with great strength, peace and prosperity.

  14. An articulate description of the last moments of Maj Dwivedi. I can well appreciate the distres of the family and the young lady, Ms Diksha. In all conflicts, there are always some unsung heroes, and Maj Dwivedi and his ‘bunch’ of 315, are the unsung heroes of the Kargil War. Yes, we sleep peacefully today, because of sacrifices made by them. God Bless them…and may God give strength to their families. While it is a tough job for the Army…it is even more tougher for the families who wait for their loved ones and do not see them ever again. My salute to such heroes. Jai Hind.

  15. Very simple yet forceful narration of the brave heart Late Maj Dwivedi’s selfless devotion to duty and sacrifice

    there are still so many unsung and forgotten brave soldiers like him who laid down their lives for the nation and needs to be given their rightful place

  16. I salute the army because of who we all are living our lives peacefully with our families. It is because of Heros like your father that our nation is well protected & guarded. As rightly said by you, it is a pity how only very few people realize the value of independence & that it doesn’t come free but it costs soldiers who too are human beings like all of us. Honestly how many of us have the courage to sacrifice anything for others, leave aside sacrificing life which these brave soldiers do most willingly..!!! With both my hands folded, I bow down to thank these Heros & salute them in honor & respect..!! Jai hind

  17. Compare the facts with those with fake claims of sacrifices, who have been ruling and ruining the nation since 67 years. Those who really suffered are in penury. Those who falsely claim to have sacrificed are having King’s life style. Tragedy is that false halos gain instant acceptance of the gullible masses who are mesmerized to vote nincompoops to power for decades.

  18. On behalf of my family, I would like to thank each one of you for your kind words. Also I assure you that as his family, we are nothing less than extremely proud of our father and his achievement. This article was just an effort aimed at bringing his inspiring story on the forefront as we feel, us as a nation deserve to learn about it. He has always been our inspiration. Hope this has inspired others too.

  19. I knew Maj CB Dwivedi as a warm affectionate and friendly person. He was my neighbour in Bhuj in 1987-89 and we shared a great rapport. He was always full of life and enthusiasm.

    I remember once I visited Meerut to attend a wedding and was staying in some Mess. Maj CB Dwivedi, who wad posted in Meerut at that time came to know that I was staying in a Mess. He immediately came to the Mess and asked me to pack up and come home with him. He said “Sir you can’t stay in the Mess when I am here.” He just wouldn’t listen and I had to give in and go with him. Bhawana, his wife made sure that I was comfortable.

    Such was his charm. He was a warm, and sincere person and a great friend.

    It was a deep shock when I heard about his martyrdom. He was one person who was destined to lay down his life in the line of duty.

    RIP

  20. Dear Diksha, you moved me to tears! Such a poignant tribute to your brave and patriotic father. I too am an army officer’s daughter and can feel your pain. My salute to the Hero and his family! Thanks for sharing your story with us! God bless you!!!!

  21. Dear Diksha,
    Your father was a very good friend of mine right from NDA India Sqn days. During our times he was a computer wizard. I remember when for the very first time we were invited for a marriage party at your flat at Devlali. Incidentally he happened to be the first in our course to get married.it was a lovely evening nevertheless less . Then because of our profession we did not meet there after. But during Kargil Operation he breathed his last. I was in total shock after hearing this. Still I cannot reconcile his absence. I will always miss my Babua Bhai. Incidentally end of this year we are having a Course get to gather at NDA. One of our course mate is the Commandant of NDA. People who have made it are now Maj Gens.
    Regards.

    Colonel Indrajit Roy (Retd)

  22. SIR!!! Feel so proud to know about you. I am happy to have been living because of heroes like you. Thank you sir!!! for making us live by sacrificing your life. Thank you heroes of INDIA for taking care of us. If you are not there, we are not there. Hope OROP and all other possible and i m possible requirements of these heroes are met and taken care of.

    Also thank you to Diksha and all other families who sacrifice their dad, husband, brother for the country”s wellbeing.

    A BIG THANK YOU!!!

  23. Excellent Article Diksha, really touchy, emotional and very articulate. i am really moved. being closely associated with Army and 315 and heard a lot about Maj Dwivedi he was and he is a true hero, i salute him

    God bless
    Samarth Mishra

  24. Dear Diksha,

    When I think of your fearless father, the only words that come to my mind are “Death, be not proud!”. I am ashamed of, and pained by the lack of public recognition for what he did and achieved, but regardless of that, his heroism will never be forgotten. He gave his today for our tomorrow, and there can be no greater sacrifice than that. I am as proud of him as you are.

    Shyamala B. Cowsik

  25. I thank and appreciate Diksha for writing this article. I also understand the pain that she has undergone, while being so brave.
    My salute to CB and a successful life for the Family.
    … Col Ajay Sahai

  26. Dear Diksha,
    Salute to your father, It is soldiers like your father the unsung heros which I admire the most and look upto.This story inspires and teaches us how to be an complete man and I am grateful to you for sharing this with the world.
    Jai Hind
    Param

  27. I don’t have words to express how I feel right now. But yes I do understand what family of a man in uniform sacrifice. As a kid I knew but never understood why my father don’t see us for months. But today when I thk about it, I thank every men in uniform including my father for protecting us and giving there everythg for this nation. I feel one thing always goes unnoticed that’s the role of wife’s of these men play in there life by holding on to everythg n let them do what they live for… Thank you and respect to all the men and families…

  28. Salutes to this brave officer and the young lady for bringing the story out. I am sure the major himself cared little for awards and appreciation. Therefore Pl do not feel bad that nobody officially remembers him—-because you are more than all others combined. You are a proud daughter worth being proud of for any father.

  29. Excellent . Being a gunner myself I can appreciate his wanting to continue the firing of the guns against all possible odds. Proud of him, proud of Artillery and Proud of you his loving daughter

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