- Vikram Batra grew up in a middle-class family from the Ghuggar village in Himachal Pradesh.
- Vikram Batra was among the 35 recruits who cleared the CDS exam in 1996.
- He joined the Indian Military Academy (IMA) in Dehradun and was part of the Manekshaw Battalion.
Kargil Vijay Diwas 2022: India is celebrating Kargil Vijay Diwas today, a day commemorating India’s historic win against Pakistan on July 26, 1999. This day can never be celebrated to its fullest without remembering Captain Vikram Batra, who sacrificed his life for the country, and helped India take control of the eighty-degree steep and 17,000 feet high Point 4875 during the Kargil War.
He is a celebrated war hero and a braveheart who inspired many, with his relentless and unconditional love for the country. Here's the story of Captain Vikram Batra:
Young boy from Himachal makes his way into Army
From a very young age, Vikram Batra aspired to become a part of the Indian Army. He grew up in a middle-class family from the Ghuggar village near Palampur of Himachal Pradesh. Batra was active in sports during his school time, especially in table tennis and karate, in which he was a green belt holder. He was born to teachers, his father being a principal in a government school, and his mother a teacher. It was after he enrolled on Bsc Medical Sciences at the DAV College in Chandigarh, that he became a cadet with the National Cadet Corps (NCC). Batra soon worked his way up to become the Senior Under Officer at his NCC unit and eventually marched at the Republic Day Parade in 1994.
It was after this, that he told his parents he wanted to join the army. Later, he enrolled in a MA English course at Panjab University, so he could prepare for the Combined Defence Services (CDS) exam.
Vikram Batra's journey in the Army
Vikram Batra was among the only 35 recruits who cleared the CDS exam in 1996. He then joined the Indian Military Academy (IMA) in Dehradun and was part of the Manekshaw Battalion. He completed a rigorous 19-month training course and was commissioned into the Indian Army as lieutenant in the 13th battalion, Jammu and Kashmir Rifles.
His first posting after his training period ended in Jabalpur was in Jammu and Kashmir's Sopore. Sopore was an area of significant militant activity, and Batra had many skirmishes with the militants.
The Kargil War
Batra’s battalion, the 13 JAK Rifles were to act as reserves to the 2nd battalion, the Rajputana Rifles, in the Kargil War. The war had already been underway for over a month when Batra joined in. On June 19, Batra and his men recaptured one of the most crucial peaks, peak 5140, despite the Pakistani soldiers having an advantage of sitting at the top.
In a similar order, Batraalong with his men was sent to take control of the eighty-degree steep and 17,000 feet high Point 4875. They advanced into the mission on July 7, but since the weather conditions weren't favourable, the soldiers had difficulty reaching at the top. Even so, they reached their target, and this is when Batra got heavily wounded while rescuing another officer.
Eventually, the Captain could not survive but India took possession of Point 4875 on the morning of July 8.
Shershaah: Film on Captain Vikram Batra's life
Actor Sidharth Malhotra portrayed the role of Captain Vikram Batra in the movie Shershaah, that was released in 2021. The film tells the braveheart's story, the hardships he faced during the Kargil war, his sacrifice for the country, and his relationship with Dimple Cheema. In the 2003 war film LOC:Kargil, actor Abhishek Bachchan essayed the role of Vikram Batra.