Capt Naveen Nagappa ( Sena Medal – 13th JAK Riffles) is a Living Legend of Kargil War. 19 year ago in Kargil War, Capt VIKRAM BATRA & NAVEEN NAGAPPA, both lieutenants in 13 JAKRIF fought on Point 4875 where VIKRAM BATRA attained martyrdom and NAVEEN NAGAPPA almost lost both his feet. But today a lady messaged Capt NAVEEN NAGAPPA and accuses him & said, “VIKRAM BATRA died because of you, I hate you”
After this Capt NAVEEN NAGAPPA gave a very polite and heart touching reply to this lady without revealing her name. Here is the reply of Capt NAVEEN NAGAPPA:
“Waiting in the Kempegowda International Airport, Bangalore to board my flight to Jabalpur via Mumbai, suddenly there was a buzz on my phone.It was on 16 July 2018, I was heading to Jabalpur on official work. The stay at Jabalpur was for three days. Jammu & Kashmir Rifles regimental center being in Jabalpur, I had planned to meet my long lost friend Capt Vikram Batra, albeit his bust at the regimental center. With the intention to spend some time with him in solitude, for it was just 18 years, 9 days back we were braving the bullets together. I was destined to injure both my legs, while Capt Vikram Batra moved into annals of history to earn PARAM VIR CHAKRA, being amongst the league of 21 other such Indians since independent India.The buzz on my mobile was a message by an unknown lady; the message read “Vikram Batra died b’coz of u….. I hate you….” with an emoticon to follow of an emoji with tears. I have intentionally masked her full name, her initials JS, to avoid people making adverse remark on her page, if any. Having boarded my flight, at an altitude of over 30,000 ft, I was wondering, if I was anywhere in close proximity to Vicky sir, I wanted to ask him if I was the cause of his death. I was disturbed, didn’t visit the regimental center, been perturbed ever since.“When you put gun into young man’s hand and send him to war, you incur an infinite debt to him for what he has done to his soul, for he held the gun and braved the bullets for the citizen, and that citizen is you”, so I thought.All that I expected as a veteran, was the society to come forward and say “you did this in our name, we carry the burden of your actions and take it on our shoulders, for what you did and the consequences thereof, was in our name”. But to the contrary, JS texts me with a hate message.Does the citizen realize, What is it like to kill? What is it like to be wounded or to die? What is it like to watch others wounded or getting killed in combat ?. I was all of 24 years then and have lived a life, I wish on no one. I carry a huge baggage of physical and psychological scars of the war. You don’t come back from war, the same way you went. Comradeship reaches its peak in battle. How else would you think, we could launch an attack on the enemy, sitting fortified in the bunkers. Not swimming against the tide, but walking, running, crawling against the bullet, not knowing which bullet is going to drill a hole on your body, not knowing which could be your last step, not knowing which could be your last breath, but every step towards the objective was the sole aim. Tricolor be hoisted was the lone intention. With the injury, the pain was so intense that I wanted to get shot, wished that a shell landed right next to me and puts my pain to rest. I almost died so many times, I can’t even count.For one thing I was cocksure, If I had to die thousands of miles away from my home, at a secluded icy hillock, there would always be few shoulders, my comrades, trying to say “YOU WILL MAKE IT”. For Comradeship not only reaches its peak in battle, but it’s a way of life in the army. Impossible tasks are perceived, planned and executed because of unflinching support by the person next to you, unimaginable rescue operations are conducted because there are boys struck in the battlefield, it’s all about your men – NO MAN LEFT BEHIND. If not for the trust by the soldier next to him, had the men in uniform been selfish, the geography of India would have shrunk by many a mile. The credo of the Indian Military Academy that the safety of the men you command comes first, always and every time, is not a mere saying, officers of the Indian Army live by it, sleep by it, eat by it and even breath for it.
For people like JS, it may seem measly words.The battle ground was at the heights of over 15,500 ft, with winds blowing heavy, and I don’t hate you.Fought without food or water, for almost 60 hours, and I don’t hate you.After I was injured, it took almost 12 hours before I got decent medical care, and I don’t hate you.I screamed with intense pain many a times, and I don’t hate you.Bed ridden for six months, and I don’t hate you.Under went eight major surgeries, and I don’t hate you.Stayed in the hospital for 21 months, and I don’t hate you.Cried through many nights, thinking about my comrades, and I don’t hate you.Having nightmares, thinking grenade has been lobbed at me has been a norm, and I don’t hate you.It hurt’s like hell when I walk prolonged distance, but I don’t hate you.When my daughter was a toddler, I couldn’t throw her in air and catch her, because of the state of my leg, I hated myself for this, but I don’t hate you.I sacrificed my prime youth, but I don’t hate you.Now that the war has gone past, my war allure lay deserted in four walls of my house, leaving me with burden on my shoulders and monkey on my back. You have not lived until you have almost died. Experiences of battlefield bring the worst of you on the enemies, but the best of you on your comrades. So best, that you put yourself at harms distance to mitigate the harm to your brother in arms. It is with this culture that the soldiers propel themselves towards the target dodging the bullets. Dodging the bullets, taking the bullets, risking your only life for you brother in uniform is beyond comprehension for keyboard warriors like JS.The life I have lived however arduous, would not hesitate to live again and again and again, for my comrades and the comradeship, people with fingers on the key board like JS, would never comprehend. JS, before you put your fingers on the keyboard to address a soldier, give a pause and think ‘why was I there at all’. Not for a jolly ride or a picnic, but to see that my countrymen are safe, including you JS, and I don’t hate you for your message.JS, would like to bring to your notice – Capt Vikram Batra did not die, he attained martyrdom.Pardon me, it’s just from the heart. “
Capt NAVEEN NAGAPPA almost lost both his feet in kargil war.
Facebook Post of Capt Naveen Nagappa:
Listen How Capt Vikram Batra saved Capt Naveen Nagappa life in Kargil war
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