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Posted at: Sep 7, 2016, 12:34 AM; last updated: Sep 7, 2016, 12:34 AM (IST)

‘Yeh Dil Mange More…'

THE Kargil Army Chief, Gen VP Malik, in his book 'Kargil: From Surprise to Victory' says it best when he says that Capt Vikram Batra, after killing four Pakistani soldiers in a hand-to-hand fight and subsequent capture of Point 5140 called his CO exuberantly giving out his pre-arranged success code: Yeh Dil Mange More…This heart seeks more (victory). 

The recall of a handsome young man (later posthumously awarded PVC) repeating the tag line of a cola campaign became “the stuff of legends” as the General elegantly puts it.

This is what a resurgent Army, certainly a resurgent India — a late comer to live drawing room TV coverage — badly needed after the initial setbacks; the ugliness born out of being surprised by a treacherous enemy who had professed peace at Lahore even as Pakistani troops configured as militants were climbing up to cross the LOC into India. Yeh Dil Mange More expressed this resurgence wonderfully and aptly; setting the national mood on fire; certainly it’s young across gender.

Militarily, however, it is educative to understand the complexities that go into the formulation of greatness by taking the example of the capture of Point 5140; one of many critical successes that led us to victory during the Kargil War.

At 1930 hours on 19 June 1999, tension was perceptible at the base of Point 5140. CO 13 JAK Rif, Lt Col (now Gen) Yogesh Joshi was giving his final briefing to Capts Vikram Batra and Sanjiv Jamwal. His orders were comprehensive, yet terse: The battle cry Durga Mata Ki Jai must be heard before dawn and the success signals fired and narrated on radio. Yeh Dil Mange More… Better orders which left the young officers otherwise free to improvise while conducting their mission could not have been given. Joshi was doubtlessly inspirational, succinct and pithy. 

At 2030 hrs even as darkness fell, the Gunners opened up, ‘shooting in’ the two attacking companies up to 200 metres short of the objective. The courageous troops, however, came up under murderous automatic fire immediately thereafter and asked to have the artillery fire resumed till they were just a 100m short of the objective. This implied that fratricide losses were acceptable; not failure…An amazing orientation. 

This is when Durga Mata Ki Jai was yelled out, chilling the shocked enemy. As the fierce close quarter battle progressed at 16,900 feet, many sub tales of heroism came up (a soldier/quality Basketballer continuing to attack with just the stump of his hand left…) Capt Jamwal gave out his success signal shortly thereafter: O Ya Ya Ya…Col Joshi had to wait however for the success of Vikram Batra who was tasked to capture the  daunting peak and before first light at 0430 hours, it did…The radio suddenly crackled with Batra’s euphoric Yeh Dil Mange More one-line narration…Pt 5140 had been taken at 17000 feet and without loss of life. India celebrated; the Army celebrated. 

Yeh Dil Mange More should be seen as the magic alchemy that converted startup losses into stunning, unprecedented victory…Not just for the resurgent Indian Army but for India as a whole. It was euphoria for our Alpine bravehearts and for India. 

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