This must be one of those rare incidents when a father has penned the biography of his son. The son who was all of 22 when he was martyred. The son who bravely led his platoon to capture a Pakistani position which proved crucial during the Battle of Tololing in the Kargil war of 1999. The son, Capt Vijyant Thapar, who not only was the son but the grandson and great grandson of army officers.
The father of Capt Vijyant Thapar, Col VN Thapar, along with Neha Dwivedi, a Kargil martyr’s daughter, has written the biography – Vijyant At Kargil: The Life Of A Kargil War Hero (Penguin Random House India) which has anecdotes from family and close friends. It offers readers an opportunity to know more about this exceptional young man. At present, Vijyant At Kargil is being released as an e-book, hard copies will be available later.
On what took him so long to write a biography of his son when a movie, JP Dutta’s LOC Kargil, was released back in 2003 with a character based on the life of Thapar Jr, Col Thapar says, “There were two reasons. One, I had never authored a book before this so I was a bit sceptical and two, many people promised they would take up this project but never did. This resulted in losing a few years. It was at last year’s Penguin meet that the idea was once again discussed with us and we agreed upon this biography.”
Vijyant At Kargil documents the life journey of the brave young soldier – from the day he was born to the day he joined the Indian Military Academy to the experiences that shaped him into a fine officer to the day he left the world, with a slight emphasis on the appreciation he got. “It was not because he was Vijyant. Till then, no one knew him. It was the act and the spirit that created his place in the hearts of the Indians. Imagine over 1.5 lakh of them, coming to salute this man on his last journey,” he says, adding, “I thought that this spirit should be made immortal in the form of a book.”
Col Thapar shares he has kept everything related to Robin (Vijyant’s pet name) safely with him all these years. “His letters, his conversations, his diaries, his photographs, especially the ones pertaining to the Kargil War including the last letter he wrote to us: By the time you get this letter, I’ll be observing you from the sky enjoying the hospitality of the apsaras. I have no regrets, in fact, even if I become a human again, I’ll join the army and fight for my nation.”
“People, especially the younger generation, need to be told these stories to inspire them,” says Col Thapar about Capt Vijyant Thapar who was posthumously awarded the Vir Chakra for his audacious bravery during the Kargil War.
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