Congress hails Indira Gandhi’s ‘lion-hearted leadership’ on Vijay Divas

Indian army officials perform during the 49th "Vijay Diwas" , at the Eastern Command headquarter of Fort William in Kolkata on December 16, 2020.   | Photo Credit: afp

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday took a dig at the Narendra Modi government on the occasion of Vijay Divas by asserting that it was a time when neighbours feared violating national territory and the might of India’s Prime Minister.

December 16 is celebrated as Vijay Divas to mark India’s victory over Pakistan in the 1971 war and the creation of Bangladesh.

Several Congress leaders took to social media to laud the Armed Forces and hail late former prime minister Indira Gandhi’s “lion-hearted” leadership in liberating Bangladesh from Pakistan.

“Greetings to people of the country on the celebration of India’s historic victory over Pakistan in 1971 and salutations to the valour of our armed forces. This was a time when India’s neighbouring countries used to recognise the mettle of the Indian prime minister and feared violating the borders of our country,” Mr. Gandhi said in a tweet.

Party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted that India had given a befitting reply to the threats of a ‘Seventh Fleet’ with its victory over Pakistan, planting the flag of India’s power and sovereignty.

The Seventh Fleet refers to the United States sending its naval war ship to Bangladesh from its base in Japan, officially to evacuate American citizens during the 1971 war. However, unofficially, it was seen as a veiled threat to the Indian forces engaged in liberating Bangladesh from Pakistan.

“We bow our head in deep salutations to the valiant soldiers of the Indian Armed Forces & the lion-hearted leadership of Indira ji, for not only registering a thumping victory in the Indo-Pak War of 1971 but also wiping off tears of terror from millions in Bangladesh,” the Congress said on its official Twitter handle.

Several leaders posted their video messages on the party’s official handle to mark the occasion.

Former Union minister and senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram said the 1971 war was fought not to protect India’s interests alone but also to protect peace in South Asia.

“The way it was conducted and concluded represented true nationalism... There were no boasts, no exaggerations, yet India played its part as a responsible regional power,” Mr. Chidambaram said in a video message.

Lok Sabha MP Shashi Tharoor said in a video message on his Twitter handle that December 16, 1971 marked, in many ways, the coming of age of India as a significant power in the region. The former union minister said that Indira Gandhi and her brave Army not only liberated Bangladesh but redrew the map of the region.

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Printable version | Jul 23, 2021 10:24:46 PM |

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