Country marks 50 years of 1971 war

Modi, Rajnath pay homage at National War Memorial

December 16, 2021 10:44 am | Updated December 17, 2021 01:41 am IST - New Delhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. File photo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. File photo

The country on Thursday commemorated 50 years of the decisive victory in the 1971 Liberation War of Bangladesh, which also changed the geography of South Asia. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh termed the war the “golden chapter” in India’s military history, He unveiled an India Post special day cover and a commemorative stamp marking the golden jubilee.

This marks the culmination of year-long ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh’ celebrations. As part this, 30 ‘Mukti Jodhas’ who took part in the war were invited from Bangladesh and honoured.

Also read: 1971 was Indira’s finest year, says Sonia Gandhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter, “On the 50th Vijay Diwas, I recall the great valour and sacrifice by the Muktijoddhas, Biranganas and bravehearts of the Indian armed forces. Together, we fought and defeated oppressive forces. Rashtrapati Ji’s presence in Dhaka is of special significance to every Indian”.

In the day, Mr. Modi and Mr. Singh paid homage at the National War Memorial, where the Victory Flame, which was lit a year back to mark the beginning of the celebrations and travelled across the country, culminated.

Also read: India, Bangladesh pact example of mutual respect: Army Chief

The stamp commemorated the event in the history of the subcontinent, a Defence Ministry statement said. As its centrepiece, it carries the ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh’ logo, designed by Lt. Cdr. Kushal Chandrashekhar. It was selected during an all-India competition held in October-November 2020. “The stamp also commemorates the espirit de corp and spirit of jointmanship displayed by the Indian Armed Forces as well as the Indo-Bangla forces,” the statement said.

December 16 is celebrated as ‘Vijay Diwas’ each year to mark the day of surrender and decisive victory of the Indian armed forces over the Pakistani armed forces. The Instrument of Surrender was signed by Commander Eastern Command of Pakistan Lt. Gen. Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi, accepting the decisive defeat in Eastern Theatre. It was signed from the Indian side by General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) of Indian and Bangladesh Forces in Eastern Theatre Lt. Gen. Jagjit Singh Aurora.

It was the largest military surrender after the Second World War and the Indian armed forces, along with Mukti Bahini, liberated Bangladesh in a span of just 13 days and also the surrender of 93,000 Pakistani soldiers, the largest surrender of armed forces post Second World War.

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