Prime Minister Narendra Modi and defence minister Rajnath Singh will attend the inaugural event of ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh’ programme on Wednesday, which celebrates 50 years of India’s victory over Pakistan in the 1971 war that led to the creation of Bangladesh. The event will be held at the National War Memorial (NWM) in New Delhi, the government said in a statement.
PM Modi will also light the ‘Swarnim Vijay Mashaal’ from the eternal flame of the memorial. Four torches will be lit and carried to the cities and villages of the 1971 war heroes who had received the gallantry awards — Param Vir Chakra and Maha Vir Chakra. “Soil from the villages of these Awardees and from areas where major battles were fought in 1971 are being brought to the NWM,” the statement said.
Various commemorative events will be conducted throughout the country where war veterans will be felicitated and events like band displays, seminars, exhibitions, equipment displays, film festivals, conclave and adventure activities are planned, the statement added.
The chief of defence staff General Bipin Rawat and the tri-service chiefs will also lay wreaths and pay respect to the soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty. The Eastern command of the Indian Army will pay homage to the valiant heroes of India and Bangladesh who took part in the Liberation War of 1971.
December 16 is celebrated every year as Vijay Diwas to commemorate the victory of the Indian armed forces and the Mukti-Bahini over Pakistan. After Pakistan faced defeat in the 1971 war, the army chief of Pakistan general Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi, along with his 93,000 troops surrendered. The historic military victory resulted in Pakistan ceding control of then East Pakistan, paving the way for the birth of the sovereign nation of Bangladesh.