Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday paid tribute at the National War Memorial in New Delhi on the 50th-anniversary of the 1971 India-Pakistan war.
PM Modi also lit the 'Swarnim Vijay Mashaal' from the eternal flame of the National War Memorial on the occasion. He was joined by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, the chief of defence staff and tri-service chiefs as he laid a wreath and paid homage to the soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice for the country.
Four victory mashaals (flaming torches) will be carried to various parts of India, including to the villages of Param Vir Chakra and Maha Vir Chakra awardees of the 1971 war, the defence ministry has said.
Meanwhile, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, on Wednesday extended their wishes to countrymen on the occasion of the Vijay Diwas, a historic day that made Bangladesh an independent country. The Ministers saluted the bravery and courage of the Indian Army.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said the country will always remember the brave soldiers who wrote a new saga of bravery in the 1971 war. "Today, on the occasion of Vijay Diwas, I salute the valour and bravery of the Indian Army. I remember the bravery of the brave soldiers who wrote a new saga of bravery in the 1971 war. Their sacrifice is a source of inspiration for all Indians. Nation will always revere them," Singh tweeted.
The Home Minister said that the Indian Army made a historic change on the world map on this day. "On this day in 1971, the Indian Army, with its indomitable courage and valour, made a historic change on the world map, protecting the universal values of human freedom. This mark with golden letters in history will continue to make every Indian proud. Happy Vijay Diwas," Shah said in a tweet.
India celebrates December 16 as Vijay Diwas to commemorate its victory over Pakistan during the 1971 war that led to the creation of Bangladesh. As December 16 marks the anniversary of the military victory, the nation will celebrate 'Swarnim Vijay Varsh' (golden victory year) through several events across the country, and it will continue for a year.