New Delhi: Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday paid tributes to the fallen soldiers on the 50th anniversary of the 1971 India-Pakistan War highlighting the role of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi saying there was a time when the neighbouring countries accepted the mattle of the Indian Prime Minister and were afraid of violating the border of the nation.
In a tweet, Rahul Gandhi said, “On the anniversary of India’s historic win over Pakistan in 1971 greetings to the people of the country and the tributes to the valor of the armed forces. This was a time when the neighbouring countries accepted the mettle of Indian Prime Minister and were afraid of violating the borders of the country.”
In December 1971, the Indian Armed Forces secured a decisive and historic Victory over the Pakistan Army, which led to creation of a Nation — Bangladesh — and also resulted in the largest military Surrender after World War-II.
From December 16, the nation will be celebrating 50 years of Indo-Pak War, also called ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh’.
During the 1971 war Indira Gandhi was India’s Prime Minister.
Congress General Priyanka Gandhi also took to Twitter and wrote, “India gave a befitting reply in 1971 to those giving threats of the “seventh fleet” by its victory over Pakistan and planted the flag of India’s power and sovereignty. Homage to patriotism-inspired Indira Gandhi and the brave Indian Armed Forces officials.”
The siblings were joined by host of several other Congress leaders in saluting the armed forces and remembering Indira Gandhi, who was Prime Minister at the time.
Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said, “1971 war was not to protect India’s interests alone but 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.”
Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor also in a video message said, “16 December 1971 marked in many ways the coming of age of India as a significant power in the region. Very few leaders have the opportunity to redraw the map of the region and yet, that is what Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and her brave Army did in liberating Bangladesh.”
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala also greeted the people of the country on Vijay Diwas when Pakistan was defeated.
“The country is indebted to its brave soldiers and ‘Iron lady’ Indira Gandhi,” he said.
The Congress even in a tweet from its official Twitter handle said, “We bow our head in deep salutations to the valiant soldiers of the Indian Armed Forces and the lion-hearted leadership of Indiraji, 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.”
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tributes to the fallen soldiers on the 50th anniversary of the 1971 India-Pakistan war and lit up the ‘Swarnim Vijay Mashaal’ at the National War Memorial.
Four ‘Victory Mashaals’ lit from the Eternal Flame of the National War Memorial will now be carried to various parts of the country, including to villages of Param Vir Chakra and Maha Vir Chakra awardees of the war.