By PIB Delhi
Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh unveiled an India Post special day cover and a commemorative stamp marking the golden jubilee of India’s victory during the 1971 Indo-Pak War, in New Delhi on December 16, 2021. The day is the culmination of year-long ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh’ celebrations, which began in December 2020.
December 16 is celebrated as ‘Vijay Diwas’ each year to mark the day of surrender and decisive victory of Indian Armed Forces over Pakistani Armed Forces. Instrument of Surrender was signed by Commander Eastern Command of Pakistan, Lieutenant General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi accepting decisive defeat in Eastern Theatre. The document signed by General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) of Indian and Bangladesh Forces in Eastern Theatre Lieutenant General Jagjit Singh Aurora from Indian side. Also present during the Surrender Ceremony were Field Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C), Eastern Naval Command Vice Admiral N Krishnan and Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C), Eastern Air Command Air Marshal HC Dewan.
The 1971 Indo-Pak War commenced with Pakistan launching pre-emptive strikes on a large number of Indian Air Force (IAF) bases. A swift response to these unprovoked attacks was launched by the Indian Armed Forces on the Western and Eastern Fronts, on land, sea and air. Offensive action by the Indian Armed Forces led to the capture of Dhaka in East Pakistan, surrender of around 93,000 Pakistani soldiers and the emergence of Bangladesh as an independent Nation. This was the largest surrender of Armed Forces post World War II.
The historic victory of 1971 was achieved through the valour, gallantry, and professionalism of the commanders and troops and was result of meticulous planning, dynamic leadership and innovation at multiple echelons. The stamp is symbolic of the resilience and tenacity of soldiers, sailors and airmen, who were motivated by their leaders and convinced by the righteousness of their cause. As for the enemy, it had no way but surrender. The defining characteristic of the War was the jointness and integration achieved among the three arms of India’s Defence Forces. This, more than anything else, resulted in the success of the lightning campaign leading to the liberation of Bangladesh.
The stamp commemorates the iconic event in the history of Indian Subcontinent. As its centrepiece, it carries the ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh’ logo, designed by Lieutenant Commander Kushal Chandrashekhar of the Indian Navy, which was selected during an All India Competition held in October-November 2020. The stamp also commemorates the espirit de corps and spirit of jointmanship displayed by the Indian Armed Forces as well as the Indo-Bangla Forces. India Post has been appropriately commemorating historically significant events right from its inception.
With the launch of the ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh’ stamp, India celebrates the professionalism and valour of its Armed Forces and reaffirms its commitment to its old friend and close neighbour, Bangladesh.
Raksha Rajya Mantri Shri Ajay Bhatt, Minister of State for Ministry of Communications Shri Devusinh Chauhan, Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Mukund Naravane, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari and Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar and other senior civil and military officials were also present on the occasion.