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PM Modi lights Swarnim Mashaal in a solemn ceremony, remembers the warriors of 1971 war

PM Narendra Modi paying tributes to warriors of 1971

As part of the mega celebrations marking December 16 -Vijay Diwas, Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tributes to the warriors of 1971 war at a solemn ceremony and lit the Swarnim Vijay Mashaal in the capital today. ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh’ also commemorates 50 years of India’s victory over Pakistan in 1971.

Modi was accompanied by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

“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,” the Prime Minister tweeted in the morning.


Also read: Bangladesh only country, visited by India's President, PM and External Affairs Minister this year

December 16 is celebrated with equal fervour in India and Bangladesh. The day, which is celebrated in India to mark its victory over Pakistani forces, for Bangladesh, it is the independence day.

Meanwhile, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh unveiled an India Post special day cover and a commemorative stamp marking the culmination of year-long 'Swarnim Vijay Varsh' celebrations, which began in December 2020.  

The stamp commemorates the iconic event in the history of the Indian sub-continent. 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 last year.


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," said the Defence Ministry.


The aim of 'Swarnim Vijay Varsh' celebrations is to spread the message of unity, nationalism and pride among people in general and Armed Forces in particular, in addition to showing respect to the veterans who participated in the war.

"The 1971 war is the golden chapter in India’s military history. We are proud of our armed forces and their achievements," tweeted Singh.

President Ram Nath Kovind, who is in Bangladesh, attended the Victory Day Parade in Dhaka to mark the South Asian country’s 50 years of independence. A 122 member tri services contingent from India too participated in the celebrations at Dhaka’s National Parade Ground.

Last year, on the same day Modi had lit the ‘Mashaal’ from the Eternal Flame at the National War Memorial. According to a government statement the Prime Minister had also lit four flames that were to traverse along different directions. “Since then, these four flames have traversed across the length and breadth of the country, including to Siachen, Kanyakumari, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Longewala, Rann of Kutch, Agartala etc. The flames were taken to key battle areas and also to the houses of gallantry award winners and veterans of 1971 war," the statement read.

The four flames have been now merged by Modi with the Eternal Flame

“On the occasion of ‘Swarnim Vijay Diwas’ we remember the courage and sacrifice of our armed forces. The 1971 war is the golden chapter in India’s military history. We are proud of our armed forces and their achievements,” Singh said in a tweet.

Also read: India remembers its heroes and Mukti Jodhas of Bangladesh on 1971 war anniversary

Singh too shared several photographs of the historic day that changed the course of politics in South Asia.

The Sheikh Hasina government has brought up the issue of 1971 atrocities committed by Pakistan on its people on multiple platforms. Dhaka had earlier even sought an official apology from Pakistan for the mass massacre.

In March 2017, the Bangladesh Parliament passed a resolution to observe March 25 as the Genocide Day.