PM leads nation in marking 50th anniv of 1971 war victory

India on Thursday celebrated the 50th anniversary of its victory over Pakistan in the 1971 war that led to redrawing of the political map of South Asia and ended the horrific violence unleashed by the Pakistani army on millions of Bangladeshi people.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the nation in paying tributes to the valour and sacrifices of Bangladeshi freedom fighters and Indian armed forces on the 50th anniversary of the occasion ‘Vijay Diwas’.

President Ram Nath Kovind attended the Victory Day Parade in Dhaka as the “Guest of Honour”, in reflection of India’s deep connect with the people of Bangladesh and reaffirming New Delhi’s strong ties with that country. A 122-member strong tri-services contingent from India also took part in the grand parade watched by Bangladesh President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Addressing the Victory Day celebrations in Dhaka, President Kovind said that the 1971 struggle for freedom has a special place in the hearts of every Indian. Modi tweeted, “On the 50th Vijay Diwas, I recall the valour and sacrifice by the Muktijoddhas, Biranganas and bravehearts of the Indian Forces. Together, we fought and defeated oppressive forces. Rashtrapati Ji’s presence in Dhaka is of special significance to every Indian.”

Accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of leaving out Indira Gandhi from the 1971 Bangladesh liberation war celebrations, Congress said the BJP leader is “so weak and insecure” that he cannot even acknowledge her leadership in the crucial war that split up Pakistan into two countries. AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said, “Our first and only woman Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi is being left out of the misogynist BJP government’s Vijay Diwas celebrations.” Rahul Gandhi wrote on Facebook, “Indira Gandhi lives in the hearts of Indians, she sacrificed her life for the country. how will you erase her name?”

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