Vijay Diwas Significance and History: Vijay Diwas is celebrated in India on December 16 to commemorate the decisive victory over Pakistan in 1971, which resulted in the creation of Bangladesh and the liberation of East Pakistan. Check out some key facts about Vijay Diwas below.
About Vijay Diwas
On December 3, the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971 began and lasted for 13 days. Officially, the war ended on December 16 and Pakistan surrendered to India. The thirteen-day war resulted in the complete surrender of Pakistani forces and the creation of Bangladesh. Pakistan army surrendered to India with around 93,000 soldiers. It was the “greatest victory of all time” and India became a regional power to be reckoned with.
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Vijay Diwas: Key events of the 1971 India-Pakistan war
The conflict was a result of the Bangladesh Liberation War following the mistreatment of the people of West Pakistan and the undermining of election results in East Pakistan. On March 26, 1971, East Pakistan officially raised the call for succession. Former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi supported them in their fight for independence.
The 1971 war was a military conflict between India and Pakistan. It began with pre-emptive airstrikes on 11 Indian Air Force stations by Pakistan on 3 December 1971. As a result, the Indian Army agreed to support Bengali nationalist groups in Bangladesh’s struggle for independence in East Pakistan.
The war was fought due to the widespread genocide of the people of East Pakistan carried out by an oppressive military regime under General Yahya Khan of Pakistan.
The war was fought on both the eastern and western fronts and was short and intense.
On December 4, 1971, India launched Operation Trident. In this operation, the Western Naval Command of the Indian Navy successfully carried out a surprise attack on the Karachi port. It was made under the code name Trident.
In East Pakistan, Mukti Bahini guerrillas joined Indian forces to fight Pakistani troops in the east.
During the war, the Southern Command defended the nation’s borders against any action by Pakistan. The battles that were fought in the Southern Army’s area of responsibility consist of the famous battles of Longewala and Parbat Ali. Here, Pakistan’s armored forces were destroyed by determined Indian troops.
Soldiers from the renowned 10 Paracommando Battalion, led by Lieutenant Colonel (later Brigadier) Bhawani Singh, carried out a raid in the Pakistani town of Chachro. These battles have created an example in history and show the courage, determination and bravery of our soldiers.
On December 14, the IAF attacked a house where a meeting with the governor of East Pakistan was taking place. Pakistan was shocked by this attack. As a result, the surrender process began on December 16, 1971 and by that time around 93,000 Pakistani forces had surrendered.
Thus, on December 16, 1971, Bangladesh was born as a new nation and East Pakistan became independent from Pakistan.
This war is considered a historic war for India. That is why December 16 is celebrated as ‘Vijay Diwas’ to commemorate India’s victory over Pakistan across the country. It is said that in the 1971 war, around 3,900 Indian soldiers were martyred and around 9,851 were injured.
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