Vijay Diwas

Tags: Important Days

Vijay Diwas

The Nation is celebrating Vijay Diwas on 16th December to commemorate India's victory over Pakistan in 1971 Bangladesh Liberation war. On the day, India pays homage to all the soldiers who defended the nation.

Why does India celebrate Vijay Diwas?

  • On 16 December 1971, India won the war against Pakistan after fighting for 13 days.

  • The Chief of the Pakistani Army, General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi, along with 93,000 Pakistani soldiers, surrendered to the combined forces of the Indian Army and Bangladesh's Mukti Bahini.

  • It was also the largest military surrender since World War II.

  • The war resulted in the birth of Bangladesh, which was then East Pakistan.

  • The day is also celebrated in Bangladesh as 'Bijoy Dibos', marking the country's formal independence from Pakistan. This year Bangladesh is celebrating its 52nd Bijoy Diwas.

  • More than 3,800 Indian and Pakistani soldiers lost their lives in the war.

  • Eight months after the war, in August 1972, India and Pakistan signed the Simla Agreement.

  • Under the agreement, India agreed to release 93,000 Pakistani prisoners of war.

Why did the war happen?

  • The war was triggered by an insurgency in East Pakistan against the Islamabad government.

  • The Pakistani army was oppressing Bengalis and the minority Hindu population in East Pakistan.

  • According to one estimate, between 300,000–500,000 civilians were killed by the Pakistani army.

  • Former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi decided to provide aid to the then East Pakistan. She decided to give shelter to the people who fled from East Pakistan.

How did the India-Pakistan war of 1971 start?  

  • The war began when Pakistan carried out airstrikes on 11 Indian airbases on 3 December 1971.

  • In turn, Indira Gandhi ordered Army Chief General Sam Manekshaw to launch a full-scale war against Pakistan.

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