India crushed Pakistan in the 1971 War, paving the way for the creation of Bangladesh

The 1971 War was fought to protect the dignity of humanity and democracy, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Friday.

It was one of the few wars in history that were fought neither for land nor for any resource, nor for that matter any kind of power, he pointed out.

Defence Minister Singh was inaugurating a three-day conclave organised by the Indian Air Force to commemorate ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh’ at Yelahanka Air Force Station in Bengaluru.

The theme of the conclave is, 'Birth of a Nation: Congruence of Politico-Military Thoughts and Goals'.

Singh termed the theme as the most appropriate, saying, “It was the synergy and co-operation between the Tri-Services and the Government that ensured the success of our country in such a huge campaign”.

“The congruence of our country's politico-military thoughts gave birth to a new nation in Asia, defeating exploitation and injustice and proved once again that where there is righteousness, there is victory,” he added.

He described the 1971 War as a shining example when there was talk of promoting jointness and integration among the Armed Forces in the changing times.

“This war told us the importance of thinking, planning, training and fighting together. The war also witnessed the well-knit team functioning of our Armed Forces, the diplomatic acumen of India, and the role of a responsive manufacturing base in meeting the needs of the forces. It also shows the need and importance of an 'all of government approach' in security challenges,” Singh said.

He saluted the valour all those soldiers, sailors, air warriors and their families, who ensured the victory in the 1971 war.

He recalled the largest military surrender after World War II in which more than 93,000 Pakistani soldiers surrendered at once.

“In just 14 days, Pakistan had lost one-third of its Army, half its Navy and one-fourth of its Air-force. This war proved to be historic in many ways. Scholars and historians later termed it as a classic example of 'Just war',” Singh said.

"It is easy to say that in this war, east and west were the two main fronts, but in reality there were many such fronts which we had to take care of, and which would not have been possible without politico-military synergy,” the Defence Minister pointed out.

He said the country had to take care of lakhs of refugees from the East, monitor any kind of aggressive attitude on International Boundary or 'Ceasefire Line' (Now Line of Control) by Pakistan, stop any kind of external interference in the Northern sector and retain India's credibility in favour of peace, justice and humanity.”

“This country will always be indebted to the valour and sacrifice of those heroes and will continue to move forward in the path of fulfilling their dreams,” the Defence Minister said.

He also inaugurated a photo exhibition on 1971 war on the occasion.

Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari, Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar and other senior civil and military officials of MoD were present.