India has a history of fighting wars against barbarism, inhumanity and irresponsible powers, the Defence Minister said

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said Pakistan wants to disrupt peace in India by promoting terrorism and other anti-India activities.

“The Indian forces had foiled their plans in 1971 and work to eliminate terrorism from its root is in underway. We have won in a direct war and the victory will be ours in indirect war as well,” he said after inaugurating ‘Swarnim Vijay Parv’, an event commemorating the valour and professionalism of the Armed Forces and their contribution to the liberation of Bangladesh in the Indo-Pak 1971 war, at India Gate Lawns in New Delhi.

“This war tells us that the partition of India on the basis of religion was a historic mistake. Pakistan was born in the name of one religion but it could not remain one. After the defeat of 1971, it is continuously fighting a proxy war,” Rajnath Singh said, describing the 1971 War as among the most decisive wars of the world after the two World Wars in the 20th century.

Hitting Pakistan hard, the Defence Minister said: “Anti-India feeling in Pakistan can be seen from the fact that they name their missiles after invaders who attacked India - Ghori, Ghaznavi, Abdali, whereas India's missiles are named Akash, Prithvi, Agni. Now one of our missiles has also been named Sant.”

The Defence Minister described the 1971 war as a shining example of jointness and integration among the three Services, underlining the importance of planning, training and fighting together.

He termed the 1971 war victory as an epitome of the spirit of humanity and universal brotherhood of Indians who live in a country, which considers the whole earth as its family and has always stood for truth and justice.

He stated that the victory in the 1971 war was the triumph of humanity over inhumanity, virtue over misconduct and justice over injustice. He cited the statement by Martin Luther King Jr. in a famous New York speech, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere'.

Rajnath Singh said atrocities on the people of then East Pakistan was a threat to the entire humanity and it was India’s responsibility to liberate them of that injustice and exploitation.

The Defence Minister recalled the determination, coordination and valour of the Indian Armed Forces during the war.

“Our Armed Forces supported ‘Muktivahini’, helped lakhs of refugees and prevented any kind of aggression from western & northern sector. They ensured that the credibility of India's commitment towards peace, justice and humanity in the world community is maintained,” he added.

The Defence Minister said the 1971 war was a classic example of India’s morals and democratic traditions.

“It will be rarely seen in history that after defeating another country in a war, a country does not impose its dominance, but hands over power to its political representative. India did this, because it is a part of our culture. India has never invaded any country, nor has it ever captured an inch of land of any other country,” he said.

Rajnath Singh recalled India’s contribution in the establishment of democracy in Bangladesh and appreciated the fact that it has progressed rapidly on the path of development in the last 50 years, which is an inspiration for the world.

Rajnath Singh added that India has a history of fighting wars against barbarism, inhumanity and irresponsible powers - from the era of Ramayana, Mahabharata to wars of 1857, 1947, 1965, 1971 and the 1999 Kargil war.

He recalled that most of the military operations in India’s history have been named ‘Operation Vijay’ – from recapturing of Jhangar by Brigadier Usman in 1948 and liberation of Goa, Daman and Diu in 1961 to the glorious victory in the 1999 Kargil war which is celebrated as ‘Kargil Vijay Divas’.

He said, the Swarnim Vijay Parv is not just about any special operation, but a celebration of the spirit of victory of the Armed Forces and the country as a whole.

He said the Government is leaving no stone unturned to strengthen the Armed Forces.

“The creation of the post of Chief of Defence Staff and Department of Military Affairs are some of the reforms that will cater to the future needs of the Armed Forces. From procurement to production, all efforts are being made to make the forces more capable, efficient and self-reliant,” Rajnath Singh said.

“Private sector participation is being promoted in defence research, development and manufacturing. Through the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, efforts are being made to promote self-reliance in the defence sector. Our aim is to keep our Armed Forces ready for any eventuality,” he said.

Recalling the liberation of Goa in 1961, the Defence Minister said, “The struggle was a witness to the fact that the more someone tries to divide us, the more united we become and face our enemies.”

He congratulated Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) for the successful flight test of indigenously designed and developed helicopter-launched Stand-off Anti-tank (SANT) Missile from Pokhran ranges on December 11, 2021.