December 16 is a day recognised to honour the valour of soldiers. Celebrated across the nation as Vijay Diwas; on this day India emerged triumphant
against Pakistan in 1971 ware. This year commemorates the 50th anniversary of the victory. Even today, the historic victory is celebrated with pride and zeal across the country.
Vijay Diwas exemplifies bravery and valour. During the 1971 conflict, Indian soldiers made enormous sacrifices. Around 3,900 Indian soldiers laid down their lives while more than 9800 were wounded. The day narrates the tale of
the gallantry, unwavering courage and sacrifice of India’s bravest sons.
What is the significance of Vijay Diwas?
Vijay Diwas is a national holiday in India that commemorates the country’s triumph over Pakistan in the 1971 war. 93,000 Pakistani soldiers surrendered
at the end of the conflict. Following India’s triumph, East Pakistan, now known as Bangladesh, gained independence. Lt Gen AAK Niazi, the Pakistani Army’s commander in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), agreed to surrender to India’s Eastern
Army Commander, Lt Gen Jagjit Singh Arora. General Niazi accepted the surrender documents on the evening of December 16 and the war was officially won by India. This is why the day is known as Vijay Diwas and is commemorated every year.
What happened on December 16, 1971?
4.30 p.m., Lt Gen Jagjit Singh Arora arrived by helicopter at Dhaka airport. He and General Niazi sat at a table and executed the surrender paperwork together. Lt General Arora was handed over General Niazi’s revolver. Niazi’s eyes welled up with
tears. The locals appeared to be prepared to murder Niazi, but senior Indian Military commanders got him out unharmed.