"Today we all have gathered here at India Gate to celebrate the 'Vijay Parv' organised under the 'Swarnim Victory Year' of the 1971 Indo-Pakistani War. This festival commemorates the glorious victory of the Indian armies, which changed both the history and geography of South Asia," he added.

"It was decided to organise this event in a grand form, but after the untimely demise of the country's first CDS, General Bipin Rawat, it has been decided to mark it with simplicity. On this occasion, I pay my tributes by remembering him too," he said.

"On this day, I bow to the bravery, valour and sacrifice of every soldier of the Indian Army, due to which India won the 1971 war. This country will always be indebted to the sacrifice of all those bravehearts," he added.

"Sometimes I wonder, what was the fault of our Bengali sisters and brothers? For demanding their rights? Seeking to preserve their art, culture and language? For talking about his proper representation in politics and governance?" he said.

"The injustice and atrocities on our Bengali sisters and brothers were a threat to the entire humanity in one form or the other. In such a situation, it was our Rajdharm, Rashtradharm and military religion that helped in liberating the people of then 'East Pakistan' from that injustice and exploitation," he added.

"This war is a classic example of our morals, our democratic traditions and just treatment. It will be rarely seen in history that after defeating another country in a war, a country like ours did not express its dominance over it, but handed over the power to its political representative," the Defence Minister said.

'Swarnim Vijay Parv' is being celebrated at India Gate, New Delhi from 12 December till 13 December, 2021, to commemorate 50 years of India's historic victory in the 1971 war and the Indo-Bangladesh friendship. The event was inaugurated by Rajnath Singh today. Major weapons and equipment used during the 1971 war have been displayed along with the snippets of major battles.

The closing ceremony will be held on December 13, 2021, which will be attended by Rajnath Singh. Many dignitaries, including from Bangladesh, will be present.

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