India contributed to establishing democracy in Bangladesh: Rajnath Singh
Bangladesh's Liberation War of 1971 is a "classic example" of India's morals, democratic traditions and just treatment, and Bangladesh has -- in the last half a century -- moved forward on the path of development, Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said today.
"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," he said while inaugurating the 'Wall of Fame' to commemorate heroes of the Bangladesh Liberation War at New Delhi's India Gate.
Rajnath also inaugurated a two-day ceremony, "Swarnim Vijay Parv," to celebrate the 50th anniversary of India's victory against Pakistan in the 1971 war.
"India has contributed to the establishment of democracy in Bangladesh and today we are very happy that in the last 50 years Bangladesh has progressed rapidly on the path of development, which is an inspiration for the rest of the world," he said, reports our New Delhi correspondent.
"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 brave-hearts of the Mukti Bahini who fought valiantly for the liberation of Bangladesh," the Defence Minister said.
Taking a dig at Pakistan on the occasion, he said, "Pakistan wants to promote terrorism in India. The armed forces foiled Pakistan's plans in 1971 and now we are working towards eliminating terrorism from the root."
"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 proper representation in politics and governance?" Rajnath said.
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."
Weapons and defence equipment used during the 1971 war are on display along with the snippets of major battles at the two-day "Swarnim Vijay Parv".
Rajnath said the Bangladesh Liberation War is a fine example of the joint functioning of India's army, air force and navy, an issue which is being talked about now-a-days very often and is one of the most decisive wars of the 20th century.
He said the 1971 war drove home the point that the division of the Indian subcontinent in 1947 on the basis of religion was a "historic blunder." Pakistan was born on the basis of religion but could not remain united, he added.