16 December : Vijay Diwas || When Indian Army Split Pakistan into 2 Pieces

Pakistan Instrument of surrender
The day of 16 December is celebrated as Vijay Diwas every year to pay homage to our brave soldiers for their bravery and sacrifices in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. The day marks India's victory over Pakistan finally putting an end to the war. The end of the war resulted in the unilateral and unconditional surrender of the Pakistan Army and subsequent secession of East Pakistan into Bangladesh. This year we are celebrating the 48th anniversary of India's victory over the Pakistan army in the war. The day is also celebrated as 'Victory Day' in Bangladesh and a national holiday is observed there. In this article, you will get to know everything you need to know about India's involvement in the Bangladesh Liberation War.

SITUATION BEFORE THE BEGINNING OF WAR

For a very long time, Bengali community in East Pakistan was facing discrimination from West Pakistan even though Bengali people were the demographic majority in Pakistan, making up an estimated 75 million in East Pakistan, compared with 55 million in the predominantly Punjabi-speaking West Pakistan. 

In 1948, Mohammad Ali Jinnah declared Urdu as the national language of the newly formed Pakistan, although only four per cent of Pakistan's population spoke Urdu at that time. He branded those who supported the use of Bengali as communists, traitors and enemies of the state.

Even though the majority in East Pakistan were Muslim, the West considered the people of the East to be low class citizens. Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi, who served as head of the Pakistani Forces in East Pakistan in 1971, referred to the region as a "low-lying land of low-lying people".  All this discrimination and other factors like the government's refusal to identify Bengali as the second language led to the Bengali community wanting an independent nation of their own. 

OPERATION SEARCHLIGHT AND THE BANGLADESH GENOCIDE

In Pakistan's general elections of 1970. the East Pakistan based political party Awami League, headed by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, won a national majority in the first democratic election since the creation of Pakistan but the West Pakistani establishment prevented them from forming a government. President Yahya Khan, banned the Awami League and declared martial law. The Pakistani Army demolished Ramna Kali Mandir (temple) and killed 85 Hindus. This was just a beginning of a series of mass murder and mass rapes of the Bengali people. 

Pakistani Army carried out what it calls 'Operation Searchlight' on 26 March 1971, which was nothing but a planned military operation to suppress the Bengali nationalist movement. Within two months, the Pakistanis killed around 3 million Bengalis. Most of the victims were Hindus. Pakistani President Yahya Khan at a conference in February 1971 said "Kill three million of them and the rest will eat out of our hands." Because of such a genocide, over 10 million Bengali refugees fled to India and the enraged Bengalis declared independence from Pakistan. 

THE WAR

Operation Searchlight marked the beginning of the war for Bangladesh but India officially entered the war on the evening of 3rd December 1971 when Pakistan launched what it calls 'Operation Chengiz Khan' which was nothing but the code name assigned to the air strikes carried out by the Pakistani Air Force  on the forward air bases and radar installations of the Indian Air Force. The operation targeted 11 of India's airfields and also included artillery strikes on Indian positions in Kashmir. The targets were the Indian Airbases of Amritsar, Ambala, Agra, Awantipur, Bikaner, Halwara, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Pathankot, Bhuj, Srinagar and Uttarlai and air defence radars at Amritsar and Faridkot.

In an address to the nation on radio that same evening, then Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi held the air strikes to be a declaration of war against India and the Indian Air Force responded with initial air strikes the same night, which were expanded to massive retaliatory air strikes the next morning. Statements released by both nations the next day confirmed the "existence of a state of war between the two countries", although neither government formally issued a declaration of war.

Before that, India was unofficially helping the Mukti Bahini in their war against West Pakistan. Mukti Bahini was the guerrilla resistance movement consisting of the Bangladeshi military, paramilitary and civilians during the war. India's foreign intelligence service Research & Analysis Wing(R&AW) and Indian Army helped the Mukti Bahini to organise, train and supply arms to the resistance fighters. This also helped Indian Armed Forces to organise their attack better. Because the Pakistani Army thought that they were fighting against a weaker Mukti Bahini, only 3 of their divisions were deployed in East Pakistan. On the other hand, India deployed 3 of its corps into East Pakistan. Just to make things clear, there are about 10,000 soldiers in a division and somewhere between 50,000 to 100,000 soldiers in a corps. Three brigades of Mukti Bahini were also fighting the war. There are roughly 1500-4000 soldiers in a brigade. 
Mukti Bahini during 1971
Not only the Indian Army, but the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force also contributed to the liberation of Bangladesh. The Indian Air Force carried out several sorties against Pakistan, and within a week, India achieved air supremacy in the air space of East Pakistan. The entire Pakistani air contingent in the east, PAF No.14 Squadron, was grounded because of Indian and Bangladesh airstrikes at Tejgaon, Kurmitolla, Lal Munir Hat and Shamsher Nagar. 

Sea Hawks from the carrier INS Vikrant attacked Chittagong, Barisal and Cox Bazar and destroyed the eastern wing of the Pakistan Navy by effectively blockading the East Pakistan ports. Even the escape routes for the stranded Pakistani soldiers were cut off.  

Pakistani forces were unable to counter this attack and were unable to defend Dhaka. Just after 13 days of fighting, more than 93,000 Pakistani troops surrendered to the Indian forces and Bangladesh Liberation forces, making it the largest surrender since World War II.
vijay diwas 1971 war
Pakistani soldiers surrender in Bangladesh. Image Credit: bdnews24.com

AFTERMATH

On 16 December 1971, Lieutenant General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi, commander of the Pakistani Armed forces located in East Pakistan surrendered to Lieutenant General Jagjit Singh Aurora, Joint Commander of Indian and Bangladeshi Forces. Air Commodore A. K. Khandker, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Bangladesh Forces, represented the Provisional Government of Bangladesh at the surrender.  

At the time of surrender only a few countries had provided diplomatic recognition to the new nation. Bangladesh sought admission in the UN with most voting in its favour, but China vetoed this as Pakistan was its key ally. The United States, also a key ally of Pakistan, was one of the last nations to accord Bangladesh recognition. To counter this, India played a major diplomatic game and in 1972 the Simla Agreement was signed between India and Pakistan. The treaty ensured that Pakistan recognised the independence of Bangladesh in exchange for the return of the 93,000 Pakistani Prisoners of War(PoWs). India treated all the PoWs strictly according to the Geneva Convention. It released more than 93,000 Pakistani PoWs in five months.

Further, as a gesture of goodwill, maturity and a measure of promoting peace between the nations, India gave back 13,000 kmof land that Indian troops captured in West Pakistan during the war.

The war also saw one of the biggest instances of mass murder, deportation and genocidal rape in history. Today is the day to remember anyone who fell a victim to such crimes. Today is the day to remember the brave soldiers of the Indian Armed Forces, Bangladesh Armed Forces, Mukti Bahini and also the civilians who risked their lives in order to build a better world because a martyr dies not when he is shot, but on the day he is forgotten.

Lest we forget


Hi, I am Pranjay Varshney. I am pursuing my B.Sc. (Hons) in Electronic Science from University of Delhi. My dream is to join the Indian Army as an officer and I am very passionate about it. I like to write articles about Indian Armed Forces and various political and economic affairs. I spend my free time doing gymnastics, listening to music or watching movies.

If you like what you just read, make sure to subscribe to our newsletter and our YouTube channel.
Also, please share this article with someone who might find this information useful. 

COMMENTS

Name

AFCAT,53,Afghanistan,1,AFSB,68,Agriculture,2,airforce,3,army,5,Army Day,3,Assam,1,auto sector,1,Bangladesh,2,Battles,7,bhutan,1,Biography,21,BJP,1,Books,1,brahmos missile,1,Bravery,27,Business,11,carbon dioxide,1,cars,2,CDS,131,CDS AFCAT,14,Chandrayaan,1,child labour,1,childrens,1,China,9,chumbi valley,1,climate,1,climate change,1,confidence,22,conservation,2,corporate social responsibilty,5,courage,27,Crime,6,Crimea,1,csrInternational,3,Current Affairs,10,Cyber Crime,2,Cyber Laws,2,Cyber Safety,2,Cyber space,1,deals,1,DEFENCE,96,doklam,1,Dr APJ Abdul Kalam,4,DRDO,6,Drones,1,Drugs,1,DTD&P,8,Economics,32,Environment,13,ETYN,98,Europe,4,factories,1,Facts,45,Feminism,1,FIFA,1,Finance,1,France,1,frigates,1,Gallant,21,Geography,7,glaciers,1,Government Policies,62,hamas,1,healing,1,healing power,1,Healthcare,2,History,42,hongkong protests,1,IIT,1,Independence Day,5,India,91,Indian Airforce,24,Indian Army,47,Indian Economy,39,Indian Navy,20,Indian Policies,74,Indian Society,58,International,39,International Relations,48,Islam,1,Israel,1,ISRO,12,jal jagrukta abhiyan,1,jordan,1,jute,1,Kargil,1,kargil vijay diwas,1,kargil war,1,Kashmir,7,Knowledge Base,112,Laws,5,Lok Sabha,1,longShortStory,6,longStoryShort,8,meditatiion,1,meditation,1,middle east,1,Military,12,mind,1,Missiles,7,Modi,12,Monthly News,13,Moon,1,Motivation,30,mountains,1,Movements,4,nathu la,1,National,63,National Security,12,Nature,3,Navy,13,NDA,124,NIT,1,NITI Ayog,2,NSB,41,Nuclear technology,2,Ocean,3,Olympics,1,Opinions,32,Pakistan,10,palestine,1,peace,1,PIQ form,3,plastic,1,politicians,11,Politics,55,pollution,2,population,1,President of India,1,r,43,reading,1,Religion,3,Republic Day,1,Research,1,Review,14,rituals,1,Rome,1,Russia,5,sacrifice,1,Schemes,4,Science,9,Security,6,Sharia,1,shirin yoku,1,ShortNotes,71,siliguri corridor,1,slaughter,1,slaughter ban,1,Social Issues,3,Society,29,Space,2,Sports,6,Sri Lanka,1,SSB,140,Tamil Nadu,1,Tanks,1,Tech,21,Technology,11,Telangana,1,Terrorism,3,tibet,1,Transgenders,1,Triple Talaq,1,Ukraine,1,UN,1,underwater military museum,1,UPSC,122,USA,5,violence,1,War,43,warship,1,Water,2,weapons of Indian Army,12,Women Power,7,
ltr
item
The Radical - Information That Matters: 16 December : Vijay Diwas || When Indian Army Split Pakistan into 2 Pieces
16 December : Vijay Diwas || When Indian Army Split Pakistan into 2 Pieces
The day of 16 December is celebrated as Vijay Diwas every year to pay homage to our brave soldiers for their bravery and sacrifices in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. The day marks India's victory over Pakistan finally putting an end to the war. The end of the war resulted in the unilateral and unconditional surrender of the Pakistan Army and subsequent secession of East Pakistan into Bangladesh. This year we are celebrating the 38th anniversary of India's victory over the Pakistan army in the war. The day is also celebrated as 'Victory Day' in Bangladesh and a national holiday is observed there.
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-GrubPb1MiKA/Xfd3gSHDZOI/AAAAAAAAVno/354P5JuEk3YBCjR_x83L7zQ2lG7gI2-MACLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/115096080863.jpg
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-GrubPb1MiKA/Xfd3gSHDZOI/AAAAAAAAVno/354P5JuEk3YBCjR_x83L7zQ2lG7gI2-MACLcBGAsYHQ/s72-c/115096080863.jpg
The Radical - Information That Matters
https://www.theradical.in/2019/12/16-december-vijay-diwas-when-indian.html
https://www.theradical.in/
https://www.theradical.in/
https://www.theradical.in/2019/12/16-december-vijay-diwas-when-indian.html
true
6463603602474973548
UTF-8
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Readmore Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS CONTENT IS PREMIUM Please share to unlock Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy