TAWANG- Chief Minister Pema Khandu today received the Swarnim Vijay Mashaal or the Victory Flame from GoC, 5 Mountain Division, Maj Gen Zubin A Minwalla that reached Tawang yesterday travelling all the way from New Delhi last year.
The ‘Swarnim Vijay Mashaal’, or the ‘victory flame’ symbolises India’s victory over Pakistan in 1971. The celebration of 50 years of the victory – Swarnim Vijay Varsh – was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the National War Memorial in New Delhi on December 16, 2020.
Speaking on the occasion, Khandu said, “The Victory Flame lit by the Prime Minister has reignited the sense of unity across the country while remembering the sacrficies of our brave soldiers in the 1971 war.”
He paid rich tributes to Field Marshal Sham Maneckshaw under whose command the Indian armed forces registered victory within a span of two weeks.
“The 1971 Indo-Pak war witnessed one of the world’s largest victories in which at least 93000 Pakistani soldiers surrendered to the Indian forces. This is a tribute to the brave Indian soldiers who fought the war and those who sacrificed their lives,” he said.
Khandu also hailed the 1971 war for bringing together the three arms of the Indian armed forces – Air Force, the Army and Navy – in supreme coordination to achieve victory over enemy forces.
He said Arunachal Pradesh that shares international borders with three countries is proud to be a part of the celebrations and humbled to pay respects to the 1971 war heroes by hosting the Swarnim Vijay Mashaal.
“We are not our old self anymore. We have a strong Prime Minister and one of the strongest armies in the world,” he pointed and asserted that under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership defence has been given top priority. He said the Indian army is well equipped while the country today is developing indigenous armory under the ‘Make in India’ policy.
“We are a peace loving country. We do not want war in any circumstances. But if it comes, we are ready,” Khandu proclaimed.
Congratulating the Indian army, he said Tawang has been lucky to have a long association with it. He urged all to maintain the cordial relationship and bonhomie between the forces and civilians.
“We may be a state with extreme diversities but when it comes to patriotism, Arunachalees cannot be questioned nor compared. Our people are with the Indian army whether in peace or in war,” he said.
Tawang legislator Tsering Tashi, Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar, Planning Commissioner Prashant Lokhande also attended the ceremony.
Four victory flames lit from the eternal flame at National War Memorial, are being carried throughout the cities and villages across the nation, including the villages of Param Vir Chakra (PVC) and Maha Vir Chakra (MVC) awardees of 1971 war.
The victory flame has been sent to four cardinal directions of the country and will converge back at New Delhi in December 2021.