अजीत सिन्हा / नई दिल्ली
कांग्रेस अध्यक्ष, सोनिया गांधी ने आज जवाहर भवन, नई दिल्ली में बांग्लादेश मुक्ति संग्राम 1971 के समापन समारोह को संबोधित किया। श्रीमती सोनिया गांधी ने कहा- ए.के. एंटनी, राहुल , मल्लिकार्जुन खड़गे, मीरा कुमार, लेफ्टिनेंट जनरल एआरके रेड्डी, वाइस एडमिरल एस.के. भसीन, एयर वाइस मार्शल कपिल काक, कैप्टन प्रवीण डावर, हमारे बहादुर दिग्गज, पार्टी के साथी, दोस्त।शुरू करने से पहले, मैं सदस्यों, सशस्त्र बलों के प्रतिष्ठित पूर्व सदस्यों को अपने अनुभव साझा करने और अंतिम जीत हासिल करने के लिए अपनाई गई रणनीति के बारे में बात करने के लिए विशेष धन्यवाद देना चाहता हूं, धन्यवाद।
Fifty years ago, the brave and courageous people of Bangladesh gave themselves a new future.
India stood by their side in solidarity to assist them in diverse ways.
It provided a home to some 10 million refugees.
It extended humanitarian support.
It mobilized international backing.
It raised its voice in regional and global forums.
Ultimately, when attacked it mounted a hugely successful military operation.
The intrepid freedom fighters of Bangladesh must be recalled and cheered.
The fine Indian civil servants and intelligence agencies of that time must be recalled and applauded.
All those in different countries of the world who stood by Bangladesh and India must be recalled and appreciated.
Most of all, the discipline, dedication, valour and sacrifices of the Indian armed forces must be recalled and saluted.
It was this extraordinary convergence of a well-planned and perfectly-executed political, diplomatic and military strategy that gave 1971- a distinctive place in the history of the sub-continent. It was a history that reshaped geography as well.
It was a remarkable group of individuals who made this truly historic effort possible and so tremendously impactful. It was indeed a gigantic collective enterprise. Listening to them, guiding and being guided by them, leading them in a clear, purposeful and decisive manner was a remarkable woman.
Today we recall Indira Gandhi with great pride.
She remains an inspiration to crores of Indians for her boldness and for her resilience. She continues to evoke admiration for her fierce determination to make India self-reliant, especially in agriculture, nuclear energy and space technology, for her commitment to the cause of ecological protection, and for her sensitivity to the concerns of far-flung areas of our country and for its disadvantaged sections.
But it will not be an exaggeration to say that 1971 was, in many ways, Indira Gandhi’s finest year – starting with the massive mandate she received in March. When the crisis erupted with the brutal crackdown in Dhaka and other places, she immediately understood its implications and swung into action. She reached out to all political parties and public figures. She wrote to Presidents and Prime Ministers. She dispatched emissaries abroad. She ensured that the USSR was with India. She travelled tirelessly to Western capitals. She sensitized the entire world community to the cause of the people of Bangladesh with personal interviews, meetings and appeals. And how can we ever forget the manner in which she stood up with the greatest fortitude to the crass insensitivity and crude bullying of the then President of the United States and some of his advisers and did India proud. Those were tension-filled days, weeks and months. But she remained supremely composed and confident drawing upon her immense reserve of inner strength. She was also incidentally Home Minister right through this turbulent period. Her cabinet had a distinguished galaxy of stalwarts like Jagjivan Ram, Defence Minister; Sardar Swaran Singh, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Y B Chavan and so many others.
So, today, we celebrate a magnificent accomplishment. But I think, Indira Gandhi would have wanted us to do so, not in a boastful spirit or in a spirit of self-glorification, but in a spirit of reflection and resolve. Let us therefore recall and celebrate that glorious occasion reaffirming our steadfast commitment to the values she cherished, the ideals she espoused and the causes she fought for—and ultimately sacrificed her life for.
Today, let us also congratulate the people of Bangladesh. The country has developed significantly in the face of great challenges. Very recently the United Nations graduated it from, I quote ‘least developed country’ to the developing country’ category. It is only appropriate that Bangladesh’s achievements are recognized as it celebrates the golden jubilee of its liberation. India, as you all know, shares a very warm relationship with it and bears a special responsibility to sustain and deepen that relationship.
Friends, much has been written about 1971 and indeed much will continue to be written. Undoubtedly, individuals played a pivotal and defining role and we owe so much to each and every one of them. But it was in reality the triumph of the will of the people of the Bangladesh and a fulfillment of their aspirations. It was also a victory of the people of India under the leadership of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.