Date: 26 Dec 2010


INDIA HAS NO WAR MEMORIAL EVEN 6 DECADES AFTER FREEDOM: IESM \\\\\\\\\\ Bhopal, Dec 16 (UNI) \\\\\\\\\\\\\ As the nation observes the anniversary of the 1971 Bangladesh War, the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM) today described as ''a monumental shame'' the fact that -- even six decades after Independence -- the country does not have a war memorial in honour of those who made the supreme sacrifice in bitter conflicts since 1947. \\\\\\\\\\\ ''It is a day of rejoicing and jubilation, as also reflection and remembrance. Yet only 1.3 million souls who don the uniform, nearly three million veterans and their families commemorate this day. The rest, comprising over a billion Indians, are not even aware of it, thanks to the Government that has no time to even commend the soldiers for their sacrifices,'' IESM Vice-Chairman Major-General (Retd) Satbir Singh, Sena Medal, said in a release. \\\\\\\\\\\\ Most nations have days or weeks earmarked for felicitating their soldiers and veterans. \\\\\\\\\\ ''What do we do in India? Not only we do nothing but also our governments continue to be oblivious to the need and welfare of soldiers. In the name of civilian control of defence forces, which really means control by elected representatives, the bureaucrats continue to ill-treat the military,'' the veteran alleged. \\\\\\\\\\\\\ ''Two years back, political leaders stooped to the lowest level possible when they dubbed two conflicts as the Congress war and the Bharatiya Janata Party war. There is a need for people to join in creating ethos and traditions to give due respect and honour to soldiers,'' the release said. \\\\\\\\\\ On Vijay Diwas, the Defence Minister makes an appearance at the India Gate's Amar Jawan Jyoti to lay a wreath ''oblivious'' of the fact that he is laying a wreath at a place constructed by the British when India was a colony. An IESM delegation laid a wreath at Amar Jawan Jyoti at noon today. \\\\\\\\\ On this day in 1971 the Indian military won resounding victories in all theatres of that war with the crowning glory being the capture of East Pakistan; the birth of Bangladesh and taking more than 93,000 Pakistani soldiers as prisoners of war. \\\\\\\\\\\\ At 1631 hrs, Lieutenant-Gen Amir Abdullah Khan Naizi signed the surrender document offered by Indian Lt-Gen Jagjit Singh Arora. He also surrendered his pistol in a symbolic gesture. \\\\\\\\\\\\ This great victory was achieved at a price. A total of 68 officers, 60 junior commissioned officers (JCOs) and 1,293 other ranks sacrificed their lives. As many as 211 officers, 160 JCOs and more than 3,500 other ranks were wounded. The Indian Armed Forces took merely 14 days to liberate Bangladesh, in a lighting campaign to the surprise of the entire world. \\\\\\\\\\\ 000000000