50th ANNIV CELEBRATIONS OF BANGLADESH
Never since antiquity, in the history of mankind, a new nation was born resulting from a War between two nations. The jointmanship of the three brave Armed Forces of India together with Mukti-Bahini had written a Chapter of Glory and Valour, to be remembered in footprints of time for the future generations. The attack on Karachi (OP Trident and Python) on the western Seaboard, the attack on Dacca, Chittagong, Khulna, Cox Bazar and Mongla by the Seahawks from Vikrant, The stealth attack by the daredevils of Muktibahini trained for Operation X by Late Capt MN Samant, MVC and his team, the joint attack by the valiant Indian Air Force’s precision bombing and the charged up Army advancing through the Padma and Meghna fronts and the Bangladesh terrain, closing in from all directions into Dhaka… resulted in the surrender of the 93,000 Pak soldiers, 50 years ago… resulted in the birth of a new Nation… “B-A-N-G-L-A-D-E-S-H”. A great Day for Sam Bahadur, Indira Gandhi and Shaikh Mujibur Rahman.
A week prior to Vijay Diwas, the Dep High Commissioner of Bangladesh, Mr Md Lutfor Rahman called up Cdr Vijay Vadhera, President NFMC inviting a few Veterans, who had participated in the Indo-Pak War, for their 50th Anniv of Victory Day celebrations programmed on 16 Dec 2021 at Taj Vivanta, Cuff Parade Colaba, by the Bangladesh Consulate. It was the conclusion of the year long festivities that Bangladesh celebrated as the Year of Bangabandhu Shaikh Mujibur Rahman. It was also the culmination of Swarnim Vijay Varsh that India Observed in honour of its War Veterans with the Victory Flame visiting the premises of the Armed Forces establishments and residences of the Gallantry awardees of the 1971 War.
At this point of time, it would be prudent
for us to get acquainted with the impressive profile that Mr Md Lutfor Rahman is
Mr. Md. Lutfor Rahman was born in Thakurgaon, Bangladesh on 16 October, 1970. He grduated from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology in 1995. He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Gvoernment of Bangladesh in Febraury, 1998. He served in the Headquarters for 2 years as Assistant Secretary in different sections. He was posted to Bangladesh Embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam in 2000 and continued to serve till September, 2004. He then served as First Secretary for two years in Bangladesh Deputy High Commission in Karachi, Pakistan. Mr. Rahman returned to the Headquaters and assumed the charge as Director in Febraury, 2007. After serving for 02 years in Dhaka, Mr. Rahman joined Bangladesh Mission in Riydh, Saudi Arabia as Counsellor. After a rather short stint, he was posted to Bangladesh Embassy in Rabat, Morocco as Chrge d’Affaires ad interim in 2010. Upon completion of his tenure of 04 years, he came back to Headquaters in September, 2014 and was promoted to the rank of Director General. He led the Consular and Welfare Wing and the External Publicity Wing respectively before being posted to Bangladesh Deputy High Commission in Mumbai. His hobbies are reading books watching Sports & movies. He is primarily interested in literature, mythology and Development Economics. Mr. Rahman is married and blessed with two children.
16 Dec 2021- VIJAY DIWAS
It was a fine morning when Meena and I left our Borivali home in our Tata Manza at 0730 hrs for the Golden Jubilee of Victory Day celebration of our eastern Friend scheduled at 11 AM. After a comfortable long drive, we wheeled into Taj Vivanta, Cuff Parade. The arrival of the cheerful guests in the Banquet Hall made the fascinating environment even more buoyant. The bliss of interacting with like-minded Veterans is Priceless and evident during such an effervescent gathering, despite the Covid protocol being maintained. The Banquet hall was abuzz with distinguished Veterans : Lt.Gen KS Brar (Blue Star fame), Cdr Vijay Vadhera, President NFMC, Veer Nari Dr Kanta Mukherjee, Cmde NN Rao, Capt & Mrs Rakesh Agrawala, Cdr & Mrs MS Grewal, Cdr Puran Rawat & Cdr Abhishek Kankan.
The Ball room center stage was adorned with a large backdrop of revered Bangabandhu ‘Shaikh Mujibur Rahman’ on whose memory the Golden Jubilee year is dedicated ‘Mujib Year’s Diplomacy: Friendship & Prosperity’. The sacred corner on the right of stage was dedicated for the frames of Bangabandhu Mujib, PM Shaikh Hasina and President Mr Abdul Hamid. The presentation screen and the acoustics corner was to the Left.
After the distinguished guests were seated Ms Pooja Shinde, the beautiful Mistress of Ceremony with a sweet voice, welcomed the gathering and requested Senior Gallantry Legend of the 1971 War, LtGen KS Brar, PVSM, AVSM, VrC and Cdr Vijay Vadhera, NM(G), President NFMC to take the VIP seats flanking the Dep High Commissioner. She then called upon the distinguished guests to join in for the wreath laying at the sacred corner followed by the Flag hoisting (Pics below). She then called on stage the Dep High Commissioner, Mr Rahman to commence the proceedings by reading out the messages from Bangladesh PM Mrs Shaikh Hasina, President Mr Abdul Hamid and the messages from the Minister of Foreign Affairs. It was then time to acknowledge and felicitate the organisations and sponsors. In his address Cdr Vadhera thanked Dep High Commissioner to have invited the Veterans of NFMC for the various functions of the Consulate during the Swarnim Vijay Varsh, including the felicitation of Veterans by the Governor at the Press club on 09 Oct 2021. He elaborated on Navy’s role in Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, the Attack on Karachi (OP Trident and Python), Attack on East Pakistan Ports by Sea Hawks from Vikrant, the jointmanship of all the 3 Armed forces of India along with the Muktibahini very effectively, to be Victorious in a 13 day War. He then presented to excellency Mr Md Lutfor Rahman a copy of Quarter Deck-2021 as a Coffee Table memento and wished Mr Lutfor Rahman and his good Lady Shehnaz very Best wishes for their continued excellence in the new consulate in Toronto, Canada. Gen Brar effectively delivered his mesmerising talk and experience of the War, when he was the commander of MLI battalion and with the first batch of troops stormed into Dhaka on the morning of 16th Dec ’71. During the War his battalion was pitted against the 31st Baluch of the Pakistani Army. His soldiers had to move across the river Brahmaputra, at a location where no bridges existed. Therefore, they were able to carry only limited weapons on a man-pack basis. Brar moved from company to company in the midst of the battle, motivating his soldiers to continue the fight. He was awarded the Vir Chakra for the battle fought at Jamalpur on the night of 10 Dec 1971.
Dep High Commissioner thanked the speakers and elaborated on the growing economy of Bangladesh and prayed for an everlasting friendship between the two brotherly Nations with continued benefits of mutual growth, envisioning the dream of Bangabandhu and in keeping with the Golden Jubilee motto ‘Mujib Year’s Diplomacy: Friendship & Prosperity’.
were then escorted to the Banquet Hall for the exquisite Lunch and merriment.
It was a joyous gathering of Veterans. Meena and I were the last few to
thank and bid farewell to Mr Lutfor Rehman and his good lady Mrs Shehnaz. As we
wheeled out of Taj, we smilingly recalled our childhood days of that era and
saluted the Veterans and martyrs of India and the Mukti-bahini who fought
valiantly and brought Glory to our great Nation and to the new Nation
Happy Bijoy Diwas !
Jai Bongla !
Jai Hind !
PS- This was also a farewell function for Mr Lutfor Rahman, Dep High Commissioner of Bangladesh as he shortly moves to Toronto, Canada as High Commissioner of Bangladesh.