This indeed was a double whammy as it was all about conquering one of the enemy and the others of carving out a structure which was defying gravity!
Both the achievements were great in all respects as both were for the Nation and its people!
One thing is certain in the lives of the victorious and the achievers, critics are loud, but success is louder. The soldiers and the bridge designers have proved the same to the hilt. Therefore it is in vain to try and stop a star from rising, even with a ladder.
Indian Army proved that they were the best in 1971 as they tore into the Pakistan Army and decimated it and in turn dismembering Pakistan as East Pakistan became Bangladesh.
Indian soldiers spoke of victory, declaring that they were all able. prepared to go any length even if they had to put their lives in danger to win the war. And they did it with immaculate ease.
It has been said for ages in the books of soldiering that tough times never last but tough people do but only to pave the way for the new ones to come in and carry on with their unfinished jobs. That is part of the legacy in the Indian Army.
Your first victory is in finding others happiness, your second victory is finding your own happiness. If others are happy and at peace then you get the feeling of elation. This is inbuilt in the soldiers of Indian Army.
I’m sure on the grievous battlefields in 1971 the warriors whispered back that we are the chorus voices of the union on wings of victory. Even in the most difficult and edge of the seats battle our soldiers came out victorious all the way.
That is the reason that the flame of victory is being carried all over UT Jammu and Kashmir and today it was in Reasi where also stands a giant of an architectural marvel, the highest railway bridge of the world!
Battle fields are a blood sport and only the strong, brave and courageous are allowed into the arena where the next bullet could be coming at you. The situation is volatile, dangerous and nerve racking. The battle swings as the soldiers clash with the enemy and the winner has to be a strong man. Strong people will take personal responsibility when the situation requires them to do so. And when not, they will look for ways to turn being a victor. 1971 was replete with examples of Indian officers and men doing it all alone as and when they saw an enemy pill box or a mortar pit becoming an impediment in their way. This was the part of the deadly show of courage where only the fittest survive to fight the other day. Most of the enemy soldiers did not see that as they perished. Another thing that is common in our soldiers is they believe in extraordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another. And thus they win always and every time. And this was the reason as to why they won the 1971 war within days and stunned the world with a spectacular victory. In case the readers have forgotten I will tell briefly as to what they did be it in marshy areas in then Pakistan, in the hills and mountains or in the deserts. Everywhere it was the victorious Tricolor flying with pride.
The conflict was ignited by the liberation war of Bangladesh following West Pakistan’s ill-treatment of the people and undermining the election results in East Pakistan.
The call for secession was officially raised on March 26, 1971, by East Pakistan. India’s then Prime Minister expressed full support for their independence struggle on the very next day.
Widespread genocide against Bengalis, mainly Hindus, at the hands of the Pakistani military, which forced about 10 million people to migrate to neighboring India. India opened its borders for the Bengali refugees.
3. The Indo-Pak war effectively began after preemptive aerial strikes by Pakistan Air Force (PAF) across airfields in North-Western India, including Agra as part of its Operation Chengiz Khan.
In response, the Indian Air Force flew about 4000 sorties in the Western front and close to two thousand in the east. PAF could offer little in retaliation with around 2800 and 30 sorties on the two fronts.
The Indian Navy’s Western Naval Command successfully conducted a surprise attack on Karachi port under the codename Trident on the night of December 4-5.
Pakistan had also mobilized its troops along the Western front. The Indian Army retaliated and captured several thousand kilometers of Pakistani territory.
Pakistan suffered the maximum casualty with about 8000 dead and 25,000 wounded, while India lost 3000 soldiers and 12,000 were wounded.
The Mukti Bahini guerrillas in East Pakistan joined hands with the Indian forces to fight against Pakistani troops in the Eastern front.
At the end of the war, around 93,000 Pakistani troops led by General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi surrendered to the allied forces. They were returned as part of the Shimla Agreement of 1972.
This was simply a lightning strike to which Pakistan had no reply. Surely the Indian Army proved that it had the power of the thunder storm. How can such a victory that shaped history can be forgotten. This victory flame reminds us of that and the valor of the soldiers who made it happen!
In Reasi where the victory flame had arrived there is another marvel that has been created by the engineers and the men at work. They too did the impossible by constructing something for which the nation is proud of them. The victory flame reaching here would have given a heavy dose of enthusiasm to keep on doing the good work. Some amazing thing about the marvel:
At 359 m height above the river bed, Chenab bridge will be 35 m taller than the Eiffel tower.
This bridge will be 1.315 km, and will have stations at both the ends.
Since the bridge has been built over a deep gorge, wind will pose a significant threat to the stability of the bridge. To tackle this issue, modern wind tunnel tests were performed in Denmark to finalise the design, and make sure that the is able to withstand wind velocity up to 266 kmph.
It’s made up of steel arches, whereas the mountain slopes supporting the foundations of the main arch have been stabilized.
Built in an earthquake prone Seismic Zone IV, seismic analysis has also been carried out by various IITs. Reportedly, the bridge will be able to withstand earthquake forces up to Seismic Zone V.
It has also been designed to be ‘blast-proof’ in consultation with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
Reportedly, the bridge will have a lifespan of 120 years, and have a design speed of 100 km
So this is another marvel that gives us the wow! Kind of elation!
The victory flame was received and thereafter a solemn and somber wreath laying ceremony was held. DC Reasi was present on the occasion along with war veterans of the 1971 war. By the way, Reasi too has produced many great fighters and the young boys who were present at the ceremony are more than eager to get into the olive green family. So another destination covered as he flames keeps rolling on towards its next destination. Ask any officer or a soldier of Indian Army whether serving or retired, he will always say, without being pushed to the wall, we have remained in our comfort zone. But if circumstance challenges us to find the courage to move on we are ever prepared for that! They say that soldiers always have a diehard spirit brimming! These men are stuffed with it since they are different, in fact very different!