• Short Summary

    India's military forces, victorious in the fight to liberate Bangladesh last month, yesterday (wednesday) paraded through New Delhi to the acclamation of huge crowds.

  • Description

    India's military forces, victorious in the fight to liberate Bangladesh last month, yesterday (wednesday) paraded through New Delhi to the acclamation of huge crowds.

    The parade marked the 22nd anniversary of India's becoming a republic. But the Bangladesh theme played an important part in the celebrations -- and Indian leader, including Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and President V.V. Giri, saw tableaux depicting atrocities in the fight for freedom.

    Crowds, estimated to total over a million people, cheered wildly at tableaux intended to depict the slaughter of civilians by Pakistani troops.

    In a separate ceremony at the Presidential Palace, Mrs. Gandhi was decorated with the nation's highest award for leading India to a military victory over Pakistan. President Giri presented her with the Bharat Ratna -- the Jewel of India.

    SYNOPSIS: President Giri of India, arriving by coach to take the salute at a major parade in New Delhi, was cheered by crowds of an estimated million people on Wednesday. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was also there. The occasion was the twenty-second anniversary of India's becoming a republic. But it was also a chance for the armed forces, victorious in their struggle to free Bangladesh, to receive the acclamation of the people.

    The parade was led by the Sixty-First Cavalry Regiment, the only mounted unite left in the Indian army. Behind the horses came tanks which took part in last month's fighting.

    Many of the troops who fought in the Bangladesh campaign were in the parade, including the "Red Devil" paratroopers. One of their units was the first to be dropped into the Dacca area. Though the parade lasted two-and-a half hours, it was smaller than usual because so many troops are still in the war zones.

    Indian-build Gnat aircraft played and important part in the fighting.

    The Navy displayed a model of its aircraft carrier Vibrant which struck against Pakistani targets in the fighting.

    Tableaux represented events in the battle for Bangladesh over the past year. This was the most controversial section of the parade. There had been advanced criticism of tableaux intended to depict Pakistani soldiers killing civilians and committing atrocities. The rise of the Mukti Bahini guerrillas and the advance of the Indian forces were also portrayed.

    On the same day, the fighting was also commemorated in a ceremony at the Presidential Palaow. President Giri was to make the award of the nation's highest decoration, the Bharat Ratna o??? Jewel of India. The presentation was made to Mrs. Gandhi for leading the country to a military victory over Pakistan.

    In speeches on the eve of the republic anniversary, both President Giri and Mrs. Gandhi declared that india would welcome friendly relations with Pakistan providing the "nightmare of the past" could be forgotten. President Giri said that the conflict had not been between nations, but between contrasting ideas and systems. He called on the peoples of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh to start co-operating to their common advantage.

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