Tirupati: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has received the Swarnim Vijay Mashaal, Flame of Victory, to commemorate the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of Swarnim Vijay Varsh to mark the iconic Indo-Pak War of 1971 and felicitated the War Heroes besides announcing a ten-time hike in cash award from the State Government for winning gallantry medals in Armed Forces.
The Chief Minister had first visited the residence of Major General (Retd) C Venugopal, the War Veteran, and felicitated him as he is the living legend of the 1971 War. He also met the family members of the War Hero who was decorated with a bar of medals. The mud from the house of Maj. Gen. will be taken to Delhi for its place of pride.
Later at the Police Parade Grounds, the Chief Minister felicitated J Chinatalli, widow of Naik J Sanyasi for his exemplary role in the 1971 War. The Chief Minister has said that the State Government will increase the Cash Reward by ten times for the Armed Forces personnel from the State who win gallantry medals.
The Cash Award for winners of Param Vir Chakra and Ashoka Chakra are now getting Rs 10 lakhs and it will be increased to Rs 1 crore. For Maha Vir Chakra and Keerti Chakra the amount of State incentives will be increased from Rs 8 lakh to Rs 80 lakhs. For the Armed personnel from the State winning Veer Chakra and Sowrya Chakra the Cash Award will be increased from Rs 6 lkah to Rs 60 lakh. The kin of all armed personnel from the State who lay down their lives in line of duty will be given Rs 50 lakhs, he said.
The Chief Minister recalled the events that led to the 1971 War and how the new nation Bangladesh was born and the role played by the Armed Forces in liberating what was then called the East Pakistan. The War lasted for just 13 days on December 16 and the new nation was born and democracy was upheld putting an end to the hegemony of the West Pakistan over East. He saluted the Armed Forces for guarding our borders and sovereignty even in adverse weather conditions to ensure peace in rest of the country. The brave hearts will live forever. It is not a job but a service to the nation safeguarding the country of 135 crore people.
The Chief Minister concluded his speech by quoting from the Kohima War Cemetery which says:
“ When you go home tell them of us and say for your tomorrow we gave our today.”
The Victory Flame, which was lit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ignite the year long Golden Jubilee celebrations on December 16, has come to Tirupati to begin its Southern journey. The Flare will be taken across the country and to places where War Heroes hail from to relive the spirit of the Victory.
An audio visual presentation of the 1971 War was played along with medley of patriotic songs by the Army band. Officers and Men from the Services besides State Cabinet ministers and officials were present at the event.