As yet another sign of compassion and integrity, the Institute of Leadership, Entrepreneurship & Development ( iLEAD), Kolkata, in affiliation with MAKAUT (Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology) successfully gained approval for the screening of the exclusive feature film, ‘1971: India’s Finest Hour’ at iLEAD College, Kolkata.
iLEAD’s ‘1971: India’s Finest Hour’ is a must watch film for every Indian to witness India’s valiant role in the Bangladesh Liberation War. The film recently got approved from the Censor Board and would be released soon by iLEAD, a media and management institute affiliated to MAKAUT (Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology). The film is essentially made from unseen, classified and archival footages of the actual events collected from Film Division, Government of India, BBC as well as independent photographers and journalists from all over the world. The film has been praised and critically acclaimed by the Indian Ministry of Defence and Hon’ble Governor of West Bengal, Shri KeshariNathTripathi.
In this time of awareness and craving for meaningful films, ‘1971: India’s Finest Hour’is certainly a milestone, highlighting the unique aspect of India’s greatest humanitarian crisis, in a never before way. The 1971 war between Pakistan and India was a defining moment in Indian history; in fact it was a landmark in the history of warfare. It was in this war, that Pakistan lost half its country, and its forces in the Eastern theatre, and had to publicly surrender to the Indians at Dhaka. In a matter of thirteen days and operating over highly difficult riverine terrains, the Indian Army was victorious over 93,000 Pakistani soldiers and over 75 million tormented people of Bangladesh were given their independence.
The Indian military operation of 1971 has been described as a “lightning campaign” and is studied in military institutions across the world. The National Defence College of Pakistan in a document on the 1971 war wrote:
“The Indians planned and executed their offensive against East Pakistan in a textbook manner. It was a classic example of thorough planning, minute coordination and bold execution.”
The Indian campaign to liberate Bangladesh from West Pakistan initiated genocide and oppression. It was a remarkable event where 93,000 fully armed Pakistan soldiers, from some of the most dreaded divisions, e.g. 22nd Baluch Regiment, having ammunition to fight for six months, surrendered unconditionally in full public view of the world. In this war all the wings of the Armed Forces, the Border Security Force, the Defence Ministry, External Affairs Ministry, Home Ministry, Finance Ministry, Railways and RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) joined their hands together and showed the world as to what could be achieved in just 13 days. The Liberation of Bangladesh is the most memorable war in the brief history of Bangladesh. The contribution of Indian Govt and the citizens of India is an important part of that history. Without mentioning the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) role in that war, the history of Bangladesh’s liberation is incomplete.
The purpose of this documentary is to inspire once again the nation by showcasing India’s finest hour, about its historic victory against Pakistan. It covers Indian history from the pre-independence era to post Bangladesh’s liberation.
The film holds a special significance this year as the Sheikh Hasina government of Bangladesh has posthumously honoured the Indian soldiers who laid down their lives in the Bangladesh Liberation War against Pakistan in 1971 on the occasion of Vijay Diwas, observed on December 16.
The man behind this extraordinary idea of showcasing this spectacular film, Kolkata based entrepreneur,Chairman,iLEAD, Mr.Pradip Chopra, has given great importance in promoting this historical event. When asked what triggered this whole idea, his astounding and immediate response was “I never felt as proud to be an Indian as in 1971 when India liberated the oppressed people of Bangladesh from Pakistani yoke. In the long Indian military history of lost wars this was one glorious moment to cherish when the enemy surrendered unconditionally giving the Indian Army an unprecedented victory against all odds, particularly, when two superpowers US and China were supporting Pakistan.This was an unparallel victory in the history of Indian Military.”