Saturday, June 28, 2008

1971 : Indo-Pak war?

Going through a news item regarding Field Marshal Manekshaw's demise in The New Age today, courtesy to Press Trust of India, New Delhi, I've been startled observing how the Indian press thinks of our 9-month long struggle for independence in 1971. The news started with

A legendary soldier and a national hero, Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw crafted India's greatest military victory in the 1971 Indo-Pak war that led to the emergence of Bangladesh.

What does that imply? Bloody birth of Bangladesh was a by-product of that so-called Indo-Pak war? With this statement, the sacrifice of our freedom fighters and martyrs has been brazenly belittled. It's downright despicable!

India's help in our war of liberation has always been aptly appreciated by us except some anti-India freaks. We're indebted to India for its help throughout our liberation war. But exaggeration of their contribution on the part of the Indian press is reprehensible. A war waged by Bangladeshis and fought fiercely in which Indian Force helped us cannot be dubbed as Indo-Pak war in any way.

It's liberation war of Bangladesh, NOT 1971 Indo-Pak war.

[ A moderated version of this post was published as a letter in The Daily Star on July 06, 2008 and in New Age on July 02, 2008. ]


Anonymous said...

Dear Ahmad,

Sorry that you are offended by the news article which did not mention the heroic role of Mukthi Bahini and the people of Bangladesh in 1971 war. I sincerely believe that without the Mukthi Bahini and the help of the people of Bangladesh, the war could not have been won.

However before passing your judgement, I request you to consider the following aspects:

1. By helping the cause of Bangladesh, India is risking a two front war with Pakistan.

2. India fought a war with China in 1962 and being a firm ally of Pakistan, China could have attacked India (Infact throughout the war, Indian Army kept four divisions as reserve along the Indo-Chinese border in case of such eventuality)

3. The then US President Mr. Nixon is openly critical of our Prime Minister Ms. Gandhi (as per the declassified US documents, he even called her a bitch) and US has sent one of their aircraft carriers - USS Enterprise to Bay of Bengal to deter Indian Navy.

If you consider these aspects, I believe that you could understand the risks taken by India and so most of the Indian public remembers it as Indo-Pak war rather than War of Liberation of Bangladesh. I think they are justified in thinking so.

However I endorse your view that the main objecyive of India in 1971 war was to solve the refugee problem by liberating Bangladesh rather than scoring a victory over Pakistan and an acknowledgement of the valor of Bangladeshi people in that article would have been much better. I hope that the people of Bangladesh will continue to have friendly relations with India.

With love,
An Indian Friend

Ahmad Ferdous Bin Alam said...

I appreciate your realization and thank you for taking your time to present the justification for dubbing the Liberation War of Bangladesh as Indo-Pak War 1971.

The fact that India took great risks in that war does not, nonetheless, justify the name "Indo-Pak war". The war was waged by people of Bangladesh at first and India helped us a lot. This is the fact that stands as a compelling argument to name it Liberation War of Bangladesh. Suppose Pakistan has invaded India. India is now fighting with Pakistan and Bangladesh is helping India a lot(though it sounds ridiculous practically for now) and suppose Bangladesh is taking too risk in the process. Now is it right that we dubb this war as Bangladesh-Pakistan war 2008?

I consider your argument as specious.

India's invaluable help during the Liberation War of Bangladesh will always be remembered and honored by the sane people of Bangladesh. And we, people of Bangladesh, cherish amity between neighboring nations despite myriads of existent dissidence.

Drawat said...

No one can take away struggle of Brave Bangaldeshis for their independence.

..But Indians might also be right in calling it as Indo Pak war 71, since the war was not only fought on eastern front but was fought on western front as well.

neem said...

I guess Indian Media calls it that because Pakistan did attack India's western border, after which India formally declared war against Pakistan - hence Indo-Pak war.

View this as essentially 2 wars. One between India and Pakistan, other the great WAR of liberation of Bangladesh that was fought by Bangladeshis against a genocidal enemy

Ahmad Ferdous Bin Alam said...

@Drawat & neem, your words makes sense. Liberation War of Bangladesh led to war on India's western front i.e. Indo-Pak War.

Subhankar Ghosal said...

Dear, Ahmad actually I started with a smiley of happy face to turn your mood little bit happier. Actually the feeling you feel after seeing the news I totally agree that in this situation any person belong to a nation will feel the same. Actually what happens when a newspaper throw some news to the people it always think abt which country it belong to(the newspaper). It is true that you fought your War of Independence and India helped it but actually she(India) took great risk and suffered so many casualties in the war. The sacrifice bengalies suffered all world know that & that is immortal in human history .

But what a Indian newspaper want to tell to the people of its country is all from Indian favour . it is not to dominate the struggle of Bangladesh.

With Love,

Ekjon Indian Bangali Bondhu

Anonymous said...

Pakistan movement was started from west Bengal and later on muslims of other part of united India joined with this struggle.Quaidi Azam Muhammad Ali jinnah initially was in congress but he saw the attitude of congress alongwith its leaders for muslims was not acceptable so he worked hard for the creation of Bangladesh could have been created by other peaceful manners. contn...

Subhankar Ghosal said...

In 1940 Lahore Resolution by Muslim League took decision to demand creation of 'independent states' for Muslims in the British India. There was not a single shout of Independent Nation/s. In 16 August 1946 Direct Action Day occur with a pre-planed Riot by the that time Muslim League leaders ( specially who were from rich and royal family ). Document tells that the police was instructed to not to take any action and plan fully some hooligans with fund from Muslim league started to kill others ( like terrorist under late' laden ). The outcome was dangerous. Mob entered into a brotherly killing and 6000 death with 1L homeless in 72hr. Next happened in the Noakhali with a total misinformation spreading. Now this lead the Bihar to react violently and the Muslim population on Bihar was genocide-ed. Then riot started in Panjab and Frontier. Now the Congress leaders were tired to handle, some were corrupted, Hindu Mahasabha and Muslim league were in fight. And partition were decided.

Now the magic happened in Bengal Suhrawardy who later became PM of Pakistan and Sarat Bose plea to make an Independent Bengal out of reach of Muslim League and Congress. But Cabinet did not allow that. Congress and League were agreed to partition. [ I think this is a very important point which been suppressed by both Indian and Pakistan Govt later ]

Thus Bengal had been victimized by riots created by rich and member of the royal families. Bengal had to be divided though it was the most enriched state and most enlighted , revolutionary and communist minded. British divide and rule mechanism succeeded.