By Safi Nasim
16 December 1971 is marked as the day of Fall of Dhaka. It is the FALLOF DHAKA day when East Pakistan became Bangladesh. And it is quite unfortunate that the event left many unanswered questions which are still need to be answered. But along with it there are lots of false and fabricating perspectives and perceptions about this tragic event which must need to be presented in front of new generation which is not clear about the tragic event which happened 48 years ago. Before further arguments, it is important to highlight that the typical narrative which we find almost everywhere in the literature about Fall of Dhaka was propagated and proliferated by sponsored elements in academia. Because of this one sided picture, fabricated figures about millions of genocide and rape cannot be justified or proved up till today.
Every year on December 16, India presents it as the day when year’s long subjugation and atrocities of Pak Army ended. But here is the other side of the picture. By seeing political turmoil in East Pakistan, India availed the opportunity to dismember its rival into two by igniting ethno-linguistic sentiments and training local militants. India pretends that it is the well-wisher and showed romantic and altruistic behavior for Bengali welfare. But the reality is something else. If we critically review the series of events happened before 1971 war, we can find that the whole battle was staged in the way that India could serve its national interests. So one should not be reluctant to say that India acted mainly in its national interest, and it was not romantic and altruistic for the welfare of Bengalis.
It is crystal clear that Indian never supported Bangladesh to become strong and independent and created problems from beginning. India kept hostile relations with Bangladesh due to disputes over Ganges river water due to construction of Faraka barrage near Bangladesh border, maritime belt conflict and border killings of Bangladesh nationals. It is on the record that India utilized Major Sharif ul Haq Dalim the liberation war veteran, for its own interest and even at one time he was regarded as most favorite man of Indra Gandhi and Gen. Jagjit Singh Arora. He was awarded highest Bangladeshi awards for his services but when India found no further benefit from him, he became the most wanted person.
Major Dalim admitted in his book “Bangladesh, Untold Facts” that India used him against his own country. He wrote further that India does not want Bangladesh to be strong and has malicious designs to be dependent on India. So an independent Bangladesh is not favorable for India and India will perceive a strong and stable
Bangladesh as a threat for its national security. He further added that if Bangladesh and Pakistan join the hands, they can easily sandwich India. He categorically wrote in his book that India is the mastermind of creating continuous rift between Pakistan and Bangladesh. Sound and stable mutual relationship between Pakistan and Bangladesh is not in favor of India and that is why India propagates conflicting themes for deepening rifts and misunderstandings.
But there is the difference between these propagandas and facts. No doubt, political and military leadership of Pakistan misunderstood what was happening in East Pakistan over the period of time and committed lots of mistakes. But in addition to it, international conspiracy was plotted against Pakistan. It is on the record that India opened its borders with East Pakistan, welcomed the members of Mukti Bahni in the cover of migrants, trained and equipped them with the weapons and the tactics of guerilla warfare in the camps. It is the part of record that there were 18 camps for Bengali migrants in bordering districts of India. Indian Army’s major general and three brigadiers were appointed on these camps for training perposes of Mukti Bahni. Here it is important to mention that the same tactic was applied by India against Sri Lanka in 1983-86 by training Tamil Tigers. But with effective intelligence sharing between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka succeeded to overcome the issue.
Now India claims to be the ally and major trade partner of Bangladesh but if we study the facts then we can say that there is a visible trade deficit between India and Bangladesh. India is exporting more than 6.8 billion $ good to Bangladesh but in return there are lot of barriers/taxes on import from Bangladesh. According to reports India presenting its role as a big brother of Bangladesh but it’s over whelming presence in the region and aggressive policies in the service of its national interest that is being perceived as a threat by Bangladesh.
On the other hand, Pakistan recognized Bangladesh in 1974 and since then it is ready for further cooperation in various sectors. Both countries have many things in common; both are founding members of SAARC, both are the part of the Developing 8 Countries, the OIC and the Commonwealth of Nations. So there are many platforms where the both states can cooperate and benefit from each other. Along with all these things, it is important to expose the reality of India which has hegemonic designs in South Asia. Currently India is threatening minorities and there is the situation of complete chaos after passing controversial citizenship. Likewise, various freedom movements are at their peak in India. In today’s India the statement of ex-prime minister of India, Indra Gandhi on fall of Dhaka proven as wrong in which she said that “We have taken the revenge of a thousand years” and “we have drowned the two-nation theory in the Bay of Bengal.” But current actions of BJP government against Muslims and other minorities have confirmed that the two nation theory is still alive.
The writer is a political analyst; views expressed by him are entirely his own.