Fall of Dacca, 1971 – When did India decided to create ‘Bangladesh’: 1971 or 1963?

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Indira Gandhi, always defended her decision to attack former East-Pakistan and to create ‘Bangladesh’ in 1971, as a decision she took after the Pakistani Military action against Bengali rebels, ie after the Operation Search Light in March 1971. Off-course she was lying. A large guerrilla force of more than 100,000 could not be trained, mobilized and put into operation against a professional army in few weeks. But given Pakistan’s defeat, its rule by a Military govt, its international isolation, its sense of shock and humiliation and plain incompetence Indira was able to sell this simplistic narrative to the world and even to common citizens in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. But the more historians dig into the past the more they discover her lies. For instance an Ex-Indian Dipolmat, Sushanka S Bannerjee, published his book, “India, Mujibur Rehman, Banglaesh Liberation & Pakistan” from London in 2011. Book is full of his hate commentaries against Pakistan, Pakistan Army, Punjabis, China and the US administration of Nixon and Kissinger. But book is goldmine in one respect: it gives details of an interesting meeting that takes place on 25th December 1962 in Dacca, then capitol of former East Pakistan. S. Bannerjee describes how Manik Mian, also known in Bengal’s history as ‘Tuffuzal Hussain’ Editor of then popular Bengali paper, Ittefaq, organizes his first meeting with Sheikh Mujeeb ur Rehman, leader of Awami League and how Sheikh in that meeting hands over a secret letter for Indian PM, Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru. Letter was sent, in tripple coded cypher message, by Col. S Ghosh, Station Commander of Indian Intelligence Bureau (IB) in Dacca to the office of Indian PM. In addition to the PM, it was for the notice of Indian Foreign Secretary and Director IB. In the letter Sheikh Mujeeb ur Rehman demanded Indian help for setting up a ‘Bangladesh govt in exile’ from London; he wanted to launch his movement from March 1963 against the central govt of Pakistan – a movement for the liberation of Bengladesh. But PM Nehru in his well considered reply, after several weeks advises against the plan to shift it to London. He promises all out Indian help but advises Sheikh that his party (Awami League) has to turn itself into a mass movement of small towns and villages like Gandhi’s struggle against British; it has to become a ‘donation seeking party’ whose members carry cards for deeper penetration and it has to hold rallies all across the rural hinterland. Nehru advises Sheikh that only becoming such a mass movement will he attract international support and he promises all help towards that end. He warns Sheikh that in 1963 international climate is not favourable for this rebellion but time will come to strike. This tv segment (in Urdu) describes this plan and raises interesting questions. Who then was planning to create a mass unrest, a civil war and chaotic law and order situation? Who was waiting to create a situation to intervene militarily?

Fall of Dacca, 1971- Why India’s Eastern… by moeedpirzada2015

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