The war of 1971 and the creation of Bangladesh Dr. Firoz Mahboob Kamal

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Treachery against Islam and Muslims

Unlike the creation of Pakistan in 1947, the war of 1971 and the creation of Bangladesh was not based on any plebiscite or consensus of people’s verdict. Hence, the issue continues to haunt again and again the Bengali Muslims’ mind and will survive through centuries as a hot and important political and intellectual issue. When Pakistan was created in 1947, the whole Muslim World was disintegrated into bits and pieces. The Arab World was broken into 22 pieces. Muslims do not have a single civilizational state. All the Muslim countries are either tribal, national or sub-national state. In such a calamitous milieu, the creation of Pakistan as the largest Muslim country in the contemporary world was a huge moral boost. But the enemies both inside and outside Pakistan didn’t like it. India considered Pakistan its existential threat. Hence, since day one of the creation of Pakistan, India was waiting for an opportunity to dismember its enemy. They got it in 1971. In 1971’s war, India gained the most and Bangladesh lost the most. After the war, Bangladesh earned the title of “the bottle-less basket” in the world. In a corruption-induced famine in 1974, hundreds of thousands of people died of hunger. The Bengali Muslims lost in other ways, too. Being the largest ethnic population of the 400 million strong population of united Pakistan in 21st century, the Bengali Muslims could have shined on the world stage much better than the capitulated state under Indian dominance –as it is now. Through cessation from Pakistan, the Bengali Muslims lost that golden opportunity.

Pakistan wasn’t merely a name of a state. In 1947, it came into being as the expression of a philosophy, a dream and a civilizational aspiration.  For a civilizational role on the global stage, Muslims always need a larger geographical space. This is why the early Muslims needed to go beyond Arabian Peninsula and build the largest Muslim state spread on three continents called Khelafa. For the same reason, the South Asian Muslims built the largest Muslim country in the world called Pakistan. But that was spoiled in 1971 by the Muslims themselves in collaboration with their known invasive enemies. Therefore what happened in 1971, a true believer in Islam can only mourn. And, only the enemies of Muslims like the Hindutva Hindus of India and their allies in Bangladesh can celebrate.

It is worth mentioning that in the creation of Pakistan, the Bengali Muslims played the most pivotal role. Bengal –the most powerful political, financial and intellectual province of India was the birthplace cum bastion of Muslim League –the father organisation for Pakistan. When the democratic election was introduced, Bengal became the first province under the Muslims League’s rule in the British era. Other provinces like Sindh and Punjab came much later. When all negotiation efforts of Qaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah with the British failed, Jinnah had no option but to call for direct action. He raised the war cry “larke lenge Pakistan”. On 16 August 1946, to respond to Jinnah’s call, more than 5,000 Bengali Muslims became Shaheed in the streets of Kolkata by the hands of Hindutva thugs. And the blood of these innocents didn’t go in vain. That got the desired victory. After that bloody day, both the British and Indian National Congress could foresee the worst consequences of non-acceptance of Pakistan demand. Hence after the Kolkata genocide, they instantly accepted the Pakistan demand. Therefore the ownership of Pakistan largely belongs to the Bengali Muslims. It was hard to believe for an average Indian Muslim that the Bengali Muslim would ever align with the 1971’s enemies of Pakistan to dismember it.

In thousand years of their history, the Indian Hindus never got a victory like the one they got in 1971. This is why after the fall of Dhaka on 16 December 1971, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi could roar in the Indian Parliament by claiming: “hazar sal ki badla le liya.” It is a pity that the victory of the Hindutva Hindus indeed owes to the shameful collaboration of the Bengali nationalists and secularists. Through all ages of history, these de-Islamised Bengali nationalists will be definitely hated for their alliance with the Hindutva idolaters and will be rebuked as traitors for their crimes against Islam and Muslims.

The 1971 war changed the whole geopolitics of South Asia in favour of India. It was a pure Indian war. It was fought by Indian weapons, by Indian money, by the Indian Army and by the India-trained Mukti Bahini. And it was to fulfil the Indian agenda. It was not supported by any Islamic party, any imam, any pir or any Islamic scholar of former East Pakistan. The issue remains too heavy to sweep under the carpet. The issues will always question the legality, sanity and benefit of the bloody war of 1971 which caused deaths to thousands, displacement of millions and painful humiliation of Muslims in the hands of Hindutva kafirs of India. This is not a simple forgettable issue for a Muslim. Those who brought this awful war to people’s lives will be constantly examined. In fact, the involvement of Hindutva India – the proven and established enemies of Muslims is enough to expose the nefarious designs of the whole political project of the Bengali secularists cum nationalists.

The change in goalpost and fulfilment of the Agartala conspiracy

It is significant to note that Awami League and its leader Shaikh Mujibur Rahman fought the election in 1970 on the issues of provincial autonomy, removal of the regional disparity and framing the constitution of Pakistan and not on the dismemberment of Pakistan. So people supported such popular demands and voted for his party. So, Mujib’s victory in the 1970 election doesn’t give him any legality or mandate to secede from Pakistan. It is a pity that after the election victory, Shaikh Mujib deliberately changed his political goal post to materialise his prior commitment to India that he made in the infamous Agartala Conspiracy hatched in the mid-sixties. The Pakistan intelligence had information on Mujib’s involvement in the conspiracy. Later on it was revealed that Mujib could be easily punished for his involvement in the treason. As a strategy to escape, Mujib politicised the case. He claimed his innocence and blamed it as a political conspiracy against him. The case had to be dropped on the pretext of anti-Ayyub mass agitation and the opposition parties’ joint demand for his release. After the creation of Bangladesh, those who were alleged in the Agartala conspiracy made it a matter of great pride in the mass media for their involvement in that India-led Pakistan-dismemberment project. Because of his commitment to the Indian project, Mujib detested to be the Prime Minister of Pakistan. Nor did he show any interest in framing the constitution of Pakistan. Whereas both Bhutto and Yahiya Khan accepted his 6 point formula. In the final days of negotiations with President Yahiya and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Mujib’s focus was only to create independent Bangladesh. He attended the meeting with President Yahiya Khan with a car hoisting a flag of independent Bangladesh on its top.

Therefore, those who claim that war in 1971 owes to Yahiya’s denial to hand over power to Shaikh Mujib are naïve and ill-conceived. His political foot soldiers already hoisted the flag of independent Bangladesh on 2 March 1971 in the Dhaka University campus –long before the negotiation started in Dhaka. These extremists already declared the death of united Pakistan and demanded the withdrawal of the Pakistan Army and Martial Law from East Pakistan and hand over the power in East Pakistan to Shaikh Mujib. President Yahiya Khan couldn’t succumb to that demand. At that time Pakistan was being ruled only by martial law. Hence the withdrawal of martial law would only mean formal secession of East Pakistan. President Yahiya refused to preside over such a formula of dismemberment. So Pakistan entered into a 9 month-old war against secessionists. By this time RAW -the Indian intelligence agency, its secret operators and the pro-Indian Awami League extremists have already taken full control of politics in Dhaka. Shaikh Mujib worked only as a hostage in their hands. So the negotiation proved futile. The two US professors named Richard Sisson and Leo E. Rose has revealed some of the first-hand information –collected from the key Pakistani, Indian and Bengali political players of that time in their book “War and Secession: Pakistan, India and the creation of Bangladesh.”  Shaikh Mujib was arrested and was taken to a jail in West Pakistan; but the project of breaking Pakistan continued as per the Indian plan.  

Mujib’s fascism and Yahiya’s complicity

Shaikh Mujib was a hard core fascist. He didn’t have any love for democracy, morality or human rights. When he came to power in Bangladesh, he put a ban on all opposition parties and closed all newspapers except the government controlled ones. He put all Islamists and pro-Pakistani leaders in jail. Thousands of them were brutally killed. All houses, all businesses and all jobs were taken from the non-Bengalis known as Biharis. They were put in slums. Thousands of Biharis were killed and hundreds of Bihari women were raped by Awami League thugs. He introduced one party rule of BAKSAL (Bangladeh Krishok Sramik Awami League). He used democracy only as a ladder to climb up to capture power; when he got the electoral victory, he sent democracy to the graveyard.

Mujib’s fascism was also very robust and very brutal during the election of 1970. President Yahiya and his government elites were complicit in it. Mujib played double games: one with Yahiya Khan and another with India. Mujib never betrayed India but he betrayed President Yahiya. Whatever he promised India in the Agartala conspiracy, he fulfilled that through 1971’s war. It was part of the blueprint of the Agartala conspiracy that Bengali soldiers staying in East Pakistan would be instigated to fight a rebellious war against the Pakistan Army.

Election in 1970 was only a milestone in the way but not the end. To win the election, Mujib needed the government’s help. So, he gave a false promise to President Yahiya that if he wins the election he will make him constitutional President of Pakistan. Prof G.W. Chowdhury –the central communication minister cum political adviser to the President Yahiya mentioned about that promise in his book “The last days of united Pakistan.”  By such an intrigue, Mujib could use the whole administration in his favour. Admiral Ahsan –the 1970’s Governor of East Pakistan played in Mujib’s favour. His office became the meeting centre of Awami League leaders like Dr. Kamal Hussain and others. So the police and the prosecution team of East Pakistan stayed silent or inactive when the fascist Awami League thugs of Mujib drove all pro-Pakistani and pro-Islamic political activists out of the election campaign. On 18 January 1970, the political rally of Jama’at Islami in Dhaka’s famous Paltan ground was brutally vandalised in front of the Governor’s house. Two persons were killed and hundreds were injured, but none was arrested or prosecuted. No other parties like Muslim League and Pakistan Democratic Party of Nurul Amin was allowed to hold any public meeting in Dhaka either. The unhindered false vote casting in favour of Awami League candidates also worked as a powerful tool. Since its creation, Pakistan has had a lot of internal enemies inside its Army, media, judiciary and civil administration. These embedded enemies of Pakistan failed in 1947 but succeeded in 1971. They worked in tandem with their ideological siblings living in East Pakistan.   

War of ideas and the crime of secularists

As regards 1971 war, the Bengali Muslims are divided into two camps. One is a secular nationalist camp and another is Islamic camp. In secular nationalist ideology, breaking a country on linguistic and ethnic priorities is highly applauded. Fighting war on such an agenda is considered a heroic act. But it is haram in Islam. Islam wants unity between people of different races, lands and languages. Only this way Muslims can stand as a powerful global civilizational force –as happened in the golden days of Islam. In fact, such an aspiration inspired the South Asian Muslims to create Pakistan in 1947.

With a shift in paradigm, the judgement also differs. In secular paradigm, sex with consent or living together like spouses without marriage is not a punishable crime. But in Islam it is punishable either by stoning to death or by 80 or 100 lashes in a public square. The same is true about breaking a Muslim state. Since it is a grave betrayal against Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’ala decree on Muslims’ unity and security, it is haram and a punishable treason. It is punishable either by death or by long imprisonment. Despite differences on various issues, all religious scholars agree on that.  Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la wants Muslims’ unity, security and honour. Hence, it is a religious obligation that a Muslim must work for that Divine agenda. But Shaitan wants Muslims’ disunity, disgrace and calamity. Secularists, nationalists, and racists work to fulfil Shaitan’s agenda.

Muslims are now divided in the name of race, language and tribe, but such a common practice does not make such disunity permissible for any Muslim. It didn’t happen in the early days of Muslims. Many haram and punishable crimes like prostitution, gambling, riba and many others are made unpunishable in Muslim countries, but that doesn’t make these permissible for a true Muslim. This is why not a single alim, single pir and a single Islamic party in East Pakistan supported 1971’s war for breaking Pakistan. None of the Islam loving people went to India to join Mukti Bahini. Like halal foods and drinks, a Muslim also needs halal war. A war must be 100 percent jihad for a Muslim. In 1971’s war, that was never claimed by any of the Awami League or Mukti Bahini leaders. A Muslim can never join a secular, national or tribal war. Such a war takes one only to hellfire. This is why the breaking of Pakistan was the work of de-Islamised nationalists, secularists, socialists, communists and Hindus and not of any Islamists. It was supported only by the states like India, Israel and Russia – the proven and established enemies of Islam and Muslims.

It is a great shame that the Bengali secularists and nationalists aligned with the proven enemies. Only those who see things through an Islamic prism can see such devilish deviation in politics, intellectualism and warfare. But unfortunately the insights of most Muslims are highly corrupted by a plethora of toxic anti-Islamic ideologies. As a result, Islamic perspectives are mostly lost. This is why worse criminals are worshipped as heroes and their crimes are applauded as great deeds. They even celebrate the enemies’ victory as their own victory. Exactly that is happening in Bangladesh. 

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Disclaimer: The war of 1971 and the creation of Bangladesh Dr. Firoz Mahboob Kamal - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect point-of-view

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