MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA DECEMBER 17 , 2011 02.15 A.M.
What a day ! What a glorious day in our history !!
Just one day before my 20th birthday , that is on December 16 , 1971 , Indian Army , our army , defeated Pakistan and as a corollary , a new nation Bangladesh [ then known as East Pakistan ] came into existence .
In August 1947, the Partition of British India gave birth to two new states; a secular state named India and an Islamic state named Pakistan. Pakistan comprised two geographically and culturally separate areas to the east and the west of India.The western zone was popularly (and for a period of time, also officially) termed West Pakistan and the eastern zone (modern-day Bangladesh) was initially termed East Bengal and later, East Pakistan. Although the population of the two zones was close to equal, political power was concentrated in West Pakistan and it was widely perceived that East Pakistan was being exploited economically, leading to many grievances. Administration of two discontinuous territories was also seen as a challenge.
On 25 March 1971, rising political discontent and cultural nationalism in East Pakistan was met by brutal suppressive force from the ruling elite of the West Pakistan establishment in what came to be termed Operation Searchlight.
The violent crackdown by West Pakistan forces led to Awami League leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declaring East Pakistan’s independence as the state of Bangladesh on 26 March 1971.Pakistani President Agha Mohammed Yahya ordered the Pakistani military to restore the Pakistani government’s authority, beginning the civil war. The war led to a sea of refugees (estimated at the time to be about 10 million) flooding into the eastern provinces of India. Facing a mounting humanitarian and economic crisis, India started actively aiding and organising the Bangladeshi resistance army known as the Mukti Bahini.The war broke out on 26 March 1971 as army units directed by West Pakistan launched a military operation in East Pakistan against Bengali civilians, students, intelligentsia, and armed personnel who were demanding separation of the East from West Pakistan. Bengali military, paramilitary, and civilians formed the Mukti Bahini ( মুক্তি বাহিনী – Liberation Army ) and used guerrilla warfare tactics to fight against the West Pakistan army. India provided economic, military and diplomatic support to the Mukti Bahini rebels, leading West Pakistan to launch Operation Chengiz Khan, a pre-emptive attack on the western border of India which started the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.
On 16 December 1971, the allied forces of the Indian army and the Mukti Bahini defeated the West Pakistani forces deployed in the East. The resulting surrender was the largest in number of prisoners of war since World War II.
“The PAKISTAN Eastern Command agree to surrender all PAKISTAN Armed Forces in BANGLA DESH to Lieutenant-General JAGJIT SINGH AURORA, General Officer Commanding in Chief of the Indian and BANGLA DESH forces in the Eastern Theatre. This surrender includes all PAKISTAN land, air and naval forces as also all para-military forces and civil armed forces. These forces will lay down their arms and surrender at the places where they are currently located to the nearest regular troops under the command of Lieutenant-General JAGJIT SINGH AURORA.
The PAKISTAN Eastern Command shall come under the orders of Lieutenant-General JAGJIT SINGH AURORA as soon as the instrument has been signed. Disobedience of orders will be regarded as a breach of the surrender terms and will be dealt with in accordance with the accepted laws and usages of war. The decision of Lieutenant-General JAGJIT SINGH AURORA will be final, should any doubt arise as to the meaning or interpretation of the surrender terms.
LieutenantGeneral JAGJIT SINGH AURORA gives a solemn assurance that personnel who surrender shall be treated with dignity and respect that soldiers are entitled to in accordance with provisions of the GENEVA Convention and guarantees the safety and well-being of all PAKISTAN military and para-military forces who surrender. Protection will be provided to foreign nationals, ethnic minorities and personnel of WEST PAKISTAN origin by the forces under the command of Lieutenant- General JAGJIT SINGH AURORA.”
Signed by J.S. Aurora and A.A.K. Niazi on 16 December 1971.[ Since the events of that period are well-known , so I copied some portions of this blog from Wikipedia and pasted here . ]
When the war broke out , when Indian Army marched into East Pakistan and defeated Pakistani Army and when Sheikh Mujibur Rehman was released from Pakistani prison and came to New Delhi , I was a 20 year – old-young boy studying in Allahabad University . For my generation of Indians it was our proudest moment and shall always be so . We used to carry photograph of Lt. General Jagjit Singh Aurora accepting the surrender of Lt. General A. A. K. Niazi in our pockets . Ah ! What a day , what an event !!
A day after the victory , I turned 20 and now when I am about to complete this blog , I turned 60 . A surfeit of birthday messages are flooding the inbox of my mobile . But I am remembering that glorious day when as youngsters we were feeling so proud and the shame of the defeat in the 1962 Indo – China War simply evaporated .
That day is still vivid in my memory and it seems as if it all happened just yesterday . I wish to shout once again the slogan , which rented the corridors of Sir Ganga Nath Jha Hostel and The Allahabad University during those days .
JAI HIND ……………………………… JOY BANGLA !!!
MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA
- How one newspaper report changed world history (bbc.co.uk)
- 1971: Why the surrender? (rupeenews.com)
- 1971: Why the surrender? (lahoreledger.com)
- The Victory Day of Bangladesh (mahsin.wordpress.com)
- Forty Years After Its Independence, Bangladesh Looks to Its Past to Redeem Its Future (globalspin.blogs.time.com)
- War hero looks back with pride (thehindu.com)
- A task that’s remained unfinished for 40 years (thehindu.com)
- Sri Lanka: Declassified papers speak of Indo-US rivalry in South Asia (tamilnet.com)
- Assassination, Crime, Aug 15 and Bangladesh: Nature and Consequences (socyberty.com)
- Why Mujib Ur Rehman was killed by Bengali patriots on August 14th, 1975 (rupeenews.com)
- 16 December – on this day in history (rombizco.wordpress.com)
- India and Pakistan ” Friendship “ (farees.wordpress.com)
- Northeast, gateway to Bangladesh ties (thehindu.com)
- December 16 in history (homepaddock.wordpress.com)
- Ayub, Yahya, Bhutto, Mujib played part (nation.com.pk)
- Bangladesh at 40: The challenges ahead (bbc.co.uk)
- The article that changed history (sayou.wordpress.com)
- Bangladesh – country profile (rombizco.wordpress.com)
Filed under: World View Tagged: | 15 August 1947, 16 December 1971, 1962 War, 1971 War, A. A. K. Niazi, Acting Trainer, Allahabad University, Awami League, Bangaladesh War, Bangladesh, Bangladesh Liberation War, Bangladesh Vijay Diwas, Dhaka, Diction Trainer, East Pakistan, Hindi Teacher, India, Indo China War, Jai Hind, Joy Bangla, Kamal Nayan Chaturvedi, Lt. Genaral Jagjit Singh Aurora, Lt. General A. A. K. Niazi, Mukti Bahini, Operation Chengiz Khan, Operation Searchlight, Pakistan, Pakistan Army, Partition of India, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Sir Ganga Nath Jha Hostel, Vidur, Vidur Chaturvedi, Vidur on Twitter, Vidur's Blog, Vijay Diwas, West Pakistan, Yahya Khan