Another Independence Movement Started in Bangladesh-Part 11
By Sohail Parwaz
In the book Mr. Abedin ponders over the events of 1971 and confesses that ‘one particular incident made him feel guilty for his participation in Mujib’s severance movement. That was about his neighbour in his home district Noakhali where the insurgents were gathering in April 1971, who told Zainul that struggling for one’s right is different from breakup of the country and warned him that India would first weaken us by breaking our unity and then exploit us. He added that his life time experiences had told him that India would never be sincere to Muslims. Abedin didn’t take the sermon seriously, although he realized the attitude of our Indian handlers and trainers, soon after crossing over to India, who were treating them not as friends but as agents. however many years later, what haunts him now is the question, which that old man asked him with wet eyes and trembling hands that, ‘Are you again going to make us the slaves of the Hindus?’ according to him the real Indian face lay bare after the surrender of Pakistani forces, when he saw the large scale loot and plunder by the Indian Army personnel. The soldiers swooped on everything they found and carried them away to India. Curfew was imposed on our towns, industrial bases, ports, cantonments, commercial centers and even residential areas to make the looting easier. They lifted everything from ceiling fans to military equipment, utensils to water taps. Thousands of Army vehicles were used to carry looted goods to India. History has recorded few such cruel and heinous plunders. Such a large scale plunder could not have been possible without connivance of higher Indian authorities’.
From the conduct of the Indian Army it was evident that they treated Bangladesh as a colony. That was the time the question asked by his neighbour seriously surfaced in Mr. Abedin’s mind. He feels that ‘India through her notorious deeds has proved time and again that she is not our friend but an arch roguish foe’, which has posed a grave threat to the independence and sovereignty of Bangladesh. ‘It is now evident’, writes Mr. Abedin, ‘that India helped the creation of Bangladesh with the aim that it would be a step forward towards the reunification of India’.
This seems to be an endless animosity being displayed by the Awami League and Sheikh’s daughter who now intends taking 195 Pakistan Army officers allegedly involved in killing of Bengalis in 1971 War, to the International Crime Tribunal (ICT). Hasina is breathlessly doing a wild digging at the annals of history merely to keep the hatred against Pakistan alive but she forgot about the confession she made four years back that her father Sheikh Mujibur Rehman was a traitor who formed a detailed conspiracy to break Pakistan into 2 pieces with the help of the Indian government during his stay in London in 1969. Hasina while addressing a discussion in Dhaka about four years back to mark the ‘March 7,1971’ speech of mutiny, said that her father made separation plans just months after his release from Kurmitola where he had been detained in the Agartala Conspiracy Case, in which the Pakistan government had brought sedition charges against him and 34 others.
She proudly made a horrific on record disclosure that her father went to London on October 22 1969, following his release in the Agartala case on April 22 that year. It was there that her father made plans for separating West Pakistan from East Pakistan, during several meetings with some Indian officials. The same was endorsed few months later by the Indian Army’s Eastern Command, which destroyed documents relating to the liberation war of Bangladesh, since the time to declassifying and making the documents available to the public was approaching shortly. The documents showed the extent of Indian involvement in the East Pakistan even before formal war was declared on 6 December 1971. This hush-up was done fearing that the world might come to know about the fact that a large number of the freedom fighters was actually Indian saboteurs in disguise and they were responsible for a large number of massacres of both Bengali and non-Bengali innocent persons.
What the Indian eastern Command’s eyes missed was the confession made by General Manekshaw who already claimed in a book he wrote that he recruited 80,000 Hindus to create the Mukti Bahini. These terrorists were dressed up in Pakistan Army uniform and raped and pillaged Pakistani Bengalis. They also were dressed up as civilians carrying out acts of sabotage against the civil and military government of Pakistan.
In the early morning of August 15, 1975, a group of young officers who were victim to Mujib’s rosy propaganda of struggling for a “Sonar Desh” (Beautiful Land) divided themselves into four groups and banged into Bangla Bondhu’s residence where they found him on the stairs. He was asked to step down from power and was given some time to take decision but on refusing was shot dead. All the members of his family were also killed except for his two daughters, Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana, who were in West Germany at the time and took refuge by the Indian government and were flown to India. Rest is just history, which one fears, is likely to repeat itself soon if Hasina Wajid will not learn a lesson from it. The writing on the wall is that the people of Bangladesh in next to no time realized that they were betrayed by a man whom they trusted more and called him adoringly “Bangla Bondhu”.
Ironically, his stubborn daughter is determined to wind up her father’s unfinished agenda, not that he left behind some Will, but purely because Hasina’s Indian masters have that order of the day for her. And latest on the board is her indirect order to the authorities to ensure that the spectators in the stadium do not fly “other country’s” flag and we all know that which country is that “Other Country” that pinches her severely. But what she forgets is that history often repeats itself even if it’s beyond one’s thoughts and dreams. If in 1971 Bangladesh was in making unfortunately then who knows that in the coming years the remaking of East Pakistan also takes place. After all people never thought of Germany’s reunification in their wildest dreams.