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India’s famous victory in Bangladesh Liberation War

Date: 17 December 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

President Ram Nath Kovind will attend the 50th anniversary celebration of Bangladesh liberation during his visit to Dhaka.

 

Background

The Bangladesh Liberation was a one of the greatest Indian military achievements in modern history.

 

Details

  • In 1971, the Indian armed forces laid a siege on Dhaka, the capital of erstwhile East Pakistan, which was witnessing a civil war.

  • A refugee crisis was borne by India and Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had no option but to intervene in the crisis.

 

Start of the liberation movement

  • In 1970 election in undivided Pakistan, the Awami league led by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman won majority. It was widely speculated that he would become the Prime Minister.

  • India had hoped that a democratic government would improve the relations between the two countries.

  • The military rulers in Pakistan were against installing Sheikh Mujib as he belonged to East Pakistan. He was kept under house arrest and movement was crushed.

  • Large number of native Bengalis and political leaders of Awami League were arrested. The army took complete control.

  • Indian intelligence reports stated that popular feelings were in favour of liberation. Pakistan was going to bring in the army to crush the movement.

  • By April 1971, the Indian government realized that there was no point sitting idle and decided to intervene in the liberation struggle to bring it to an early conclusion.

 

India’s participation

  • India wanted the liberation movement to get international recognition and sympathy. Without them, the action would be considered hostile and intervention in internal affairs of a foreign country.

  • India was waiting for a reason to justify its military actions. The refugee movement from Bangladesh into India played a major role for India’s support.

  • India wanted diplomatic support of Soviet Union to block Chinese intervention or veto by United Nations prematurely. The security treaty with Soviet Union paved the way for India’s participation.

 

Achievement

  • The coordination between the three services, intelligence agencies, Indian diplomats and higher officials ensured that India was successful in mounting pressure on Pakistan.

  • Finally, in December 1971, more than 90,000 Pakistani troops surrendered when India seized Dhaka. The new government under Sheikh Mujib came to power.