Thoughts on the calamity of 1971
Dr. Firoz Mahboob Kamal
The earned occupation
Some alarming news is circulating in the media. Now in police, civil administrations and ministerial secretariats of Bangladesh, Hindus are getting jobs at disproportionately higher proportion than the Muslims. Hundreds of thousands of Indians are working legally or illegally in Bangladesh. Now it is no secret that Shaikh Hasina’s government is doing everything to appease the Hindu minority. She takes it as a strategy to appease the Hindutva rulers in Delhi – her real masters and promoters in politics. Muslims are about 15 percent in India, but in government services, they are only about 3 percent. The exclusion of Muslims from government jobs is the government policy since independence of India in 1947. The ruling party gets changed but the anti-Muslim policy stays.
The same Hindutva policy of excluding Muslims is working in Bangladesh. The Indian occupation is taking place in every form and everywhere in Bangladesh. India could take transit through Bangladesh. It enjoys access to the country’s sea ports. It withdraws water from more than 50 rivers. It can kill any number of unarmed Bangladeshis on the border; but it can’t dare kill Pakistanis or Nepalese or Bhutanese in the same way. But the Bangladesh government maintains its conspicuous silence. As if the caged pigeon has no choice. What else could be the worst symptoms of the Indian occupation? Even those who fought against Pakistan shoulder to shoulder with the Indian Army are raising the voice against such occupation.
War of a country has never been a charity for any other country or people. It is an investment of money and blood. War is always used as a tool of geopolitical dominance. Hence, India’s war in 1971 was not a gift for Bengali people. It was not only to dismember Pakistan; but also to put a shackle at the neck of the Bangladeshis. It was not only to dismember and weaken Pakistan –its arch enemy; but also to put a shackle at the neck of the Bangladeshis. It was to capture the greatest market for Indian goods in Bangladesh. It was also to use its soil as a backyard and logistic route to fight its war against the insurgency in Hindu deficient north-eastern seven states. But the secularised Bengalis foolishly believe that India fought for their independence. They yet fail to understand that they earned only occupation and not independence.
To live with geopolitical independence is the most costly enterprise in the world. For that, Pakistan had to bear economic hardship to make nuclear bombs. The European countries had to form the European Union and join NATO to minimise the cost of defence. For the same reason, the wise Bengali Muslim leaders of the 1940s forged unity with the West Pakistanis to form united Pakistan. But Shaikh Mujib -like Mir Zafar of the 1750s had only one agenda; it was to grab power by any means. Defence or independence of Bangladesh wasn’t not an issue for him. He was even ready to accept slavery of India if he is kept in power. This is why he became part of the India inspired Agartala conspiracy in the 1960s. Her daughter Hasina is following the same strategy. And India, too, knows very well that Bangladesh will never have the ability to bear the huge cost of defence against India. Bangladesh possesses only one option and that is to accept the Indian hegemony. In fact, Tajuddin’s acceptance of 7 point and Mujib’s acceptance of 25 point treaty of surrender with India testify to such vulnerability.
Shaikh Mujib: the icon of betrayal
In 1966 in Lahore, when Shaikh Mujib declared a 6 point formula, there was an apprehension in the political circle that it would break Pakistan. But Mujib responded to that allegation by telling that the 6 point formula will not break rather strengthen Pakistan. But the reaction inside Awami League was quick. Out of 17 districts of East Pakistan, in 13 districts the Awami League leaders resigned from the party in protest. It was on 11 January 1970, the first election rally of Awami League was held in Dhaka’s Race Course Ground (now called Suhrawardy Uddayan). I was there. Mujib told emphatically, “I am blamed that I want to break Pakistan. (He asked people) You raise the slogan Pakistan Zindabad so loud that it reaches Rawalpindi.” It was again on the same ground on 10 January 1972. After the return from Pakistani jail, Mujib said, “My struggle for liberation of Bangladesh didn’t start in 1971. It was from 1947. This is the level of his betrayal and hypocrisy. This time I was not present on the ground, but listened to the whole speech as it was put on live broadcast on the radio.
Professor GW Chowdhury was the former professor of political science in Dhaka University. He was the federal minister of President General Yahiya Khan cum his political adviser. He wrote in his book “The last days of united Pakistan ” that Pakistan military intelligence handed over a cassette to Yahiya that revealed Mujib’s plan in his own voice about the dismemberment of Pakistan in a circle of his closed comrades. But Yahiya was so much mesmerised by Mujib’s false promise that he will be made the constitutional President of Pakistan, he ignored the first proof of his treachery. Rather General Yahiya took a policy of appeasing Mujib. He allowed him to let loose his murderous fascist thugs on the streets of East Pakistan to dismantle political rallies of all the parties that were committed for united Pakistan. The election rallies of Fazlul Qader Chowdhury’s Muslim League, Nurul Ameen’s Pakistan Democratic Party and Jamaat-e-Islami in Dhaka’s iconic Paltan Maidan were totally vandalized by the Awami League thugs. On 18 January 1970, two workers of Jamaat-e-Islami were killed and hundreds were injured in its election rally there. The venue of carnage was adjacent to the Governor House. None was arrested or prosecuted. Such vandalism took place all over East Pakistan against pro-Pakistani parties. The Governor House of Governor Admiral Ahsan was the regular gossip centre of the Awami League leaders. Dr. Kamal Hussain -a close comrade of Mujib and later the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh was a regular guest -as her daughter told one of friends while studying in one of the British universities. So Shaikh Mujib won the election before Election Day. Because of close collaboration with Yahiya’s government, Mujib won the number of seats that he never thought of.
The separation of East Pakistan was never mentioned in Mujib’s electoral campaign. He fought the 1970 election on the issues of provincial autonomy, poverty and eradication of regional disparity. He gave electoral promise to bring down the rice price to 0.50 taka per ser (a ser is equal to almost a kilo). These promises were highly popular issues to catch votes. Hence in election, these lucrative promises worked. But when Mujib won the election, he changed the goal post. On the last day of the dialogue on 23 March 1971, Mujib asked President General Yahia Khan to withdraw martial law from East Pakistan and hand over power to him. He was no more interested to form the constitution of Pakistan, neither to form central government. Whereas prior to the election, Shaikh Mujib –like all other parties signed the 8 point legal frame work (LFW) which required framing a constitution of Pakistan in 120 days prior to handover of the power to a civil government. But Mujib disobeyed the agreement; thus betrayed his own written promise. Acceptance of Mujib’s demand was tantamount to dismemberment of Pakistan. So a negotiated settlement failed.
The fortunate India
India is working with the strategy to occupy Bangladesh from 1947. It was a great success in 1971. India is fortunate to get millions of armed and unarmed collaborators to execute its strategy. India didn’t get such collaborators in other neighbouring countries –not even in Hindu majority Nepal. It is a shame that most of the Bangladeshis couldn’t see India’s covert and overt agenda. It is also a shame that they took a proven Indian agent and the killer of democracy as the father and friend of Bengalis (father of nation and bangabandhu).
Not surprisingly, the de-Islamised secularists and the Bengali nationalists celebrate Indian occupation as liberation. They sing a song of an idol worshiper like Indian Tagore as the national anthem. In 1972, India withdrew its occupational forces but had enough internal collaborators to sustain the Indian occupation. So to kill anti-Indians like Abrar Fahad of BUET, India didn’t need to send any Rashtriya Sevak Sangh (RSS) thugs, the Bangladesh branch of RSS does the job. They can kill and kidnap anybody from anywhere in the country.
Telling the truth: a holy jihad
The de-Islamised and secularised collaborators of India have successfully killed truth in Bangladesh. In a Tsunami of lies even a university professor sells popular lies of 1971’s 30 million deaths with a loud voice and a pious man feels hesitant to speak even the simple and straightforward truth. In Bangladesh, most of the people analyse political events of 1971 with a prism of Bengali nationalism and secularism. Their nationalist and secularist prisms help them hide even the horrendous crimes of the Bengali nationalists. They can’t see the genocide of Bihari men, women and children, the rape of the non-Bengalis women, and the killing of thousands of unarmed pro-Pakistani razakars in 1971.
If anyone of Bangladesh sees things through an Islamic perspective, he or she is blamed to have Pakistani prism and labelled as razaker. Whereas in any form of analysis, to have an Islamic prism is an Islamic obligation. A Muslim differ from a non-Muslim not only in beliefs but also in prisms of visualising and analysing facts. In fact, faith in Islam brings changes not only in beliefs and lifestyle, but also in ideological perspectives of the embedded prism. This is why the people of different beliefs living in the same place don’t see things the same way. This is why an Islamist sees differently from a secularist, liberalist or a nationalist.
We must tell the most unpalatable truth about 1971. Even a thief can tell a popular truth to raise his credibility in society. But a man who offers five prayers and keeps a month-long fasting may not say the most unpopular truth. There is a risk of being abused or killed by the false mongers. Even the great Prophet (peace be upon him) was labelled as lunatic for telling the truth. It is the reality that terrorism works not only in politics but also in the intellectual discourse. Bangladesh is under the rule of the worst cultural and intellectual terrorists. All the books that are written on the events of 1971 tell the narratives of Awami League. Those who differ with their fabricated story are not allowed to publicise their views. This is intellectual fascism.
This is why telling truth is given and extra credit in Islam. It is jihad in Islam. Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la gives reward for those who take the risks of telling the most unpopular truth. In the history of Bangladesh there are many such truths that are hidden and rarely told in public. And a lie can only survive if truth is suppressed. A lot of lies have been manufactured around the events of 1917. The lie of the liberation of Bangladesh by Mukti Bahini, 3 million deaths and 300, 000 rapes could get a huge market only because the truth has been suppressed. It is claimed that Mukti Bahini has liberated Bangladesh but it is not said that they could not liberate a single district and not even sub-district (mahakuma), let alone the whole Bangladesh. East Pakistan was taken over by the Indian Army and not by Mukti Bahini. The people have been listening to that fabricated stuff all the time since 1971 both from Bangladesh Awami League (BAL), Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and other secular camps.
The haram politics
A Muslim must have his or her politics fully halal like halal foods and drinks. There must not be any compromise on that. Taking haram food is the rebellion against the order of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la; hence it makes a man kafir. Likewise, haram politic is the disobedience of Allah’s guidance in statecraft; hence it also makes one kafir. This is why secularist and nationalist politics are haram in Islam. These are sheer ideological corruption and disobedience. A Muslim must incorporate all the Islamic guidance in his politics. There is no scope of excluding any Islamic rule from any space of life –be it political or non-political. It is the full submission to Islam. It is the Qur’anic decree: “ud’khulu fis slime ka’ffa” (enter into Islam fully). Hence nothing of life should be outside the rule of Islam.
But a secularist doesn’t give space for the implementation Islamic principles in politics, judiciary, culture, dress code and other affairs. They call it medieval barbarism. They call it communalism and superstition. This is exactly happening in Bangladesh. They are restrictive against Islam. So the secularists become monarchist, fascist, nationalist, socialist and liberalist. Unfortunately, like prostitution and riba (interest) this haram stuff like secularism, nationalism, and liberalism thrive in countries like Bangladesh. Trading such evil ideologies has become a staple of the secularist parties like Bangladesh Awami League (BAL) Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and many other secular parties.
In the secular paradigm even adultery (jina) is appreciated as love if done with consent. But in Islamic paradigm, it is punishable by stoning to death in public if they are married. Those who are unmarried have to face lashes. Those who disagree with such Qur’anic verdict instantly turn to be kafir -as revealed in surah Maida verse 44. The same is true about breaking a Muslim country. It is a punishable crime by death. If not punished here, will be punished in the hereafter. Pakistan was not a perfect Islamic state. But it was Muslim state. A house may have some poisonous snakes in it. For that, the house must not be burnt. Instead, the snakes should be killed. The same is about a Muslim state. The Umaiya, Abbasiya and Osmani caliphates were not perfect Islamic states like khulafa-e Rashida. Even some rulers burnt kabah. Despite all the inadequacies, no believer tried to dismember those caliphates; so the caliphate survived for more than 13 hundred years. The Muslim Army had to fight wars only on the frontiers against the alien kuffars, they didn’t face any internal separatists. Later on it became the crime of the nationalist devils and in 1971, Pakistan too, had to face them. But the secularists don’t bother about sharia. They only want power by any means –even aligning with the kuffars, as Mujib and his comrades did in 1971. The Arab World is divided into 22 states. But that is not Islamic, it is the sign of old Arab tribalism. The crimes of Arabs cannot justify the crimes of Bengalis in 1971.
Politics is an ibadah in Islam. It must be used as a tool only to please Allah Subhana wa Tala by bringing victory to Islam and Muslims. In Islam, politics is not power-grabbing enterprise; it is a holy jihad to defend Islamic ideology, sharia and the Muslim land. It must not be used to appease any national, tribal, personal or party aspirations.
So a true Muslim always does politics to build and expand a Muslim country and never engage to break it. This is why in 1971, not a single Islamic party or a single alim supported the break of Pakistan. They all called it haram.
Breaking Pakistan was the project of India and pro-Indian BAL, NAP, communist party and Hindus. Of course they won; but that doesn’t mean that they were right. Victory is never a marker of rightfulness. Many devils like Pharaoh won and ruled for long years in history. A Hindu never supports any good for the Muslims. India’s support in 1971 proved that it was wrong and harmful for the Muslims.
The lost opportunity
Pakistan has its own problems. But the Bengalis -the majority of Pakistan didn’t try to help solve those problems. Rather the nationalist and secularist Bengalis abused those problems to fulfil the Indian agenda and their own narrow parochial goal. Serving Islam and the Muslims didn’t receive any priority in Mujib’s politics in 1971.
Pakistan was the largest Muslim country in the world and now a nuclear power. Pakistan gave the Bengali Muslims a golden opportunity to shine in the world and play a significant role in world politics. Breaking Pakistan was not the solution of the problems of Bengali Muslims, it could be strengthened by democratisation. Pakistan’s strength was Bengali Muslims’ strength. But fascist Shaikh Mujib and his ilk didn’t have any iota of love for democracy. He proved that while got power. He harmed both Pakistan and Bangladesh. Now Pakistan has achieved the democratic goal but democracy is dead in Bangladesh.
The BAL people described East Pakistan as a colony of West Pakistan. It is totally wrong. The man who sat on the chair of the Head of the State of Pakistan after the death of Jinnah was Khawja Nazimuddin of Dhaka. Pakistan had three Bengali Prime Ministers in 23 years. But these BAL Bengalis do not understand what colonial rule does mean -although Bengal had the longest colonial rule in the whole span of the Muslim history. The Bengalis enjoyed more democracy in Pakistan than in Bangladesh. The politics of naked fascism, killing political opponents, forced disappearance, hanging through fabricated trials as currently inundate Bangladesh didn’t exist in Pakistan.
As a Muslim, one must try to be a pan-Islamist. Any secularist or nationalist inclination must not enter into believers’ hearts. This is an Islamic obligation. A true believer must hate to be a nationalist as he or she hates idol worshipping. It doesn’t need any moral strength or ideological correctness to flow with the wave of toxic nationalism, even a thief or killer can amply follow such a political trend. But it is haram in Islam. If a Muslim is alone, even then he or she must stand against such a deviant trend.
So my analysis on 1971 definitely differs from that of those who are nationalist, secularist and non-conformist with Islam. My cherished Muslimness is responsible for such a distinctiveness from others. I admire those wise Bengali Muslim leaders of the 1940s who created a golden opportunity for the Bengali Muslim to play a significant role in the global stage by building the largest Muslim Country in the world.
In February 2020, I went to present a research paper in an international conference arranged jointly by the University of Paris and the University of Normandy. I felt very proud as a Bengali while an Indonesian professor in his paper on Bandung Spirit in non-aligned movement mentioned the name of Bengali Mohammad Ali Bogra who attended the NAM conference in Bandung in Indonesia as the Prime Minister of Pakistan -along with Prime Minister Nehru, President Naser, President Shukarno, Marshal Tito and many others. In that hall, it came to mind that the Bengali Muslims could have played a more important role on the world stage if they had been a part of Pakistan. At least they could escape the ongoing Indian hegemony. Those who damaged that golden opportunity in 1971 will face harsh condemnation if not today at least a hundred years later.
The new hope and the challenge
However, the paradigm in the Muslim World is rapidly shifting. The nationalists and secularists are now recognised as the deviants and internal enemies of the Muslim Ummah. Even a school kid with little Islamic knowledge understands that. All the damages that are done to the Muslim Ummah in the recent history are done by these nationalists and secularists and not by the non-Muslims. Those who have love for Islam understand their crimes. Once, Mr. Sharif Musaddeque of Iran was a great hero of the Iranian nationalists. He was an elected Prime Minister of Iran in 1953 and admired for ousting the King Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi and nationalising Iranian oil. After the revolution in 1979, the famous road of Tehran was immediately renamed after him. But now he lives only in the midst of historical garbage. His crime is nothing but adherence to secularism and Iranian nationalism. In the near future, the nationalists and secularists will face the same fate all over the Muslim Ummah.
So the Mujib’ite or the Zia’ite Mukti Bahini people who danced with the victorious Indian Army in 1971 and killed thousands of innocent Bengali and non-Bengali people for their love for Islam and Pakistan will be condemned for their heinous crime against Islam and Muslims. In the history of Islam they will be remembered as the destroyers of the largest Muslim Country of the world and for serving Hindutva agenda of India. In every age Satan gets his own agents to harm Islam and the Muslims. Once they were the Mongol killers, the Christian crusaders and the European colonists. They caused horrors of genocides, plunders and destructions in the Muslim World. Now the new crops of criminal agents are the home-grown nationalists, racists and secularists. The most potential political structure of Islam like Osmania caliphate and Pakistan are damaged by these criminals. They are still active in all Muslim countries. Every Muslim has a moral duty to take the fight against these criminals. 22/09/2021