On December 16, 2007 Bangladesh entered 37 years of its existence. But during this long span of time Bangladesh could not reach its cherished goal of independence for which we fought, it rather faced unthinkable impediments and predicaments. This happened due to our utter failure of identifying our friends and foes, mending our stupidity and zeal for personal interest and power. It is our ill luck that we considered and some of us still consider our arch rival and foe as our friend.
The country that came forward as an ally and salvager during our war of liberation, ironically emerged as deadly giant. Our successive governments, right from Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to Fakharuddin Ahmad, though comprehend Indian designs, could not and still cannot take bold step to frustrate them (Indian designs), as they remain busy to tackle internal chaos and problems imposed by India. On the other hand, it is an irony that most of the Bangladeshi policymakers, politicians, intellectuals, bureaucrats, business magnets, etc., who directly and indirectly control the statecrafts of Bangladesh have either become India’s pawns to grab their self-interest, who give priority to their immediate gains instead of national interest and sovereignty and independence of our motherland for which three million sons of our soil welcomed martyrdom. Some of them, including Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, on good faith sincerely believed that India would behave with us as brotherly and friendly neighbour and never poke its nose in our affairs or try to minimise our sovereignty and independence or impede our march towards prosperity.
But Indian Brahmanic policymakers, since pre-Palasy War era, sided with the then British East India Company and aligned to one principle till date to keep the Muslims of the subcontinent under their knee. Indian leadership who against their will, though conceded to the partition of the subcontinent that led to the emergence of a separate Muslim homeland named Pakistan in 1947, kept their dream alive to jeopardise Pakistan and unify the map of the British-administered India, what they term as ‘Ramraj’ or ‘Awkhand Bharat’. Nehru through his writings and utterances repeatedly declared that the areas that comprised Pakistan, particularly East Pakistan (today’s Bangladesh) and West Punjab (today’s Punjab Province of Pakistan) would return to Indian fold immediately after the partition of the subcontinent. To translate this dream into practice, Indian leaders, whether they are so- called secularists, or communists, or fundamentalists, or arch communalists, never set aside their dream of unifying the British-India and all the successive governments, right from Nehru to Manmohan Singh, worked and work to materialise that end into practice.
To reach their goal the then Hindu-dominated Congress leadership prepared a secret blueprint of undoing the separate homeland–Pakistan strangely eight days before the partition of the subcontinent and kept their efforts continued to implement it. Indian government, its intelligence agencies and media, availing the errors, omissions and failures of the Pakistani rulers, above all anti-West Pakistan sentiment in East Pakistan that originated due to the exploitative policies of the successive Pakistan governments, fueled secessionist movement in the then East Pakistan that subsequently paved the way for Indian intervention in the liberation war of Bangladesh. Indian media and intellectuals proudly declared that the dismemberment of Pakistan in 1971 was one step forward to reunify those territories India that formed Pakistan and later Bangladesh.
Through such comment they confessed that India assisted our liberation war against Pakistan not for our sake but India’s sake. Now it is clear that India helped us not to flourish Bangladesh as an independent and sovereign country, but to make it as its sole Bazar and subsequently merge it with India right way. With this end in view, India deliberately marched its Army to Bangladesh, which is unprecedented in the contemporary world. Many countries, including USA, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Afghanistan, etc., were liberated through armed struggles. France extended its support to the liberation war of the United States of America; Russia and China to Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. To liberate Afghanistan many countries, particularly all the Muslim countries and Western world, even China extended their open support, but none ever militarily intervened in the name of liberating Afghanistan.
India’s subsequent ugly and cruel behaviour unfolded the fact that under the cover of liberating Bangladesh, Indian government assisted us virtually to merge our country with India in course of time. It means Indian Army marched to Bangladesh not to leave it, but to remain stationed here (Bangladesh) for ever, but was compelled to retreat considering the then world opinion in favour of Bangladesh whose founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman publicly asked India to withdraw its troops. Indian President late Zail Singh later publicly indicated that India withdrew from Bangladesh against its will. In his last interview as President with an Indian newsweekly ‘Sunday’ (July 27, 1987) he lamented saying that the decision of withdrawing Indian troops from Bangladesh was not judicious and it hampered India’s interest. India’s covert design is amply uncovered if one goes through the 7-piont secret treaty that India before militarily involving in Bangladesh War of Liberation compelled the then revolutionary interim government of Bangladesh exiled in India to sign. The treaty contained the following uneven and unacceptable conditions:
- After the establishment of Bangladesh, the administrative officers who actively participated in the war of liberation would remain in their posts. The rest would be terminated and the vacant posts would be filled up by the Indian administrative officials. (To fill the so-called vacancies, many Indian civil servants reached Dhaka soon after the Indian soldiers took its control and an Indian ICS official presided over the first meeting of the Bangladeshi administrative officials held at the DC’s office in Dhaka.)
- After the liberation of Bangladesh the required number of Indian soldiers would remain in Bangladesh. (It was not made clear for how many years or decades they would remain in Bangladesh.)
- Bangladesh would not form and maintain any formal and regular Army. (Sheikh Mujib raised a small-sized weak Armed Force defying Indian pressure.)
- To maintain internal security and law and order a militia was formed comprising the freedom fighters. (Accordingly a brutal militia was formed under the name ‘Rakkhi Bahini’ whose power and facilities superseded that of the Armed Forces. It is strongly believed that the real headquarters of the Rakkhi Bahini was at Delhi and many Indian nationals hailing from West Bengal and the Deccan were recruited in this militia who resembled to the Bangladeshis in appearance and physical height.)
- The chief of Staff of Indian Armed Forces would lead the probable war with Pakistan. The Mukti Bahini (Freedom Fighters) would work under the command of Indian Armed Forces.
- Trade transaction between the two countries would be free and open. The volume of trade would be calculated once in a year and the price would be paid in pound-starlings. (Interview of late Humayun Rashid Chowdhury: see the books ‘BAngladesher Sadinata Juddayee RAW O CIA’ by Masudul Haq and RAW and Bangladesh’ by Mohammad Zainal Abedin.)
- The foreign ministry of Bangladesh would maintain a close liaison with External Affairs Ministry of India and the latter would assist the former as far as possible. (It means Bangladesh would follow Indian foreign policy what Bhutan or Sikkim (India swallowed Sikkim in 1974).
To keep uniformity with this accord, the provisional Bangladesh government headquartered in India conceded to the following arrangements:
- Lt. Gen. Arora was appointed as the commander-in-chief of the Allied Forces instead of Gen, M A G Osmani, the Chief of Bangladesh Armed Forces and Mukti Bahini.
- Surrender of Pakistani soldiers to Indian solders (Lt. Gen. Arora) instead of Bangladesh Army. (By doing this India documentarily tried to burry the contribution and sacrifices of the Bangladeshi people in liberating their homeland and prove that our war of liberation was a war between India and Pakistan. It paved the way for India to loot Bangladesh and grab all the weaponries and equipments of Pakistani soldiers that they accumulated in East Pakistan. India also got the chance of arresting 93 thousand Pakistani soldiers as prisoners of war and compelled the Pakistan government to sign a humiliating Simla Treaty.)
- Allow the Indian civil servants to arrive Dhaka to take over the responsibility of civil administration. (Indian civil servants came to Dhaka accordingly, but failed to stay).
- Continued presence of Indian soldiers in Bangladesh even after surrender of Pakistan Army on December 16, 1971.
- Formation of Rakkhi Bahini (virtually under Indian command).
Indian efforts to maintain permanent military presence in Bangladesh, above all, turn it to a subservient vassal State outright after our war of liberation though were partially stumbled, Indian policymakers did not retreated from their original blueprint. They comprehended that it was not an easy task to swallow Bangladesh by muscle power–”the traditional way of occupying a country, which was neither appropriate nor practicable in the changed international scenario. So they chalked out fresh strategies and intrigues to cripple Bangladesh politically, economically, psychologically, and culturally, which India and its intelligence agencies ably implement till date through their local tentacles.
The pro-India tilt of the helmsmen of our statecraft utterly failed to strengthen our sovereignty and ensure economic prosperity, by frustrating Indian designs. Rather they to assume and remain in power did not hesitate to hand over our vital and strategic interests to India one after another. Their outward and verbal sources of power are Bangladeshi people prior to election, but India becomes their inward power and inspiration as soon as they assume any responsible position to run the country.
Bangladesh in its 37-year of existence failed to stand on its own feet due to the multi-pronged problems one after another that India imposes on us due to the pro-India tilt of our leaders. No governments right from Sheikh Mujb to Fakharuddin Ahmed could rule the country facing no hazards manipulated by India — from street and campus violence, and from arson and burn the industrial and business installations to political feuds.
To make Bangladesh totally dependent on and subservient to India, Indian expansionists ruined our education, culture, social value, economy, agriculture, industries. To frustrate national unity and irk chaos, if possible civil war, India fuels controversies that include Bangali versus Bangladeshi, freedom fighters versus razakars, secularists versus fundamentalists, anti-liberation versus pro-liberation forces, so on and so forth. These are being done to pull Bangladesh from behind its back. India designs to throw Bangladesh to such an awkward position so that it becomes dysfunctional and failed State goes beyond our ability to salvage it by ourselves so that Bangladeshis beg India to merge Bangladesh with India.
We the people, particularly the bureaucrats, students, teachers, intellectuals, journalists, business community, politicians, above all the Armed Forces, who directly and indirectly run and influence the country, should genuinely comprehend the danger that looms on us. Our time to solidify national unity and reconciliation and consensus sharply passes by. We have no room to allow our foes to use us. We should restudy the history why the Muslims sought for separate homelands through Lahore Resolutions. Our new generation should know under what circumstances, our forefathers opted to side with those Muslims who were unknown to and differed from them geographically, culturally, socially. It is not only our religion (Islam) that prompted the Bengalee Muslims to massively side with the Muslims of Northwestern regions of the British-India (today’s Pakistan). Our forefathers finding no other way to get rid of the master-like misbehaviour, torture, exploitation and subjugation of their neighbouring Hindus were compelled to massively vote for single Pakistan. Their decision was so genuine that enabled us to secede from Pakistan and form another Muslim country, our great achievement–”Bangladesh.
If our forefathers by being bewildered with the sweet words of the Hindu leaders like Gandhi, Nehru, Patel or even Moulana Abul Kalam Azad or Olama-e-Hind, we would never be able to struggle for our linguistic and separate political identities that led to the creation of independent Bangladesh. Our neighbouring Bengali-speaking Hindus of West Bengal have already lost their language, identity and even prosperity. Our all the ethnic nations living under Indian domination in Meghalaya, Assam, Tripura, and Mizoram just on the other sides of our border, now feel the bite of the mistake of their forefathers who trusting on the sweet assurances of the Indian leaders merged with India. They cannot get out of Indian claws and yokes despite their long armed struggle and sheding tears and bloods for six decades. We should also get lessons from the sufferings of the India’s minority religious communities, particularly the Muslims. The fate of the Bengali speaking Muslims would have become far worse than their Kashmiri counterparts if our forefathers would have merged with India.
Indian leadership throughout the 60-year of partition of the subcontinent, remains busy in creating undesirable and unexpected situation inside Pakistan. After the creation of Bangladesh India gets encouraged to reverse our glorious history and achievements to pre-partition era in order to encage us under Indian fold. We are to remain vigil of Indian game. We have no room to handover our anymore strategically essential keys to India like transits, fort facilities, gas or coal-based investment, joint patrol in the bordering areas, open border trade, detour Asian Highway via Assam etc.
We must understand this bitter reality that whatever facilities India designs to get from us are directed to minimise and jeopardise our independence, as in the map of dreamy ‘Awkhand Bharat’ there is no existence of Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Nepal and even Bhutan. Chronologies and analysis of India’s rude behaviour from looting Bangladesh to water blockading, from unilateral withdrawal of the waters of the international rivers to killing our people living in the bordering areas and from surfacing and fueling so-call Islamic extremism to sponsoring and imposing secession war, unequivocally justifies that India helped us not to keep us independent, rather to grab our country today or tomorrow. Like all other expansionist bullies India deliberately creates and imposes problems one after another on Bangladesh and keeps us busy to tackle them so that we cannot give attention to face and frustrate Indian design and uplift our position.
To deter and frustrate India’s expansionist zeal and dream we should shun all types of internal debates and controversies and rivalries to gain personal petty interest and strengthen our national unity. We, in our lifetime, should build a prosperous and solid independent country for our future generation for which we fought. We must not forget that we left Pakistan to end foreign domination and exploitation, but not to become the slaves of India and allow her to dominate and exploit us. We must not forget what inhuman sorrows and sufferings and tortures our forefathers had to bear that were caused by our Hindu neighbours who kept them under their feet during the entire British period. The British were their (Muslims) rulers but the Hindus were their local masters.
This is for the first time in our known history that we the real sons of this soil rule ourselves. If we are not alert and cautious and accordingly work, we or our next generation will become the victims of Indian domination that will again make us or them the slaves of the Hindus. On August 20, 2004, Hindu leaders at a meeting of the Dhaka City Puja Celebration Committee held at Dhakershari Mandir expressed their anti-Muslim anguish saying, no Muslim is available to work in the house of the Hindus as servant. They said, "It is very pity that the Muslims do not come to work in the houses of the Hindus. This sorrowful situation started since 1947 (when a separate Muslim homeland came into being)." I think this open anguish of the Hindus is enough to imagine and comprehend the hidden reason why India disturbs and frustrates us in all fronts and the reason is very clear and clean that India does not believe in our separate independent existence and works to make us their slaves merging Bangladesh with India.
We cannot allow India anymore to dictate us and frustrate our independence. The more we will engage in quarrel and debate, the more chance India will get to undermine and undo our independence and sovereignty and enslave us. Let us comprehend and face Indian game and keep us from her domination and subjugation and build a prosperous Bangladesh for which we fought and sacrificed a lot. We should not allow others to become our mentors and shun policy of mortgaging our nation to grab power or remain in power.