Man behind ‘The Fall of Dhaka’

While going through the causes of the cessation of East Pakistan (excerpts from Hamood ur Rehman Commission report) and the development of post 1971 scenario I realized that Hitler was right when he said ‘the bigger the lie, more people will believe it’. Similar ‘bigger lies’ have been told by our previous governments (esp. PPP) since 1971.

On 16th December 2010, 39 years after the creation of Bangladesh, let us retrospect how our government in the past has told us a great lie about these political occurrences.

As per the details available in different form of electronic and print media, the Hamoodur Rehman Commission Report cites that incompetence, moral degeneration and political conspiracies were the major reasons for the 1971 debacle. It was maintained in the Report that the defeat suffered was not a result of military factors alone, but had been brought about as the cumulative result of political developments that took place between 1947 and 1971.

Looking at the other of the other side of the story I find that the Government then was actually the real culprit. It was Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto‘s party which got 82 of the 138 seats allocated to the four provinces in West Pakistan but neither of them were represented in East Pakistan. Setting aside the slogan raised by him “Idher ham udher tum”, he even threatened the members of the Assembly from West Pakistan that he would ‘break their legs’ if they attended its inaugural session in Dhaka, East Pakistan, and if they insisted on attending theymust buy a one-way ticket.

Such step motherly treatment further increased the grievances of the  people of East Pakistan and a justified freedom movement emerged from their side, however at that time Pakistani Military had no other option but to supress the movement in order to save the territory of Pakistan while Bhutto on the other hand kept misguiding Yahya Khan that ended up on breaking the nation and massive bloodshed in the history of mankind.

Perceived as a ‘Hero’ amongst certain sections of Pakistanis for his political moves which on the contrary proved to be nonsensical and led the country into a chaotic humdrum.

His senseless steps of nationalization of the economy and confusing steps of implement Islamic socialism by declaring Friday as Public holiday were the worst steps taken by any ruler in the history of Pakistan. In order to appease religious groups he got Ahmedis declared Non Muslims that triggered an unending violent movement against a peaceful and progressive section of society. The brunts of this decision are still to be felt and fatally alienated the community in their own nation.

To remain in power Bhutto took decisions which caused irrevocable damage to the social and political structure of the country.

We also must not ignore the role of Jinnah in creating the language controversy in East Pakistan that Urdu was to be the common language for Pakistan. This proved highly controversial, since Urdu was a language that was only spoken in the West by Muhajirs and in the East by Biharis. The majority groups in West Pakistan spoke Punjabi, while the Bengali language was spoken by the vast majority of East Pakistanis. The Islamic state was not able to integrate and deal the prevailing ethnic and cultural differences which became the root cause of this debacle.

The language controversy eventually reached an extreme which lead East Pakistan to revolt while the other part of Pakistan remained calm even though Punjabi was spoken by the majority groups of West Pakistan.

Several civilians including students lost their lives in a police crackdown on 21 February 1952.The day is revered in Bangladesh and in West Bengal as the Language Martyrs’ Day.

In my opinion the policies Pakistani establishment set for East Pakistan were indeed biased and based on self interests, we never took the people of East Pakistan as our own since day one and as a result both the countries parted their ways. It’s time to stop selective blame game and hold responsible the politicians whose inability to lead this nation and structure it strong worked s a catalyst to the freedom movement in East Pakistan.

I wish neo-Bhuttos could now visit Bangladesh as they owe an apology to its people more than anybody else.



    1. This obviously very interesting topics. Why do not look at the reality to find it out. It is that simple:

      Just watch the video from youtube, everything will be clear:

      Watch end of it. You will find what language Bhutto used to the millions of banglalis public.

      Only evil person can do that. Shame that Bhutto was prime minister of Pakis. By his and Yhaya order, 3

      millions were killed, 500,000 women were regularly raped and kept without cloth for 9 months, 1 million

      houses were burned. Zia did write think hanging an evil person.

  1. Creation of Bangladesh was inevitable. The both wings were far apart and there was a huge difference between the cultures and mental level of the people at both sides. But still country could have stayed united if they were treated equally. People of Bangladesh were more educated and politically matured as compare to the natives of the west wing. And they were the ones who actually fought for Pakistan. Fall of Dhaka was a result of what politicians did to Bangalis since the creation of Pakistan, including what you wrote language.
    Bhutto’s stubbornness played the role of what is called the last nail in the coffin.

    1. Not inevitable but Bangladesh was a fragile part of Pakistan keeping in mind the mentality and lifestyle of West Pakistan’s establishment.

  2. Very nicely written and I also agree that Bhutto was one of the culprit albeit not the only one considering the role played by Iskander Mirza (bureaucracy) by suspending the 1956 constitution, Ayub Khan (military) by enacting basic democracies and a quasi-federal (almost unitary) constitution of 1962 and a host of other factors.

    Another historical correction. Jinnah didn’t create the language controversy. It’s a commonly held misperception. He only said that both Urdu and Bengali are to be recognized as regional languages but Urdu will hold a place of lingua franca between different ethno-linguistic groups.

    1. Nauman do you think the Urdu language imposition did become a bridge to reduce gulf among various communities including Bengalis ? Was imposition of Urdu by Jinnah a right step ?

    1. if not urdu,then what else, imposition of any regional language would result the same, Historicallly in subcontinent Urdu representing as a muslim language since many centuries, so no doubt that was a right decision but bangali language problem/dispute was design by Hindu community which was very strong in East Pakistan.

      1. Excuse me- attitudes such as these lead to discontent. How can a language be a Hindu language or a Muslim language? My beloved Bangla is the language my mother taught me as a child. It is the language she made me understand the Shahada in. Languages don’t have religions- the people speaking them do.

      2. Your article is very well written- I wish there were more people like you in 71 then a million people need not have died.

        I was answering to M. Munawar here.

      3. Sorry to say but i cant take a bengalis word for it and believe everything he says …… I really wanna believe but i cant sorry

      4. No one is asking you to believe Omer Pervez. You are not that important LOL. Who care what you believe or not. We were the victors Alhamdulillah.

    1. Tanzeel dont u think six point formula of Mujeeb u Rehman was the real reason and when NA session was delayed once more on 3rd march , Bengalis started protest but PPP didnt
      And did u forget when AL party members came to negotiate with yahya khan THEY WERE CARRYING FLAGS OF BANGLADESH ON THEIR CARS so plz dont blame SZAB
      I may say ur enemy and six point formula cause the division

  3. what cessation of Bangladesh is for you… probably the creation of Pakistan is for Indians… a little more extreme set of events though

  4. Nice write up and correct analysis, just to add my opinion to the famous so called speech in United nations where he references his 11 years old kid told Mr. Bhutto that don’t come back with a piece of truce, simply showed his evil planting which turned out to be fall of dhaka as compared to 1965 war where Pakistan won the war on ground but lost it on table in Tashkent.

    Though you got to be impressed with Indian’s and their foreign policy which is strong, though Nixon did called Indra a “WITCH” but at same time called the Indian’s smart people as compared to Pakistani politicians

    i was planning to write on both pointers since long but couldn’t get time, it’s good to read your stuff.

  5. @ miss soumya

    i don’t waste my time speaking rhetoric that who won the war or not. it’s simple Russia was an Indian ally, Pakistan won the war hence in return Pakistan with draw its forces from Indian side and in return got huge investment and other accords from Russia, yes Pakistan lost it on table though the whole world knows who won 1965 war in the end.

    The link i have mentioned of bbc in 2005, it’s not a blog post hence i found no reason of Nixon and Kissinger to do toeing Pakistan in those years, hence it has to be true.

    i am not interested in knowing how powerful indra ji was or not, neither it is a subject of the post.

    Thank You.

    1. You are not only childish but even foolish. Bhutto was the mastermind of the 1971 debacle. The Hamood ur Rahman Commission report emphatically points this and in his obsession to grab power he plotted to break the country. Read Sarmila Bose book ” Death Reckonner” as to how India with the help of Nationalistic Bengalis created the terrorist mukti bayani who killed thousands and put the blame on Pakistan army.
      Then Yahya Khan failed to realize he was being misguided by Bhutto made a mess of the situation.
      How ever ZAB did the right thing to declare Ahmedis non Muslims. They are non Muslims and may the wrath of Allah be on them. Without doubt our beloved Prophet Mohammed SAWS is the last and final Prophet and no Prophet will ever come after him till the day of akhirah

  6. not enough time n immature to have you win – i lose discussion with interlard Shiv Sena mentality type of activist, rediff is a nice place for all the losers to enjoy the joyride of retard kind of discussion.

    Anyway BBC link mentioned above speaks everything so as my 1st comment on the post and if you can read and understand my comment properly it has nothing to do with India

  7. crudely constructed, lol. i have seen many educated illiterate from that part of world, nice to meet you as well. i know mud throwing is in the blood of most of them living there, so as all of your comments mentioned here.

    Now give me a break and be happy you even won the war with China.

  8. Thanks for mentioning Jinnah. I think he is the one who behaved like a dictator and ignored basics of democracy he preached. The seed of independence of Bangladesh was sown in his time. He may have led a successful campaign to win Pakistan, but failed miserably as a visionary leader. His visions didn’t even last 25 years. Bhutto,sure made things worst. His craze for power helped Bangladesh gain independence. Whisky lover Bhutto’s Islamic Socialism has damaged Pakistan’s social fabric so much that she is still paying for it. Bhutto had an opprtunity post 1971 to establish democracy in Pakistan, but his false promise of establishing socialism just wrecked the country. As for Mujib, he at least delivered what his people wanted, an independent country.

  9. tanzeelism show the roles of dictators who are currupt since 47.see also historical reasons of separation.Ayub was real culpart.Z A bhutto had not soverign power at that time. I think you a pay roll writer to smash pak history. I am busy i will give more remarks latter on.

  10. Welcome guys. Well written and nicely accepted. It is now Pakistan’s term to apologize for the brutal crime they committed to the unarmed Bengalese in 1971 from the dark night of 25th March until the 16th of December. It was a total massacre. Killing millions of unarmed people was the most horrific, inhuman & brutality will remain the all time ugliest part of the history. Bengalese who built the country – Pakistan was left deprived from minimum human respect and rights. As if laying their lives they had to pay for building it. From the day one, the leadership of Pakistan from Jinnah to Bhutto left no stone unturned to break it in to pieces. Jinnah was unfit to hold his position and Bhutto was crook & cruel to no limit. Wish the young generation of Pakistan will take lesson from the history as well as from Bangladesh about the self respect and guts – how to build a country and safeguard it.

    1. We Pakistanis are indeed ashamed to whatever we have done with the Bengali brothers and sisters. President Musharraf in his tenure had also apologized to the Bangladeshi Govt officially. We wish we could do something more to pacify the brotherly nation may by easing the visa difficulties or lifting trade barriers (if any).

  11. There is a quote by a former UN secretary General that people who speak the same language are more close-knit than the people who are born in the same family. In a multi-linguistic country, if you insist on one language, it will definitely the sow the seeds of secession. “One language” will lead to “two countries” as in Pakistan & Bangladesh. Sri Lanka did the same and it almost went near break up.

    On the contrary, “many languages” will lead to “one united country” as in India and Nigeria. In India, people speak about 25 major languages (not counting diverse dialects and minor languages). Provinces were formed on the basis of language. It helped people to express their linguistic identity without destabilizing the national identity.

    1. Makes sense but here in this part of the world our Government is against making provinces on linguistic basis but administrative basis, what do you think of this idea ?

      Our Government believe dividing people on the basis of language would never let us turn into a NATION.

      1. Forcing people to unify into one culture fails- always. We Bangladeshis have often done the same mistake in the hill tracts.

        It is the greatest sin of the majority to believe the minority is not as loyal to their motherland. I learned to respect our minorities when in an intense India-Bangladesh match the Muslims were praying with raised hands and the Hindu Bengalis shouted that may Bangladesh win by the power of Shiva. Its best to let people love their country in their own way, if you try to force your way on them you’ll not only fail but the love they have for the country will also be lost.

  12. Dear Tanzeel …you stated bhutto said “idhar hum udhar tum” can you quote the news paper of the next day when he said so .please !!! i would love to see jang , dawn , nawaiwaqt , imroz,mashriq, pakistan times reference………..every one knows abbas Athar made this news in a very small news paper . he said these were my words not bhuttos.

  13. dear all
    fall of dhaka was like taking away baby frm the breast of his mother.. it is yet the brutalist and grievest thing that could happen to our beloved pakistan
    but fact is we all are repsonsible for losing our eastern wing
    from day 1 we were not ready to accept bengali as our brother due to their race, creed, and culture. we made fun of their dhoti style
    problems in east pak were always looked off and major budget was spend on west pakistan.
    not to miss indian conspiracy and bureaucracy played all role to dismantle pakistan
    but bhutto played important role in fall of dhaka due to his stubborness and righetous rule he wished for..
    may Allah grant us will to choose righteous path and care for our brothers frm all provinces of pakistan

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