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.