Akhand Hindustan

Part I


This article was originally written and published on the internet about three years ago (during the last Awami League regime) without an effective response or counter argument to rebut my original charges against the Indian government past, present and possibly future. It was written as a rejoinder to Mr. Robin in London who challenged my assertion that India had hegemonic and imperialistic designs for the subcontinent. His claim was that India had never publicly proposed such a policy and so we should not jump to such unsubstantiated conclusions that India indeed has such a policy or has ever followed such a policy in the past: A very twisted logic considering the dynamics prevailing in South Asia. There is also the increased possibility that India will take advantage of any war in the Middle East or Korea to harass and victimise Bangladesh further and even resort to war in an effort to reduce our population which is considered a vital matter for India’s present ruling elites and their perceived national security interests (an issue I will come back to later). Speculation and rumour is also rife that the present government in Bangladesh will be toppled and replaced with an administration that is more India centric and sympathetic to their obscurantist tendencies.

For these reasons, it has been suggested to me that my article ‘Akhand Hindustan’ should be republished considering the more intense and aggressive posturing of the Indian government after the fall of the Awami League government from power and the success of the BNP in the October 2001 elections in Bangladesh.

I have kept the original form of the article except for a few alterations and a preface.


The onslaught carried on by the Indian press and media assisted by the international news networks only added support to my view of Indian imperialism on the sub-continent. The recent visit of Sheikh Hasina (in November 2002) to India and her reception there along with the vicious comments of L.K. Advani and India's foreign minister Yashwant Sinha about Islamic fundamentalism in Bangladesh and terrorist dens confirmed my suspicions of a conspiracy. This was also supported to some extent by prominent journalists in Bangladesh:

“…a section of the Indian press, presumably prompted by a quiet Indian RAW agenda, built up a propaganda dossier about Al-Qaeda activity in Bangladesh by planted reports from time to time. Contributors to the Western media clandestinely visited Bangladesh to confirm those reports and made sensational headlines by stories published in Time, Far Eastern Economic Review, Wall Street Journal, etc. A contractor for Channel Four TV in the United Kingdom sent a clandestine team to film staged scenes of Al-Qaeda agitation in Bangladesh. That team’s intent has been foiled by police intervention, the foreign members of which have now been expelled from the country after due process of law. They were reportedly found to be guided by Indians, Bombay-based, as well as by Sheikh Hasina’s connections, Dhaka based.” (Sadeq Khan – ‘BD can’t slacken alert in diplomatic and security fronts’ in Holiday December 13, 2002; See also ‘India is causing trouble’ by Philip Bowring – International Herald Tribune Wednesday, January 22, 2003)


After writing ‘Akhand Hindustan’ several other articles appeared on related subjects and the reader may consider looking at those for more examples of India’s grand design which now appears to involve something close to ethnic cleansing (e.g. Gujarat and an announced expulsion of Muslim Bengalis from India) as well as the financial crippling of neighbouring countries through international propaganda and finance to achieve an ulterior goal or objective that is both pernicious and destructive for all its neighbours. A devastating example for Bangladesh is the United States decision to put Bangladesh and four other countries under more stringent immigration rules that are being enforced after the September 11 attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. Under the rules, male citizens aged between 16 and 45 years from these countries will face strict scrutiny and will be required to visit local Immigration and Naturalisation Service (INS) offices to be photographed, questioned and fingerprinted. They will also have to show certain documents to INS for keeping track on their movements in the USA.

Indeed this is a humiliating dénouement for Bangladesh but we did not reach this precipice all by ourselves. We were rather shoved into this predicament by India and the Awami League with their repeated allegations of Al-Qaeda and Taliban elements in the government and terrorist training camps within our territory. The government could have been more effective in countering these accusations but we are all aware that there are Indian operatives within the ruling party itself. I am also not averse to admitting that Sheikh Hasina is a far more skilful politician than anyone presently in the BNP led government. The manner in which she has managed to turn the tables on the government in regard to the US decision is a prime example of her skilfulness in political manoeuvring, although the entire populace of Bangladesh had been suspecting that it was entirely the fault of the Awami League and India for this debacle. The belated manner in which the government responded to Sheikh Hasina’s allegations about incompetence only led to further confusion as to the identity of the guilty or responsible party.

For the United States, this policy of registration of foreigners could create a terrible predicament especially in regard to the situation with Bangladesh and Pakistan. This policy makes President Bush’s remarks of friendship and trust towards Muslims appear facetious and contradictory but we could overlook such gross policy somersaults, as we all must recognise that America will do whatever is necessary to protect its citizens and country from terrorist’s threats. This may have been less insulting to Muslims if the policy was implemented more uniformly across the board so as to include other known terrorist states such as Israel and India. India with a population of 1 billion which includes that of 200 million Muslims has been excluded from this registration process while Pakistan and Bangladesh finds itself targeted. This should make policy makers in these countries ponder whether the United States is encouraging India to further its territorial designs as there does not appear to be any other reason for such discriminatory practises especially with India’s track record in Kashmir and Gujarat. From another perspective, it may be suggested that the United States does not consider India and Israel a threat due to their anti-Muslim stance and successful subjugation of their Muslim populations.

The United States should perceive that by aligning itself with these nations without critical considerations of the implications could be more disastrous in the long run. I have reflected on these matters thoroughly in another article ‘September 11 and the New World Disorder’. I would only add in reference to that article that in the context of the Indian sub-continent Muslims in this region already consider the United States-Israel-India as the real axis of evil. They are surprised that the international community should tolerate such naked aggression against peoples that are already suppressed and unfairly treated. According to many, this is tantamount to appeasement, as Israel and India have continually ignored United Nations Resolutions for decades without a flicker of protest from the West. To most Muslims it appears that United Nations Resolutions aimed at them bear more weight and influence within the West considering the zealous way in which such resolutions are enforced and implemented. If the push-in attempts taking place on the Bangladesh border with India were to have occurred in Europe the world would have described it as ethnic cleansing and the media networks would be falling over themselves to investigate what is going on and report it. As of February 2003, not much has been said or is likely to be said in the international media unless there is war. The Indians would then justify this war by saying that there are Islamic terrorists in Bangladesh and it was necessary to invade for there own security and this would be eaten whole by the West’s media corporations as well as their publics. (See also Shahidul Islam’s article, ‘India’s ‘push-in’ constitutes unprovoked aggression’ in Holiday February 7, 2003 issue; also in the same issue see Nurul Kabir’s, ‘India pursuing agenda at human cost’.)

The most frightening aspect to all this is the similarities to events preceding World War II. India is moving to a more intolerant and fascist type governance under the present BJP administration. In a review of Law Minister Moudud Ahmed’s book ‘Crisis of Development – The Case of Bangladesh’, Prof. Emajuddin Ahmed (Former Vice-Chancellor of Dhaka University) states the dilemma very accurately and presciently in my view,

“Like many political analysts both in India and elsewhere in South Asia, Moudud Ahmed has been deeply worried at “the rise of Shiv Sena and the BJP to power” in India because he feels and quite rightly that “the future of South Asia largely depends on the future of India.” Indeed the emergence of “Hindu fundamentalism as a strong political force” in India despite “the constitutional pronouncement of secularism” may have serious repercussions both within India and in the neighbouring countries. Recent atrocities committed on the Muslim community in Gujarat and much to the chagrin of many, the landslide victory of the intensely fundamentalist group led by Narendra Modi even after that, thus reinvigorating the communal frenzy all over the system, are but some of its dire consequences. Moudud knows it very well that this is an age old story of the Indian society. One may recollect what an eminent RSS leader Madhav Sadashiv Golwalker said when the BJP was not even born: “Hindustan is the land of the Hindus and is the terra firma for the Hindu nation alone to flourish … Today India’s vision has gone past South Asia; its aim is now to have “Predominance” established and the Indian Ocean rim. For having this end achieved it does not need cooperation; rather India needs its neighbouring countries as its extended frontiers so that the depth of its offensive and defensive exercises become stable.” (Independent Magazine – 17 January 2003; See also Barrister Harun-ur-Rashids article, ‘India’s conduct towards Bangladesh is short-sighted’ in Holiday February 7, 2003 issue; Pankaj Mishra – ‘The Other Face of Fanaticism’ in Holiday February 21, 2003 issue]

In view of all this, the statements of the Indian External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha in ‘The Daily Star’ (February 8, 2003) seem surreal. Placing the entire blame on the Bangladesh side for the Indian push-in attempts of alleged illegal immigrants to India from Bangladesh appears ingenious and incredulous to most Bangladeshis. According to Mr. Sinha, Dhaka has not been sensitive to Delhi’s security needs while ignoring the fact that most terrorist attacks in Bangladesh have been backed, financed, and planned by India. The Mymensingh cinema blasts clearly suggest an Indian link to that explosion which killed almost a dozen people. The policy objective of the Indian government which is made clear by Mr. Sinha’s interview is that India desires a new economic and political framework in South Asia (dominated by India) and that Bangladesh should abandon its Pakistan-China ‘economic-friendly’ diplomacy. Mr. Sinha claims that SAARC has not served ‘us’ (the Indians?) very well and so ‘innovations’ in bilateral relations should be pursued. It may have escaped Mr. Sinha’s mind but SAARC has failed due to no lack of trying on the part of the Indians to make it fail. Why cannot these new ‘innovations’ suggested by Mr. Sinha be introduced through the SAARC framework on a multilateral basis?


The answer to the question lies in the Pakistan factor which is uppermost in the minds of the Indians and was frankly admitted to by the Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. Late last year, Mr. Sinha told the Indian Parliament that the Pakistan High Commission in Dhaka had become the ‘hub’ of ISI activities. The Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee on 8th February 2003 claimed Pakistan’s ISI was using ‘terrorists of Bangladesh and Nepal to pursue its anti-Indian agenda.’ (The Daily Star 9 February 2003) Anyone living in Dhaka and associated with the Pakistan High Commission would inform you that the officials there are completely incapable of carrying out so organised an operation as suggested by the Indians and show no inclination in that direction even if they were able to. (See also Praful Bidwai ‘Grave crisis in South Asian ties: Neighbours as enemies.’ The Daily Star: February 17, 2003)

The real concern of the Indians is that Pakistan is the only country in South Asia not to toe the Indian line but is prepared to take decisions that are solely within its national interest regardless of Indian concerns. However, unlike India, it is prepared to work through SAARC to resolve regional issues and come to amicable settlements. That Bangladesh is also slowly adopting such an independent line is worrisome to India since it [India] has not successfully been able to shed its skin of impotent Hinduism and a paranoid Hindu inferiority complex which requires aggressive territorial aggrandisement to rewrite history and erase the thought of independent Muslim rule on the sub-continent. In addition to this is the demographic time bomb that will result in a Muslim majority in the subcontinent as a whole within 20 years. The Hindu nationalists realise that they are running out of time and the only solution is mass slaughter of Muslims as occurred in Gujarat and that the push-in policy is only an excuse for further encroachment and eventual genocide of Muslims at least in West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and Bangladesh. This last mentioned theory is an original contribution of Mr. Maqsoodul Haq of ‘Bangladesh Dak’ who has tirelessly campaigned for an open debate on the issue but as usually failed due to the narrow mindedness of the so-called Bangladeshi intellectuals in the pay of India.


In all these calculations China also plays a significant role. As a major trade partner of both Pakistan and Bangladesh, it is perceived by these countries as an alternative destination for their exports and for mutually beneficial military cooperation. It is for this reason that the Indian government and press have become hostile and bellicose as they feeling threatened by the expressions of independence amongst its neighbours. This was visibly displayed on the Bangladesh Foreign Ministers visit to India when the press there circulated rumours that Morshed Khan [the foreign minister] may lose his job:

‘The reports are said to have stemmed from the fact that Bangladesh’s relations with two of its most important partners, the US and India, have taken a nosedive in the past few months. Though Morshed Khan is a leading businessman of Bangladesh, he has failed to bring foreign investment into Bangladesh.’ (The Independent, Sunday 16 Feb. 03)

These last two quoted sentences may appear benign but are highly menacing and ominous in view of the fact that these meetings in India are taking place in the backdrop of the ‘push-in’ attempts on Bangladesh’s borders. In reality, it was due to Morshed Khans business links that the visit by Prime Minister Khaleda Zia to China was so successful and many trade and military cooperation agreements were signed. Bangladesh has taken this course of seeking closer ties with China due to the aggressive and racist policies of the Indian government. It was also due to India that relations with the USA had become damaged. In other words, Bangladesh in an effort to remain sovereign and independent has to make friends elsewhere. According to some, “India’s Bangladesh policy is largely determined by domestic-political considerations: the BJP wants to whip up xenophobia and raise the communal temperature to electoral ends.” (Praful Bidwai ‘Grave crisis in South Asian ties: Neighbours as enemies’; See also Mizanur Rahman Khan ‘ New Neighbours’ in PROBE news Magazine – January 16-31, 2003 Vol. 2 Issue 4)


I believe India’s plans for the sub-continent to be far more grandiose and ambitious involving military invasion and territorial acquisition to satisfy the fanatical Hindu’s penchant for greater lebensraum an elimination of Muslims (‘the final solution’). I would agree therefore, with the suggestion made by Maj. Gen. Syed Ahmed in the Bangladesh Army Journal and reproduced in part by Probe magazine,

“Our geo-strategic realities demand that we take into consideration the balance of power situation of South Asia and prepare accordingly. To stand against a formidable enemy, a small state cannot afford to renounce the possibility of making alliance with other larger states. Enemy’s enemy is a friend: such wisdom remained the basis of military alliances and the balance of power game through the history of warfare. In the struggle for survival, Bangladesh will definitely exploit all the available opportunities; in that the possibility of alliance also remains open.”

Part II

“Whoso writes the history of his own time must expect to be attacked for everything he has said, and for everything he has not said; but those little draw backs should not discourage a man who loves truth and liberty, expects nothing, fears nothing, asks nothing, and limits his ambition to the cultivation of letters”



I am well aware that India has made no official statement to the effect that it would pursue a policy seeking reunification of All-India or ‘Akhand-Bharat’ or more provocatively for Muslims ‘Akhand-Hindustan’. I doubt anyone expected such a controversial policy to be so explicitly expressed or formulated in the same manner as I had suggested in my previous comments on the subject. For all practical purposes, what I am offering now is near enough in content to my original proposition that many readers found so incredulous. What had astonished me was the reaction to a single paragraph in that article where I claimed there was a concerted and planned domination and encroachment by India on its neighbors. The present military buildup (Feb 2003) along India’s border with Bangladesh is a further testament to this aggressive expansionist policy of India’s.


I am amazed that so many people are ignorant of the fact that India has never accepted the concept of the Two-Nation theory which resulted in the break up of India into two separate parts in 1947. It is well known that they have their stooges and quislings in all the countries of the sub-continent promoting the view that the Two Nations theory based on religion was a mistake. And it may surprise the reader that I would agree with that assessment but not in an attempt to distract from India’s own fissiparous and centrifugal forces or in a cheap attempt to break up Pakistan further but to promote a more realistic evaluation and appraisal of India’s conduct to its neighbors. Two quite extraordinary books revealing the lack of commonality between the two parts of Pakistan and the inherent cultural anomalies within East Pakistan sheds light on why a Two Nation Theory could not be a solution to Jinnah’s fear of Hindu domination. The whole notion of Two Nations based on religion was far too simplistic to begin with:

“If there were two religious ‘nations’ in India, there were many more cultural and linguistic ‘nations’. Certainly what was true of the U.P. Muslims was not so of their co-religionists in eastern India, notwithstanding the fact that they professed the same faith. The dominant culture of the former was based on the Mughal heritage with Urdu as its nucleus, while the latter were integrated more with the local Bengali culture than with any heritage of Muslim rule in India. The former looked upon Kurta and paijama as the proper dress for a Muslim, the latter wore a modest lungi, if not a dhoti like their Hindu neighbors; one looked upon Urdu as the appropriate language of Muslims in India, the latter hardly knew any word of it.” (Rafiuddin Ahmed – “The Bengal Muslims 1871 – 1906 A Quest for Identity” (Second Edition 1988))

There is still good reason for minorities and Moslems in both Pakistan and Bangladesh to be apprehensive about current trends in India even if the BJP Government and the RSS are taking a restrained approach (this has drastically changed in more recent times):

“…the growth of extreme Hindu nationalism with symbols repugnant to Muslims caused great uneasiness in their minds. A familiar idiom of nationalist Hindu militancy was the anti-Muslim rhetoric, which traced historically the Hindus fall from grace to the tyranny of the ‘alien’ rule. Muslims were contemptuously referred to as yavanas, melechchas, katchakholas and the like in the nationalist literature and exclusive Hindu symbols introduced as sources of Indian nationalism.” (Rafiuddin Ahmed; a must read is Muhammed Mohar Ali’s book, “History of the Muslims of Bengal (First Edition 1985); see also Rounaq Jahan – “Pakistan Failure in National Integration” (Second Impression 1977); Prof. K. Ali – “Bangladesh a New Nation”; Rick Fountain’s ‘Bangladesh War Secrets Revealed’ 1 January 2003))

In my opinion, it should not have been a Two-Nation theory but a ‘Several Nation Theory’. But Mountbatten was so enamored with a unified India he failed to appreciate the autonomous tendencies within India, particularly in Kashmir and the Seven Sisters. I would also add that from its conception, Bangladesh should have been an independent nation (see 1940 Lahore Resolution) but this would have been unacceptable to both Mohammed Ali Jinnah and India. Sadly, we had to settle for a moth eaten Pakistan (from a East Pakistan perspective) that proved far too fragile and where there was no mutual respect and understanding in its disparate parts. I would go further and say that instead of having been attached to Pakistan we had formed a loose Confederation of Bengal States separate, distinct and independent from India then this would have been a viable entity since the Seven Sisters have no real affinity to India as recent autonomy demands suggest. A concept based on economics and tolerance rather than solely on religion. Of course, this is a pie in the sky idea with a little more than mischief making involved. At least one thing appears to be true about this analysis and that is that a deeper understanding and respect is gradually being achieved between Pakistan and Bangladesh as separate entities than was ever accomplished when the parts were together. Nevertheless, many commentators in Bangladesh are saying a similar thing concerning a unity of Bengal states but the difference is that according to their vision if put into effect, we would become another province of India with limited autonomy. However, this is not the subject of my present write up. It is India’s territorial and hegemonic ambitions that are of greater concern for me and for the region as a whole.


As it is impossible to understand Hitler’s Germany without Mein Kampf, the same applies to India in reference to Jawaharlal Nehru’s compositions and publications. I would like to point out that I am not trying to make a comparison between these two men but merely offering an illustration for ease of understanding, although the present BJP government would suitably fit such a comparison with Nazi Germany.

Returning now to the question of India’s Foreign Policy objectives and designs. These matters were in embryonic form in Jawaharlal Nehru’s, ‘The Discovery of India’ (First edition-1946) from which I now quote at length:

“If India is split up into two or more parts and can no longer function as a political and economic unit, her progress will be seriously affected. The much worse will be the inner psychological conflict between those who wish to reunite her and those who oppose this … Unity is always better than disunity, but an enforced unity is a sham and dangerous affair, full of explosive possibilities. Unity must be of the mind and heart, a sense of the belonging together and of facing together those who attack it. I am convinced that there is that basic unity in India, but it has been overlaid and hidden to some extent by other forces. These latter may be temporary and artificial and may pass off, but they count today and no man can ignore them… Yet the fact remains that considerable numbers of Moslems have become sentimentally attached to this idea of separation without giving thought to its consequences … I think this sentiment has been artificially created and has no roots in the Moslem mind … It may be that some division of India is enforced, with some tenuous bond joining the divided parts. Even if this happens, I am convinced that the basic feeling of unity and world developments will later bring the divided parts nearer to each other and result in a real unity. It is obvious that whatever may be the future of India, and even if there is a regular partition, the different parts will have to co-operate with each other and in a hundred different ways. Even independent nations have to co-operate with each other and must hang together or deteriorate, disintegrate and loose their freedom…

Thus we arrive at the inevitable and ineluctable conclusion that, whether Pakistan comes or not, a number of important and basic functions of the state must be exercised on all-India basis if India is to survive as a free state and progress. The alternative is stagnation, decay and disintegration, leading to a loss of political and economic freedom, both for India as a whole and its various separated parts. As has been said by an eminent authority: ‘The inexorable logic of the age presents the country with radically different alternatives: union plus independence or disunion plus dependence.’ … There is grave danger in a possibility of partition and division to begin with. For such an attempt might well scotch the very beginnings of freedom and the formation of a free national state … Indeed, it is difficult to conceive of any free state emerging from such a turmoil, and if something does emerge, it will be a pitiful caricature full of contradictions and insoluble problems.” (Jawaharlal Nehru – The Discovery of India (Ninth Impression) pp. 526-536).


India’s views of partition have not fundamentally diverged from this original standpoint and impression but may have become even more extreme in recent decades. Jawaharlal Nehru, was the Prime Minister of India from 1947-1964, having tremendous influence and clout on subsequent generations of foreign policy makers in that country. I doubt whether anyone would contradict me on this nor is it a particularly contentious observation

These expressions of Prime Minister Nehru have also translated into action in attempts to enfeeble and demoralize its neighbors. Take for example, India’s and Pakistan’s agreement on the division of financial and material assets of the British Raj. Pakistan had already received 200 million rupees as advance and was to receive a further additional 550 million rupees as balance of her share. The Indians argued that the money would be used to purchase arms to kill Indian soldiers, so India refused to pay the sum until the Kashmir problem was resolved. Consequently, a cheque issued by the Pakistan Government to the British Overseas Airways Corporation bounced because of insufficient funds. This policy was sponsored by Sardar Patel and was endorsed by Jawaharlal Nehru and the whole cabinet although Mountbatten had gone to great lengths to finalize this comprehensive ‘package deal’. Mountbatten described India’s conduct as ‘unstatesmanlike’, ‘unwise’ and ‘dishonourable’. The money was finally released to Pakistan after intervention of Mahatma Gandhi where he threatened to fast until death if India did not take the honourable course. (Collins and Lapierre - ‘Freedom at Midnight’ (1984 reprint); H.V. Hodson - ‘The Great Divide’ (First Published 1969); Stanley Wolpert – ‘Jinnah of Pakistan’ (Fourth Impression 1998); Prof. K. Ali – “Bangladesh a New Nation”; K.Z. Islam –‘Mountbatten’s India Bias’ – serialized in the weekly Holiday); see also Sadeq Khan – ‘Allusions and Realities’ – The weekly Holiday July 7, 2000) ).

India’s attitude to partition and Pakistan was highlighted by Pandit Nehru’s daughter Indira Gandhi at a public meeting on November 30, 1970 where she stated, “India has never reconciled with the existence of Pakistan. Indian leaders always believed that Pakistan should not have been created and that Pakistan nation has no right to exist.” (‘India’s Nuclear Doctrine by Wing Comd. (Retd) Muhammed Irshid – defence journal - Oct 99; see also Henry Kissinger – ‘The White House Years’ (First Published 1979; Mohammed Tajammul Hussain – Bangladesh Victim of Black Propaganda Intrigue and Indian Hegemony (First Published May 1996); Rick Fountain’s ‘Bangladesh War Secrets Revealed’ 1 January 2003). This by implication would include Bangladesh though no one in this country would admit it in so many words. India’s role in the war was naturally an extension of its own policy considerations:

“India’s support for Bangladesh basically emanated from its negative approach towards Pakistan. For political, historical, and economic reasons, it was India’s natural desire to see that her rival power structure in the subcontinent is weakened. It was not so much love for democracy or sense of brotherhood for the people of Bangladesh that Indira Gandhi decided to support the Bengalis in their war to achieve independence. The then Government of India acted on its own calculations in order to achieve its own national and international objectives. Once India got involved she became greatly interested in seeing the struggle the Bengalis remain in its complete control. The Indian Government wanted to ensure that following the removal of the west Pakistani authority and effective government of its own liking was established in Bangladesh.” (Moudud Ahmed – “Bangladesh: Constitutional Quest for Autonomy” (Second Revised Edition 1991))


After the Liberation War in 1971, due to a want of strong leadership we were only able to change our masters and to a certain degree the quality of our enslavement but not the situation or position of enslavement. This status still prevails for us today. Certainly we were exploited and racially discriminated by the West Pakistani military junta but that is still something we have to live with in the present - now that we are under different overseers, namely, the Indian government and international financial and media institutions that assist it. We may no longer be physically in fetters but our intellectual processes are still entangled and weighed down by a ball and chain. Outside forces encourage our penchant for dispute and argumentation that leads to factionalism and disharmony which is the latter day policy of ‘divide and rule’. We are constantly reminded of our weaknesses and deficiencies in face of a giant like neighbor and so discouraged from any independent thinking.

Westerners may be astonished at this form of psychological warfare conducted by adherents of a docile religion called Hinduism but unfortunately they are assisted by persons bearing Muslim names and possessing Bangladesh identity who have often been described as Fifth Columnists by nationalistic commentators within Bangladesh (e.g. Col. Sayyed Farook Rahman who originally used the term against the sycophants surrounding Sheikh Mujibur Rahman). Notable examples today include the leadership of the Awami League, Shariar Kabir and most especially Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury. The last mentioned has admonished the followers of the USA branch of the Hindu-Buddha-Christian United Council (Oikya Parishad) to take up arms to establish their rights in Bangladesh as USA and India will not help them to do so. Praising the activities of the council he said, leaders of the Parishad have to go back to Bangladesh and start fight against the present Taliban government. Gaffar Chowdhury threatened, ‘Is there anybody in Bangladesh to resist if India provides logistic support to declare an independent Hindu region taking three districts of Bangladesh. Bangladesh will not exist without Hindus.” He further added, “…the promoters of Pakistani purposes are now being treated as patriotic in Bangladesh.” (The Independent – Tuesday 11 February 2003)

After the bomb blasts in Mymensingh district several national newspapers reported that a junior commissioned officer of the army, a former lance corporal and a civilian have been arrested on charge of spying for an Indian intelligence agency. One of the accused is charged with having supplied maps, designs, employment files of important army officials, directories of various formation training manuals, load table, move plan, permanent addresses of officers of different units, organizational structure of different units, list of arms and manpower, abbreviation books and resolutions of important meetings and other information. This particular accused sold off confidential documents to India for a large sum of money. A fact that will be conveniently forgotten by our intellectuals, press and media within a short span of time. A point that confirms my conclusions concerning the need for a new war of independence and the manner in which it will be fought and the means by which it shall be won. If Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury can exhort Hindus to take up arms in Bangladesh against Muslims then Muslims should retain the right to defend themselves.

Part III


"The Athenians, it seems to me, may think a man to be clever without paying him much attention. So long as they do not think that he teaches his wisdom to others. But as soon as they think that he makes other people clever, they get angry whether it be from jealousy, … or from some other reason" (Socrates)

" … I shall prove that I am not a clever speaker in any way at all: unless, indeed, by a clever speaker they mean a man who speaks the truth" (Socrates)


The only other person that seems to have realized that India’s cooperation during the Liberation War was self-motivated as well as self-centered was Henry Kissinger. The creation of Bangladesh has brought untold difficulties for India as well as a long-term dilemma that was recognized by a handful of enlightened individuals, although at times overstated in its complexity or analysis:

"The inevitable emergence of Bangladesh - which we postulated – presented India with fierce long-term problems. For Bangladesh was in effect East Bengal. Separated only by religion from India’s most fractious and most separatist state, West Bengal. They shared language, tradition, culture, and above all, a volatile national character. Whether, it turned nationalistic or radical, Bangladesh would overtime accentuate India’s centrifugal tendencies. It might be a precedent for the creation of other Moslem states, carved this time out of India. Once it was independent, its Moslem heritage might eventually lead to a rapprochement with Pakistan. All of this dictated to the unsentimental planners in New Delhi that its birth had to be accompanied by a dramatic demonstration of Indian predominance on the sub-continent … Mrs. Gandhi was going to war not because she was convinced of our failure but because she feared our success [in negotiations]. Ignoring the issues that had produced the crisis, she gave a little lecture on the history of Pakistan. She denied that she was opposed to its existence, but her analysis did little to sustain her disclaimer. Her father, she averred, had been blamed for accepting partition. And there was an element of truth, she said, in the often heard charge that India had been brought into being by leaders of an indigenous independence movement while Pakistan had been formed by British collaborators who, as soon as they became ‘independent’ proceeded to imprison the authentic fighters for independence. Pakistan was a jerry-built structure held together by its hatred for India, which was being stoked by each new generation of Pakistani leaders. Conditions in East Pakistan reflected tendencies applicable to all of Pakistan. Neither Baluchistan nor the Northwest Frontier properly belonged to Pakistan; they too wanted and deserved greater autonomy: they should never have been part of the original settlement.

This history lesson was hardly calculated to calm anxiety about Indian intentions. It was at best irrelevant to the issues and at worst a threat to cohesion of even West Pakistan. Mrs. Gandhi stressed the congenital defects of Pakistan so insistently that she implied that confining her demands to the secession of East Pakistan amounted to Indian restraint, the continued existence of West Pakistan reflected Indian forbearance…

…what had caused the war, in Nixon’s view and mine, went beyond the refugee problem; it was India’s determination to use the crisis to establish its preeminence on the subcontinent…

I remain convinced to this day that Mrs. Gandhi was not motivated primarily by conditions in East Pakistan; many solutions to its inevitable autonomy existed, several suggested by us…

We had no national interest to prevent self-determination for East Pakistan – indeed, we had put several schemes to bring it about – but we had a stake in the process by which it occurred. We wanted it to be achieved by evolution, not by a traumatic shock to a country in whose survival the United States, China, and the world community (as shown in repeated UN votes) did feel a stake, or by a plain violation of the rules by which the world must conduct itself if it is to survive. India struck in late November; by the timetable that we induced Yahya to accept, martial law would have ended and a civilian government would have taken power at the end of December. This would almost surely have led to the autonomy and independence of East Pakistan – probably without the excesses of brutality, including public bayoneting, in which the Indian – trained guerillas, the Mukti Bahini, engaged when they in turn terrorized Dacca." (Henry Kissinger – ‘The White House Years’ pp. 881-915; see also Zillur R. Khan – "Leadership Crisis in Bangladesh" (First Published 1984) and Rick Fountain’s ‘Bangladesh War Secrets Revealed’ 1 January 2003).


This geopolitical analysis and rendering of facts does not wholly square with the Indian interpretation. In fact, it seems to completely contradict the Indian position on all points. Present authorship in India has single mindedly attempted to explode and demolish all the assumptions and explanations made in Mr. Kissinger’s book. A case in point is ‘Liberation and Beyond’ by J.N. Dixit, a career diplomat now retired. Whereas Mr. Kissinger has attempted a global analysis of the 1971 conflict fitting it into a framework of international politics, Mr. Dixit has confined himself into dealing with it as if it were an episode solely happening in India’s backyard or a very parochial matter of no interest to the international community at all.

Even if sufficient credence is given to Mr. Kissinger’s alleged bias or partiality, it does not explain the gulf between the two books in their portrayal of events during the 1971 war. Apart from the fact that Mr. Dixit has used quoted paragraphs from Mr. Kissinger’s book and completely taken them out of context by not detailing what preceded the quoted section nor what it was intended to explain is damaging of itself. At least Mr. Kissinger had enough sense to be denigrating of the Pakistani’s too, whereas Mr. Dixit clearly shows us his pro-India bias.

The major discrepancies between the two books reside in their exposition of facts and circumstances. In ‘Liberation and Beyond’ the author states that though military operations were conducted under a Joint Command Structure with General Osmani as the counterpart of General Jagjit Singh Aurora, General Osmani was not present at the surrender ceremony of Pakistani Forces in Dhaka. He describes this as a ‘major political mistake’ and that the circumstances of General Osmani’s omission created ‘widespread suspicion’ amongst Bangladeshis. He describes the Indian ‘formal excuse’ as leading to ‘unfortunate aberration’ in the Bangladeshi belief that India wished to highlight its role in the war at the expense of Bangladesh, which India could have apparently avoided.

This entire paragraph left me in utter confusion. If it was in India’s power to ensure General Osmani’s attendance then why did they not do so? Why a long-winded and ultimately confusing explanation that leads the reader to conclude that there is more here than meets the eye. These actions give the impression that India considers Bangladesh a mere vassal state and that India was merely recovering a piece of its territory from the Pakistanis.

Another area where Mr. Dixit reveals more than he would have desired is his continual denial that India had any territorial aspirations in West Pakistan. But his comments belie his real meaning and Indian perspectives on the war. He says on several occasions that, "India would not liberate Pakistan-occupied Kashmir." These are an interesting choice of words. I will leave it to the intelligent reader to decipher what it means and implies.

At the end of the chapter, the author provides a number of press releases emanating from the 1971 war that discloses atrocities committed by West Pakistan forces in East Pakistan. Ninety per cent of the newspaper cuttings are of Indian origin. This could mean that the propaganda effort on behalf of the Bangladeshi Government was carried out by India or that the author’s research was very limited or he wishes to emphasize the support that India provided to Bangladesh. I would assume that it would be in India’s interest to make Pakistan look exceedingly ugly regardless of what happened in the Eastern theatre of operations. I am not denying that the Pakistani military committed heinous aggression upon the East Pakistanis but that we in the end were simply pawns in a wider diplomatic game and we consequently lost our ability to think for ourselves.

The manner in which the author has constructed his chapters on the war puts India in good stead but there is a disturbing inconsistency in the chronology of events from that found in ‘The White House Years.’ I would tend to believe Mr. Kissinger’s account, as it is more logical in its lay out and description.

In ‘Liberation and Beyond’ there is a tendency to overplay and overestimate the role of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in the military sequence of events. The author repeatedly lays stress on the relationship of Yahya Khan and Bhutto to demonstrate a clear characterization of a unified Pakistan onslaught. What purpose this serves I do not know. Bhutto only appeared when the Pakistan military debacle became evident and he exploited this to eventually oust Yahya. Bhutto was certainly responsible for the break up of Pakistan and much disliked amongst many of his own people but according to a number of books he was unawares of the military option being adopted by Yahya Khan. Kissinger virtually ignores Bhutto for most part and concentrates on the deeds of Yahya. There is one section of the book where Mr. Kissinger highly praises the brilliance and sophistication of Bhutto. We are also made abundantly aware of Mr. Bhutto’s immoderate and emotionally unstable side: "Zulfi suspected and feared collusion between Yahya and Mujib, and between Yahya and the fundamentalist Islamic parties of the West … Zulfi felt neglected by Yahya, offended by that little general to whom he had extended much hospitality in Larkana and had been especially moderate, thanks to Peerzada’s adroit diplomacy, never attacking him as mercilessly as he had attacked Ayub Khan. Soon Yayha’s turn would come, however, for he had the temerity to speak of Mujib as "prime minister.” (Stanley Wolpert – ‘Zulfi Bhutto of Pakistan" (1993))

The central argument in "Liberation and Beyond" can be summarized as follows: That it was Pakistan that conspired to create a situation against East Pakistan so as to find an excuse to make an assault upon India and its national integrity. In other words, it was Pakistan that desired a break up of India. That India did not want a neighbouring country to be fragmented and destroyed but due to the humanitarian concern for East Pakistan, it could not stand by under such naked aggression of the Pakistanis against the East Pakistan populace. That India tried it’s utmost to seek a diplomatic and negotiated settlement to the dispute but due to Pakistani intransigence, this was not possible. That the United States was uncooperative by not pressuring Pakistan to adopt a more conciliatory stance. That the United States continued to supply military hardware to Pakistan even after an arms embargo. That Bhutto was an important factor in the dispute implying that Pakistan wished to carry out his dream of eliminating India. That India did not want a reversal of partition nor a reunification of those parts but was deeply convinced that religion alone did not make a nation. A non-hostile Bangladesh would be far more preferable than a hostile East Pakistan and a positive response to the Bangladesh movement would reduce chances of other states in India seeking autonomy. That the might of the Pakistan army in East Pakistan was so strong that the liberation struggle would eventually peter out without active support from India. (J.N. Dixit – ‘Liberation and Beyond: Indo-Bangladesh Relations’ (First Published 1999) pp. 30-130)

There was much more I could have included in this summary but this will suffice to illustrate my point. The whole of that paragraph is in complete conflict with Mr. Kissinger’s rendition of history and parts of Mr. Wolperts exposition. I would also add that much of it does not accord with common sense or reality. The purpose of this exercise is to show how false history can be induced into our national psyche and has been the case since our independence. This is not to suggest that Mr. Kissinger’s account is not tainted with national loyalties of his own but until a history is written by us and by some one who wants to know the truth with out being influenced by the Pakistanis, Indians or Americans we will continue to be mystified. It is also my argument that India has bombarded and pummeled us with propaganda so that we are constantly at our own necks so as we become incapable of developing an independent national identity. The most recent of these examples is the stories concerning ISI agents roaming around Bangladesh creating havoc with the aid of Taliban and Osama bin Laden terrorists. No one has been arrested so far in this connection but ironically many Indian spies have been apprehended while carrying out activities detrimental to the stability of Bangladesh.


Ever since our independence, India has taken on a propaganda offensive by flooding our markets with books that support Indian contentions of what happened during the liberation war but the literature is so inherently flawed that any intelligent reader could see them for what they really are. Apart from ‘Liberation and Beyond’, books such as Kuldip Nayar’s ‘Distant Neighbours: A Tale of the Subcontinent’ (Delhi 1972), J.K.R. Jacob, Lt. Gen. ‘Surrender at Dacca: Birth of a Nation’ (Dhaka 1997) and most recently Enayetur and Joyce Rahim’s ‘Bangladesh Liberation War and the Nixon White House 1971’ (February 2000) are further examples of this trend. There are numerous other books written by Bangladeshis in Bangladesh that support the Indian assertions but the authors are mere ‘dalals’ (brokers) for India and they are paid large amounts of money to write such trite. I have even provided references to their works in this article but I will not be any more specific here. Organizations such as the MUKTIJUDDER CHETONA BASTOBAION O EKATTURER GHATOK DALAL NIRMUL JATIO SOMANNAY COMMITTEE have participated and contributed to this spreading of falsified history.

Enayetur and Joyce Rahim’s ‘Bangladesh Liberation War and the Nixon White House 1971’ is a good example of how blatant some of these writings are. The writers claim that the primary objective of their work is to provide verbatim documentation to the Nixon administrations policy, and involvement in the conflict. This could not be further from the truth and their praise for India ad infinitum is quite nauseating. The first part of their book claims to derive its materials from newspaper articles. At a closer inspection, the entire first part is made up of articles from one newspaper "The Independent" and from write-ups written from 26th February 1999 to 28th May 1999. This is stretching contemporaneity a little too far for my liking. To make matters worse all the articles in the first part have been written by the authors themselves in "The Independent" of Dhaka, so while proclaiming their objectivity they are publishing writings by themselves that are so slanted and biased to make the most bigoted man throw up. The timing of these write-ups and circumstances of their authorship would make anyone harbour doubts about the sincerity and objectivity of the writers. From reading the Preface to the book one is thrown back by how twisted and unbalanced the whole project is. They do not attempt to hide their prejudice or from what angle they are writing. One can only conclude that this was supported with the tacit if not explicit support of the Awami League and the Indian Government. One should not be surprised that "The Independent" also serialized the J.N. Dixit book. I am only offended that the so-called educated elite in our country has not been able to see through this game. No I am not merely offended but appalled by the cowardice and lack of scholarly insight amongst our pompous intellectuals. My uneducated grandmother could have given a better account of herself. So far we have only been able to produce personalized histories of the Liberation War that generally swallow the Indian line without questioning the writers basic assumptions (Rafiq-ul-Islam – "A Tale of Millions" (October 1981)). It is time we moved on to a more mature and well-researched analysis of our recent history: a history written by us, for us, and without political interference.


The big brotherly attitude of India which other nations have found overbearing and an irritant is a culmination of the thinking of Pandit Nehru and India’s Forward Policy. An example of this Forward Policy, not surprisingly, is found in what has been called the Nehru Doctrine. Its focus has been directed at Nepal but has meaning and resonance for all of India’s neighbours. Pandit Nehru on 17th March, 1950 in Parliament expressed it thus, "apart from any kind of alliance the fact remains that we can’t tolerate any foreign invasion from any foreign country in any part of the Indian sub-continent. Any possible invasion of Nepal will inevitably involve the safety of India." One may recall India’s strong opposition to any military pact between the United States and Bangladesh, so the doctrine also encompasses preventing any alliances as well. The Nehru Doctrine infringes upon the independent sovereign rights of nations and interferes in their internal decision making processes. If control is not de jure, it is certainly at least de facto. I am sure India will assign the right to interpret the word ‘invasions’ according to its own wisdom and thought processes. As has been pointed out by Secretary of State Kissinger, "I did not find in Indian History or in Indian conduct towards its own people or its neighbours a unique moral sensitivity."

Much closer to home, the Forward Policy and the Nehru Doctrine were at play during our own Liberation War, as explained by Secretary of State Kissinger, "Despite Yahya’s proclamation of an amnesty India made the return of refugees to East Pakistan depend on a political settlement there. But India reserved the right to define what constituted an acceptable political settlement on the sovereign territory of its neighbour." (Henry Kissinger – ‘The White House Years; see also Zillur R. Khan – Leadership Crisis in Bangladesh; Mohammed Tajammul Hussain – Bangladesh Victim of Black Propaganda Intrigue and Indian Hegemony; also see Sadeq Khan – ‘A Coded Message of expansion" in the weekly ‘Holiday’ July 14th 2000) )


Bangladesh’s suspicion of India is only natural; since I am sure India does not have our best interests in mind. This is something I noted on a previous occasion but it did not receive the same type of response as my last write-up did. There is a good academic reason why nations that share borders with India should be wary and I am saying this at the risk of repeating myself:

"Whether a nation be mighty today and rich or not depends not on the abundance or security of its power and riches, but principally on whether its neighbours have more or less of it." (German mercantilist Von Hornigk – From Paul Kennedy – ‘The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers (First Published 1988))

Under the last Awami League government Bangladesh had adopted a foreign policy of least resistance and no direction. We should therefore not blame the Indians but ourselves. If we cannot compete because we tend to be lazy or just plain stupid with no feeling of patriotism then we can only expect that India will take advantage of this situation at our cost:

“... the power of a nation-state by no means consists only in its armed forces, but also in its economic and technological resources; in the dexterity, foresight and resolution with which its foreign policy is conducted; in the efficiency of its social and political organization. It consists most of all in the nation itself, the people; their skills, energy, ambition, discipline, initiative; their beliefs, myths and illusions. And it consists, further, in the way all these factors are related to one another. Moreover national power has to be considered not only in itself, in its absolute extent, but relative to the state's foreign or imperial obligations; it has to be considered relative to the power of other states." (Corelli Barnett – From Paul Kennedy – ‘The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers’)

What was not evident when I originally wrote this article in 2001 was that if Bangladesh even attempts an independent foreign policy the Indian government would directly intervene military to bring the Bangladesh government into line. This explains the recent allegations of terrorist bases in Bangladesh which have been repeated in the international media but charges that still remain unproved and the ethnic cleaning taking place in West Bengal and bordering states against Muslims which is a possible ruse for military conflict. Even with such hostile actions Bangladesh should resist and persist in developing an independent thought process that is in the best interests of the nation. 

BY : M B I Munshi.