Bangladesh: Contributors to Liberation Received Awards
19 December, 2012
By Ishaal Zehra
Hilarious, but true. Government of Bangladesh, or should I say Shaikh Hasina's government, arranged the 4th phase of honouring the "Foreign Friends of Bangladesh" who supported the liberation war. The grand ceremony was held on 15th December 2012 at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre where Bangladesh conferred awards on 65 more foreign friends for their outstanding contributions to the country's Liberation War 41 years ago.
This was the fourth time of awarding foreign friends since the government first conferred "Bangladesh Liberation War Honour" posthumously on Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on July 25, 2011. In the second phase, Bangladesh awarded 83 with the honour on March 27 and 61 more in the third phase on October 20 this year.
As per the joint press briefing, earlier, at the foreign ministry, Foreign Minister Dipu Moni confirmed sixty-three personalities and two organizations from 10 countries to receive the award on December 15. Among them, 49 are from India and the rest are from the USA, Russia, France, Australia, UK, Sweden, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan.
Speaking at the same press briefing, State Minister for Liberation War Affairs Capt (R) AB Tajul Islam said the government has invited Indian President Pranab Mukherjee to receive the award at his convenient time. The date of his visit will be confirmed by the two foreign ministries later. On the basis of sneering rumors of few Pakistani receiving the award it was asked whether any individual from Pakistan will come to receive the award this time, Dipu Moni said their names would be on the list in the next phase.
One can only speculate if any of Pakistani would take such HONOUR. Leave Pakistani's aside this whole event is a shame for every sane Bangladeshi as well. Conferring awards to those who are a party to a war which was the outcome of a conspiracy theory is an idiotic thing or another conspiracy in the offing. Bangladesh war conspiracy is a known fact today.
It is a reality that Pakistan has been a traditional enemy of India. The high echelons in the Indian leadership never accepted the division of Sub Continent. Hence, it wasn't surprising that India took the opportunity of weakening Pakistan by supporting the Bangladesh liberation movement. Former Indian foreign secretary Mr. Dixit is on record saying, "We helped in the liberation of Bangladesh in mutual interest, it was not a favour," As per a senior RAW intelligence officer, "Bangladesh was the result of a 10 year long promotion of dissatisfaction against the rulers of Pakistan". Thus, helping Bangladesh was not an instantaneous decision of India rather it was a carefully designed strategic plan that was executed in exact precision. Unfortunately, after the liberation, things did not go the way India had planned.
It was then the Indian leaders knew that the only party that was able to meet the Indian strategic demands in Bangladesh is Awami League. From. Sheikh Mujeeb to Sheikh Hasina, they never stopped keeping relations with Awami League and provided all sorts of support to them. According to some well-informed observers, India provided Tk. 300 crore to Awami League to win the 1996 election (Weekly Shugondha, 26th April, 1996). So these so-called awards might be actually a plea to beg their masters further support and possible favors.
Since 1971, Bangladesh has become an "alienated" and "dependent" state with tiny influence in the comity of nation. Geographically it is surrounded by India from three sides but authoritatively completely encircled in her hegemonic sphere. And the total Shaikh family of AL regime leaves no stone unturned to continue this hegemony.
Interestingly, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed refused to attend the D-8 Conference held in Islamabad, unless Pakistan tendered an apology for what she called "the genocide of Bengalis." Probably as a show of complete obedience towards her Indian well wishers. Although the Hamood-ur-Rehman Commission identified the underlying causes for the 71 tragedy where the Commission criticized the then political and military leaders for their ineptness, it also debunked the propaganda by New Delhi that 2 to 3 million Bengalis had been killed by Pakistan Army. Rather the civil war and the killings of West Pakistanis by Mukti Bahini guerrillas were the two main ignored reasons for that huge genocide.
Besides Hamood-ur-Rehman Commission there are numerous published reports out now which negates the Indian well propagated make beliefs of 1971 war where Pakistan Army was the sole dictator and the only evil. The declassified US reports, Indian military officers account, Pakistan military officers account, General Niazi's memoirs, Sharmila Bose write ups are only a petty reference of the unending list. Published books and articles as Subversion in East Pakistan, by AMK Maswani, Second Thoughts on Bangladesh, narrated by a repentant rebel, and Bangladesh Today—Indictment and a Lament, by the distinguished East Pakistani intellectual Matiur Rahman proclaim how the East Pakistanis were made the victims of a vast scheme to give up a part of their own country.
Henry Kissinger's voluminous work, The White House Years, adds heavily to the account. When the relevant written material is placed beside the events that took place before, during and after the war, the analysis exposes the US hand in fomenting rebellion by the Awami League against the State, assisting India in raising, arming and deploying the Mukti Bahni terrorists in East Pakistan, then provoking the war and devising a quick defeat for Pakistan.
Sarmila Bose, a Senior Research Fellow in the Politics of South Asia at the University of Oxford, through a detailed investigation of events on the ground contextualizes and humanizes the war while
analysing what the events reveal about the nature of the conflict itself. The story of 1971 has so far been dominated by the narrative of the victorious side. All parties to the war are still largely imprisoned by wartime partisan mythologies. Her book challenges assumptions about the nature of the conflict, and exposes the ways in which the 1971 war is still playing out in the region. As a matter of fact, this whole honour and award drama is just a mere extension of the Indian chess moves in the region where Sheikh Hasina, unfortunately, is just a pawn progressing in the directions of her master mind.
Bangladesh after 41 years of independence is still going through a transition period (like all third world countries) struggling to provide its citizens with social justice, equality, quality education, better living standards, fair independent judiciary, free and fair election. Would it not be appreciable if the government focuses on her people miseries rather give awards to foreign friends of some political party. Basic fundamental rights of citizens come much earlier than such staged dramas. I am sure the original friends who really want to see a prosperous Bangladesh will surely adore the idea.