1971

Published on
Scene 1 (0s)

1971

Am I a talkative?

The 49 th anniversary of East Pakistan’s secession and becoming Bangladesh is drawing close, affording us yet another opportunity for introspection and an occasion to read our past from a varied perspective. The East Pakistan debacle is a grim reminder of countless lives being lost in a bid to perpetuate the coercive control on the eastern wing of the country by the Pakistani Army. A majority of studies on the birth of Bangladesh point fingers at the Pakistan Army as a force of brutes, solely responsible for the ‘Bengali genocide’. Estimates of those killed in the war go beyond 2 million and some sources in India and Bangladesh put the numbers beyond 3 million. Speculation has been the basis of this projection and not the exact count of those killed in 1971. The then Pakistani Army is imputed with every wrong committed in East Pakistan. The binary has been created neatly. In it Pakistan Army is an oppressor, the ‘other’ and Bengalis are oppressed and brutalised , ‘self’. That simplistic analysis has found sufficient traction even among the Pakistani literati. I haven’t heard anyone mentioning the prelude that led to a horrific denouement. In Khulna district, some Bengalis carried out a ghastly massacre of non-Bengali workers in a jute mill. The number of those killed was so large that at one point the river was choked. The non-Bengalis were mainly Urdu-speaking Muslim migrants from Bihar who had fled India on the eve of partition. On March 28, 1971, their fellow (Bengali) workers slaughtered a large number of them, sometimes by using clinical methods of slaughter in what Oxford academic, Sharmila Bose, in her brilliantly researched book, Dead Reckoning: Memories of the Bangladesh War calls slaughterhouses, set up for that purpose inside the mill. The exact number of those who lost their lives will never be known; a reasonable estimate is several thousand men, women, and children. According to testimony collected by Bose, “their bloated corpses clogged the rivers for days.” This occurred before the Pakistan Army unleashed its wide-scale repression. After its defeat on December 16, with Bangladesh’s independence established, Khulna’s Bengali mill workers repeated the blood bath that they had perpetrated the previous year and consigned thousands more of non-Bengalis to the rivers. Those killed were incriminated as traitors who had supported Pakistan and been spies for the Pakistan Army. Columnist, Ian Jack in his write-up dated, May 11, 2011 in the Guardian made an important revelation, which referred to an important source which had been responsible for blowing all that happened in East Pakistan out of proportion.The Pakistan government, led by a general ( Yahya Khan), was anxious to project the army’s role as bringers of order to a country that was sliding quickly towards civil war. Even in the days of crackling landlines and unreliable telex machines, reports got out depicting scenes of cruelty and confusion. Then, on June 18, 1971, The Sunday Times published a long piece of reportage that more than any other single piece of journalism changed how the world saw, and would remember, the conflict inside Bangladesh. The assistant editor of the Morning News (Karachi), Neville Anthony Mascarenhas (1928-1986) a Pakistani Catholic from the Goan origin, had been flown from his home in Karachi to Dhaka by the Pakistan military to report on the army’s good work, but he came back with a story that demonised Pakistan and the Pakistani Army. Obviously, that story could not be carried by Mascarenhas ’ own newspaper or any other in Pakistan. Therefore, he’d flown with it to London to meet The Sunday Times’s then editor, Harold Evans. Evans noted in his autobiography about what Mascarenhas had told him about Pak army’s “outrages against Bengalis far outweighed those of Bengalis against non-Bengalis”. Hindus were the specific target of the army. Senior army officers had told him that “they were seeking a final solution” determined “to cleanse East Pakistan once and for all of the threat of secession, even if it means killing 2 million people and ruling the province as a colony for 30 years.” Now this without any doubt was circumstantial evidence which could at best be treated as an opinion than a news item based on verified facts. The Sunday Times ran the story across two pages under the headline: GENOCIDE. Before the publication of his report in 1971, Mascarenhas moved his family to Britain, where he settled permanently and made a career out of demonising Pakistan. He worked for 14 years with The Sunday Times . The BBC wrote, “there is little doubt that Mascarenhas’s reportage played its part in ending the war. It helped turn world opinion against Pakistan and encouraged India to play a decisive role.” Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, later told Evans that ( Mascarenhas’s ) story had “set her on a campaign of personal diplomacy that prepared the ground for armed intervention.” Bose’s book, however, raised doubts on the report’s veracity – a massacre said to have killed 8,000 Hindus probably killed only 16 at most – as well as its effect. Soon after the war ended, a prediction (or threat) of 2 million dead had been elevated to the widely publicised ‘fact’ of 3 million dead, which is still commonly accepted in India and Bangladesh. A truth about the Bangladesh war is that remarkably few scholars and historians have given it a thorough, independent scrutiny. Bose’s research has taken her from the archives to interviews with elderly peasants in Bangladesh and retired army officers in Pakistan. Her findings are significant. She estimates that during the conflict of 1971 a total of somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 combatants and non-combatants perished on all sides . One tends to agree with Ian Jack that much beyond 100,000 and “one enters a world of meaningless speculation”. Many Bengalis remained loyal to the old regime and went unharmed. Not condoning what Pakistan Army did in 1971, one must not lose sight of the paramilitaries (who were mainly Biharis ) had been at their most genocidal in their persecution of Hindu Bengali men, whom they believed as a group to be disloyal. Obviously, they too had a history of suffering. By contrast, many Bengali Muslim civilians attacked non-Bengalis and Bengali Hindus purely on the grounds of their ethnic or religious identity or for material gain. That fact has been scarcely investigated but Bose deserves credit for reading Bengali genocide differently. We may access, preserve, and disclose any information we store associated with you to external parties if we, in good faith, believe doing so is required or appropriate to: comply with law enforcement or national security requests and legal process, such as a court order or subpoena; protect your, our, or others’ rights, property, or safety; enforce our policies or contracts; collect amounts owed to us; or assist with an investigation or prosecution of suspected or actual illegal activity . We may access, preserve, and disclose any information we store associated with you to external parties if we, in good faith, believe doing so is required or appropriate to: comply with law enforcement or national security requests and legal process, such as a court order or subpoena; protect your, our, or others’ rights, property, or safety; enforce our policies or contracts; collect amounts owed to us; or assist with an investigation or prosecution of suspected or actual illegal activity.

Scene 2 (50s)

Indo_Pak War

Am I stupid?

The 49 th anniversary of East Pakistan’s secession and becoming Bangladesh is drawing close, affording us yet another opportunity for introspection and an occasion to read our past from a varied perspective. The East Pakistan debacle is a grim reminder of countless lives being lost in a bid to perpetuate the coercive control on the eastern wing of the country by the Pakistani Army. A majority of studies on the birth of Bangladesh point fingers at the Pakistan Army as a force of brutes, solely responsible for the ‘Bengali genocide’. Estimates of those killed in the war go beyond 2 million and some sources in India and Bangladesh put the numbers beyond 3 million. Speculation has been the basis of this projection and not the exact count of those killed in 1971. The then Pakistani Army is imputed with every wrong committed in East Pakistan. The binary has been created neatly. In it Pakistan Army is an oppressor, the ‘other’ and Bengalis are oppressed and brutalised , ‘self’. That simplistic analysis has found sufficient traction even among the Pakistani literati. I haven’t heard anyone mentioning the prelude that led to a horrific denouement. In Khulna district, some Bengalis carried out a ghastly massacre of non-Bengali workers in a jute mill. The number of those killed was so large that at one point the river was choked. The non-Bengalis were mainly Urdu-speaking Muslim migrants from Bihar who had fled India on the eve of partition. On March 28, 1971, their fellow (Bengali) workers slaughtered a large number of them, sometimes by using clinical methods of slaughter in what Oxford academic, Sharmila Bose, in her brilliantly researched book, Dead Reckoning: Memories of the Bangladesh War calls slaughterhouses, set up for that purpose inside the mill. The exact number of those who lost their lives will never be known; a reasonable estimate is several thousand men, women, and children. According to testimony collected by Bose, “their bloated corpses clogged the rivers for days.” This occurred before the Pakistan Army unleashed its wide-scale repression. After its defeat on December 16, with Bangladesh’s independence established, Khulna’s Bengali mill workers repeated the blood bath that they had perpetrated the previous year and consigned thousands more of non-Bengalis to the rivers. Those killed were incriminated as traitors who had supported Pakistan and been spies for the Pakistan Army. Columnist, Ian Jack in his write-up dated, May 11, 2011 in the Guardian made an important revelation, which referred to an important source which had been responsible for blowing all that happened in East Pakistan out of proportion.The Pakistan government, led by a general ( Yahya Khan), was anxious to project the army’s role as bringers of order to a country that was sliding quickly towards civil war. Even in the days of crackling landlines and unreliable telex machines, reports got out depicting scenes of cruelty and confusion. Then, on June 18, 1971, The Sunday Times published a long piece of reportage that more than any other single piece of journalism changed how the world saw, and would remember, the conflict inside Bangladesh. The assistant editor of the Morning News (Karachi), Neville Anthony Mascarenhas (1928-1986) a Pakistani Catholic from the Goan origin, had been flown from his home in Karachi to Dhaka by the Pakistan military to report on the army’s good work, but he came back with a story that demonised Pakistan and the Pakistani Army. Obviously, that story could not be carried by Mascarenhas ’ own newspaper or any other in Pakistan. Therefore, he’d flown with it to London to meet The Sunday Times’s then editor, Harold Evans. Evans noted in his autobiography about what Mascarenhas had told him about Pak army’s “outrages against Bengalis far outweighed those of Bengalis against non-Bengalis”. Hindus were the specific target of the army. Senior army officers had told him that “they were seeking a final solution” determined “to cleanse East Pakistan once and for all of the threat of secession, even if it means killing 2 million people and ruling the province as a colony for 30 years.” Now this without any doubt was circumstantial evidence which could at best be treated as an opinion than a news item based on verified facts. The Sunday Times ran the story across two pages under the headline: GENOCIDE. Before the publication of his report in 1971, Mascarenhas moved his family to Britain, where he settled permanently and made a career out of demonising Pakistan. He worked for 14 years with The Sunday Times . The BBC wrote, “there is little doubt that Mascarenhas’s reportage played its part in ending the war. It helped turn world opinion against Pakistan and encouraged India to play a decisive role.” Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, later told Evans that ( Mascarenhas’s ) story had “set her on a campaign of personal diplomacy that prepared the ground for armed intervention.” Bose’s book, however, raised doubts on the report’s veracity – a massacre said to have killed 8,000 Hindus probably killed only 16 at most – as well as its effect. Soon after the war ended, a prediction (or threat) of 2 million dead had been elevated to the widely publicised ‘fact’ of 3 million dead, which is still commonly accepted in India and Bangladesh. A truth about the Bangladesh war is that remarkably few scholars and historians have given it a thorough, independent scrutiny. Bose’s research has taken her from the archives to interviews with elderly peasants in Bangladesh and retired army officers in Pakistan. Her findings are significant. She estimates that during the conflict of 1971 a total of somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 combatants and non-combatants perished on all sides . We may access, preserve, and disclose any information we store associated with you to external parties if we, in good faith, believe doing so is required or appropriate to: comply with law enforcement or national security requests and legal process, such as a court order or subpoena; protect your, our, or others’ rights, property, or safety; enforce our policies or contracts; collect amounts owed to us; or assist with an investigation or prosecution of suspected or actual illegal activity . We may access, preserve, and disclose any information we store associated with you to external parties if we, in good faith, believe doing so is required or appropriate to: comply with law enforcement or national security requests and legal process, such as a court order or subpoena; protect your, our, or others’ rights, property, or safety; enforce our policies or contracts; collect amounts owed to us; or assist with an investigation or prosecution of suspected or actual illegal activity . We may access, preserve, and disclose any information we store associated with you to external parties if we, in good faith, believe doing so is required or appropriate to: comply with law enforcement or national security requests and legal process, such as a court order or subpoena; protect your, our, or others’ rights, property, or safety; enforce our policies or contracts; collect amounts owed to us; or assist with an investigation or prosecution of suspected or actual illegal activity . We may access, preserve, and disclose any information we store associated with you to external parties if we, in good faith, believe doing so is required or appropriate to: comply with law enforcement or national security requests and legal process, such as a court order or subpoena; protect your, our, or others’ rights, property, or safety; enforce our policies or contracts; collect amounts owed to us; or assist with an investigation or prosecution of suspected or actual illegal activity . We may access, preserve, and disclose any information we store associated with you to external parties if we, in good faith, believe doing so is required or appropriate to: comply with law enforcement or national security requests and legal process, such as a court order or subpoena; protect your, our, or others’ rights, property, or safety; enforce our policies or contracts; collect amounts owed to us; or assist with an investigation or prosecution of suspected or actual illegal activity . We may access, preserve, and disclose any information we store associated with you to external parties if we, in good faith, believe doing so is required or appropriate to: comply with law enforcement or national security requests and legal process, such as a court order or subpoena; protect your, our, or others’ rights, property, or safety; enforce our policies or contracts; collect amounts owed to us; or assist with an investigation or prosecution of suspected or actual illegal activity . We may access, preserve, and disclose any information we store associated with you to external parties if we, in good faith, believe doing so is required or appropriate to: comply with law enforcement or national security requests and legal process, such as a court order or subpoena; protect your, our, or others’ rights, property, or safety; enforce our policies or contracts; collect amounts owed to us; or assist with an investigation or prosecution of suspected or actual illegal activity . We may access, preserve, and disclose any information we store associated with you to external parties if we, in good faith, believe doing so is required or appropriate to: comply with law enforcement or national security requests and legal process, such as a court order or subpoena; protect your, our, or others’ rights, property, or safety; enforce our policies or contracts; collect amounts owed to us; or assist with an investigation or prosecution of suspected or actual illegal activity . We may access, preserve, and disclose any information we store associated with you to external parties if we, in good faith, believe doing so is required or appropriate to: comply with law enforcement or national security requests and legal process, such as a court order or subpoena; protect your, our, or others’ rights, property, or safety; enforce our policies or contracts; collect amounts owed to us; or assist with an investigation or prosecution of suspected or actual illegal activity . We may access, preserve, and disclose any information we store associated with you to external parties if we, in good faith, believe doing so is required or appropriate to: comply with law enforcement or national security requests and legal process, such as a court order or subpoena; protect your, our, or others’ rights, property, or safety; enforce our policies or contracts; collect amounts owed to us; or assist with an investigation or prosecution of suspected or actual illegal activity . We may access, preserve, and disclose any information we store associated with you to external parties if we, in good faith, believe doing so is required or appropriate to: comply with law enforcement or national security requests and legal process, such as a court order or subpoena; protect your, our, or others’ rights, property, or safety; enforce our policies or contracts; collect amounts owed to us; or assist with an investigation or prosecution of suspected or actual illegal activity . We may access, preserve, and disclose any information we store associated with you to external parties if we, in good faith, believe doing so is required or appropriate to: comply with law enforcement or national security requests and legal process, such as a court order or subpoena; protect your, our, or others’ rights, property, or safety; enforce our policies or contracts; collect amounts owed to us; or assist with an investigation or prosecution of suspected or actual illegal activity . We may access, preserve, and disclose any information we store associated with you to external parties if we, in good faith, believe doing so is required or appropriate to: comply with law enforcement or national security requests and legal process, such as a court order or subpoena; protect your, our, or others’ rights, property, or safety; enforce our policies or contracts; collect amounts owed to us; or assist with an investigation or prosecution of suspected or actual illegal activity.

Hosnei Ara hosneiara@yahoo.com

Scene 3 (1m 42s)

Birth of a nation

Dad, I want to marry.

The 49 th anniversary of East Pakistan’s secession and becoming Bangladesh is drawing close, affording us yet another opportunity for introspection and an occasion to read our past from a varied perspective. The East Pakistan debacle is a grim reminder of countless lives being lost in a bid to perpetuate the coercive control on the eastern wing of the country by the Pakistani Army. A majority of studies on the birth of Bangladesh point fingers at the Pakistan Army as a force of brutes, solely responsible for the ‘Bengali genocide’. Estimates of those killed in the war go beyond 2 million and some sources in India and Bangladesh put the numbers beyond 3 million. Speculation has been the basis of this projection and not the exact count of those killed in 1971. The then Pakistani Army is imputed with every wrong committed in East Pakistan. The binary has been created neatly. In it Pakistan Army is an oppressor, the ‘other’ and Bengalis are oppressed and brutalised , ‘self’. That simplistic analysis has found sufficient traction even among the Pakistani literati. I haven’t heard anyone mentioning the prelude that led to a horrific denouement. In Khulna district, some Bengalis carried out a ghastly massacre of non-Bengali workers in a jute mill. The number of those killed was so large that at one point the river was choked. The non-Bengalis were mainly Urdu-speaking Muslim migrants from Bihar who had fled India on the eve of partition. On March 28, 1971, their fellow (Bengali) workers slaughtered a large number of them, sometimes by using clinical methods of slaughter in what Oxford academic, Sharmila Bose, in her brilliantly researched book, Dead Reckoning: Memories of the Bangladesh War calls slaughterhouses, set up for that purpose inside the mill. The exact number of those who lost their lives will never be known; a reasonable estimate is several thousand men, women, and children. According to testimony collected by Bose, “their bloated corpses clogged the rivers for days.” This occurred before the Pakistan Army unleashed its wide-scale repression. After its defeat on December 16, with Bangladesh’s independence established, Khulna’s Bengali mill workers repeated the blood bath that they had perpetrated the previous year and consigned thousands more of non-Bengalis to the rivers. Those killed were incriminated as traitors who had supported Pakistan and been spies for the Pakistan Army. Columnist, Ian Jack in his write-up dated, May 11, 2011 in the Guardian made an important revelation, which referred to an important source which had been responsible for blowing all that happened in East Pakistan out of proportion.The Pakistan government, led by a general ( Yahya Khan), was anxious to project the army’s role as bringers of order to a country that was sliding quickly towards civil war. Even in the days of crackling landlines and unreliable telex machines, reports got out depicting scenes of cruelty and confusion. Then, on June 18, 1971, The Sunday Times published a long piece of reportage that more than any other single piece of journalism changed how the world saw, and would remember, the conflict inside Bangladesh. The assistant editor of the Morning News (Karachi), Neville Anthony Mascarenhas (1928-1986) a Pakistani Catholic from the Goan origin, had been flown from his home in Karachi to Dhaka by the Pakistan military to report on the army’s good work, but he came back with a story that demonised Pakistan and the Pakistani Army. Obviously, that story could not be carried by Mascarenhas ’ own newspaper or any other in Pakistan. Therefore, he’d flown with it to London to meet The Sunday Times’s then editor, Harold Evans. Evans noted in his autobiography about what Mascarenhas had told him about Pak army’s “outrages against Bengalis far outweighed those of Bengalis against non-Bengalis”. Hindus were the specific target of the army. Senior army officers had told him that “they were seeking a final solution” determined “to cleanse East Pakistan once and for all of the threat of secession, even if it means killing 2 million people and ruling the province as a colony for 30 years.” Now this without any doubt was circumstantial evidence which could at best be treated as an opinion than a news item based on verified facts. The Sunday Times ran the story across two pages under the headline: GENOCIDE. Before the publication of his report in 1971, Mascarenhas moved his family to Britain, where he settled permanently and made a career out of demonising Pakistan. He worked for 14 years with The Sunday Times . The BBC wrote, “there is little doubt that Mascarenhas’s reportage played its part in ending the war. It helped turn world opinion against Pakistan and encouraged India to play a decisive role.” Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, later told Evans that ( Mascarenhas’s ) story had “set her on a campaign of personal diplomacy that prepared the ground for armed intervention.” Bose’s book, however, raised doubts on the report’s veracity – a massacre said to have killed 8,000 Hindus probably killed only 16 at most – as well as its effect. Soon after the war ended, a prediction (or threat) of 2 million dead had been elevated to the widely publicised ‘fact’ of 3 million dead, which is still commonly accepted in India and Bangladesh. A truth about the Bangladesh war is that remarkably few scholars and historians have given it a thorough, independent scrutiny. Bose’s research has taken her from the archives to interviews with elderly peasants in Bangladesh and retired army officers in Pakistan. Her findings are significant. She estimates that during the conflict of 1971 a total of somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 combatants and non-combatants perished on all sides . We may access, preserve, and disclose any information we store associated with you to external parties if we, in good faith, believe doing so is required or appropriate to: comply with law enforcement or national security requests and legal process, such as a court order or subpoena; protect your, our, or others’ rights, property, or safety; enforce our policies or contracts; collect amounts owed to us; or assist with an investigation or prosecution of suspected or actual illegal activity . We may access, preserve, and disclose any information we store associated with you to external parties if we, in good faith, believe doing so is required or appropriate to: comply with law enforcement or national security requests and legal process, such as a court order or subpoena; protect your, our, or others’ rights, property, or safety; enforce our policies or contracts; collect amounts owed to us; or assist with an investigation or prosecution of suspected or actual illegal activity . We may access, preserve, and disclose any information we store associated with you to external parties if we, in good faith, believe doing so is required or appropriate to: comply with law enforcement or national security requests and legal process, such as a court order or subpoena; protect your, our, or others’ rights, property, or safety; enforce our policies or contracts; collect amounts owed to us; or assist with an investigation or prosecution of suspected or actual illegal activity . We may access, preserve, and disclose any information we store associated with you to external parties if we, in good faith, believe doing so is required or appropriate to: comply with law enforcement or national security requests and legal process, such as a court order or subpoena; protect your, our, or others’ rights, property, or safety; enforce our policies or contracts; collect amounts owed to us; or assist with an investigation or prosecution of suspected or actual illegal activity.

Hosnei Ara hosneiara@ ahoo.com

Scene 4 (2m 37s)

Birth of Bangladesh

Bangladesh, my beloved motherland.

The 49 th anniversary of East Pakistan’s secession and becoming Bangladesh is drawing close, affording us yet another opportunity for introspection and an occasion to read our past from a varied perspective. The East Pakistan debacle is a grim reminder of countless lives being lost in a bid to perpetuate the coercive control on the eastern wing of the country by the Pakistani Army. A majority of studies on the birth of Bangladesh point fingers at the Pakistan Army as a force of brutes, solely responsible for the ‘Bengali genocide’. Estimates of those killed in the war go beyond 2 million and some sources in India and Bangladesh put the numbers beyond 3 million. Speculation has been the basis of this projection and not the exact count of those killed in 1971. The then Pakistani Army is imputed with every wrong committed in East Pakistan. The binary has been created neatly. In it Pakistan Army is an oppressor, the ‘other’ and Bengalis are oppressed and brutalised , ‘self’. That simplistic analysis has found sufficient traction even among the Pakistani literati. I haven’t heard anyone mentioning the prelude that led to a horrific denouement. In Khulna district, some Bengalis carried out a ghastly massacre of non-Bengali workers in a jute mill. The number of those killed was so large that at one point the river was choked. The non-Bengalis were mainly Urdu-speaking Muslim migrants from Bihar who had fled India on the eve of partition. On March 28, 1971, their fellow (Bengali) workers slaughtered a large number of them, sometimes by using clinical methods of slaughter in what Oxford academic, Sharmila Bose, in her brilliantly researched book, Dead Reckoning: Memories of the Bangladesh War calls slaughterhouses, set up for that purpose inside the mill. The exact number of those who lost their lives will never be known; a reasonable estimate is several thousand men, women, and children. According to testimony collected by Bose, “their bloated corpses clogged the rivers for days.” This occurred before the Pakistan Army unleashed its wide-scale repression. After its defeat on December 16, with Bangladesh’s independence established, Khulna’s Bengali mill workers repeated the blood bath that they had perpetrated the previous year and consigned thousands more of non-Bengalis to the rivers. Those killed were incriminated as traitors who had supported Pakistan and been spies for the Pakistan Army. Columnist, Ian Jack in his write-up dated, May 11, 2011 in the Guardian made an important revelation, which referred to an important source which had been responsible for blowing all that happened in East Pakistan out of proportion.The Pakistan government, led by a general ( Yahya Khan), was anxious to project the army’s role as bringers of order to a country that was sliding quickly towards civil war. Even in the days of crackling landlines and unreliable telex machines, reports got out depicting scenes of cruelty and confusion. Then, on June 18, 1971, The Sunday Times published a long piece of reportage that more than any other single piece of journalism changed how the world saw, and would remember, the conflict inside Bangladesh. The assistant editor of the Morning News (Karachi), Neville Anthony Mascarenhas (1928-1986) a Pakistani Catholic from the Goan origin, had been flown from his home in Karachi to Dhaka by the Pakistan military to report on the army’s good work, but he came back with a story that demonised Pakistan and the Pakistani Army. Obviously, that story could not be carried by Mascarenhas ’ own newspaper or any other in Pakistan. Therefore, he’d flown with it to London to meet The Sunday Times’s then editor, Harold Evans. Evans noted in his autobiography about what Mascarenhas had told him about Pak army’s “outrages against Bengalis far outweighed those of Bengalis against non-Bengalis”. Hindus were the specific target of the army. Senior army officers had told him that “they were seeking a final solution” determined “to cleanse East Pakistan once and for all of the threat of secession, even if it means killing 2 million people and ruling the province as a colony for 30 years.” Now this without any doubt was circumstantial evidence which could at best be treated as an opinion than a news item based on verified facts. The Sunday Times ran the story across two pages under the headline: GENOCIDE. Before the publication of his report in 1971, Mascarenhas moved his family to Britain, where he settled permanently and made a career out of demonising Pakistan. He worked for 14 years with The Sunday Times . The BBC wrote, “there is little doubt that Mascarenhas’s reportage played its part in ending the war. It helped turn world opinion against Pakistan and encouraged India to play a decisive role.” Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, later told Evans that ( Mascarenhas’s ) story had “set her on a campaign of personal diplomacy that prepared the ground for armed intervention.” Bose’s book, however, raised doubts on the report’s veracity – a massacre said to have killed 8,000 Hindus probably killed only 16 at most – as well as its effect. Soon after the war ended, a prediction (or threat) of 2 million dead had been elevated to the widely publicised ‘fact’ of 3 million dead, which is still commonly accepted in India and Bangladesh. A truth about the Bangladesh war is that remarkably few scholars and historians have given it a thorough, independent scrutiny. Bose’s research has taken her from the archives to interviews with elderly peasants in Bangladesh and retired army officers in Pakistan. Her findings are significant. She estimates that during the conflict of 1971 a total of somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 combatants and non-combatants perished on all sides . We may access, preserve, and disclose any information we store associated with you to external parties if we, in good faith, believe doing so is required or appropriate to: comply with law enforcement or national security requests and legal process, such as a court order or subpoena; protect your, our, or others’ rights, property, or safety; enforce our policies or contracts; collect amounts owed to us; or assist with an investigation or prosecution of suspected or actual illegal activity . We may access, preserve, and disclose any information we store associated with you to external parties if we, in good faith, believe doing so is required or appropriate to: comply with law enforcement or national security requests and legal process, such as a court order or subpoena; protect your, our, or others’ rights, property, or safety; enforce our policies or contracts; collect amounts owed to us; or assist with an investigation or prosecution of suspected or actual illegal activity . We may access, preserve, and disclose any information we store associated with you to external parties if we, in good faith, believe doing so is required or appropriate to: comply with law enforcement or national security requests and legal process, such as a court order or subpoena; protect your, our, or others’ rights, property, or safety; enforce our policies or contracts; collect amounts owed to us; or assist with an investigation or prosecution of suspected or actual illegal activity . We may access, preserve, and disclose any information we store associated with you to external parties if we, in good faith, believe doing so is required or appropriate to: comply with law enforcement or national security requests and legal process, such as a court order or subpoena; protect your, our, or others’ rights, property, or safety; enforce our policies or contracts; collect amounts owed to us; or assist with an investigation or prosecution of suspected or actual illegal activity.

O•tqtctt, qcöqtot,

Scene 5 (3m 31s)

The barbarous Pak Solders

I don’t see anybody whom I can donate.

The 49 th anniversary of East Pakistan’s secession and becoming Bangladesh is drawing close, affording us yet another opportunity for introspection and an occasion to read our past from a varied perspective. The East Pakistan debacle is a grim reminder of countless lives being lost in a bid to perpetuate the coercive control on the eastern wing of the country by the Pakistani Army. A majority of studies on the birth of Bangladesh point fingers at the Pakistan Army as a force of brutes, solely responsible for the ‘Bengali genocide’. Estimates of those killed in the war go beyond 2 million and some sources in India and Bangladesh put the numbers beyond 3 million. Speculation has been the basis of this projection and not the exact count of those killed in 1971. The then Pakistani Army is imputed with every wrong committed in East Pakistan. The binary has been created neatly. In it Pakistan Army is an oppressor, the ‘other’ and Bengalis are oppressed and brutalised , ‘self’. That simplistic analysis has found sufficient traction even among the Pakistani literati. I haven’t heard anyone mentioning the prelude that led to a horrific denouement. In Khulna district, some Bengalis carried out a ghastly massacre of non-Bengali workers in a jute mill. The number of those killed was so large that at one point the river was choked. The non-Bengalis were mainly Urdu-speaking Muslim migrants from Bihar who had fled India on the eve of partition. On March 28, 1971, their fellow (Bengali) workers slaughtered a large number of them, sometimes by using clinical methods of slaughter in what Oxford academic, Sharmila Bose, in her brilliantly researched book, Dead Reckoning: Memories of the Bangladesh War calls slaughterhouses, set up for that purpose inside the mill. The exact number of those who lost their lives will never be known; a reasonable estimate is several thousand men, women, and children. According to testimony collected by Bose, “their bloated corpses clogged the rivers for days.” This occurred before the Pakistan Army unleashed its wide-scale repression. After its defeat on December 16, with Bangladesh’s independence established, Khulna’s Bengali mill workers repeated the blood bath that they had perpetrated the previous year and consigned thousands more of non-Bengalis to the rivers. Those killed were incriminated as traitors who had supported Pakistan and been spies for the Pakistan Army . Columnist, Ian Jack in his write-up dated, May 11, 2011 in the Guardian made an important revelation, which referred to an important source which had been responsible for blowing all that happened in East Pakistan out of proportion.The Pakistan government, led by a general ( Yahya Khan), was anxious to project the army’s role as bringers of order to a country that was sliding quickly towards civil war. Even in the days of crackling landlines and unreliable telex machines, reports got out depicting scenes of cruelty and confusion. Then, on June 18, 1971, The Sunday Times published a long piece of reportage that more than any other single piece of journalism changed how the world saw, and would remember, the conflict inside Bangladesh. The assistant editor of the Morning News (Karachi), Neville Anthony Mascarenhas (1928-1986) a Pakistani Catholic from the Goan origin, had been flown from his home in Karachi to Dhaka by the Pakistan military to report on the army’s good work, but he came back with a story that demonised Pakistan and the Pakistani Army. Obviously, that story could not be carried by Mascarenhas ’ own newspaper or any other in Pakistan. Therefore, he’d flown with it to London to meet The Sunday Times’s then editor, Harold Evans. Evans noted in his autobiography about what Mascarenhas had told him about Pak army’s “outrages against Bengalis far outweighed those of Bengalis against non-Bengalis”. Hindus were the specific target of the army. Senior army officers had told him that “they were seeking a final solution” determined “to cleanse East Pakistan once and for all of the threat of secession, even if it means killing 2 million people and ruling the province as a colony for 30 years.” Now this without any doubt was circumstantial evidence which could at best be treated as an opinion than a news item based on verified facts. The Sunday Times ran the story across two pages under the headline: GENOCIDE. Before the publication of his report in 1971, Mascarenhas moved his family to Britain, where he settled permanently and made a career out of demonising Pakistan. He worked for 14 years with The Sunday Times . The BBC wrote, “there is little doubt that Mascarenhas’s reportage played its part in ending the war. It helped turn world opinion against Pakistan and encouraged India to play a decisive role.” Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, later told Evans that ( Mascarenhas’s ) story had “set her on a campaign of personal diplomacy that prepared the ground for armed intervention.” Bose’s book, however, raised doubts on the report’s veracity – a massacre said to have killed 8,000 Hindus probably killed only 16 at most – as well as its effect. Soon after the war ended, a prediction (or threat) of 2 million dead had been elevated to the widely publicised ‘fact’ of 3 million dead, which is still commonly accepted in India and Bangladesh . A truth about the Bangladesh war is that remarkably few scholars and historians have given it a thorough, independent scrutiny. Bose’s research has taken her from the archives to interviews with elderly peasants in Bangladesh and retired army officers in Pakistan. Her findings are significant. She estimates that during the conflict of 1971 a total of somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 combatants and non-combatants perished on all sides.

qfi where is poor