This is a Digital Library working with the 'collection, maintenance and public viewing' of the historical documents regarding the Liberation War of Bangladesh and Genocide of Innocent Bengali People in 1971. More than three million Bengalis were killed and half a million Bengali women were raped by Pakistan Military Forces, Biharis, Jamat-I-Islami, Islami Chatra Shangha (Now Islam-I-Chatra Shibir), Muslim League, Nezam-I-Islami Party, Razakars, Al-Shams, Al-Badr, Peace Committee, Muzahid Bahini during the nine months long Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971.

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Dateline Mujibnagar - Arun Bhattacharjee

Dateline Mujibnagar

Arun Bhattacharjee

Vikas Publishing House Pvt. Ltd.

During the course of covering this upheaval as a journalist, I have interviewed hundreds of people in Bangladesh – before liberation and after. They included Awami League leaders, Maulana Bhasani, Muzaffar Ahmed, Moni Singh and a host of others, lawyers, officers of the Civil Service of Pakistan, IAS officers, many friends and some commanders of the Mukti Bahini, not to mention the student leaders and other prominent Bangladesh citizens. It is not possible to name the friends; besides, many of them preferred to remain anonymous. But I am grateful to all of their unselfish cooperation.
The name Dateline Mujibnagar was suggested by a friend and the book developed not around Mujibnagar but from it; surrounding the characters and figures who created Mujibnagar and lived with it throughout the stages of the undercover war. This is not a book of history but wherever necessary, political analysis and interpretation drew sustenance from history. The relevant historical information was compiled from the day the Muslim League was born and, where necessary, from the time the two-nation theory was in an embryonic state in the minds of the British rulers. The book, thus, deals with the undercover war and India’s involvement; the real war, the genesis of the militarism in Pakistan, militarism vis-à-vis the theocratic concept of State, Pakistan’s strategy, international involvements and the emerging forces in Bangladesh. The future of Indo-Bangladesh relations and Pakistan’s attitude towards Bangladesh have been dealt with adequately – but with caution, in view of the fluidity of the situation.
When Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was released from prison, Bangladesh assumed a new dimension through the alignment of new forces. The Sheikh’s enigmatic personality made it all the more interesting and absorbing. To call a “period” became almost impossible; new developments had to be recorded, sifted and interpreted for inclusion in the book. Then came the summit meeting between Mrs. Gandhi and Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto at Simla, not an end and a lasting peace at a long last.
The analysis is subjective and the forecasts made are naturally based on the emergent forces and the events that came to my notice. So the tone of the book is not as-I-told-you but as-I-saw-it. With new developments taking place every day in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, it really was difficult to stop. The line had to be drawn somewhere and the best was, perhaps, at the Simla Summit from where the view might be more clear. When the book was ready by the end of June, both India and Pakistan were groping for a formula which might be the key to a permanent solution. It proved easier to talk about it than find it. The POWs, Kashmir and a no-war pact were the moorings round which both the parties were circling as if in a merry-go-round. Before it ended in failure a last-minute after dinner overture saved the situation and an agreement was reached. Though only a beginning, the implications of the agreement are far reaching.
Along with expressing my gratitude for my wife, I would specially like to thank Miss Lakshmi Maitra, Mallika, Srijeeb and my friend Gour Mitra for the secretarial help them ungrudgingly gave me. I am also grateful to two other friends who went through the manuscript meticulously. I am equally indebted to Professor Dilip Kumar Sanyal, formerly of the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, for going through the manuscript and editing it.

                                                                                                ARUN BHATTACHARJEE

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