Bangladesh History 1947 to 1971

Bangladesh History  1947 to 1971

While the trials of some war criminals were taking place

While the trials of some war criminals were taking place

From 1947 to 1971, as a country located in southern Asia according to smartercomputing, Bangladesh was the eastern part of Pakistan and at that time was called East Pakistan (transliterated: Pūrba Pākistān). What was then East Pakistan broke away from this connection in the course of a nine-month war of independence. Pakistan was made up of these two parts of the country after the end of British rule in South Asia for the Muslims of British India was founded. At the same time, the country India was created, which was intended for the non-Muslim residents of the former British India. The basis for determining the internationally valid borders of both countries were old population statistics, which allowed the areas to be assigned to the respective religions – areas predominantly inhabited by Muslims were to form Pakistan; Areas inhabited by a majority of non-Muslims should form India. However, it also came about that the areas dominated by non-Muslims also represented the best developed areas and thus became Indian territory. The old administrative centers and large parts of the infrastructure of the British colonizers had also been assigned to India. When it was founded, Pakistan had a lower level of development than India and was under enormous financial pressure. Furthermore, apart from Islam as the dominant religion, both Pakistani parts of the country had little in common. Asymmetries between the two fostered a feeling of inequality among large parts of the East Pakistani population. There was also about 1,500 km of Indian territory between the two Pakistani parts of the country, over which in the course of the Indo-Pakistani Wars 1947-1949 and 1965 at times an overflight seemed impossible. In addition, there was no land connection between the two parts of the country. The East Pakistani, Bengali residents were the largest population group in all of Pakistan. The total population of East Pakistan made up about 55%. However, they were underrepresented in government and administration headquartered in West Pakistan and discrimination in staffing became apparent. Most of the national income generated in East Pakistan due to the high-yield jute industry was invested in West Pakistan, mainly for military purposes. One of the most important reasons for the further alienation of the two parts of the country, however, was the language. The Urdu language, which was spoken as a mother tongue by no more than 8% of the entire Pakistani population and was mainly a ‘brought-in’ language of the new Pakistani elite from former India, was to become the official language throughout Pakistan. Native Bengali speakers outnumbered the Urdum speakers by far. The then Pakistani Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan and Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who played a central role in the independence movement in British India, spoke out vehemently in favor of Urdu as a representative of the West Pakistani elite and political rulers. The reactions to these West Pakistani plans to introduce Urdu as the only official language accumulated in East Pakistan in general strikes and culminated in the language movement for the Bengali language (transliterated: Bhāṣā Āndolan) with nationwide protests on February 21, 1952. These were in Dhaka by the police and were followed by days of clashes between demonstrators and police officers. The language movement lasted until 1956 when the Constituent Assembly recognized Urdu and Bengali as state languages and included them in the constitution. Nonetheless, the events contributed to a consolidation of the emotional division and alienation between the two parts of the country. This was reflected in the East Pakistani election in 1954, when the ruling Muslim League party won seven out of 309 seats in parliament. The subsequent military dictatorship under Ayub Khan did not mean a change of direction either. 3% of the administrative and military personnel were East Pakistani or Bengali, political opponents were arrested, the media heavily controlled and also the very popular songs of the Bengali poet The subsequent military dictatorship under Ayub Khan did not mean a change of direction either. 3% of the administrative and military personnel were East Pakistani or Bengali, political opponents were arrested, the media heavily controlled and also the very popular songs of the Bengali poet The subsequent military dictatorship under Ayub Khan did not mean a change of direction either. 3% of the administrative and military personnel were East Pakistani or Bengali, political opponents were arrested, the media heavily controlled and also the very popular songs of the Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore (transliterated: Rabindranāth Ṭhākur) forbidden. The second Indo-Pakistani War in 1965 resulted in a financial crisis for all of Pakistan and for East Pakistan with the feeling of having been exposed to the threat of an Indian invasion, although this did not take place. Protests against dictator Ayub Khan also increased in West Pakistan. He resigned in 1969. His successor, General Yahya Khan, ordered the first all-Pakistani elections since the country was founded. The East Pakistani party Awami League (transliterated: Āoẏāmi Līg) with Sheikh Mujibur Rahman(transliterated: Śekh Mujibur RahꞋmān) at a central point had meanwhile changed from a partly conservative, elitist party to a secular and center-left oriented party. The influx of an increasingly broad spectrum of voters also resulted from poor government support during a long flood in summer and after one of the strongest cyclones ever recorded in November 1970 – both in East Pakistan. The Awami League then won the all-Pakistani elections. The seat of government would have relocated to Dhaka in East Pakistan and Mujibur Rahman would have had to become Prime Minister of Pakistan. Yahya Khan and the defeated West Pakistani Prime Minister candidate Zulfikar Ali Bhutto turned down this option and traveled to East Pakistan to negotiate while the military was mobilized to oppose the Awami League and protesting East Pakistanis who, in turn, began weapons training and equipment. On March 25, 1971, the widespread attacks on East Pakistani Bengali residents began, initially mainly in Dhaka. Mass shootings, protracted skirmishes between the Pakistani military and Bengali freedom fighters (transliterated: muktiyoddhā) took place in many places, the leaders of the Awami League had fled to India and established a government in exile there. Likewise, by May 1971, two million East Pakistani Bengali had probably fled to India. Despite the tense geopolitical situation at that time, the then Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi decreed in November that the Indian military intervened without officially declaring war. The freedom fighters and the Indian army jointly pushed back the Pakistani military. The war ended on December 16, 1971 with the independence of East Pakistan – now officially Bangladesh – and the separate state of Pakistan, formerly West Pakistan. The number of those killed in this war can never be estimated. Information on this varies between three million and 26,000 people killed. In addition, women have been raped, the number of which will also remain unclear. Much of the infrastructure, schools, hospitals and residential buildings were destroyed, and medical care or the supply of drinking water and food were interrupted.

Celebrations at the Monument of the Martyrs

Celebrations at the Monument of the Martyrs