Book questions 1971 war facts, myths

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  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Book questions 1971 war facts, myths

    NEW DELHI: A soon-to-be-released book has raised questions over several facts and myths surrounding the 1971 war, including the oft-repeated claim that Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw successfully thwarted Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's suggestions for an early military intervention to liberate Bangladesh.

    The book, based on documents from archives across several countries and many new sources, also debunks the notion that Soviet Union was very supportive of India during the crisis.

    The book, "1971: A global history of the creation of Bangladesh", by Srinath Raghavan of the Centre for Policy Research, also claims that there was no military or political plan to attack West Pakistan and to destroy it. This was the myth that was deployed by the US for sending its seventh fleet to the Bay of Bengal during the war.

    Raghavan quotes details of several meetings held in prime minister's office to prove that Gandhi never discussed any early military intervention. The book says on March 2 — while negotiations between Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Yahya Khan were still on —Gandhi ordered a committee comprising top bureaucrats to 'examine the issue of giving help to Bangladesh'. R&AW chief R N Kao argued that if the Pakistani Army cracked down on Bengalis and they resisted, then it was in India's interest "to give aid, adequate and quick enough, to ensure early success of the liberation movement under control and guidance of the Awami League and its leaders".

    Raghavan writes, "So, from the beginning the Indians were thinking in terms of supporting an insurgency rather than direct military intervention." On March 26 — when first news of Pakistani Army crackdown came in — P N Haksar advised Gandhi that India had "to walk warily ... interference in events internal to Pakistan will not earn us either understanding or good-will from majority of nation-states". This was the line taken by the PM in her meeting with leaders of opposition that evening.

    By April 1, the PM and her advisors were clear that the Bengalis should be given "some orientation training in guerrilla tactics, to prepare for a long struggle," and did not discuss any immediate direct military intervention, the book says. "Contrary to the assertions of Manekshaw and his military colleagues, the prime minister did not contemplate such intervention in the early stages of the crisis," the book says.

    It also claims that contrary to popular perception Soviet Union was not particularly supportive of India during the crisis even after the Indo-Soviet treaty.

    When the then foreign minister Swaran Singh visited Moscow on June 8, Soviet foreign minister Andrei Gromyko said India should insist on repatriation of refugees to East Pakistan, but it should not demand an independent Bangladesh. The latter "can be resisted on the grounds of being a matter which relates to a domestic jurisdiction," Raghavan quotes from Soviet archives.

    The book also questions the credibility US administration's presumption, based on a credible Indian source, that Gandhi had told her Cabinet after the war began that New Delhi would attack and destroy West Pakistan after finishing the operations in the East. This was a key reason for the US to sent aircraft carrier USS Enterprise to Bay of Bengal.

    The book claims that India had no such intention. After the war ended, Indian ambassador to US, L K Jha, wrote to Haksar about his efforts to find this mole in the Cabinet. The PM commented on this letter in her own handwriting, "At NO time have I ever made such a statement. Besides even a discussion had not taken place at any Cabinet Meeting."

    Book questions 1971 war facts, myths - The Times of India
     
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  3. happy

    happy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Sir, may I ask, who is Srinath Raghavan ?? What is his role / designation in Centre for Policy Research ??
     
  4. Dinesh_Kumar

    Dinesh_Kumar Regular Member

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    Oh, to popularize the book, all kinds of crazy claims are made........people have proved the facts from multiple different sources, including the Pakis themselves.........its is done deliberately by the Publisher.....
     
  5. Zebra

    Zebra Senior Member Senior Member

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  6. Mikesingh

    Mikesingh Senior Member Senior Member

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    Write a book however crappy and become a hero. Try it! You'll even land a role with Arnab Goswami on Times Now!
     
  7. armyofhind

    armyofhind Regular Member

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    The timing of the book release itself betrays the intention.
     

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