South Asia and Beyond

Recalling 1971: 50 Years Later

NEW DELHI: The 13-day war of liberation with Pakistan in 1971 was the Indian military’s finest hour but plenty of background work was done by India’s intelligence agencies, diplomats and political leadership to make sure the world understood India’s compulsions in taking kinetic action in support of the Bengali freedom struggle. While the alienation of the East Pakistani population from the rulers of west Pakistani origin begun as early as 1948, blatant discrimination in all aspects of governance in subsequent years made the situation ripe for a revolt and subsequent fragmentation of Pakistan. In this discussion, our Editors Nitin A. Gokhale and Surya Gangadharan look back at the sub-continental history that changed the geography of the region 50 years ago.

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