Swadhin Bangla Biplobi Parishad

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The Swadhin Bangal Biplobi Parishad (English: Independent Bangladesh Students Movement Council) was an armed underground student political group secretly organized in 1961 by Mujibur Rahman, the founder of Bangladesh, that worked to wage an armed secessionist struggle against Pakistani rule and achieve the independence of East Pakistan as "Bangladesh," then part of Pakistan. This group was formed at a time when Indian diplomat Sashanka Banerjee was posted at East Pakistan's capital city Dhaka, where he claims to have received a letter in December 1962 from Mujibur Rahman addressed to Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru asking for Indian assistance in bringing about East Pakistan's independence from Pakistan.[1]

Swadhin Bangal Biplobi Parishad was clandestinely organized in Dhaka University's Jahrul Hoque Hall by Mujibur Rahman under command of Sirajul Alam Khan (who was from the same university) along with Abdur Razzak and Kazi Aref Ahmed. Its political arm was the Bangladesh Liberation Force (BLF). From 1962, it planned and organized mass movements through the historic 6-point and 11-point programs. Training of Dhaka University students for the armed revolt against Pakistan started on the University's gymnasium field on 1 March as the University's halls were closed to students since then.[2]

Earlier, Mujibur Rahman had founded another student group in the same university's Fazlul Huq Hall on 4 January 1948 named the East Pakistan Chhatra League, renamed the Bangladesh Chhatra League upon the Bangladesh Liberation War and Bangladesh's subsequent independence. The students of this league were recruited into the Mukti Bahini (Liberation Army), Mujibur Rahman's armed guerrilla force and the military arm of his political party the Bangladesh Awami League trained and commanded by India's external intelligence organization the Research and Analysis Wing[3][4] to wage the liberation struggle.[5]

The BLF first made the "flag" of Bangladesh and hoisted it on 2 March 1971, when the Awami League, led by Mujibur Rahman, made a call for a general strike to agitate for independence. That strike saw violent pogroms against ethnic non-Bengalis resident in East Pakistan.[6][7][8] In response to those killings and mass expulsions, the Pakistani military on 25 March launched Operation Searchlight. Mujibur Rahman declared East Pakistan's independence the following day. Subsequently, under Mujibur Rahman's directive, the BLF high command was reconstituted with Serajul Alam Khan, Sheikh Fazlul Huq Moni, Abdur Razzak and Tofail Ahmed. This revamped BLF was renamed "Mujib Bahini" (Mujib's Army) in the war.

The general strike, pogroms and the resulting war followed on the heels of the Agartala Conspiracy, at the time deemed a politically motivated accusation by the Pakistani state against Bengali leaders but confirmed in 2011 to be factually true by the Bangladeshi Parliament's Deputy Speaker and one of the Agartala conspirators Shawkat Ali.[9] By the start of the war, other countries hostile to Pakistan seized upon the opportunity and gave material assistance to this student movement (that had by now morphed into an armed guerrilla revolt) to bring about Pakistan's disintegration, with a potentially friendly nation's independence being a favorable by-product.[10][11][12] When the war ended the Indian Army destroyed all files and records of its activities regarding East Pakistan before as well as during the war,[13][14] though in 2015 the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi would explain India's role in the war in an address at Dhaka University.[15]

The central role of students[16] in the armed secessionist rebellion aided by India[17][18] and other countries would cause the Razakars to kill Bengali students and intellectuals on Dhaka University grounds on 25 March at the start of Operation Searchlight and commit another massacre of Bengali intellectuals on 14 December, two days before Pakistan's defeat and surrender and Bangladesh's resulting independence. Both massacres were committed on the grounds that Dhaka University was a hotbed of guerrilla activity and served as an arms dump and a nerve center of military operations run by the university's students and faculty.[19]

After the end of the war, Mujib Bahini perpetrated hooliganism and looting, according to AK Khandokar.[20] The Mukti Bahini also resumed its persecution against ethnic non-Bengalis in the newly independent country.[21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Banerjee, Sashanka (2011). India, Mujibur Rahman, Bangladesh Liberation & Pakistan (A Political Treatise). CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 978-1463590888.
  2. ^ "Anatomy of Violence: Analysis of Civil War in East Pakistan in 1971 – Natun Dhaka Digest". dhakadigest.net. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  3. ^ Swami, Praveen (26 December 2011). "India's secret war in Bangladesh". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  4. ^ Richard, Rose, Richard, Leo E. (1991). War and Secession: Pakistan, India, and the Creation of Bangladesh. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0520076655.
  5. ^ "'Mujib Bahini didn't fight liberation war'". New Age. 16 December 2014. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  6. ^ Aziz, Qutubuddin (1974). "Blood & Tears" (PDF). storyofbangladesh.com. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
  7. ^ "1971: Genocide of the Non Bengalis by the Indians and the Awami League". Pakistan: Politically Unpolitical. 30 December 2014. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  8. ^ Bose, Sarmila. "Myth-busting the Bangladesh war of 1971". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  9. ^ "'Agartala conspiracy case was not false'". bdnews24.com. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  10. ^ "1971 India Pakistan War: Role of Russia, China, America and Britain". www.theworldreporter.com. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  11. ^ "Israel helped India in 1971 war, reveals book". Hindustan Times. 1 November 2013. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  12. ^ "Israel secretly provided arms to India in 1971: Book - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  13. ^ "Truth lost? Most military records of Bangladesh war missing - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  14. ^ "'Files would have revealed Army's role' - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  15. ^ "Text of PM's address at Bangabandhu Convention Centre". www.narendramodi.in. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  16. ^ Nabi & Nabi, Nuran & Nuruna (2010). Bullets of '71: A Freedom Fighter's Story. AuthorHouse. p. 213. ISBN 978-1452043777.
  17. ^ "Indian forces fought along Mukti Bahini: Modi". www.thenews.com.pk. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  18. ^ "We are near and we are together: PM speaks at Dhaka University". www.narendramodi.in. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  19. ^ Saleem, Farrukh (14 March 2016). "Mukti Bahini, the forgotten terrorists". TheNews. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  20. ^ http://www.thedailystar.net/ak-khandker-sued-for-mujib-bahinis-looting-claim-41063
  21. ^ Zehra, Batool (26 February 2012). "The other side of history". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 2 February 2018.