Without the help of Indira Gandhi, her government and the support of the Indian people, Bangladesh would not have become independent in nine months in 1971, Bangladesh minister Hasan Mahmud said today. his Liberation War.
Bangladesh’s Minister of Information and Broadcasting also lashed out at Pakistani skeptics who in 1971 had mocked Bangladesh’s freedom and predicted a bleak future for the nation, pointing out that his country was far ahead of Pakistan on all fronts of development.
He made the comments at the launch of the book ”A Bangladesh War Commentary – 1971 Radio Dispatches” by the late UL Baruah, the then Director of External Services, All India Radio, and later DG of AIR.
Hailing India’s role in his country’s independence, Mr Mahmud said that without India’s help it would never have been possible “for us to liberate our country in nine months”.
“So I want to register with ICWA (Indian Council of World Affairs), my thanks to the people who fought for Bangladesh, for its liberation,” he said.
India’s population has been home to 10 million people from Bangladesh not only in neighboring countries but also in other states, Mr Mahmud said.
Bangladesh would be forever grateful to the people of India and the then government of India, he claimed.
“Indira Gandhi went from one part of the world to another part of the world to build a mind in favor of our freedom struggle, our independence war and also to free Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman from Pakistan custody,” said Mahmud.
“Without her (Indira Gandhi) help, without the help of her government, without the help of the people of India, it would never have been possible for us to liberate our country in nine months. Sheikh to free Sheikh Sheikh Mujibur Rehman,” the minister reiterated.
Criticizing Pakistani skeptics about the future of Bangladesh, Mahmud, led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, said his country was way ahead of Pakistan on all indices – social, economic and human.
“Our per capita income is 2,227 while that of Pakistan is over 1,500. Our foreign exchange reserves are more than twice that of Pakistan, our poverty rate is well below that of Pakistan and our life expectancy is 73 years,” he noted. .
“When Imran Khan formed the government he said he would turn Pakistan into Sweden and then there was a debate in the Pakistani media who said, ‘Don’t give us false dreams, try to make Pakistan like Bangladesh in 10 years’ time,” he said. he and underlined the rapid progress Bangladesh had made after its independence.
Amit Baruah, senior journalist and son of UL Baruah, introduced his father’s book published by ICWA and Macmillan Education from an original manuscript of his father’s commentaries on the tumultuous times in 1971-72.
“My father wrote these comments in his capacity as Director External Services, All India Radio, in 1971-72. These were translated from English and broadcast on Urdu, Pashto, Sindhi, Punjabi, Bengali and West Asian language services of the All India radio,” he said.
“All the original titles of the commentaries have been preserved. They provide a rich context for the events of the 1971 war and the liberation of Bangladesh,” said Baruah.
UL Baruah has used Pakistani sources, Radio Pakistan commentary, Pakistani columns in Pakistani newspapers and international writings such as that of Anthony Mascarenhas who worked for the Morning News in Karachi, he said.
Bangladesh Envoy to India Muhammed Imran and ICWA Director General Vijay Thakur Singh also attended the event held here at the ICWA. Mr Mahmud is on an official visit to India.