Days ahead of the ‘Victory Day’ celebrations in Bangladesh, Indian Ambassador to Bangladesh Vikram Doraiswami spoke about the sacrifices made by the Awami League-led by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in ensuring that there is a “better” South Asia today while debunking the two-nation theory based on religious identity on the basis of which Pakistan was formed.
On December 16, Bangladesh celebrated Bijoy Dibas when the country attained victory in its war of liberation against the Pakistan army in 1971.
Speaking at an event “Liberation War and India-Bangladesh Relations” organised by Observer Research Foundation (ORF) on Monday, the Indian envoy said, “The most important aspect about 1971 liberation war is that it is an important counterpoint to the singular and exclusionist idea of the two-nation theory, the idea that religions constitute separate nations.”
“It was fundamentally proven wrong by the struggle of the Awami League, emphasising the point that nations are made of much more than just religious identity,” he added.
The war also left a tale of sordid past which has remained unaddressed by Pakistan, that of the mass genocide committed by the Pakistani Army in the day ensuing the final creation of Bangladesh.
The Indian envoy reminded the gathering that the perpetrators of the genocide are yet to be brought to justice.
“Lastly, redressal and at least acknowledgement of what happened in 1971 is also important. It has often happened about Bangladesh that the world has sought to put behind what happened in ’71. We can recall the pushback among several countries to the trials that were started in the early years of the last decade of the collaborators and the ones who had blood on their hands,” said Ambassador Vikram Doraiswami.
“But we must remember that the perpetrators and masterminds of this mass genocide have never been brought to book,” he added pointing to Pakistan.
Meanwhile, on Monday a delegation from Bangladesh Muktijuddha Mancha submitted a memorandum for the demand of ‘unconditional apology’ for the killing of intellectuals and genocide committed in the Liberation War.
“Fifty years have passed since the liberation of Bangladesh. The Islamic Republic of Pakistan still seems to be in denial mode and yet to offer a formal apology to the people of Bangladesh for the atrocities and innumerable sufferings caused by a brutal force on us, the people of Bangladesh,” the letter said.
“On the 49th anniversary of the Martyred Intellectual Day’, Bangladesh Muktijuddha Mancha, on behalf of 165 million Bangladeshis, demanded Pakistan to offer an unconditional apology to the people of Bangladesh for the brutalities of 1971 Liberation War,” it added.