International Recognition of the Genocide of 1971

October 31, 2018
Genocide of 1971

The Age (Newspaper of Australia) published on 27 March 1971, titled 'DECCA BREAKS WITH PAKISTAN'. The New York Times released three news on March 28 that year. The headline of the news was- ‘Army expels 35 foreign newsmen from Pakistan’, ‘Artillary used’ & ‘Toll called high’. What happened on that day?

That day was Friday. All of us have been thinking about the untimely death of Bangladesh (then East Pakistan). Then came the night in the void night. The night of the destruction of Bengal, after all the other history, took place at the top of the barbarity. The massacre of the world since the nineteenth century - the massacre of Armenians, Holocaust and the Nanking genocide, the Cambodian genocide, the massacre in the name of Operation Searchlight on March 25, the genocide of the Bosnian massacre, the massacre of King Leopold of Belgium, and the massacre of the last Rohingyas of Myanmar. But in Bangladesh, on March 25, 1971, Pakistan's army's barbarous genocide is the worst. On that day before the liberation war, about 50 thousand Bengali were shot dead by Pakistani forces. What a terrible!

Almost 47 years ago, the massacre of Pakistan's history has been a historical document, in the international media. The Telegraph, The Times, The Sunday Times, The New York Times, and some other international press and news agencies reported the massacre of Pakistan in Bangladesh and told the world about barbarism of Pakistan. The story of the massacre of the night was found in the news published by the international media. The Pakistani government prohibited foreign journalists staying in Dhaka on March 25th. The Telegraph journalist Simon Dring was accompanied by a number of foreign journalists at Hotel Continental. He ignored the ban on the rooftop of the hotel and ran out of the back wall.

The Pakistani army came down on street at about 11 pm. Tanks and bombs started shouting in Dhaka. In this situation, foreign journalists realized that something terrible was going to happen. Their fears came true. Dhaka is covered with blood. That night, Pakistani forces arrested Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Around 7,000 people were killed in the devastating fire of Pakistan at that night. Many homes are burnt down. On March 26 morning, one died in Dhaka. The British journalist Simon Drink saw the scene with his eyes. In the Telegraph newspaper, the news of Simon Dring was published on March 30, 1971 on the massacre of Pakistani forces in Dhaka.

The news headlines was ‘TANKS CRUSH REVOLT IN PAKISTAN : 7,000 slaughtered, homes burned’. Initially, the report of the massacre of Pakistan in Bangladesh was first reported by the world. Simon Dring began his report by saying: ‘Now, Dhaka is a crashed and devastated city name. More than seven thousand people were killed in the 24-hour ruthless shooting of the Pakistani army's cold head. The desert area has become a huge area and the ruthless consequence of the struggle of East Pakistan has taken place for independence.’ The day's report was written at the beginning of the day, "For two days of Pakistan army firing, more than 7 thousand people died in Dhaka city. The Pakistani army attacked the M-24 tanks, artillery and infantry forces, provided with America without any previous warning, on Thursday night, destroyed large parts of the city.

The United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide contains five characteristics. Firstly, killing any group of people; Secondly, their physical and psychological disadvantages; Thirdly, the loss of life and physical harm; Fourthly, obstructing births and Fifthly, giving children to other groups. If there is one of these five elements, then any incident will be marked as a genocide. The massacre of the Pakistani army's barbarous and brutal killings in the night of March 25, 1971. Although this day is celebrated as 'Genocide Day' nationally, efforts are there to get international recognition.

We know that, after deciding to celebrate the Genocide Day in Parliament last year, the government's policy makers including the Minister of Liberation War, had announced the proposal to accept its international recognition. But their announcement is still limited to the discussion. In this context, the genocide day is celebrated nationally for the second time. On March 11, 2017, the General Assembly declared the 'Genocide Day' on 25 March. It is said in the resolution raised in the parliament, 'Parliament's opinion is that the massacre day will be commemorated by the barbarous Pakistani army on the 25th March, 1971, and on January 25, should be declared genocide day and necessary action should be taken to recognize this day internationally.' Again, according to a UN announcement, from 2015 International Massacre Day is being celebrated worldwide on 9 December. But on that day internationally this day is celebrated, there is no history behind it. For this, it needs to be presented in the United Nations to change the logic and information-data we have to change it on behalf of Bangladesh on March 25th. Because on September 11, 2015, 193 countries of  UN member states voted unanimously on 9 December to celebrate the International Genocide Day, Bangladesh was also there. Now if Bangladesh has proposed to the United Nations to celebrate the International Genocide Day on 25 March instead of  9 December, three years later, how much time it will take!

According to the media, we have noticed that in the parliament last year, it was decided to celebrate the Mass Genocide Day on March 25 as well as the proposal to raise in the United Nations. Sadly, in the last one year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not accept any initiative. A day (9 December) has already been celebrated worldwide. For this reason, the Bangladesh government should  speed up the proposal in the United Nations with this agenda, "International recognition of the genocidal massacre of Bangladesh on March 25". Otherwise Bangladesh will be lagged behind in diplomacy. Moreover, every member of the UN member states will have to offer a vote for Bangladesh. It can be used to earn reasonable demand when it is strong. Because of the genocide of Rwanda, Armenia and Yugoslavia in the world, the Pakistani army's worst barbarism in 1971 is the worst. Before the war started on March 25, many sleeping Bengalis were shot dead indiscriminately. It is not impossible for international recognition to be presented in the United Nations if the data of 3 million martyrs, including genocide, is correctly presented in the UN.

In 1971, the news of the massacre of 25 March came to the notice of Anthony Mascarenhas. To express the truth about genocide, he had to leave Pakistan. In April, eight journalists from Pakistan were brought to Bangladesh. The purpose was to create news that they went to Pakistan. Mascarenhas, assistant editor of  the Morning Newspaper of Pakistan, was in the team. He returned to Pakistan on 18 May to London. When contacted by San Day Times, the newspaper took it when he expressed interest to publish the news about the true facts that took place in Bangladesh. International media reports seriously about the massacre of 25 March. Although the United States helped Pakistan, the image of the barbarism in the country's newspaper was highlighted. But because of lack of international recognition, the history of  that horror genocide has become faded in the world context. Gives the right to be recognized as the International Massacre Day on 25 March. And that is now the demand of time.


Author :

Hasan Hamid

Hasan Hamid
Researcher and Poet, Bangladesh