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What is the connection between the partition of India in 1947 and the creation of Bangladesh in 1971? 

There is a strong connection between the partition of India in 1947 and the creation of Bangladesh in 1971. According to Sisson & Rose (1990), the partition of 1947 occurred primarily because of religion. During the colonial era, the British partitioned India into three distinct regions; namely West Pakistan, India, and East Pakistan. The partitioning of the country along religious lines was greatly influenced by the persistence of religious conflicts between Muslims and Hindus. India was a predominantly Hindu country, but the Muslim population constituted a sizeable minority. In Pakistan, the Muslim population was the majority, with the Hindu population forming a significant minority. India was positioned between West Pakistan and East Pakistan. There was no way of connecting the two regions that constituted Pakistan. These circumstances greatly contributed to the events that caused East Pakistan to become Bangladesh in 1971.


Why Indira Gandhi got involved in Bangladeshi’s liberation war: Indira’s statements and possible political motivations

Indira Gandhi initiated Bangladesh’s liberation by planning and executing the plan for the battle named “Operation Eagle”. There are several reasons why Indira Gandhi got involved in Bangladeshi’s liberation war. These reasons may be deduced from an analysis of her political motivations as well as her statements. First, East Pakistani President Yahya Khan decided to carry out atrocities against the supporters of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who had won with a landslide in the first free election in 1970 (Sisson & Rose, 1990). This triggered a massive influx of refugees from East Pakistan to India. By the end of the conflict, some 10 million refugees had cross the border into India (Sisson & Rose, 1990). This influx came with an enormous financial and social burden for India. This situation provided Indira Gandhi with the political motivation to spearhead a military intervention.  Secondly, on the many occasions that Indira Gandhi spoke to US President Richard Nixon, she insisted that she was not opposed to the desire by the US to maintain constructive relations with Pakistan. Rather, she was bothered by the failure by the US to play a role in resolving the Bangladeshi  humanitarian crisis (Sisson & Rose, 1990). It is therefore evident that she decided to participate in the liberation of Bangladesh on grounds of humanitarianism and India’s national interest.


Sisson, R. & Rose, L. (1990). War and Secession: Pakistan, India, and the Creation of Bangladesh. Berkeley: University of California Press.

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