Bangladesh: The Birth of a Nation - II

Written by: Sumit Majumdar

A civil war flared up and raged on for freedom
Unequal it was, this bloody war for honour and secession
The natives renamed their land Bangladesh
Inviting anew the wrath of a desperate West

The army’s presence then, was overwhelming in their land
 Due to the simmering discontent within and a border to be manned
And from ground and air the armed forces effortlessly struck
It was anarchy all the way with the West’s army running amuck

In thousands they perished, nameless sons of the soil
But the army had orders and the people’s aspirations to foil
They killed and burned and looted and raped
Digging mass graves to conceal evidence of the dead

Granaries were burnt and villages razed
The troops shot all that moved and Bangladesh bled
Women captured alive, endured inhuman pain
Brutally used, they’d be killed with a bullet to the brain

Through their brutal acts in ’71, a sovereign state struck terror
And as news of the carnage spread, an impotent world watched in horror
Protector of civilian lives, the army had turned butcher
Nine months later and a million dead, Bangladesh resembled an abattoir

Resistance was futile against the war machine
Would the aspirations of Bangladeshi’s remain just a dream?
In this riverine country that year, the monsoons suddenly arrived
Rivers in spate impeded troop movement and halted the state’s genocide

With the receding flood waters, India joined the fray
But now Nixon’s 7th Fleet showing solidarity with Pakistan steamed into Bengal’s bay
Mercifully the Indian leadership stood resolute and undeterred
And the rampaging army in Bangladesh was quickly outmanoeuvred

There was no resistance from the state sponsored killers
Ninety thousand troops surrendered meekly to the liberators
Reports of atrocities and mass graves were dismissed as slander and lies
The masterminds were let off the hook, pressured by powerful allies