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A courageous film on East Pakistan’s secession in 1971


There were celebrations and moments of contemplation as Bangladesh marked its 50th anniversary of independence this year. 1971: The Untold Story — Separation of East Pakistan, by Javed Jabbar, was released on the occasion.

Observers from around the world have documented and analysed the situation since 1947, when a country was formed from two sides by another nation, inheriting limited resources and all the challenges that come with being a new nation, immature political decisions were made, the 1965 war between India and Pakistan was ignited, misunderstandings fuelled by regional politics, unyielding positions of political parties, civil unrest regulated by the state was liberation movement were all uncovered.

50 years of false narratives and chosen half-truths intentionally sponsored and perpetuated by foreign forces benefitting from severed relationships have been made captive to false narratives, and the documentary does an excellent job of detailing what truly occurred and clearing out the misconceptions so that we may move on. There are no winners and losers here; rather, the goal is to clear away the deliberate fog of international politics and move toward rebuilding connections and forging greater ties with other countries. South Asia will flourish if the subcontinent is strong.

There has been much written about the events of 1971 and the partition of Pakistan, but this film sheds light on what led up to those events, as well as debunks myths that had been perpetuated about the non-violent and cooperative nature of that time period. It also shows that the genocide against non-Bengalis, which is almost never mentioned, was in fact a reality.
The documentary demonstrates that Sheikh Mujibur Rehman wanted a confederation rather than a sovereign country. He had no idea that Bangladesh had been created until he was greeted by India’s then Foreign Minister in London after his release and told about it.

Many comparable documentaries use a more subjective and backward-looking approach than this one, which provides data and facts to back up the analysis. Clearly, the friendship between Indira Gandhi, Sheikh Mujibur Rehman and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto served the interests of India in breaking the Muslim country of Pakistan, and the political interests of Z A Bhutto and Sheikh Mujibur Rehman, both of whom would go to any lengths against the governing authorities, even if they had to lose a portion of the country.
A practical approach is used in the documentary’s conclusion, which states that we cannot advance toward better relationships until and until we emphasise the genuine facts filtering through the constructed tales and accepting errors and actions by all those involved. It is possible for South Asia to achieve greatness if we can only get over our personal disagreements. Now that we have our own countries, we need to cultivate friendly and brotherly ties.

The Evolution Media team’s efforts at bringing together worldwide and national researchers, professional analysts, historians, and public employees who served at the time to tell the narrative of 1971 in a way that has never been done before have been a success. In the documentary, we learned things that we hadn’t previously known, and they dramatically transformed our understanding of what occurred.

As a fraternal country, Pakistan has always welcomed Bangladesh’s reality and wished them well. However, going ahead in good faith necessitates a look back at the past, distinguishing truth from fiction and embracing what transpired.

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