Genocide Essay

2052 words - 8 pages

Genocide is defined as the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political or cultural group. The world has suffered many genocides in human history and, despite the progress of civilization their scope and enormity have not decreased. Genocide is one of the worst crimes against humanity (Farooq). Throughout the twentieth century the world has seen more death than in any other century in history. The countries of Bangladesh and East Timor have seen some of the most violent and brutal acts of genocide taken against them.The mass killing in Bangladesh (former East Pakistan) in 1971 is one of the most concentrated acts of genocide in the 20th century. After Britain withdrew from the Indian sub-continent tensions were raised between the Hindu's and the Muslims. Despite the efforts of Gandhi and others to prevent the division of the country on ethnic and religious reasons, the feeling within India was that two separate states were necessary. (Jones) The creation of a Hindu dominated India, and a Muslim dominated Pakistan was going to be necessary.August 1970, when the leaders of Bangladesh botched the recovery effort after a catastrophic flood ran thru the country, the Awami League led by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman began to grow. The league began to demand the regional autonomy for East Pakistan and an end to military rule. In December of 1970 the Awami League won overwhelmingly across the territory of Bangladesh. In an attempt to crush the forces seeking independence for East Pakistan, the West Pakistan military regime launched a systematic campaign of mass murder which was aimed at killing millions of Bengalis. From the beginning the West Pakistan government knew that an act of genocide would be necessary to crush the Awami League and East Pakistan. "Kill three million of them" said President Yahya Khan "and the rest will eat out of our hands". ( Jones) The genocide was launched on March 25, 1971. The West Pakistani's attacked villages, towns, cities and universities. Death squads roamed the streets of Dacca looking for people. In the first night alone, 7,000 people were killed. The population of Bangladesh at the start of the genocide was estimated to be at about 75 million people; within a week 30,000 people were dead.Amongst the killing of their people, the Bengalis were resistance. In April 1971 the remaining leadership of the Awami league declaimed Bangladesh independent. It was estimated that in April that there were some 30 million people wandering over East Pakistan to escape the grasp of military rule. (Jones) Instead of direct confrontation, the East Pakistan liberation fighters chose the course of guerrilla warfare. Nearly 100,000 young men were given armed training within Bangladesh and India and they succeeded in virtually destroying the communication and supply lines of the Pakistan army. (Jahan) In response to the guerrilla tactics taken by the Bengalis, the Pakistani army embarked on a "search and destroy" operation. They...

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