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ARTICLE : 1971 Genocide of Hindus in East Pakistan

Posted By Ashok V Chowgule (ashokvc@giasbm01.vsnl.net.in)
Fri, 10 Jan 97 18:50:38 EST

Title : 1971 Genocide of Hindus in East Pakistan
Author : S N Vyas
Publication : Organiser
Date : January 12, 1997

The 1971 army repression in Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) resulted in
influx of 10 million refugees into India. Most world renowned relief and
news agencies put the number of dead at 3 million. However the fact that is
glossed over in these statistics is that the entire Hindu population of East
Pakistan was the primary target of Pakistani Army during the nine months of
repression in 1971. Population statistics from Bangladesh and US government
publications proved that 80 per cent of the refugees from Bangladesh were
Hindus and that 80 per cent of the 3 million killed were Hindus. Thus, it
was a Hindu refugee problem and it was a Hindu genocide that took place in
East Pakistan in 1971.

In the December 1970 general election in Pakistan, Awami League won 167 of
169 seats and over 80 per cent of the popular vote in East Pakistan.
Numerically Awami League had absolute majority in the Pakistan National
Assembly. It won 167 of the total 313 seats. Resource allocation and
representation in the federal government were always much lower for East
Pakistan. The Pakistani Government's apathy to East Pakistan after a
terrible cyclone in November 1970 in which over 250,000 people died, had
already alienated the East Pakistanis. The solid outcome of the 1970
elections for Awami League created an alternative power centre for an
already alienated people. The deferences between East and West Pakistani
politicians snowballed into a major international crisis. On March 25, 1971
the Pakistani Army on. President Yahya Khan's orders initiated a campaign of
terror -which was to last till its final surrender to the Indian Army on
December 16, 1971. This terror campaign by Pakistani Army resulted in 10
million Bangladeshi refugees crossing over to India. US Senator Edward
Kennedy's report to US Senate Judiciary Committee testifies these facts. 3
million were killed. However the religious mix of both the refugees and the
dead is not available. This significant information has particularly been
absent in the reports from Indian news media. This selective news
dissemination has kept a more sinister truth of Hindu genocide in East
Pakistan hidden from the world in general and Indians in particular.

Hindus were special target

In the summary of his report dated November 1, 1971 Senator Edward Kennedy
writes: "Field reports to the US Government, countless eyewitness
journalistic accounts, reports of international agencies such as World Bank
and additional information available to the sub-committee document the reign
of terror which grips East Bengal (East Pakistan). Hardest hit have been
members of the Hindu community who have been robbed of their lands and
shops, systematically slaughtered, and in some places, painted with yellow
patches marked "H". All of this has been officially sanctioned, ordered and
implemented under martial law from Islamabad."

Sydney Schanberg, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist (of "Killing Fields")
was New York Times correspondent in Dhaka in 1971 at the time of army
repression and during the 1971 Bangladesh .var. In his syndicated column
"The Pakistani Slaughter That Nixon Ignored" Shri Schanberg writes:

"I covered the war and witnessed first the population's joyous welcome of
the Indian soldiers as liberators. Later I toured the country by road to
see the Pakistani legacy first hand. In town after town there was an
execution area where people had been killed by bayonet, bullet and bludgeon.
In some towns, executions were held on a daily basis."

"This was a month after the wars end (i.e., January 1972),..human bones were
still scattered along many roadsides. Blood-stained clothing and tufts of
human hair clung to the bushes at these killing grounds. Children too young
to understand were playing grotesque games with skulls. Other reminders were
the yellow "H"s the Pakistanis had painted on the homes of Hindus,
particular targets of the Muslim army.

Thus two independent observations one dated prior to November 1, 1971 and
the other in January 1972 confirm that Hindu houses in East Pakistan were
marked with yellow "H"s and that Hindus were particular targets of the
Pakistani Army. The situation thus bears an uncanny resemblance to the
predicament of Jews targeted by Nazis from 1939 to 1944, with similar

Most refugees were Hindus

Senator Edward Kennedy in his report gives the following details about the
refugees from Bangladesh in 1971. As of October 25, 1971, 9.54 million
refugees from East Pakistan had crossed over to India. the average influx as
of October 1971 was 10,645 refugees a day. Hence the total refugee
population at the start of Indo-Pak war on December 3, 1971 was about 10

Sen. Kennedy further mentions that Government of India had set up separate
refugee camps for Hindus and Muslims wherever possible, i.e., refugee camps
of Hindus were located in Hindu majority areas and similarly Muslim camps
were located in Muslim majority areas. The communal representation of
refugees was 80 per cent Hindu, 15 per cent Muslim and 5 per cent Christian
and others.

This means that 8 million of the 10 million refugees were Hindus. The other
fact that corroborates this is that when Sen. Kennedy asked several chief
relief officers in charge of refugee camps what was needed most urgently
their reply was "crematoriums".

25,00,000 missing Hindus Several agencies indicate that the brutal
Pakistani Army repression killed 3 million Bengalis. This estimate is even
given by the Government of Bangladesh. However no religious mix of the dead
is easily available.

Let us therefore look at the population demographics for Bangladesh.

Since Hindus and Muslims in Bangladesh have similar socio-economic and
educational background, the birth and death rates for these two groups must
be very similar. This means that the Hindus population must grow at the same
pace as the total population growth rate. Hence any unusual drop must be
accounted for by influx of Hindu refugees and mortality rate from other than
natural causes.

Thus if the 1947 Partition had not resulted, the Hindus population of East
Pakistan area should have increased proportionately from 11.76 million to
14.24 million (11.76 X 50.84/42=14.24). However the Indian Government
records indicate that between 1947 and 1958, 4.12 million (Hindus) refugees
crossed into India from East Bengal. This means the Hindu population in East
Pakistan in 1961 should have been 10.12 million (14.24-4.12) compared to the
actual 9.41 million. The missing 0.7 million Hindu population can be
accounted for by several hundred thousands killed in the riots in 1947 on
the Bengal border, plus the refugee influx from 1958 to 1961.

Let us now look at Hindu population in East Pakistan from 1961 to 1974. With
a similar calculation, the expected Hindu population of Bangladesh in 1974
should have been 13.23 million (9.47 X 71.48/50.84=13.23). However the
actual Hindu population as per the Bangladesh census data for 1974 was 9.65
million. The Government of India's records indicate that 1.11 millions
(Hindu) refugees crossed into India between 1964 and 1970(3) prior to the
1971 crisis.

Thus 2.47 million (13.23-9.65-1.11=2.47) Hindus from East
Pakistan/Bangladesh are unaccounted for the 1971 Pak Army repression.

Other proof of genocide

Since 80 per cent of the refugees in 1971 were Hindus, a similar proportion
of the dead are also likely to be Hindus. The official Bangladesh Government
estimate puts the number of Bengalis killed at 3 million. 80 per cent of 3
million bring the number of Hindus killed to 2.4 million which is close to
the number missing Hindus as calculated above.


All the above bear an uncanny resemblance to the persecution and holocaust
of Jew by the Nazis. Government controlled 'secular' media deliberately hid
the sinister truth of Hindu genocide in East Pakistan. In any internal
political problem of an Islamic country, Hindus (or minorities of other
religions) become the scapegoats and will be liquidated at the first chance
the Islamic Government gets.

Table - I
Source : Based on information from Bangladesh Ministry of Planning, Bureau
of Statistics

Year Total Hindu population Hindu
population as % of total population

1941 42.00 28.0 11.76
1961 50.84 18.5 9.41
1974 71.48 (*)13.5 9.65
1981 87.13 12.2 10.63

(*)Encyclopaedia Britannica (10) gives 13.5% figure for 1974, whereas
Government of Bangladesh gives 13.5% figure for 1971 and total population of
71.48 million for 1974 (9).

Table - II
(Source-info from Table I)

Year Hindu Expected Hindu Refugees from Hindus
population population East Pakistan missing
of East in absence of to India (million)
Pakistan/ strife (million) (million)
actual (in million)

1941 11.76
1961 9.41 14.24 4.12(1947-58) 0.71
1974 9.65 13.23 1.11(1964-70) 2.47

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