Remember George Harrison's Concert for Bangladesh? Even if you weren't around to watch the former Beatle sing in Madison Square Garden, you've at least heard a song or two from the album.
But I bet you never guessed that'd be your only connection to a genocide.
On Wednesday, October 3, survivor and Freedom Fighter Dr. Nuran Nabi told the untold story of the Bangladesh Genocide to a packed audience of educators and students at the MCHGRC. Giving the historical background that led to the genocide, Dr. Nabi detailed the freedom fighter movement as well as the lack of international government response to the crisis.
The crisis involved the murder of 3 million Bengalis over the course of 267 days by Pakistani forces acting on military orders. In addition, 200,000 women were raped and 10 million Bengalis were forced to become refugees in India. Why? Bengalis sought political freedom in the form of an independent state - an idea with which Pakistani leaders did not agree. In fact, the crimes committed were enacted in the name of Islam - despite the fact that the majority of Bengalis are Muslims.
Beyond the Beatles, the American Congress, intellectuals, media personalities and general public condemned the genocide, raised funds for refugees and freedom fighters, and even executed a Naval blockade against arms shipments to Pakistan in the Baltimore Harbor. Popular response was powerful in the face of political inaction.
The Pakistani report on the Bangladesh Genocide contains a series of reports from Pakistani Generals who admit that crimes took place - but they refuse to take responsibility for their actions. While Pakistani media and lawyers have gone to great lengths to apologize for the Bengali genocide, the official position of Pakistan remains one distant to the actual horrific facts.
For Dr. Nuran Nabi's complete Power Point presentation on the Bangladesh Genocide, email firstname.lastname@example.org .