The article “Bangladesh salutes Indira Gandhi” by Haroon Habib (July 25) gives a vivid description of Bangladesh's freedom struggle and the atrocities faced by the people of East Pakistan at the hands of the Pakistan army and its collaborators. It also rightly highlights the role played by Indira Gandhi in the Liberation War. It would also be relevant to mention that India helped in the rehabilitation of lakhs of East Pakistani migrants by providing them land and all other possible support.
The Bangladesh government's decision to confer the highest state honour on Indira Gandhi will give the much needed boost to the relations between New Delhi and Dhaka that have become somewhat lifeless. The two countries have found a trusted and supportive neighbour in each other.
Indira Gandhi's role in liberating Bangladesh was bold and decisive, and the country's leaders were appreciative of her support in 1971. Back home, Atal Bihari Vajpayee hailed her as goddess Durga. That the Bangladesh government has conferred the Swadhinata Sammanona award on the former Prime Minister, although belatedly, is indeed heartening.
It is encouraging to see Bangladesh veer towards secular democracy for which Sheikh Mujibur Rahman sacrificed his life. A distorted vision of history is the main breeding ground of communalism and religious intolerance. History has perhaps not been distorted anywhere in the world as it has been in the Indian sub-continent. It is, therefore, really praiseworthy to see Sheikh Hasina taking up the challenge of setting history straight.
Bangladesh's official recognition of the significant role played by India in liberating the country in 1971 is a right step towards warming the relations between the neighbours. India stands vindicated for its military intervention to stop the atrocities perpetrated on the people of East Pakistan. Although successive governments in Dhaka tried to vilify India, the truth has prevailed.
G.B. Vinay Kumar,
The article paid rich tributes to Indira Gandhi who, when the whole world stood and watched, not only made history but geography too. While Bangladesh's gesture of conferring the highest state honour on her deserves praise, one cannot help feeling disappointed that it waited 40 long years to recognise the contribution of the leader who was largely responsible for the birth of the independent nation.
J. Eden Alexander,