December 16 for all those who took part in the liberation war of Bangladesh evokes emotions and nostalgia, the former army chief said.
New Delhi: Drawing parallel between atrocities of Pakistani army in then East Pakistan and those by Nazi forces, Union Minister VK Singh on Friday said Pakistan army's actions were against humanity which led to its downfall in the 1971 Bangladesh liberation war.
The day of December 16 for all those who took part in the liberation war of Bangladesh evokes emotions and nostalgia, the former Indian army chief said.
"The type of atrocities which went on in Bangladesh (before liberation) is something which probably the world has forgotten," Singh said during a seminar on '1971
India-Pakistan War and the Liberation of Bangladesh' organized by India Foundation at Nehru Memorial Museum and Library.
"I do not think the people of Bangladesh of that period have forgotten, but the coming generations, probably have founded easier to put it somewhere in the corner and forget.
"Those who have probably read some of those accounts (atrocities) they defy or belittle what the Nazis did during their period...," the Minister of State for External Affairs said.
"There was a race improvement camp (in Bangladesh). I do not think we have heard of such a thing after the Nazi period but it was there. How can we forget such atrocities.
"How can we forget that a so-called professional army which was till 1947 a part of British Indian army could turn around in a manner which nobody does in the world," he said.
Singh said the 1971 war is important for India in many ways.
"One, it changed the geography of south Asia in a manner in which the political lines were drawn.
"Second, it was proved that the two-nation theory was wrong and when you talk of military history in the world, there is no other country which achieved so much militarily in such a short period of time.
"I feel that we need to not only remember the sacrifices of our people, we also need to remember that there was an army which went on a rampage which did things which were against humanity and that was a reason for their downfall. If 93,000 people surrendered, it was because they had lost the will to stand up," Singh said.
The 13-day war was the greatest in military history of the world in many ways, the Minister said.
"This kind of victory was achieved in the shortest possible period... when there was a big power which was ensuring that we do not liberate a country which was oppressed for so many years," Singh said.
This was a war which saw political and military leaderships rise to the occasion to combine their intellect to ensure that the victory was achieved in the shortest possible time, he said, adding that "I salute all the veterans who were participants of the war".