What if India hadn’t gone into the 1971 war?

Jaithirth Rao in the Indian Express:

“The ‘liberation’ of Bangladesh has been presented as a significant moment in the history of free India, in fact in the history of the entire subcontinent…. What if India had not helped East Pakistani secessionism? What if Pakistan had remained one country?

“As long as West Pakistani Muslims were continuing to persecute East Pakistani Muslims, secessionist leaders in our lovely Kashmir vale would have been on the back foot…. Unwieldy Pakistan would not have had much time and energy to devote to the Afghan frontier or to inciting saffron-growing Sufi farmers in Srinagar and Kupwara….

“If there had been no Bangladesh would China have acquired a naval base in Chittagong like the one they have in Gwadar? Would the Chinese “encircle India” strategy been more purposeful? The impartial historian would argue that the Bangladesh war actually did a disservice to Indira Gandhi. She may not have become arrogant and imposed the Emergency of 1975.”

Read the full article: It happened in 1971

External reading*: What if?