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Day 3 – Q 4.The creation of Bangladesh in 1971 changed India’s geopolitics forever. Elucidate.

4. The creation of Bangladesh in 1971 changed India’s geopolitics forever. Elucidate.

1971 में बांग्लादेश के निर्माण ने भारत की भूराजनीति को हमेशा के लिए बदल दिया। स्पष्ट करें।


The Instrument of surrender signed on 16th December 1971 in Dhaka, by the Pakistan General of Army, marked the formation of East Pakistan as the new nation of Bangladesh. With the birth of Bangladesh, Pakistan also lost half its territory.


In 1971, when Bangladesh (then E.Pakistan) was fighting to seek freedom from W.Pakistan, the Pakistan army began to commit barbaric genocide on innocent Bengali population of E.Pakistan.

Intervention by India:

  • As Pakistan’s atrocities increased, then PM Indira Gandhi decided to take action and ordered the Indian Army to launch an offensive against Pakistan followed by a full scale war against its neighbor.
  • Indian Army captured around 15000 km of Pak territory with the war lasting around 13 days and ending with the fall of Dhaka and the public surrender of Pak military.

Change in India’s geopolitics after:

  • Turning a foe into a friendly neighbor: Due to the outbreak of the war, roughly 9M refugees fled to India and were given shelter in Indian states like Tripura etc.
  • As India ran the risk of fighting the US and Arabs, then allies of Pakistan, it rendered the victory highly difficult. Through diplomatic relations built with the Soviets by the PM, a fully fledged military support was promised in case of both US and Chinese Intervention. The victory however was formulated as a highly risky but successful victory of India in the international eyes.
  • The strong alliance with USSR proved extremely useful in the UN, when USSR vetoed the resolution to ceasefire and withdrawal of troops. It also prevented any combat roles by the US fleet in the Bay of Bengal by dispatch of their own fleet.
  • The liberation increased the influence of India as a power over the NE South Asian region and gave way to the rise of India as a nation with a strong defense at a time when only superpowers intervened in armed conflicts of countries.
  • The personal diplomacy campaign of PM Indira Gandhi at the time, with European Capitals and Moscow hold relevance even now and stood the test of time.
  • Considered the largest military surrender after WW2, this liberation was put India at the International context as a rising might and a developing nation in the South Asian region and a success of strategic diplomacy.


The US who had opposed the intervention accorded recognition to Bangladesh as an independent state as early as March 1972. The UN did not condemn India and rationality of India’s actions was vindicated by the relatively quick and widespread recognition of Bangladesh. The intervention was seen as a positive humanitarian outcome that brought a political solution to the crisis in the end. India’s diplomacy and regional influence as capable and dependable leader was also exhibited as a result of the creation of Bangladesh.

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