A number of books describing the birth of Bangladesh have appeared in India and abroad, some soon after the emergence of Bangladesh as an independent country, others a little later; but few analyse the operations as objectively as General Sukhwant Singh has done in this very readable book. For the Indian reader, Sukhwant Singh’s observations are of added relevance because of the strong nationalist sentiment that runs throughout the book. Personalities and events are of consequence only in the larger perspective of national well-being. Sukhwant Singh opens his account of the operations with Bhutto’s profound observation, ‘India should not forget its history’, and proceeds to point out that ours indeed is a sad history of subjugation by the sword of the invader, whether he came from across the north-western mountain passes or from across the seas. Further, the invader was invariably outnumbered by the defender. Nor in all cases was the invader in possession of better weapons. What decided the issue was better generalship of the invading forces. Even more important was the lack of cohesion and unity of purpose among the defenders.
July-August 1980, volume 5, No 7/8