Saturday Review

May 22 1971

Genocide in East Pakistan

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The most fundamental of all rights the right of a man to come to the aid of a fellow human being is now being denied with a degree of official arrogance seldom displayed in recent history.

The people of East Pakistan, who are still suffering from homelessness and hunger caused by the tidal waves of less than a year ago, are now caught up in a man-made disaster. Their land has become a locked-in arena of authorized slaughter. Communications with the outside world have been reduced almost to the vanishing point. Those who have offered emergency medical aid or other help have been told to stay out.

The present situation has its remote origins in the division of the Indian subcontinent into two nations in 1947. The movement for independence from Great Britain had been complicated and imperiled by the existence of Hindu and Moslem blocs. Great Britain had fostered the concept of a partitioned subcontinent in which India would be predominantly Hindu and Pakistan would be predominantly Moslem. For a long time, Gandhi and Nehru had opposed partition, believing it imperative fat both religious orders to be accommodated within a single large national design. Gandhi and Nehru withdrew their opposition to partition, however, when it appeared certain that national independence might otherwise be indefinitely delayed.

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