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Congress wore 1971 war trophy, but left an unfinished business. CAB came out of that

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The liberation of Bangladesh in 1971 was a big trophy for India, and for Congress party’s Indira Gandhi. But it left an important part unfinished – the refugees.

And the Bharatiya Janata Party’s politics is founded on all the historical blunders of the Congress era. The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill that was passed in Lok Sabha is one more example of this.

The images of 90,000 Pakistani soldiers surrendering in front of Lt Gen Jagjit Singh Arora is still cherished as one of the most enduring images in India’s collective memory. The rationale for India entering this conflict, being fought by Mukti Bahini in East Pakistan against the military rule of Yahya Khan, was that millions of refugees were entering India because of persecution and putting pressure on its natural resources.

The Congress reaped political dividends from the 1971 war and rightly so. After all, India thwarted the threat of the marching behemoth known as Seventh Fleet of the US Navy, which was sent to the Bay of Bengal to scare India into withdrawal. This marked the metamorphosis of Indira Gandhi from ‘goongi gudia (silent doll)’ to Durga, as young parliamentarian of Jan Sangh, Atal Bihari Vajpayee hailed her in Parliament.

But during this time of glory, the Indian state conveniently ignored one very important project. The rulers of India at that time, the Congress at the Centre and the Communists in West Bengal, decided not to give citizenship rights to the East Pakistan refugees. This made lakhs of sons........

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