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Burhanpur: Mughal Splendor and Drama

The Ahukhana

In India, one can scarcely travel a hundred miles without encountering a clump of ancient or medieval ruins. Except historians or the odd local enthusiast, few cares about these monuments. Most of the monuments maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India enjoys the splendor of only rickety notice boards, peddlers and guides spouting suspiciously ornate trivia. Around Burhanpur, a small city in Madhya Pradesh, there are a hundred such ill-maintained but still impressive monuments. However, Burhanpur is not part of India’s well-known tourist trails. Few are aware that Burhanpur served as a frontier capital and briefly hosted the imperial court of the Mughal Empire. The short-lived imperial splendor also brought much riches, drama and tragedy to Burhanpur.

A sizeable settlement existed in this location since ancient times. There are local myths connected to Sage Bhrigu and Ashwatthama. Burhanpur city was founded as the capital of the Sultanate of Khandesh in 1399. Khandesh straddled the Tapti Valley and had the Satpura ranges to its north. Burhanpur was thus the “Gateway to the South”. Moreover, it was a nexus of India’s medieval trade-routes. This was also the best staging zone for any southern campaign; an invasion force would have to rely heavily on bountiful Khandesh and Burhanpur. This brought Burhanpur under the Mughal crosshairs. In 1601, Emperor Akbar conquered Khandesh. Soon, huge Mughal armies began pouring into the Deccan from this frontier capital.  As an oasis of security in war-torn Deccan, Burhanpur rose in prominence.

Burhanpur became the seat of Prince Daniyal, Akbar’s youngest son. When his elder brother Prince Salim rebelled, Daniyal rose in favor. However, Daniyal was an alcoholic. A hunting lodge named “Ahukhana” (Deer Park) was built just outside Burhanpur so that he could wantonly indulge in alcohol. In 1605 Daniyal drank himself to death. Soon, Akbar also died, and Salim was crowned Emperor Jehangir. Daniyal would not be the last prince to die in Burhanpur. Prince Khurram was the third son of Jehangir. In 1617 he was appointed Governor in Burhanpur, where he murdered his eldest brother, the fallen Crown Prince Khusrau. When Khurram himself rebelled, Burhanpur was given to his elder brother Prince Parvez, However, Parvez was an alcoholic and drank himself to an early grave. Thus, Khurram could ascend the throne as Shah Jahan in 1627 – after more kinslaying.

In 1630, a senior nobleman’s rebellion caused a ripple of instability and Shah Jahan moved the imperial court from Agra to Burhanpur. The Emperor himself was now a resident of Burhanpur. The Mughal court and forces, numbering lakhs, came with him. However, this could not have happened at a worse time – a great famine hit the Deccan. This famine, caused by successive crop failures in the region, lasted two years. Millions perished. Burhanpur being the de-facto imperial capital, and housing a huge host, made things worse as scarce food was hoarded and diverted to Burhanpur.

Shah Jahan tried to help, but the famine was too widespread and devastating. Regardless, Shah Jahan’s glittering court continued in splendor in the 7-storeyed Shahi Qila in Burhanpur. Mumtaz Mahal took over Daniyal’s Ahukhana and the Shahi Hammam, where she daily dipped in three perfumed ponds after bath. The Emperor constructed numerous imperial buildings in the city. The rebellion was also suppressed. Burhanpur saw even more Mughal drama when Shah Jahan apparently fell for a courtesan named Gulara Begum (Unsubstantiated accounts say that she was drowned by Shah Jahan’s father-in-law as she awaited her paramour in a river-boat). Mumtaz Mahal died during childbirth in Burhanpur in 1631, shattering Shah Jahan.

Shah Jahan would decamp in 1632, but the city retained its stature. More drama would unfold in 1636 when Shah Jahan’s dour young son Aurangzeb visited Burhanpur. There he apparently fell deeply in love with a courtesan named Hirabai. The prince wantonly indulged in music and frivolity with this courtesan. However, Hirabai died suddenly, and the grieving Aurangzeb relapsed to his former self.

Burhanpur’s importance dipped as the Mughal center of gravity in the Deccan progressed southwards. However, it was the Mughal collapse following Aurangzeb’s death that caused Burhanpur to fall. Between 1707 and 1818, Burhanpur was tossed between the Marathas, Mughals, Hyderabad, the British and local strongmen, and the great frontier capital was relegated to the sidelines.

Burhanpur is near-forgotten now, but things would have been very different if Shah Jahan’s original wish was executed. He wanted his beloved to be interned in Burhanpur in a marvelous tomb. However, investigations showed that the soil of the Tapti riverbank would not support the planned edifice’s weight. The narrow river would not capture the tomb’s full reflection. Moreover, it would be impossible to transport the marble from Rajasthan to Burhanpur. The emperor embalmed Mumtaz Mahal in the Ahukhana for six months. When initial preparations were done at a designated site in Agra, Mumtaz Mahal’s remains were transported there in a golden casket. The rest is history.

PS: This is my article in DNA published on July 21, 2019. Here’s the link to the original article.

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A Tale of Two Cities: Pune and Nagpur

Peshwa Madhavrao I

The mighty Maratha Confederacy was brought to its knees due to disunity and intense infighting. After Shivaji passed away, the ambitions of individual leaders caused irreparable damage to the Maratha cause, even at the apex of Maratha glory. This led to fundamental weakness in Maratha polity and economy. The Maratha chiefs fought each other for power and petty jealousies, while the scions of the Peshwa and the Chhatrapati families indulged in kin-slaying and other conspiracies. This was indeed the kind of chaotic situation that the British used to their advantage in India. Today we look at an episode where Pune and Nagpur were razed in succession by opposing Maratha factions, in alliance with Hyderabad, their mortal foe.

The Maratha cities of Pune and Nagpur already had dark pasts. Nagpur, an important city of the Gond kingdoms, had seen several bloody wars of succession. Raghoji Bhosale, a Maratha chief and the governor of Berar, mediated multiple rounds of conflicts between two warring Gond princes. He had also been slowly claiming parts of the Gond kingdom as arbitration fees. The conflict finally ended when Raghoji marched into Nagpur and seized power in 1743. Raghoji Bhosale’s energetic rule and encouragement of immigration made Nagpur a major city.

Pune city also had a violent history. It was the fiefdom of Maloji Bhosale (the grandfather of Chhatrapati Shivaji) who served the Ahmednagar Sultanate. The Bhosales of Nagpur were distantly related to these Bhosales of Pune. In 1630 Pune was plundered, razed and the land thoroughly ploughed by a Maratha general of the Bijapur Sultanate. In 1637, Maloji Bhosale’s son Shahaji entered the service of the Sultan of Bijapur and got back the wasteland that was once his home. Shahaji rebuilt Pune and soon it became a thriving city again. By the 1710s, the Peshwas who were based in Pune made it the capital city.

Following the Maratha defeat in the 3rd Battle of Panipat in 1761, the surviving chieftains tried to recoup lost power and wrest control over the confederacy. The Nagpur Bhosales had been campaigning elsewhere and did not get decimated at Panipat. The new Peshwa was the young but brilliant Madhavrao. His uncle Raghunathrao was also capable, but he lusted for the Peshwa office. Tensions began to rise, and civil war was brewing. The Nizam of Hyderabad, great foe of the Marathas, used this situation to invade the Maratha heartland with a massive army. Within weeks the Nizam’s forces reached Pune. The Maratha chiefs came together at this point and the Nizam was defeated. However, the wily Nizam soon roped in Nagpur’s current ruler, Janoji Bhosale. Janoji had succeeded Raghoji Bhosale in 1755, after prevailing over his brother Madhoji. However, the Peshwa had pried off some of Janoji’s lands and bestowed them to Madhoji. This had made Janoji Bhosale very resentful.

In 1763, the Nizam and Janoji Bhosale invaded the Peshwa’s lands. Their combined forces sacked and burnt Pune in a swift campaign. The frantic Maratha chiefs promised the Janoji Bhosale great riches if he turned against the Nizam. Janoji agreed and his army fell upon his unsuspecting allies. The Nizam’s forces fled suffering heavy losses. Peshwa Madhavrao kept his word and offered rich prizes to Janoji, but the Peshwa secretly resolved to punish Janoji for burning down Pune. Moreover, Janoji openly favored the Peshwa’s uncle and rival, Raghunathrao.

The Peshwa got his chance soon. In 1768, Janoji attempted to raise Raghunathrao to the office of the Peshwa. Peshwa Madhavrao quickly imprisoned his uncle and marched into Nagpur. He decided to pay back Janoji in his own coin. The Peshwa invited the Nizam, the last victim of Janoji’s treachery, to join the expedition against Janoji Bhosale. The Nizam was only happy to oblige and sent his forces to aid the Peshwa. Janoji fled Nagpur, leaving the city undefended. The destruction of Pune by Janoji was avenged when the Peshwa’s and Nizam’s armies plundered and burned Nagpur. Soon, the humbled Janoji accepted the Peshwa’s suzerainty in return for amnesty.

This episode is representative of Indian rulers’ short-sightedness and the chaotic scramble for power in the 18th-19th centuries. Pune and Nagpur rebounded in time – and even these events pale in comparison to later Maratha misfortunes. However, the point is that these city destructions happened right after the great catastrophe at Panipat – which was clearly due to errors stemming from disunity and hubris. This was the kind of chaos that was quickly utilized by the British, who were united and driven by singular purpose. It might be harsh to judge such events with using the luxury of hindsight; nevertheless, this episode perhaps shows that shared ethnicity or caste or faith is not enough bind together various groups to create a nation. Perhaps there are other ingredients that are required to forge a unity that overpowers base instincts.

PS: This is my article in DNA published on February 24, 2019. Here’s the link to the original article.

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Tatya Tope in the Indian Rebellion

Tatya Tope

The Great Indian Rebellion, lasting from May 1857 to July 1859, was not uniform in scope or strength. A dozen rebellions erupted at different regions at points of time, with varying levels of vigor and efficacy. The rebellion in Central India, commencing after the rebellion subsided in the north, is mostly remembered for Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi, who fell fighting in Gwalior, on June 17, 1858.  However, the Central Indian rebellion did not end there. It continued under the brilliant Tatya Tope, a rebel leader whom the British soon recognized as a supreme threat. This court official, who possessed no military experience before the rebellion, outfoxed the British many times before falling to treachery.

Tatya Tope was born Ramchandra Panduranga Yewlekar, into a Deshastha Brahmin family, in a village in the Maratha dominion, in 1814. “Tatya” was a childhood nickname and “Tope” was a moniker he earned as a young official in Nana Saheb’s estate. This “court in exile” was in Bithoor near Kanpur, where Nana Saheb’s adoptive father, Peshwa Bajirao II, was exiled following Maratha defeat in the Anglo-Maratha Wars. Tatya Tope was at the forefront with Nana Saheb when the rebellion erupted in Awadh in June 1857. Despite initial victories, the rebels were ultimately no match for the British Army in the northern plains. By end of 1857 the British brutally subdued Delhi and Awadh. Nana Saheb fled to Nepal where he soon disappeared. Tatya and Nana Saheb’s heir, Rao Saheb, retreated to Kalpi, southwest of Kanpur. In the battles in Awadh, Tatya Tope displayed natural skill in military affairs. With comparatively lean resources he inflicted significant damage. He displayed skill in understanding enemy maneuvers and launching counter-moves. However, his skills could not overcome British viciousness, resources and organization. The rebellion in the north failed, but it was only beginning in Central India. Tatya Tope would be in the thick of these events also.

In January 1858, the Rani of Jhansi launched her rebellion and sought help from Tatya Tope. After all, she had spent her childhood in the Bithoor court. Tatya mustered a large force and sped towards besieged Jhansi fort. However, British tactics and superior artillery prevailed, and the Rani and Tatya Tope fled Jhansi. The relentless British gave chase and defeated the rebels in Konch and Kalpi – it was Tatya’s leadership that saved the rebel army from annihilation. Rani Lakshmibai and Tatya Tope now approached Gwalior, which was on the British side. Tatya persuaded Gwalior’s soldiers to defect and her ruler fled. The rebels regrouped in this strong fort. This rebel confederacy was presided by Rao Saheb, but he was an ineffectual leader. Nevertheless, out of loyalty Tatya served Rao Saheb.

A massive British attack on Gwalior in June 1858 quickly overwhelmed the rebels: Rani Lakshmibai was killed countering an incursion. Tatya’s cohorts were also crushed by waves of British troops. Tatya Tope and Rao Saheb split up and went in opposite directions – Tatya was now free to fight in his own terms. His small but highly mobile force drew the British into a cat-and-mouse game all across Central India. He adopted guerilla tactics and avoided open battle. He mobilized popular support in many regions and convinced some minor chieftains to support the rebellion. In some cases, he overran hostile territories and charged fines on the defeated. Tatya Tope soon possessed a 15,000 strong force, which he used to good effect. The British sent expeditions to capture Tatya who always outmaneuvered them, but not without losses. However, the cost to the British escalated. Contemporary authors and even press reports in London noted the astonishing efficacy and the speed of Tatya Tope. It is believed that Tatya Tope planned to spread the rebellion deep into hitherto quiet Deccan, which the Marathas once dominated.

British Illustration of Tatya Tope’s forces on the march

The end came when a close comrade betrayed Tatya Tope, in return for amnesty and restoration of his lands and titles. Ambushed and captured on April 7, 1859, Tatya Tope was taken to a drumhead military court. No defense was offered but Tatya produced a matter-of-fact report of his actions. He denied any role in British civilian massacres. He also challenged the sedition charges, declaring that had never accepted British authority and that he was following his true lord, Nana Saheb. The military court pronounced the death sentence regardless; on April 18 Tatya Tope was publicly hanged in Shivpuri.

Rani Lakshmibai might have captured the public imagination, but Tatya Tope was the more potent force in Central India – a fact the British understood very well. If not for his deceitful capture, the British could have faced a protracted insurgency in India’s heartland. Tatya Tope might not have brought down the British Raj – or even revived the rebellion – but the trajectory of Colonial India would have been rather different if his rebellion had continued for long.

PS: This is my article in DNA published on January 27, 2019. Here’s the link to the original article.

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The Strategic Operations Executive in British India

The Burma Campaign

The Strategic Operations Executive (SOE) was a British organization conducting espionage, sabotage, guerilla war and other violent acts against the Axis powers during World War II. Real and fictionalized accounts of the SOE have been told countless times in films and literature such as “bridge on the river Kwai”, “Where Eagles Dare”, “Guns of Navarone” and “Gravity’s Rainbow”. Unlike the British Secret intelligence Service, an intelligence gathering agency, the SOE was tasked with subversive and violent activities. It was distasteful work, but the British were frantic following early Axis victories and decided to play rough. The SOE had a huge presence in the Empire’s most prized possession, India.

From 1940-1942 the fascist Japan and Germany seemed unstoppable and were inching towards India from either side. Axis warships and submarines soon arrived in Asia’s seas to harass British shipping and attack Indian ports. In early 1942, the Japanese dealt a significant blow by capturing Singapore and Malaya. It also sank many British warships off the coast of Sri Lanka, though timely intelligence enabled a few British crucial vessels to flee to a hidden base in the Maldives. In this dire phase, SOE-India was established in Meerut in May 1941, under the innocuous name GS I(k). This organization was disguised as a record keeping unit of the army. The SOE soon grew into a huge enterprise where over 30,000 fighters were trained and sent to far flung theaters. An old mountain fort near Poona, an aerodrome in Midnapore, a dock or two in Sri Lanka, etc. were some of SOE’s numerous bases in the subcontinent. SOE-India was headed by a brilliant, one-legged Scottish veteran named Colin Mackenzie. he was once the star pupil of John Maynard Keynes himself and was a successful businessman before the war. Aiding him were men specializing in quite unlovely trades such as insurgency, guerilla war, smuggling, espionage, and psychological warfare. SOE-India was tasked to cover Persia, Afghanistan, British India, China and South East Asia. A veritable United Nations of fighters were recruited and trained for dangerous operations in these lands. Trainees ranged from Britishers and Indians to Australians to Burmese Indians to even Chinese Canadians. Professional soldiers, loyal citizens of the British Empire, Communists embittered by the invasion of Russia, or those who suffered at the hands of Germans and Japanese invaders were recruited and trained in bases all across the subcontinent.

Colin Mackenzie
Colin Mackenzie

SOE-India’s operations commenced with tracking Axis operations in Indian waters. In 1942, they discovered the cause of the German navy’s surprising successes there. German and Italian vessels which had sought asylum in neutral Portuguese Goa when the war broke possessed at least one powerful radio. The radio(s) had been transmitting information to the German Navy. The SOE also confirmed that a German couple residing in Goa, Robert and Grete Koch, were running a spy ring. Robert Koch, a German officer code-named “Trumpet”, was long suspected to be a spymaster: the SOE now decided to eliminate this threat. “Operation Hotspur” saw SOE agents shadow and kidnap the couple from Goa in December 1942. The Kochs vanish from records shortly after – there are conflicting reports on what happened to them ultimately. Some accounts say they were summarily shot in an forest a few miles within British India. Regardless, the Kochs vanished off the face of the Earth in December 1942.

The subsequent “Operation Creek” of March 1943 was most audacious. In this illegal operation conducted in neutral Portuguese territory, the SOE utilized middle-aged British civilian reservists in Calcutta. These men were “over the hill” bankers, planters, clerks and accountants, attached to the reserve units “Calcutta Scottish” and the “Calcutta Light Horse”, but were definitely not lacking of courage and conviction. Without any military or diplomatic cover, this group was to board and command the ships out of Portuguese waters so that the British Navy could capture the vessels. After basic training, the motley band took circuitous routes to Goa. At midnight of March 9, they stealthily boarded the ships. In the ensuing firefight the British got the upper hand and the captain of one of the vessels and many crew members were killed. The crew now set off explosive charges and sank their own ships – they had long expected such an attack and had decided to scuttle the ships if all was lost. However, the British clambered out with no casualties! The mission was successful as Axis successes in Indian waters plummeted. A Hollywood movie named “The Sea Wolves” (starring Gregory Peck, Roger Moore and David Niven no less), loosely based on these events was made, right after the story was declassified in 1978.

The Sea Wolves

About this time the Japanese had conquered the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. In “Operation Bunkum”, the SOE landed multiple Indian-British teams to reconnoiter Japanese positions in the islands. The SOE utilized long range transport aircraft and Dutch submarines which had escaped Hitler’s grasp when the Netherlands was annexed in 1940. A deadly game of cat and mouse ensued, but the mission was ultimately successful. The frustrated Japanese vented their anger on the British and Indians military personnel and civilians, who had surrendered when the Japanese captured the islands. Unspeakable atrocities were done during the combing operations launched to capture the commandos. The British launched effective and regular air and naval attacks on the islands from December 1943. The garrison was forced to hunker down till Japan surrendered in August 1945. In 1944, the GS I(k) rechristened itself Force 136 and mostly relocated to Sri Lanka, where it expanded operations.

SOE-India achieved far more than the illustrative cases outlined above. It was a crucial element in British successes in the Indian, Burma and Malaya campaigns. In fact, in certain campaigns small SOE units inflicted more casualties than the Army formations did. Other theatres such as China, Thailand and Indo-China also saw heavy SOE activities.  The SOE also organized numerous stay-behind units and insurgencies which crippled the Japanese.

Chinese Canadians of Force 136
Chinese Canadians of Force 136

SOE-India was also a weapon of the Empire against Indians: had the Japanese successfully entered Assam and Bengal the SOE was among the groups tasked with executing the planned Scorched Earth campaign in India. For example, “Operation Dogleg” was the planned destruction of Indian power stations by SOE units. The Political Intelligence and Psychological Warfare divisions were utilized to influence public opinion during and after the Quit India Movement. The SOE also helped blunt the INA’s espionage activities and attempts to engineer mass defections in the British Indian Army.

Following the surrender of Japan, SOE-India was disbanded in November 1945. Most of the records were destroyed – perhaps due to the secrets and horrors they held. Apparently huge bonfires were made in SOE-India’s offices across the subcontinent in which documents, tapes and photographs were set alight. Most surviving documents, including the story of Operation Creek, were declassified decades later. More records await declassification even today.

PS: This is an expanded version of my article in DNA, published on December 30, 2018. Here’s the link to the original article.

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Operation Jackpot: August 15, 1971

Bangladesh Liberation

Pakistan’s horrific military campaign “Operation Searchlight” (March-May 1971) was a success by most yardsticks. The Mukti Bahini, the resistance movement of ethnic Bengalis of East Pakistan, was severely mauled. A genocide of hundreds of thousands of Bengalis had commenced under the explicit directions of General Yahya Khan and his Junta. Many Bengali leaders, intellectuals, and students had been captured – and, in many cases, massacred along with their families. Even soldiers and officers of Bengali ethnicity were rounded up and murdered. Operation Searchlight also crushed pockets of resistance by unleashing legions of West Pakistani soldiers and local collaborators: the Mukti Bahini’s defense units were simply outfought and outnumbered. By June 1971, East Bengal seemed to be “pacified”.

The genocide

The genocide

However, the Pakistani Junta had underestimated the determination of the Bengalis. Those who escaped to India planned to strike back before the invaders dug in further and wrought even more destruction. Many leaders had managed to escape Searchlight and had set up a government-in-exile under the Indian Government’s aegis. East Bengalis chafing under the occupation risked their lives to aid the Mukti Bahini. India did not want to be rushed into a war with one of America’s closest allies – not without adequate preparations. Moreover, the East Bengal terrain was difficult, and Pakistan was no minnow. With Operation Searchlight the Junta had also demonstrated its capacity for bloodshed. Nevertheless, India was also keen on surgical strikes before war erupted: the Junta had to understand that the continuing genocide and Pakistan’s increasing belligerence towards India would not go unpunished.

 

 

After Sheikh Mujib Rehman was arrested, Major Ziaur Rahman declared Bangladesh’s independence on March 26, 1971. At this juncture, in a French dockyard a new submarine (PNS Mangro) had just been built for Pakistan. The naval crew which had travelled to France to take over the submarine had thirteen ethnic Bengalis among them. As per the accounts of one of the Bengali officers, the Junta’s actions during the past few months had greatly disturbed the Bengali sailors. When the news of the declaration of Independence and the genocide reached them, eight of the East Bengali sailors escaped before their comrades turned on them. After a harrowing journey crisscrossing four European nations they reached India (thanks to timely action of the Indian government) and joined the Mukti Bahini. By this time the Indian Navy and the Mukti Bahini had planned a naval commando force to target Pakistani assets in Bangladesh: the eight defectors and fifteen more Bangladeshi seamen would form the nucleus of this force. India had blocked the air route from West Pakistan, only the sea route was now open. The Pakistanis had commanded every seaworthy vessel it could find to ferry men and material into Bangladesh’s coastal and riverine ports. This lifeline had to be severed. There was also the matter of revenge – during Searchlight and afterwards, Pakistani combat vessels transported thousands of soldiers and militia across Bangladesh. In horrific cases of overkill, these vessels’ weapons were turned on civilians and Mukti Bahini combatants. The commandos would target these combat vessels also.

 

The secret training camp “C2P” was operationalized in Plassey, West Bengal. Over 500 men were trained in an arduous 3-month commando course. Some trainees were combatants, but most were university students and other civilians. When training concluded, leading commandos were infiltrated into Bangladesh. Pakistan deployed her own special forces to intercept these commandos but met limited success.  In the early hours of August 15, “Operation Jackpot” was executed: nine ships in Chittagong harbor were blown up by commando frogmen using limpet mines. This operation nearly crippled the crucial port of Chittagong. Operation Jackpot continued, and another thirty-six vessels were soon sunk in other ports. This action showed the world that the resistance was alive, and that Bangladesh has not been “pacified”. By November, the commandos sunk over 100,000 tons of shipping, suffering very few causalities. The fighters were now provided gunboats; two patrol boats were also loaned by the Indian Navy. This flotilla struck Pakistani and allied ships in the sub-campaign “Operation Hotpants”. Ports, rivers and waterways were soon clogged with damaged or sunken vessels. Around this time, Gano Bahini guerilla units entered Bangladesh from India’s North East. All lines of communications of the Pakistani forces in Bangladesh were now throttled; Pakistani control shrunk to urban areas. Consequently, the occupation crumbled when war erupted on December 3. When Pakistan surrendered on December 16, the nation of Bangladesh was born.

 

Operation Jackpot

Operation Jackpot

If Pakistan had retained a measure of control over the rivers and coast (and thus their lines of communications and the countryside), perhaps Bangladesh’s liberation would not have been accomplished within a fortnight. Given Cold War dynamics, India’s window of opportunity would have narrowed considerably. History would have been very different indeed if the intrepid warriors of Operation Jackpot had not succeeded.

 

PS: This is my article in DNA, published on September 2, 2018. Here’s the link to the original article.

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Hello World!

Yep. That obligatory first post which announces your arrival into….. whichever digital realm you’ve coded this in!

I guess this is also a good place to say that I just want this piece of digital real estate to host my articles in other media, my attempts in fiction, with some random trivia, thoughts, shares and of my rants.Due to space requirements (considering the paper layout) my submitted articles tend to get edited a bit. This blog will host the originals.

I used to have a blog a long time ago – it ran for a couple of years, had decent readership and I think I wrote some decent posts. I dumped blogging unceremoniously and returned nearly a decade later with my articles in Daily News & Analysis. Here’s hoping that my second innings turns out well.

Thanks for visiting and see you around.

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