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Note from Author to Reader
In 1947 when the British relinquished their empire in the Indian subcontinent they created two nations: Pakistan and India based on the majority religions, Islam and Hinduism respectively. Six million people migrated across the borders to get to the land of their faith. For this reason Pakistan, as well as India, had population caches of those that were not born in that land.
In 1947 Pakistan consisted of two parts, East Pakistan and West Pakistan, separated from one another by one thousand miles of Indian territories. From its inception East and West Pakistan were at odds with each other, over language and culture, over resources, and most of all over the exercise of political power. The fact that there was a common religion between them was not enough to exist harmoniously.
In 1971 the adversarial relationship came to a head when the Pakistan army in a bid to put down protests against its rule committed horrifying acts of brutality against the Bengali population. The resistance to this act, urged and helped by India which fought a war with Pakistan over its support for the liberation struggle, brought about the creation of Bangladesh – the land of the Bengalis in 1971.
However, forgotten in the documentation of the history of Bangladesh, are the unspeakable acts of torture and murder committed by the Bengalis on those who spoke Urdu and had come to East Pakistan in 1947. Although they had come from all over India the Urdu speaking people were collectively referred to as Biharis i.e. those who had come from the Indian state of Bihar. Albeit a large number of Muslims migrating to Pakistan from Bihar to Pakistan did go to East Pakistan because of its geographical proximity.
Of Martyrs and Marigolds attempts to put on record the dispossession and massacre of Biharis in East Pakistan / Bangladesh in 1971-72.