Bangladesh joins India after the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Beacon, May 3, 2019.

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  1. Beacon The Light in the face of Darkness

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    I want to write a timeline for this, but I'd like to hear out if anyone has any thoughts on how likely this is to happen & what they think about this TL

    One way I see if happening is that Bangladesh-Pakistan conflicts spread out to India and India decides to outright annex Bangladesh into India territory and bring propaganda themselves as bringers of peace to war-torn Bangladesh.
    Another thing would be the global backlash from this. I think US & western 'democracies' would denounce this act as territorial ambitions but India would be backed by USSR & PRC and would go through with it.

    Another way I see this is that Indira Gandhi forces the Provisional Government of Bangladesh to become a part of India in exchange for military help in their struggle.
    Internally, there would eventually have to be a policy of appeasement towards Bangladeshi people and integrate them as Indians. Calcutta would become the capital of the joint state of Bangladesh.

    Also, any suggestions for readings about this topic would be appreciated.
     
  2. Lalli Well-Known Member

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    I doubt that happening. Bengals hardly are very willingful join to India and enforcing that would be very hard. And India hardly want tens of millions of Muslims more. And them should be ready to years lasting guerilla war there anyway. So more viable solution is military and economic alliance.
     
  3. longsword14 Communism: This time, we will get it right!

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    Neither India nor Bangladesh would want that.
    The state of West Bengal would never allow so many more Muslims to come in to the union.
     
  4. stubear1012 Well-Known Member

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    I do not know if India and Bangladesh have any tariffs between them. If they do may be they could phase out the tariffs and slowly merge their economies. Also maybe India could work to standardized the weapons for so that each country has the same weapons. India could let Bangladesh piggyback on any arms deals so that they pay what India pays. This could save Bangladesh money in the long run.

    Another potential area of cooperation is river management for the Ganges and other rivers.

    While they could be two separate countries, there are many areas that cooperation would tie them closely together and everyone would benefit.

    Has any of these been done and could it be done?
     
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  5. Clandango Disestablishmentarianist

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    Bangladesh had more people than the rest of Pakistan did. What is more, they were a bit miffed at the massacres caused by the Urdu dominated military (who had kept participating in coups to keep the Bengals from ever having a President or Prime Minister as the union's leader) as well as the Bihari Muslim militias who helped out the group. There may also be some past bloodshed during the partition. Bangladesh is compact in size and India wouldn't have much need to annex it. They don't want another hundred million Muslims and even if they did annex it Assam would be somewhat distant. And of course there would be issues of trying to expand social policies to this area, which may require a lot of rupees. Perhaps some limited crossnational cooperation would be viable. I was thinking with allowing free travel between enclaves and exclaves, but given the amount of them it might simply make the area a giant zone where people constantly cross the border without going through any paperwork. And no offense, but the poll questions seem a bit passive-aggressive.
     
  6. HistoricalArthropod Well-Known Member

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    Why should India be concerned about more Muslims if its a secular state? Also, Bangladesh trusts India much more than it does Pakistan, so joining them wont cause too much disruption I think. Plus, doing thing would provide more access to the northeast, and it would unite the Bengalis.
     
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  7. Beacon The Light in the face of Darkness

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    I'd like you all to note that this is an event that's happening before the India's relationship with Pakistan was completely soured, and a very long time before the 'war on terror', when anti-muslim sentiment in the West & in India solidified. While relations with the then West Pakistan were completely soured because of the 1965 war at Kashmir, the then East Pakistan front was peaceful. The 'enemy' at the time was Pakistan, not muslims.

    Partition bloodshed near Bangladesh was reduced because Gandhi made sure to travel to India-Bangladesh border and settle down the rioting masses. He was planning on doing the same at the India-Pakistan border but was gunned down by a Hindu nationalist (this is part of the reason why this ideology was passé until very recently, when the mood in the US went against Islam and being a hindu nationalist was deemed acceptable). A lot of people have noted that if he had lived and travelled to the India-Pakistan border, relations between India & Pakistan would be much better now.

    India at the time was a secular state (and still is!), and it had a muslim-majority state in the form of Kashmir (And the muslims in Kashmir liked India enough to side with India during the 1965 war). So Bangladesh would just be another muslim-majority added to India and would probably receive some special privileges for becoming a part of India (kinda how Article 370 of the Indian constitution deems Jammu & Kashmir to be an autonomous region).

    no worries, it's meant to be slightly passive-aggressive since I know most forum-goers here will ignore this topic in favour of something more Euro-centric.

    Exactly! The way that I see it is that for Bangladesh, it unites them with the Bengalis and overthrow the yoke of the urdu-speaking pakistanis and for India, it removes a possible war front, while bringing them lots of territory. (Another plus is that India doesn't have to worry about the Siliguri corridor aka chicken's neck)
     
  8. Noscoper Well-Known Member

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    Secular =/= not caring about religion,Not to mention the Bengalis won't want to be a part of India.
     
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  9. longsword14 Communism: This time, we will get it right!

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    And Hindus in W. Bengal would not want to turn their state into one dominated by Muslims.
    Incorrect. The partition had happened for a reason. Bangladesh wanted independence, so why would they let it go ?
    And it has been nothing but trouble for N. Delhi. India would have been better off if they has taken all the Hindu and Buddhist parts leaving the Muslim dominated valley aside.
    But Bengali Hindus do not want them.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2019
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  10. Clandango Disestablishmentarianist

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    @Beacon, I don't see the War on Terror being the main thing to solidify things. And as mentioned, connections to Assam wouldn't be too improved as their are mountains between Bangladesh and India there. Also, I don't think the Muslims of Kashmir exactly welcomed India. It reminds me of how inconsistent India was, seizing land that had Muslim rulers but Hindu majorities, invading areas like Kashmir when the leader was Hindu but the majority was Muslim, and invading areas th Portuguese had built up for centuries and then refuse to let the local populatoin bring food or gifts to the Portuguese who the Indians locked up. Frankly, India has been somewhat jingoistic. Annexing an area that India did not put a claim to at the same time as the Bengals (both Muslim and Hindu) were fighting back against Pakistanis and Biharis were getting thesmelves independence. It would make the whole war look like a sham and like India is just invading everyone. Yah, Pakistan attacked India first, but it will cause troubles diplomatically. Hell, think I read on the Wikipedia page a while back that Indirha Ghandi was briefed on the cost of war and of refugees and they found war would be cheaper. Now they don't take care of a half a million refuses but a full hundred million people, many with damaged or poor homes.
     
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  11. HistoricalArthropod Well-Known Member

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    Maybe a democratic referendum in Bengladesh could do it
     
  12. Noscoper Well-Known Member

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    Which than votes overwhelming against joining India
     
  13. Cregan Well-Known Member

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    Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the leader of the Bangladeshi independence struggle and first postwar Prime Minister, known as Bangabandhu (“friend of all Bengalis”, i.e. father of the nation) said this to Indira Gandhi almost immediately after the Pakistani Army had surrendered in Dhaka and he was returned from captivity in West Pakistan - (paraphrasing) “madam, my people and I are grateful for all that your country has done to help us secure our independence; now, when will your troops be leaving my country?”

    The OP’s very premise ignores all the facts on the ground. It will never happen.
     
  14. Kishan Well-Known Member

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    The Government of India under the Prime Minister Indira Gandhi took a wise decision by letting Bangladesh to be an independent country. If Bangladesh was annexed by India the foreign countries would have accused that India was interested in expansionism and imperialism. Even Soviet Union, the closest ally of India at the time would have advised against such a move. The people of Bangladesh would have preferred to remain independent. The annexation would have resulted in the doubling of the population of Muslims in India upsetting the demographic balance. This would have caused many problems in the future. The one advantage that India would have got by annexing Bangladesh was getting a broad access to the Northeastern states. But when compared to the disadvantages, this advantage was not much important.
     
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