Indo-Pak War 1971 – Some Reminiscences

History records the India-Pakistan war of 1971 as the shortest war lasting 13 days – December 3 to 16, 1971.  It was an unfortunate civil war for the liberation of East Pakistan which had given a call for secession from the unity of Pakistan on March 26, 1971.  Whether long or short, a war is a brutal event that leaves only destruction and sorrow.  Liberation and freedom that follow are like a side-dish accompaniment to the main menu.

Brig. Suresh C. Sharma takes us through some foregoing episodes to the war. Continue reading

Settled Strangers

settled-strangers

Settled Strangers : Asian Business Elites in East Africa (1800-2000)

Author : Gijsbert Oonk

Sage Publications (I) Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi; Year:2013; Pages:270; Price:Rs.795

Reviewed by Brig. Suresh C. Sharma (retd.), freelance writer and adviser to the telecom industry.  E-mail: sureshsharma236@yahoo.com 

The term “settled strangers” is applied to a migrant population which has settled for three or more generations at a new location.  Alas, the “settlers” are not integrated with the local population.

The book aims at understanding the business, migration and economic history of the Asians in East Africa. It provides a history of South Asians through interviews with the families settled there.   Continue reading

The Pakistan Problem

Firoze Hirjikaka

Since its inception as an independent state, Israel has been living with what it euphemistically calls “The Palestine Problem”.  Generations of Israelis have come to accept Palestinian hostility as a fact of life and one that is probably never going to go away. They have tried everything – they have fought and won three wars with neighboring states; they have retaliated with ten times the force to every armed transgression by the Palestinians and their sponsor states; they have even tried peace talks. The result? The intensity of attacks and suicide bombings may have lessened, but every Israeli man or woman is acutely aware that when he or she leaves home, there is no guarantee that they will return in one piece.

India has “The Pakistan Problem”, which in some ways is similar to the Israeli experience. We have fought wars and major skirmishes with an intransigent neighbour; and we have tried to talk peace. But the hostility from the other side has been relentless and unyielding. Until now, the element that was missing was forceful retaliation; and now we have done that – although in very small measure. Will it change the situation on the ground? Don’t hold your breath. Continue reading