Concert for Bangladesh
August 1, 1971
Ravi Shankar and George Harrison organised an all-star concert in New York's Madison Square Garden today to help Bengali refugees, who had fled violence and were in India. Initially, only a single show was planned to be held in the afternoon of August 1, 1971, but encouraged from the overwhelming sale of tickets, another performance was hosted the same evening.
The concert closed with a performance of Harrison's single "Bangladesh". Harrison began with context of the song: "My friend came to me with sadness in his eye/ He told me that he wanted help before his country dies...Now I'm asking all of you to help us save some lives." Then, with the full emotional weight of his voice, Harrison started hollering the one word that he wanted his audience to take away from the performance: "Bangladesh".
It was reported that over 40,000 people joined the concerts, which raised around 250,000 dollars for Bangladesh relief.
THANT WARNS COUNCIL OF INDIAN-PAKISTANI CLASH
UN Secretary General U Thant warned that a major conflict could break out between India and Pakistan, which "could all too easily expand".
The warning was made in a memorandum for Security Council members amid growing pessimism among diplomats and officials about the situation. U Thant expressed his concern about the danger of big‐power involvement if the deteriorating situation erupted into fighting and Pakistan turned for support to China and India to the Soviet Union.
U Thant said, "I am deeply concerned about the possible consequences of the present situation, not only in a humanitarian sense but also as a potential threat to peace and security and for its bearing on the future of the United Nations as an effective instrument for international cooperation and action."
He further stressed that outside relief would not suffice to resolve the problem and that a political settlement was required.
SHADES OF THE VIETNAM WAR
The New York Times today reported that the Pak army was largely confined to the towns and roads and the guerrilla rebels were in control of the countryside.
It commented, "A visitor to East Pakistan can drive through much of the region without observing anything abnormal. Yet many foreign diplomatic observers have been tempted to, compare the Bengali situation with the opening phase of the Vietnam war, and some of the parallels -- such as those listed above -- are unmistakable.
"Neighboring India from the outset has provided a haven, training and material support for the Bengali rebels, as North Vietnam did for the Vietcong. Even the lush, rice growing terrain of the Ganges River delta, making up most of East Pakistan, is similar to that of the Mekong River delta in Vietnam. Rebel posters blossom briefly in Dacca and other towns, warning civilians to leave before the Liberation Army (Mukti Bahini) opens a bloody new offensive," said The New York Times.
Shamsuddoza Sajen is a journalist and researcher. He can be contacted at email@example.com