Title : The final straw? Bhola cyclone, 1970 election, disaster politics, and the making of Bangladesh

Authors : Mohammad Mozahidul Islam, Niladri Chatterjee & Muhammad Asiful Basar

Abstract : The article explores the impact of one of the deadliest disasters in the twentieth century, the East Pakistan cyclone of 1970, also known as the Great Bhola Cyclone, on the first-ever general election held in united Pakistan immediately thereafter. It argues that the cumulative dissidence of the eastern bloc since the partition of India in 1947 had reached its crescendo and made a landfall impact following the disastrous aftermath of the cyclone, which was evidenced in the general election of December 1970, creating the very triggering effect that led to a series of political events and the bloodbath that followed, eventually culminating in the formation of an independent nation-state of Bangladesh in 1971. While doing so, the article builds on the literature on disaster and electoral politics, historical disasters, and uses hitherto underexplored sources, both official and unofficial, archives, and personal memoirs.

Journal : CONTEMPORARY SOUTH ASIA Volume : 31 Year : 2023 Issue : 2
Pages : 236-250 City : Edition : Editors :
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