On Bangladesh Day, HarperCollins India is proud to announce ‘December in Dacca: The Indian Armed Forces and the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War’ by K.S. Nair

NEW DELHI, March 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — “Nair has managed to find living tissue in the corpus of a war that has been written about to death. Superbly full of many missing treasures that make it worthy of our greatest victory’s fiftieth year.”

– Shiv Aroor, Journalist, author of Operation Jinnah and co-author of India’s Most Fearless

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December in Dacca is a refreshing and intriguing melting pot of known landscapes of a near-genocide; war and conflict as it panned out across two fronts, and individual stories of valour and heroism. What makes it stand out is its examination of the 1971 war through an ethical lens, and its argument that India let go of the moral high ground rather too easily and did not carry forward the gains it accrued from the stupendous victory in its own journey of nation-building.”

– Air Vice Marshal Arjun Subramaniam (Retd), President’s Chair of Excellence, National Defence College, New Delhi, and author of India’s Wars and Full Spectrum.

Author K.S. Nair says: “I am delighted and honoured that HarperCollins India have published December in Dacca.  It covers a war which was an immense influence on my generation in India.  It was a time when India’s people, government and armed forces came together, in a just cause, with unprecedented success. But most existing accounts tell this multi-pronged story from only one of these points of view. For full understanding, I believe it is necessary to combine elements of all three, as this book attempts to do. There is still much for India and the wider world to learn, from this war fifty years ago; and I see both parallels and contrasts, to the tragic ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.”

Prema Govindan, Senior Commissioning Editor, Literary, HarperCollins India, says: “In 1971, the Indian armed forces intervened to help a neighbour in need. December in Dacca gains greater significance when we see how much will is required to do more than offer platitudes when a country is besieged. K.S. Nair’s book is a celebration of India’s military and moral victory during the 1971 war, and a look at how the event can and should shape the consciousness of Indians. We are delighted to be publishing it.”

About the book: 

The 1971 war between India and Pakistan, to help liberate the beleaguered people of Bangladesh, is considered one of the last ‘just wars’ of the twentieth century. Good triumphed decisively, unequivocally and indisputably. Yet, given the scale of atrocity that was halted in its tracks, it is shocking that the compelling circumstances as well as numerous poignant and heart-warming stories of the war have failed to become iconic representations of military intervention and success in the folklore and popular culture of India, Bangladesh and beyond.

December in Dacca seeks to right this wrong. From the dramatic dogfight over Boyra to the cornering of Pakistani naval vessels at Karachi to the Indian helicopter-riding infantry and paratroopers forcing the enemy to retreat, the book retells the many thrilling anecdotes, setting them within their diplomatic, strategic and tactical contexts.

It also provides a glimpse into the lives of some of these heroes once the dust had settled. Most importantly, it offers thoughts on why the events of 1971 are not better known, and how a better understanding of those could help India reaffirm her sense of self.

About the author: 

K.S. Nair is the author of two books—Ganesha’s Flyboys: The Indian Air Force in the Congo, 1960–62 and The Forgotten Few: The Indian Air Force in World War II—and of numerous articles in Indian, British, Canadian, Japanese and US publications and websites. He is a graduate of IIT Delhi and IIM Bangalore, and has served at senior levels in multinational and boutique firms and development agencies. 

About HarperCollins Publishers India:

HarperCollins Publishers India is a subsidiary of HarperCollins Publishers. HarperCollins India publishes some of the finest writers from the Indian Subcontinent and around the world, publishing approximately 200 new books every year, with a print and digital catalogue of more than 2,000 titles across 10 imprints. Its authors have won almost every major literary award including the Man Booker Prize, JCB Prize, DSC Prize, New India Foundation Award, Atta Galatta Prize, Shakti Bhatt Prize, Gourmand Cookbook Award, Publishing Next Award, Tata Literature Live Award, Gaja Capital Business Book Prize, BICW Award, Sushila Devi Award, Prabha Khaitan Woman’s Voice Award, Sahitya Akademi Award and the Crossword Book Award. HarperCollins India has been awarded the Publisher of the Year Award four times: at Publishing Next in 2015, and at Tata Literature Live! in 2016, 2018 and 2021.  HarperCollins India also represents some of the finest publishers in the world including Egmont, Oneworld, Harvard University Press, Bonnier Zaffre, Usborne, Dover and Lonely Planet.

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