Children and Adolescents Should Know the Real History of the Liberation War

Hiren Pandit: Every country has a Charismatic Leader in the liberation war. George Washington was from America, Lenin was from Russia, Mao Zedong was from China, Mahatma Gandhi was from India, Sukorno was from Indonesia, Ho Chi Minh was from Vietnam and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was from Bangladesh. As the father of the nation or the founder of the state or the leader of the liberation war, they have always held the seat of dignity in their respective countries.

The war of liberation of 1971 is a glorious event or chapter in the thousand-year history of the Bengali nation. Our freedom was attained through the 9 months of the war in 1971 in sacrifice for the fresh blood of 3 million martyrs, a disgrace to two lakh mothers and sisters and boundless sacrifice. The victory was snatched on 16 December after 23 years of struggle and 9 months of armed struggle, defeating the Pakistani aggressors. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the greatest son of the soil and greatest Bengali for thousands of years the great hero of history and the father of the nation, has made the dream of Bengal a reality.

The war of liberation is the most glorious event for the Bengali nation and as long as the Bengali nation exists, this war of liberation will remain as the chapter of the best glory, as an unforgettable glorious story. Because the Bengali nation has long been exploited by one or another ruler, many things have to be sacrificed. Sometimes it was crinkled by the Mughals, sometimes by the British, sometimes by the Pakistanis. The history of Bengalis means the history of exploitation and deprivation of rights. The history of Bengali means a history of not getting and suffering.

To inspire today’s new generation in the spirit of the liberation war, it is necessary to present the true history of the liberation war to them. Books written on the history of the liberation war, various films made about the liberation war and dramas need to be promoted more. It needs to be pointed out to today’s generation that the Bengali nation has had to struggle a lot for liberation. The new generation must be informed that the freedom fighters despised life, sacrificed their lives to liberate the mother and the motherland, and uphold the banner of victory of independent Bangladesh. We have to highlight the achievements of our liberation war. During the war of liberation, the Pakistani aggressors took all necessary measures to wipe out and destroy the nation forever. As a result, they killed the brilliant and meritorious sons of this country including workers, teachers, intellectuals, and journalists. It is the responsibility and duty of all to present the true history of how the Bengali nation defeated them to the new generation, especially the younger generation. But the question is how much we are doing.

Why do we celebrate 26 March and 16 December as important days every year! Because its glory comes back to the new generation through the celebration of the day. Celebrating the day works as a memory enhancer so that the consciousness can be rejuvenated. This country, which was born through the war of liberation, is still in a state of discomfort even after reaching the threshold of fifty years. The successors of the people of the country for thousands of years, that is, our forefathers, who have built a glorious cultural heritage with great care and extraordinary care, and composed heroic songs, are becoming detached from the practice of tradition. We want to run ahead without looking at the past after blindness in our eyes. Patriotism is not working in all cases in his childhood – the ugly competition of various parties to get their dividends. The inspiration of the long bright tradition will keep the Bengalis alive and vibrant. Will make the defendant. Therefore, the new generation of Bengalis will have to forget the practice of history and tradition in the same manner. As a result, they also naturally hurt the practice of the Bengali language.

The spirit of the liberation war has immense robustness. If the island flame of this consciousness is aware, it will illuminate all around. If there is light, then darkness will escape, this is the eternal truth. So, the creatures of darkness must be afraid of the light. Those who carry the signboards of the liberation war and those who become the so-called announcers of the liberation war and want to blindfold the common man- on both sides, there are dark creatures of bat nature. They are no longer called ordinary bats in the face that is being exposed day by day; It is safe to say vampires are vampires.

The arrangement of obscuring seems to be going on in writing and presenting the history of the liberation war. The issue of liberation war comes up in the books of National Curriculum Text Books (NCTB) controlled secondary and lower secondary levels keeping political considerations in mind. The autocratic government has written the history of liberation war from power in the light of fulfilling the wishes of reactionists. Although a normal rhythm has returned to the history of the Liberation War during the Awami League regime, sometimes there is an attempt to organize the government at will and from the flattering institutional circle. The way a teenager would grow up during the liberation war has not been judged properly. The war of liberation is not being presented as a special subject in the curriculum of not only schools but also colleges and universities.

With the birth of Bangladesh as an independent state from the ruins of the most barbaric genocide, no one should be deprived of his religion on the soil of the country – this was another determination along with the firm commitment of every freedom fighter to democracy and equality. Secularism was considered one of the main pillars during the formation of Bangladesh and it is a deeply rooted belief in our liberation war. The assassination of Bangabandhu and the seizure of power by the military led to a major attack on secularism. In the context of these incidents, various constitutional amendments to the constitution and such constitutional provisions ensuring secularism and religious freedom were gradually made unimportant. It took till 1991 to overthrow the military and paramilitary dictatorship and re-establish democracy through the mass uprising. But in the meantime, our constitution has suffered a great deal. We were able to bring back democracy in the country through a peaceful mass movement. Which was a glorious moment in the history of the country. 1971 has to be re-understood by deeply understanding the significance of today’s greatest crisis, all the glorious achievements of Bangladesh and the struggle for independence. We prefer to call the liberation struggle ‘liberation war’ or ‘liberation war’.

There must be a reason behind this. (Remember Bangabandhu’s historic speech on March 7, 1971, where he said, ‘This time the struggle is for our liberation; this time the struggle is for our freedom.’ He used the words ‘liberation and ‘freedom’ together). We want to emphasize this point by using the word ‘liberation war’. That 1971 was more than just political independence for us. We have fought for fundamental reform of our society, one that will free us from all forms of backwardness, hatred, disability and narrow-mindedness, and on the other hand, from all forms of poverty and inequality. If we can associate the concept of ‘Golden Bengal’ with the concept of ‘Liberation War’, then we can understand the true meaning of 1971. We have made significant progress economically, but this development has come at a great cost. We have given up our democratic rights and freedoms and allowed the gap between rich and poor to widen. No matter how meaningful our economic development may be, it has not only increased the harmony among the citizens of the country but also increased the inconsistency among ourselves on a larger scale.

On the other hand, there is nothing to be proud of about the role of civil society. The word civil society in English is called ‘civil society in Bengali. In the role of some biased intellectuals, the word ‘civil’ has become a word close to ridicule, mockery and almost hatred. The point is, that calling someone a member of “civil society” is tantamount to insulting them.

We need to think deeply and broadly about the lack of cultural activities and understand what has happened here. Cultural heritage was one of our weapons in the fight against Pakistan’s domination and their armies. Of particular importance, in this case, is the almost disappearance of cultural activities at the village level. In this case, we are not talking about government-sponsored events, but the absence of cultural activities that were organized with the spontaneous participation of the people, alienating our young society from their heritage, identity and pride and filling the void created by various evil forces. Tackling the problems, we face today requires greater solidarity within the masses, especially among political parties, cultural organizations, youth, civil society, NGOs, the media and people of all faiths and ideologies. There is a need for a mass awareness campaign across the country. Where Bangladesh will be born and why millions of people sacrificed their lives in 1971.

Hiren Pandit is a columnist and research fellow.

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