Eminent French writer and activist Emile Zola (1840-1902) once said, "When a truth is buried underground, it grows, it chokes, it gathers such an explosive force that one day it bursts out, it blows up everything with it."In history, we find analogy and resemblances of Zola's above invaluable observations. During 22 years of Pakistan's rule of this part of erstwhile Pakistan; conspicuous disparity, economic inequalities, political repression and subjugation were rampant.
To begin with, the Pakistan ruling class went to the extent of obliterating Bengali language from the Bengali voices towards placing Urdu as one and only state language of Pakistan. Bengalis fumed with rage and fury and stopped the vile attempt by spilling fresh bloods of martyrs in the street in 21 February 1952 which eventually led to unfold the truth from the debris of lies towards shaping an independent Bangladesh in 1971.
Soon after unleashing crack down of Pakistan army on unarmed Bengalis on the dark and ominous night of 25 March, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared independence at the first hours of 26 March, 1971 with formally beginning the War of Liberation. Soon, on 10 April 1971 proclamation of independence was formally made by the government in exile at Mujibnagar.
With great adulation and honor, at this point, I recall the red letter day of April 17,1971 when the Bangladesh government in exile, after proclamation of independence on 10 April, took the oath in the ambience of a shady mango-grove at Baidyanaathtala in Meherpur (Mujibnagar) to lead our great War of Liberation after, as stated, the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared the independence of Bangladesh at the first hours of March 26,1971 moments before his arrest by the military junta.
With Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as the President and Syed Nazrul Islam as the Vice-President and the acting President in absence of Bangabandhu, Mr. Tajuddin Ahmad as the Prime Minister, Captain M Mansur Ali and Kamaruzzaman as Ministers bearing other important portfolios, the Mujibnagar Government formally came to existence after swearing-in on April 17,1971 amidst roaring cheers and jubilation; with the rattling sound of bullets from the guns of the freedom fighters avowed to free the motherland from the occupied evil forces of the Pakistan army.
Who dares deny the fact that under the Mujibnagar Government, the war of liberation got its legitimacy and electrifying momentum after the declaration of independence by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, followed by a Proclamation of independence and swearing-in of the government on April 10, 1971 and April 17, 1971 respectively at Mujibnagar?
If one goes back to the pages of history, one can find that when the sun of the freedom of Bengal had set at the mango-grove of Plassey with Nawab Sirajuddoulah as the last independent Nawab of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa was brutally murdered by the occupation forces of East India Company and their local cohorts and Mir Jafar, a deep rooted conspiracy was hatched to paint the face of the Nawab with smear. The British Raj, in collaboration with a few local beneficiaries, created the infamous Hallwell monument to defame the Nawab's rule with false, concocted and manufactured 'history'.
The Hallwell monument was designed to assassinate the character of the Nawab, and it continued to exist with the debris of lies till the fag end of the British rule, when, under the radical leadership of Netajee Subhas Chandra Bose, it was demolished with gathered explosive force and brought down to earth and the truth came out with blowing everything with it duly depicting the unalloyed patriotism of Nawab Sirajuddoulah.
In the same vein, soon after the liberation of Bangladesh, collaborators and perpetrators of the defeated forces, supported by international intrigues and plots, have raised their heads to strike on the spirit and values of liberation like venomous snakes and succeeded in gruesomely murdering the father of the nation and his family members on the fateful night of August 15, 1975.
With staging a macabre dance and satanic symphony, after the killing of Bangabandhu, the devils of darkness abhorrently stepped further to eliminate four great leaders of the Liberation War at the Mujibnagar Government and accomplished their mission of killing by releasing a hail of bullets on the four national leaders and bayoneting them to death inside the four walls of jail, and led the nation to walk into the blind alleys of lies and distortion of history.
The name of Bangabandhu, the four national leaders of Mujibnagar Government, the spirited Joy Bangla slogan, the values and the spirit of the liberation war were chained and sarcastically thrown into the dungeon and abyss of ignominy. For twenty one long years after the killing of Bangabandhu and four national leaders in 1975, the spirit of the liberation war took a long regression filled with loathsome lies and distortion of facts in a pre-meditative and pre-planned way. As in the natural course, lies are usually exposed one day, and bursts with an explosive force with truth ultimately triumphing.
Alas! twenty one long years of the absence of the spirit of Liberation War in our oblivious national psyche has, meanwhile, caused enormous direct and collateral damage to a section of the derailed young generation, who seem to have been most hideously misguided by the cohorts and agents of the defeated force and indulged in, once again, taking the country to the back track of lies and distortion.
Side by side, it is heartening to see a large section of the young generation believing and nurturing the spirit of liberation in their thoughts to uphold the flambeau of the liberation war and to deter the rise of anti-liberation agents in the independent Bangladesh equally stood like solid rocks holding the true meaning and spirit of independence in their thoughts and dreams.
An uncrowned 'prince' of the metaphoric 'Windy Castle' of infinite corruption, sitting in a distant ivory-tower in an alien land opened a Pandora's box in the recent past with his preposterous invention --- brewed from complete insanity that his father, a valiant freedom fighter and one of the sectors commanders of our Liberation War, who never claimed himself as the declarer of independence at least in his lifetime, was the first president of Bangladesh and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was the "illegal" Prime Minister of Bangladesh.
Further, to everyone's shock and disappointment his mother who was a three time prime minister of Bangladesh went one step farther to say that the veracity of the number of 30 million martyrs needed to be testified with further scrutiny, thereby abhorrently demeaning the sacrifices of the martyrs and the spirit of the war of Liberation, in line with Pakistani ideas and thoughts.
Demeaning the supreme sacrifice of Mujibnagar Government leadership, one of her senior cabinet minister, now deceased, as often dubbed 'emperor of words' once dared to make extremely derogatory utterance like 'who he was and where this Nazrul come from' while referring to the great name of Syed Nazrul Islam after whose name the second river Meghna bridge was designated which was subsequently cancelled when the BNP government came to power in 2001. The name of the bridge was, however, regained its once lost status and glory and was duly engraved after the name of Syed Nazrul Isalm --- the acting president of historical Mujibnagar government when the Awami League government regained its power in 2008.
Mujibnagar government took the responsibility of organizing and directing the War of Liberation in Bangabandhu's name and culminated the victory on December 16, 1971 after bringing the band of occupation forces to their knees at Race Course Maidan (Suhrawardy Udyan) where on 7 March 1971, Bangabandhu in his thunderous voice declared, "The struggle this time is the struggle for our emancipation. The struggle this time is the struggle for independence."
With such a perverse and absurd proposition and opening of a Pandora box, a band of people who can climb to the height of such imbecility to distort history and malign the Father of the Nation and the Mujibnagar Government and its leaders who spearheaded the war of liberation to victory can only be measured with the yardstick of human stupidity, which is infinite in nature. Albert Einstein once said, presumably with great lament, "Only two things are infinite -- the Universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the former."
Having expressed my humble thoughts on Mujibnagar Day, let me draw a bottom line in saying that the Mujibnagar Government has its own great historical significance and importance and occupies a most coveted place in the history of Bangladesh as an independent country. No insidious attempt to malign and vilify its historical importance can ever reach the towering heights where the memory of Mujibnagar Government is duly placed in the history of Bangladesh. .Long live the memory of Mujibnagar Day.
The writer is a freedom fighter and former civil servant
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