When many of the Freedom Fighters or their families have to submit applications to VVIPs the fate remains mostly unknown. That is a huge insult or binning the Spirit of Liberation War.
Once again the National Martyrs' Monument and other such memorials in memory of the sacrifices made by the great sons of the soil are being redone as an annual ritual to mark the Victory Day. Will such rituals be able to uphold the "spirit of our great Liberation War of 1971? The issue has been a major concern for me as I travelled across Bangladesh recently and when visiting government and non-government offices.
The scene hurts and should worry anyone who loves Bangladesh, holds Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in his heart and wants to ensure a country that both the Father of the Nation and his able followers, the Freedom Fighters, had sacrificed their lives.It is in contrast to what one would find across the world, including neighbouring India. They respect their heroes and uphold the cause for which they fought and died.
In the countryside, even political activists have no idea what is the "Spirit of the Liberation War" and thus upholding it is put of question. Some relate it to the ruling Awami League as its basic "propaganda slogan" and basically has no meaning.In the cities, the situation is not very different and many find it a laughable subject for those who support the Awami League. Many ignore it and the Freedom Fighters have either no respect ir a matter of the past, while it is worse for many of the families of our martyred patriots.
When many of the Freedom Fighters or their families have to submit applications to VVIPs the fate remains mostly unknown. That is a huge insult or binning the Spirit of Liberation War.We know that what "Upholding of the Liberation War" means for Bangladesh where turncoats have entered in very sphere of life and those really try to uphold its meaning are either cornered or have isolated themselves on different grounds.
Then there is no dearth of sycophants and thus the issue of our golden history or the Spirit of the Liberation War.It is time now as celebrate Bangabandhu's birth centenary and complete 50 years as an independent state very proudly because of the milestones that we have achieved under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's leadership. Instead of looking down on us, the world envies us now.Had there been no Bangladesh then we would not have been able to prove our talent and intelligence or what the Bengalis are worth. Pakistanis always suppressed the Bengalis and never gave us the opportunity to prove ourselves.
The "Spirit of Liberation" carries the proud message of our 1971 war, the basic principles based on which this country was founded and the messages of Bangabandhu to build a Golden Bengal.The attack by Islamist extremists and the ongoing protests against Bangabandhu's sculpture is the result of the near-vanishing "Spirit of the Liberation War."
Upholding that spirit, will spare us from a Bangladesh free of religious extremists, turn coats and sycophants. We must give all our efforts to uphold the Spirit of the Liberation War now or else it might be too late to honour the blood of Bangabandhu and the martyrs.Bangladesh cannot be allowed to become Pakistan again as their followers and agents are active sidelining the real patriots.
The writer is a journalist, TV anchor, columnist and UN Dag Hammarskjold Fellow
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