IT IS unacceptable, as New Age reported on Tuesday quoting the liberation war affairs minister, that many fake freedom fighters still get government allowances for war veterans as they remain in the freedom fighters’ list. It has been possible because many who had not participated in the war were included in the list as it was not prepared wholly based on facts. Freedom fighters are people engaged in a struggle to achieve political freedom for themselves or for others. And the war is fought on different fronts — physical combat, political leadership, cultural inspiration, social awakening, support mobilisation and others, both at home and abroad. In view of this, all of those who received training in India, locally trained freedom fighters, trained members of the Bangladesh Liberation Force, members of Mukti Bahini, members of the East Pakistan Rifles, Ansar, Mujahid, the police and the army personnel who joined the war of independence should have been included in the list.
It would be pertinent to mention here that the Awami League-led government once made a volte-face while giving recognition as freedom fighters to 2,367 members of the special guerrilla unit launched by the NAP-Communist Party and Chhatra Union during the liberation war although the war-time and post-liberation governments recognised the guerrillas as freedom fighters and the law ministry on July 22, 2013 issued a notification in cognition of the 2,367 guerrilla members as freedom fighters. One is frustrated over the failure to make a proper list of freedom fighters even 46 years after the independence. However, the flawed list of freedom fighters points to subsequent governments’ indifference to and ineptitude about preparing an indisputable list of freedom fighters. Partisan monopolisation of the liberation war by the ruling Awami League should be attributed to this failure to make a proper list of freedom fighters although this war was a people’s war where people, irrespective of caste, creed, class and religion, participated with the noble aim to achieve freedom. The ruling quarters must realise that this kind of monopolisation is likely to give rise to further divisions in society which has already become divided, fomenting social unrest and thereby putting the economy in shambles. The incumbents have declaimed about the war of independence on more than one occasions but they have not yet taken any proper initiative to prepare a precise list of freedom fighters. Needless to say, their political rhetoric about them sounds hollow nowadays. Who can deny that without preparing a flawless list of freedom fighters, proper history of the country cannot be written?
Be that as it may, the list of freedom fighters must be complete for the sake of true history of the liberation war. It is, therefore, imperative for the government to formulate a policy based on nationalistic ideals for the enlistment of true freedom fighters in the greater interest of the nation.
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