BANGLADESH is set to celebrate its 46th anniversary of national independence from the neo-colonial Pakistan today. People of Bangladesh spontaneously began its war of national liberation on March 26, 1971 after the (West) Pakistan army had launched its genocidal campaign against the unarmed people of the then East Pakistan at dead of night of March 25. The liberation war which initially began in the form of resistance soon became an organised war under the political leadership of Bangladesh’s government-in-exile, headed by Tajuddin Ahmad, in India. Finally, the liberation forces of Bangladesh, with the active cooperation of the people and last-minute assistance of the Indian army, defeated the occupation forces of Pakistan on December 16 the same year. The independent Bangladesh, despite many a political upheaval and consequent civilian and military dictatorship, has come a long way. The country has achieved many a success over the past 46 years while it failed in many areas to achieve what it should have done.
Material achievements apart, subsequent governments of the country has miserably failed in two areas, primarily because of political parochialism, such as objectively determining the number of people who laid down their lives for national independence in the hands of Pakistan forces and their local collaborators, on the one hand, and the number of freedom fighters who made supreme sacrifices, on the other. There could hardly be found any country with the sense of genuine pride that fails to document the number and identities of victims of their liberation war and those of their freedom fighters. The failure of the ruling classes of Bangladesh, or the country’s successive governments in other words, to do so not only proves their lack of genuine respect for the martyrs of independence but also indicates the emptiness of their political sloganeering in the name of the spirit of the liberation war.
Meanwhile, this is important to note that the independent Bangladesh has some declared promises to realise, for the official proclamation of independence, issued on April 17, 1971, unambiguously declared that the people of the democratic republic of Bangladesh would ensure equality, social justice and human dignity of the citizens. That thousands of the poor classes of people took arms to liberate Bangladesh must have sincerely believed that the republic to be born out of their victory would remove inequality, injustice and indignity that they had been exposed to in the Pakistan era. The poor fought and died and Bangladesh was created on their martyrdom while their successors are still suffering from multidimensional inequality, injustice and indignity in society of the independent Bangladesh. This is a clear betrayal inflicted on the martyrs of the liberation war by successive governments of the country. A country cannot advance properly by betraying the aspirations of those who create it at the cost of blood while Bangladesh cannot be an exception of the rule of history. Under the circumstances, it is the duty of those who genuinely believe in the spirit of Bangladesh’s liberation war to work towards the fulfilment of the dreams and aspirations of the martyrs.
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