Sunday, October 28, 2007

It was a War of Liberation

Source: Daily Star
October 28, 2007

It was a War of Liberation not a civil war
Nation must resist all attempts to denigrate it

Only the day before yesterday Mr. Mojaheed, the Jamaat secretary-general unabashedly denied that there were any war criminals or anti-liberation forces in Bangladesh.

And lo and behold, yesterday an erstwhile secretary to the government, whose comments about 1971 make him appear to be of the same ilk as Jamaat, had the temerity to characterise the nine-month long struggle as a civil war while participating in a talk show hosted by a private TV channel! We cannot believe that the gentleman is unaware of the criteria that constitute a civil war. We resent his dubious attempt to confuse the issue after 35 years.

Ours was the culmination of a struggle for independence that took roots in 1948, manifested through the language movement and subsequent struggles against the iniquitous rule by the Pakistani military junta. 1971 was not an internecine war but a war of liberation, a resistance against an occupation army, that was participated by all and sundry, both in and outside the country. There was no divide among us; we were united as one nation after March 26 and the beginning of genocide, except of course the likes of Jamaat and its cohorts.

We cannot but feel that these comments, some of which were made with the arrogance of an unrepentant collaborator let off the hook, appear as if they have been well planned and well orchestrated to launch an assault on the very spirit of our war of independence.

These utterances have denigrated our Liberation War. We reject both the notions. We feel that there has never been an act or comment in recent times that deserved more contempt than these. We join the nation in expressing our utmost disdain.

We regret that old wounds have been reopened. In belittling 1971 the blood of the martyrs has been defiled. It is a sad story that those who had helped in the carnage in 1971 have the gumption to renew their assault on the nation. It is because they have been politically rehabilitated. Are we not to be blamed for allowing them the political space because of the very narrow partisan interest of one political party or the other?

Those that have allowed these collaborators to reestablish themselves must reexamine their position, and all those that helped the occupation forces in the mayhem in 1971 must accept their role and seek forgiveness from the nation for their misdeeds.

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