Campus and Liberation War
The history of Bangladesh Liberation War would remain incomplete if we do not recall and recognise the contribution of the teachers and students of the schools, colleges and universities. Teachers of these institutes, many of them intellectuals of international repute, played a very significant role in creating awareness among people about the plundering of the Pakistani rulers of the wealth and resources of the then East Pakistan, now Bangladesh.
These teachers took great risk on their lives to write about the plundering of our resources by the foreign rulers and how they also exploited religion to achieve their goals. The college and university students all over the country gradually became aware of the ulterior motive of the Pakistanis and they got inspired by the words of their teachers and Bengali politicians to resist such exploitation.
As a result of the awareness and the aroused patriotic feeling, students and teachers joined the Liberation War of Bangladesh with the single goal in mind to free the land of the murderous Pakistani occupation forces and create the free state called Bangladesh. Yes, they had to pay a heavy price for this goal. Countless number of teachers and students were killed by the occupation forces in the nine month-long-war. But the most cowardly and heinous of all murders were of those Bengali teachers and intellectuals who were picked up from their homes by the Al Badar and Rajakar forces along with Pakistani forces and taken to unknown destinations to be killed under the cover of darkness. Through eliminating renowned teachers they wanted to create a vacuum in the education sector of Bangladesh. Such cold-blooded murders only exposed the moral bankruptcy of the occupation forces, who had realised that total defeat was inevitable.
The students of the colleges and universities joined the Liberation War and fought as guerrillas in the front lines along with our own military forces. The courage they showed in the battlefields against a trained military has already become legendary. Young Bengali students who had never seen an assault rifle before, took the training in guerrilla warfare and carried out one ambush after another with enviable success. They successfully dented the spirit of the occupation forces throughout the nine month that had paved the way for the joint forces to do the rest in December.
The supreme sacrifice of the teachers and students, spilling of their blood for the motherland, must be remembered by the present generation students and teachers. It is because of their sacrifice that today we live in a free country and can take independent decisions.
On the occasion of our Victory Day, let us rise up as one to salute our heroes - our teachers and students - who laid down their lives in 1971 for us.
Photo: Amirul Rajiv
(R) thedailystar.net 2006