Home  -  Back Issues  -  The Team  -  Contact Us
     Volume 7 Issue 1 | January 4, 2008 |

  Cover Story
  Special Feature
  A Roman Column
  In Retrospect
  Dhaka Diary
  Book Review

   SWM Home


The final nail in the coffin


Hitherto the issue had not been raised for obvious reasons. There was no need for it.

Those who maliciously collaborated with the Pakistani Army and administration that were forcibly occupying independent Bangladesh in killing, raping, torturing and looting Bangalee, the razakars of 1971 have now matured. Not by the measure of their mindset, but by the number of years they have been breathing our sacred air.

Many of the anti-liberation leaders of ekattur are now past seventy or eighty, and counting their days, which is the natural course for any mortal, traitor or not. But of serious concern is that these razakars are not being allowed to be buried in their locality by local people, not politicians. But why peace-loving people of a village (or a township) would deny the final rites, or is it appropriate to say rights, of a Muslim to be buried?

It happened in the case of Rezaul Karim, a teacher of Islamic History at Chittagong University. Known as Rizu razakar in 1971 there was even a movement of sorts at his university to remove him because of his anti-nation-state-people activities. But while a living being he had few but stronger friends than his adversaries seeking justice, and so he survived; the agitators in fact were in trouble. Yes! We have had such governments in the recent past. He passed away a few days ago, and therefore the question of his burial came up. (Bhorer Kagoj, Samakal, 18 December 2007)

In death Rezaul Karim got what he earned. People of a neighbourhood know best the choritro of a person hailing from their area. Rizu worked against the birth of Bangladesh. The people of his hometown Magura in spontaneous dhikkar did not allow his burial in his own homeland. The entire town became one to oppose his family's desire. Sad for a dead person but that was his fate. The family was then compelled to take his body and bury it hurriedly in Feni, the home of his in-laws.

On learning this, the freedom-fighters of Feni have demanded that Rizu's body be exhumed and removed from their area. (Jugantar 19 December 2007) How tragic can be a person's death? But why? Is that not his birthright? To be given a proper burial, in his or his family's place of choice?

Unfortunately for him, such heaven-gifted rights are reserved for a deshoppremik (which Rizu razakar was not) or in the least for a person who has not earned the wrath of his countrymen. During our War of Liberation, razakar Rezaul Karim was an infamous killer in Magura. The people of Magura have not forgotten the blood dance of this deshoddrohi.

To know one incidence of Rizu razakar's mindless brutality we must be introduced to Lutfunnahar Helena, a one-time Chaatra Union leader. In 1971, she was a school teacher in Magura. She had a two-year old son. One day, Rizu with his gang picked up Helena from her house, on the charge that she had contact with freedom fighters. Not a sin in any country, except in the eyes of those who do not belong to that land. Rizu handed over Helena to the local Pakistani commander, our enemy at the time, who we were trying to repulse in a declared war. A mother, our sister, a patriot was disgraced and stained in the army camp. But that is the beginning of the viciousness of the animals. She was later tied to the back of a jeep and pulled through town. Male chauvinistic pigs, you could say. When dead, Shaheed Helena was thrown into a canal. She was not even given a burial by people who called themselves Muslims and had supposedly launched a war on civilians, by a vast majority Muslims, to save Islam. Thirty-six years in December 2007 the Muslims of Magura paid back Rizu, they have not forgotten the ruthlessness of a razakar.

Magura Muktijoddha Sangsad, the locals know best, has prepared a list of 1365 persons that Rizu razakar and his gang slaughtered in 1971.

In all this turmoil we have all forgotten what ever happened to Helena's two-year old Babu? It is better that way. It is less painful. Weep not Bangladesh! Weep no more! It is time to gather our anger and strike hard. Let the weapons of ekattur roar once more.

I received this sms from a Bangalee student who was born at least twelve years after our independence. He could still be studying in university. He has not seen 1971, but listen to the fire in his heart:

“Can a Muslim kill a man? The answer is no.
Can a Muslim rape? The answer is no.
Can a Muslim loot another's property? The answer is no.
Can a Muslim ignite another's property? The answer is no.
Can a Muslim support all the above-mentioned acts? The answer is no.
Jamatis did all those crimes in 1971 and still supporting those.
Now answer the question, 'Are Jamatis Muslims?'”

The English have a saying: The character of a person is known by the quality of people attending his funeral. Alas! Despite all the hombi-tombi, and even claims of representing the mass, the people have nailed the final blow on the coffin.



Copyright (R) thedailystar.net 2008