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     Volume 8 Issue 62 | March 20, 2009 |

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Guiding the Way

Arefeen Ahmed

The most stable, secure and purest relationship that we are blessed with during our time on Earth is the bond that we share with our parents. To us our parents are next to God, they are our mentors, they continually look out for us, advise us in times of trouble and hence are irreplaceable. So where do we seek shelter when the above haven is violently snatched away from us, leaving behind a huge burden of vulnerability and disillusionment?

The heartrending turn of events at Pilkhana that bulldozed our sense of security and caused such irrevocable loss to the armed forces have inflicted simultaneous wounds on many children's severed hearts and souls. These individuals have obviously suffered a massive psychological blow, in first, having to learn of their parent/s deaths and then suddenly having to bid them farewell.

As time progresses, the lives of the children (of all ages) associated with the Pilkhana massacre will not get any easier, they will naturally want to regain security in their overwhelmingly insecure lives thus attempting to seek answers to a host of random questions as best as they can. Who will feed me at the table? Who will console me when I wake up from a bad dream, thus warding off things that go bump in the night? Who will teach me to ride my first bicycle? Who will help me prepare for a test/exam? Who will help me tie my shoelaces or hair? Who will watch a hilarious movie with me? Who will be there to congratulate me or share my success when I graduate? Who will share the taste of success after my first day at work?

How hard will it be for such innocent souls to find the answers to such poignant questions? For this reason, close relatives or friends of the children who survived the Pilkhana massacre, can only attempt to aid these young people in putting together the missing pieces of life's jigsaw puzzle. Through this process these children may find at least some of the answers to their queries. In spite of this support though, these so-called missing fragments will never accurately fit into place or clearly depict a complete image of two loving parents and their beloved child/children.

But it does not have to be only relatives who can be of assistance to these children. Ordinary people like myself can form groups to counsel these young people to help ease their pain and come to terms with their anger and grief. These young people need to be encouraged and their talents applauded so that they can get back a semblance of normality in their lives.

The idea of the term 'children' refers to all those innocent individuals who have lost either their father or mother or in fact both regardless of whether they are related to slain army or BDR personnel who may or may not have been involved in the conspiracy to kill. The children who lost so much at Pilkhana did not commit any crime, therefore, it is ridiculous to be prejudiced against them just because those responsible for them were in one way or another involved in a reckless and inerasable chapter in Bangladesh's history.

We must remember it is children who suffer the most in these kind of situations. It is our collective responsibility to reach out to them and offer them our love and support.

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