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     Volume 8 Issue 64 | April 3, 2009 |

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A tribute to my brother Col. M. Mojibul Hoque

M. Emamul Haque

Shaheed Col. M. Mojibul Hoque

Last month the mourners were told of a caring brother, dependable friend, loving father, trustworthy husband, reliable colleague, visionary commander, and a patriotic hero who was proud to serve his country.

Dear brother, my dear Dada - it was you who we all talked about. It breaks my heart to think I will never see you again. I know the tragic reality that I will never hear such a tranquil voice say “Jee Dada”, as a response to my call. You did not deserve what those cowards did to you. I remember, in my childhood, the first time you tried on your uniform. You looked like such a proper proud soldier and that's when I realised how lucky I was to have you as a brother. Dada, I never told you how much I love you but I hope you knew that I did, and I always will.

Dada you were martyred along with 57 army officers during the BDR massacre of February 25, a month before your pending retirement from the service on April 3 which was to coincide with your 53rd birthday.

Hundreds of thousand of people paid their respects to you and other martyrs at the National Parade Ground in Dhaka on 2 March 2009.

"I feel proud about the sacrifice and courage of all the bright officers but sadly they had to prove their worth to the nation at the cost of their supreme sacrifice. The nation would always miss them and at the same time, this would haunt us forever,” said (Mili Mojib), your beloved wife, immediately after the incident. Despite awful feelings following the merciless massacre of brilliant and patriotic army officers the way she held her emotions and coped with the situation would not have been possible if she were not the wife of a true hero. I am proud of you Dada for the way you always upheld your morals. I am proud to see your morals being reverberated in the heart of your life partner.

Many of my friends, especially military officers, who came to see us after the incident to express their sympathy, told me that they regained strength from Bhabi's calm and poised expression even after such a horrendous experience of deaths and arson. They all praised you so highly.

Shaheed Col. M. Mojibul Hoque

It's normal for any commander with uprightness to go to the front and fight when there is a crisis. You did exactly that and marched forward to calm down the unrest. In doing so, you took the ultimate risk. You had all the qualities -- loyalty, honour, valour and sacrifice that a true hero possesses. You lived, and gave your life, as a hero. Your children Pronoy, Pritam and Audrika as well as your nephews and nieces, Gibran, Elma, Danisha and Azmain will be proud of you as they grow.

You were endowed with immense strength of character, vision and fortitude, dared to heed the call for action and adventure. We will continue to admire and exalt you for avidly exhibiting these virtues; characteristic of a true hero.

The loss of so many talented heroes is irreparable for the nation. It may take a long time but we hope the vacuum will be filled and new committed officers will come to serve the nation and uphold our sovereignty.

But I know I will not have you back. The nation has paid its last respects to you on March 2 at the National Parade Ground. We lost both of our parents in the last few years but I never felt like a motherless child, perhaps because you remained such a strong guide to me. Now for the first time I am feeling a huge emptiness inside of me and I feel that as long as I live this abyss in my heart will never be filled. During the last few years I defeated all the difficulties I faced with courage. The secret behind my energy was indeed you, who always remained in my subconscious mind, the last place of resort, where I knew I could fall back and find your warmth whenever I needed it. Now I feel completely broken to see our whole family shattered by your departure.

Now I feel I do not have the strength to face our only sister, Lucky, who I know is expecting the same strength from me that she used to get from you. Since your departure I have been avoiding her and many other relatives, who are trying to find the qualities and traits of yours in me. You have left incredibly difficult shoes to fill.

In our family, during any crisis, you used to stand in between as a shock absorber. Your experience, intuition, and foresight quickly warned us always of any possible family crisis. Now we have no one who can respond so quickly and avert us from the burdens of life.

Perhaps you did not have any idea of the positive influence that you had on my young formative years. I turned to you in times of trouble in my recent adult life and relished in the guidance that you had provided meticulously and lavishly. I learnt about life by watching you raising your kids - being yourself, a wonderful and caring father. I recall in recent times when life took a strange turn and I was about to lose focus, you extended your all out support, and told me I am not only your younger brother, I am like your son.

It was not only our family, your colleagues and troops who were always in your thoughts. The week before the last parade that you commanded you told me: “I am giving all my efforts and energy to my last command before my retirement. My troops are great and giving their best for the parade as well.” All who watched your parade command on February 24, 2009 were impressed, the day before you were cowardly slain. I missed your parade but I am hearing now how diligently you commanded. Swati, my wife, was so impressed by your style and assiduousness that it forced me to call you on the night of February 24. I never ever thought that would be the last conversation I would have with you.

Today is April 3 2009, your birthday and your expected retirement date from the Bangladesh Military after serving the nation for over 33 years. But before your retirement you were destined to leave us and laid to rest in peace. Today on your birthday we all, including your admirers, colleagues and friends will meet, recall your sacrifice for the nation and pray for your departed soul.

With your departure many of us have lost our best friend. You will always remain in our hearts. I Love you Dada.



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