Price of Religious Fanaticism
The devilish role of some Bengali-speaking living things in the garb of Islam before and during the War of Liberation helped push many young people away from the religion of peace.
Despite their arrogant claims, those living beings, razakars as they called themselves, were far removed from the ideals of a religion that was practised at the time by over 80 percent of the population. As Muslims they began to kill Muslims to save (?) Pakistan. Not that they had any justification by the tenets of Islam to go and kill someone of any religion just because his or her mother tongue was Bangla.
We Bangalis took up arms only when we were attacked, when we were being annihilated, when we were subjected to one of the worst genocides in history. Ours was a course of self-defence, later a quest for societal emancipation.
The innocent and the young of the late 60s and the early 70s detested verily what the razakars did in the name of Islam. Any human being would. Any believer would shudder in remorse.
The common man on the jainamaz knew what the razakar was doing, as a lame pretext to save Islam, was not Islam. The man reciting the divine verses knew that the politically ill-motivated connivance of razakars with the Pakistan Army was not the religion of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. The man on the jainamaz was praying for his muktijodhdha son, nay for all his comrades too. The man with the holy Quran in his hand wiped a tear in silence and loneliness for he had lost the youth when best to go to the War.
It would perhaps not be wrong to say that some of those youngsters, now in their late 40s and approaching 50, their praying elders long gone, refrained from practising the religion. They were much disillusioned by the heinous activities of those anti-liberation fiends who championed the cause of rape, murder, loot, falsehood...; in brief, anything diametrically opposite to Islamic beliefs.
The young mind, free as the bird hopping from one tree to another, carefree as the clouds that swept by was forced to contemplate.
How could someone advocating Islam on the one hand endorse sexual abuse and violence? Alas! That was the so-called 'religion' of the razakar in Bangladesh.
How could someone purporting to believe in Islamic teachings murder innocent unarmed men, women and children? Or perhaps worse, betray the trust of his neighbours and hand over the sinless to the Paki wolves? Alas! That was the corrupt faith of the razakar in Bangladesh.
The young minds did not want to think for too long. They moved on. They shied away from the religion of peace.
Equally unfortunate has been the scope that those razakars gave to some atheists, who jumped to the occasion and began spreading the propaganda that Islam was behind the root of all their sufferings. Have we not heard a Western observer saying, 'Islam is the best religion, but Muslims are the worst followers'? Time has come to change that unfortunate notion.
Over the decades since 16 December, truth has come to prevail. Thanks to self-initiated research by the young, who went out to interview their grandparents, parents, uncles and aunts, and the community elders, (and people do not usually lie to those who lay their trust on them) the future generation of this nation has unearthed the undistorted history of this country: 1952, 1954, 1969, 1971, 1975...
There are 'learned' fools (gyan-papi), who propound now perhaps in vain and obvious desperation that the independence of Bangladesh fell from the sky. Even if it did so to speak it would have broken after a fall from that height, but in reality it did not. They who exercise their corrupt mind to fulfil their selfish political agenda forget that there are people alive who have witnessed the events as they developed, there are people living who participated in those struggles for our freedom, and they have been telling our young the truth, and nothing but the truth.
No religion including Islam endorses unlawful killing. Islam goes one step further in the context of broken Pakistan: no Muslim can kill another Muslim. But they did, and some of them abetted in the gruesome crime. They too are murderers. The poignant events of 14 December are penned in history as the worst cold-blooded murder of the innocent. During the War of Liberation they hunted down victims only for their Allah-given identity of Bangali. They engaged in playing holi with the blood of their neighbours. It is the long-awaited religious obligation of this nation that includes people from different theological beliefs to bring to book the perpetrators of the worst possible crime against humanity in 1971.
I urge the young minds to make their own search in the method that they find convenient, Internet, interviewing witnesses, reading books and newspapers especially of 1971... the choice is yours. Only those who have witnessed the birth of Bangladesh know your conclusion.
(R) thedailystar.net 2010